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NEW THIS ISSUE19 amazing advertisers p. 22 Ken Jetts debut column p. 60 CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE rfnntb r fnn b September 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 11 Issue 7
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COVER STORY 26 Life in the Rail World COMMENTARY 10 Feedback: Letters 16 Cult Following: A New Film 18 Jack King: We Love Rick Scott 20 Urbania: All About the Weather OUR SPONSORS 22 BizBuzz: September 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 44 Slam the Door on Phony Locksmiths 44 W. Dixie Highway: Is Bigger Better? 45 Pay Phones Sprouting Like Mushrooms NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 60 Ken Jetts Upper Eastside Debut 62 Jen Mulls the Monkeys of Miami Shores 64 Jay Ponders Aventura Status Symbols 66 Adam Bemoans Miamis Car Culture 68 Mark Sounds the North Miami Alarm ART & CULTURE 70 Anne Tschida on DWNTWN Art Days 72 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 75 Events Calendar: Hear Salman Rushdie POLICE REPORTS 76 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 78 Jim W. Harper: Biscayne Bay National Park COLUMNISTS 80 All Things Animal: Grumpy Cat 82 Picture Story: Deadly 1926 Hurricane 83 Your Garden: Go Get Ginger 84 Kids and the City: Really Bad Parents 85 Going Green: He: I Do, We: Can Do 86 Vino: Unusual Whites Score Big 87 Dish: Here Comes Autumn DINING GUIDE 88 Restaurant Listings: 294 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants rf ntb nf rfrb ntbfbbn t f tttttt nt ttPersonalized and prompt care provided by boardcertied pediatric physicians for minor injuries and illnesses. Walk-in, appointment not required. Monday-Friday: 3 p.m. 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. 10 p.m. X-ray Monday-Friday: 1 p.m. 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. 10 p.m.bff Physical, occupational and speech-language therapies. Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. 5:30 p.m.fbff Gastroenterology Ophthalmology ntbfb nft 3915 Biscayne Boulevard 786-624-6000 2013-14GASTROENTEROLOGY & GI SURGERYHOSPITALSCHILDRENSBE ST rffntb br PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr bArts Editor r tnrt t t rr r n nn rnrn BUSINESS MANAGER rrr rrrr ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES r r r rr ART DIRECTOR rn r ADVERTISING DESIGN rrr CIRCULATION rrr PRINTING rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F OR A DVERTISING INFORMATION CALL 305-756-6200 16 45 62Serving 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
District 5 Candidate Forum: Be There!For all Biscayne Times readers in Miamis Upper Eastside who are now part of city commission District 5, a candidate forum will take place 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 8, at Legion Park. Sponsored by the Belle Meade Homeowners Association, the event will feature refreshments, bites, and (presum ably) lots of good questions for candidates Jacqui Colyer, Richard Dunn III, Keon Har demon, and Robert Malone, Jr.. BT editor Jim Mullin will moderate. For more information, contact Jo Wilder at firstname.lastname@example.org.Topic of Cancer: Americas Billboard EpidemicErik Bojnanskys cover story Billboard Jungle (August 2013) is a superbly informative article that nailed every key messaging point of the cancerous billboard story. Hats off to Erik and Biscayne Times for providing the public with a well-researched, factual article. I am part of a group call Keep Wash ington Beautiful and saw this article via Scenic America on Facebook feed. Seattle and every other major American city is assaulted with this crap. This is a national problem, not just a local problem. Thank you for publishing Billboard Jungle. I have sent it on to the Seattle tour ism agency, the city council, and downtown business organizations for their education. Bravo! A hundred times over. Heather Lowe Seattle, WashingtonOn the Death of the No-Kill ShelterWendy Doscher-Smiths August column, Another Day, Another Dog Dies, about how Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the county commission cut $19 mil lion from the voter-approved Pets Trust, thus ending hopes of a no-kill animal shelter, made me physically ill! These G-D politicians need to be replaced. Sweep the place clean of the politi cal whores who ignore the will of the people and move on. And not just in Miami. Out with the old political hacks and their pimps, and in with new people who will listen to the voters and work for their community and their country instead of themselves and their whore masters. This is sickening! Joan Bueter HollywoodSandbar SaluteI just wanted to acknowledge Harriette Yahr for writing a very comprehensive article about the Haulover Sandbar (Its a Shoal Thing, August 2013). Its obvious she did a lot of research on this subject. I also liked her writing skills. Carole Becker QuaysideFounding Fathers Farsighted, Says Logic-Leaping NRAGreat column by Christian Cipriani (The Guns Need to Go, August 2013). Someday, if we survive, we will look back and wonder how a small group of bullies was able to dictate our gun laws. It is irrational for 90 percent of America to live in fear so that a group of yahoos can run around waving the Confederate The preamble to the Constitution formed to insure domestic tranquility that means exactly the same today as it did when this nation was formed. However, the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms, was written when arms referred to a single-shot musket. For anyone to imply that the Founders, living in an agrarian society, envisioned the types of weapons we have today, and the shift from agrarian to an industrial society with all its sociological problems, is preposterous. Only the NRA can make that leap in logic. Alfred Mcknight El PortalCipriani: An Other-Worldly ExperienceReading Christian Ciprianis anti-gun screed, The Guns Need To Go, was almost like being in possession of a communication from an alternative universe. One can only draw two conclusions after wading through all the inaccurate and misleading statements in his opinion piece: A) Mr. Cipriani never watched the George Zimmerman trial on TV and read none of the transcripts or reports; or B) Mr. Cipriani simply chose to ignore all the evidence and testimony, and went with his own preconceived ideas with regard to the role guns play in lawful self-defense. Sam Guy MiamiAnother Miami Waterfront Boondoggle? I want to compliment Jack King on his great article Welcome to the Circus Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 12
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(August 2013). I truly enjoyed reading it. I had a particular interest in the paragraphs devoted to the Grove Harbor development. I believe King is absolutely correct in his assessment of this project as just another folly in a long list of follies created by the City of Miami. The article seems to suggest that this project may be fait accompli, and that there may not be anything that can be done to change the course of events set in motion to bring this project to fruition. Im not sure I agree with that. In fact, Ive started an online petition to create awareness of this ill-conceived development. As of a few minutes ago, 529 have signed the petition, asking the city commission to reconsider its position. More than 3200 people have viewed the petition in the last seven days since it was posted on MoveOn.org. The petition has and apparently it is becoming an issue of concern to a great many citizens of Miami. Im hopeful that as the date of the election nears, we will have made enough people aware of what is going on that the project will be defeated at the ballot box. The petition may be found online at petitions.moveon.org/sign/ stop-grove-harbor Charles Corda MiamiMiami Critical Mass: Share the Road Doesnt Mean Hog the RoadThanks to Jen Karetnicks August column Ride the High Road, about the Miami Critical Mass (MCM) cy cling phenomenon. I live in Edgewater, close to the Latin Caf, and bicyclecommute 11 miles each way every day to Doral. On November 6, 2012, I was hit on Tenth Avenue and NW 36th I spent eight hours in Jackson Memorial Hospital that day. I watched the June Miami Critical Mass from my condo balcony and was appalled. Share the road doesnt mean hog the road. When a signal turns red, stop for it. All the side streets between Biscayne Boulevard and the bay are dead-ends. Let people get home. Every day I make the dangerous ride home from Doral, mostly along 36th Street. I have drivers who stop to let me cross the SR-826 ramp at 25th Street, or and who slow down and move aside when Im riding down the middle of US 1, trying not to get killed. I need those people to see me as what I am: unprotected and vulnerable, not the guy who held them up for an hour while they tried to get home one night. MCMs arent the only times rules are ignored. Fitness gangs in the Grove blow through stop signs and jam up Bayshore Drive. Just because you can use a whole lane doesnt mean you should. Ride What Miami needs isnt critical mass, but critical manners. Maybe Miami Bike Scene could organize one of those. Everyone would have lights and a helmet, obey signals, signal stops and turns, and most important, be courteous. Revenge rides dont help. In fact, they make it much more dangerous for people like me. Robert Labrie EdgewaterThats the Way the Stone Crab CrumblesRegarding Pamela Brandts note on the passing of another South Florida landmark, the Crab House (Dish, July 2013), I, too, am sorry that it closed down, but felt 100 percent validated when I read her further comment: I doubt that any other crab lover who attempted in recent years the once-famed All You Can Eat Seafood Bar questions the reason for the closing. My older sister was visiting from several hours of sightseeing, around 3:00 p.m., we started to feel really stone crabs. I hadnt been to the Crab House in ages, but it seemed just the ticket because it was Monday and Joes was closed. Whoa, what a disappointment! The crabs were without question off, and the service was a joke. I ended up complaining and was told Id be given an extra piece of key lime pie (gee, thanks; that really makes up for the bad stone crabs), which, in the end, didnt happen because the waiter couldnt be found to bring us our bill. I just paid the cashier and left! Its too bad, but what can you do? I always liked Billys better anyway! Deborah Stander Belle MeadeCommentary: LETTERS rfntbf bnfftntrt nfftf nt Deadline is Friday, 9.13.13 at 5 pmffrffft ntbfrfntbfrt fffn n nf bffnt b LettersContinued from page 10
Est. 1995 Est. 1995
MIAMI SHORES COMMUNITY ALLIANCEOver 30 years of enhancing Village Life
Commentary: CULT FOLLOWING By Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorFilms take a long time to make, so ers get used to their friends never asking them about their work. (Other than maybe to say, Still working on that What was it, again?) Maybe they actually have something to show. Well, guess what? Weve got something. Im happy to report that Brett OBourke, Jorge Rubiera, and I collectively, Common Machine Productions are premiering Plastic Paradise: A Swingin Trip Through Americas Polynesian Obsession on WLRN-Channel 17 on Wednesday, September 18 (with additional broadcasts to follow). From there, itll go national. (our last was Hecho a Mano: Creativity in Exile ) and is as ambitious as anything weve done. It chronicles the rise, fall, and resurgence of tiki, or Polynesian pop, a subculture of hipsters, hula girls, and rum drinks and it has a backstory that goes to show just how long some projects take. Flashback: It was 2003 and OBourke and I were the editors of Street a standalone weekly the Miami Herald was trying to breathe some life into. (We man aged to do it, but it still folded.) Anyway, we heard about an event that was coming to Fort Lauderdale, a four-day tiki festival, complete with lounge-style music acts and cocktail-mixing demonstrations. (To be clear, tiki as used here refers to all things Polynesian, and should not be confused with a genre of drinking establishment, popular in the Keys, where tourists go to hear Jimmy Buffett songs.) The fest, we were told, was called Hukilau, and would be drawing tikiphiles thats what they called themselves from as far away as New York and California. We assigned a writer to cover the event, and then decided it sounded like too much fun not to go to the big Saturday night party at the Mai-Kai restaurant ourselves. For those whove never been to the Mai-Kai, its the last of the great mid-20th century Polynesian palaces. Opened in 1956, it features dining room after dining room elaborately decorated with Polynesian artifacts, seating for 600, an outdoor garden with waterfalls, and a Polynesian dance revue, reportedly the longest continuously staged show of its type anywhere in the United States. So we knew we were in for a good time, regardless of how Hukilau might turn out. But nothing could have prepared us for hundreds of people dressed in vintage tiki attire Hawaiian shirts, sarong-style dresses, grass skirts swaying to jungle-tinged beats and throwing back rum-loaded cocktails the names of which are no doubt intended to double as warnings: the Shark Bite, the Shrunken Skull, the Zombie. After ordering up a couple of rum barrels not as colorfully christened as some of the other drinks, but just as deadly OBourke and I surveyed the scene and decided a magazine feature could never fully capture what we were witnessing. Somebody ought to make a movie, I told him at some point. Or he told me. I cant be sure. We were already a couple of barrels into our evening. The funny thing is that neither of us became an annual thing, we became ered there was a thriving subculture of 20-somethings, 30-somethings, and sian pop as a lifestyle. Not just rum drinks and Hawaiian shirts, but Martin Denny records, tiki tattoos, and an obsessive need to seek out any and all mid-century, tikiEven more interesting to us was that a lot of these tikiphiles were former punk rockers, too old and burdened with grown-up obligations to be punk anymore, but still craving the sense of community they once shared, and aided by the rise of We pitched it as a documentary to WLRN a few years back. After initially saying no they hadnt been to Hukilau they reconsidered. Two years later, Plastic Paradise is ready for its unveiling. in Fort Lauderdale, but we also shot in New York and Los Angeles, where tiki mixologists, historians, hula dancers, even a mermaid. (Youll want to meet her.) We also included the story of tikis original rise, from the opening of Don the Beachcomber Americas Kon-Tiki expedition to the popularity of all of which fueled Amer icans decades-long fascination with Polynesia, or at least with the image of Polynesia found in the funhouse mirror of our pop culture. somebody should make back in 2003. We just never dreamed it would be us. Maybe it was that second rum barrel that did it. Aloha. Feedback: email@example.com Rock-a-Hula, Baby!How we came to make a documentary about Americas 20th-century Polynesian obsession. Hint: It involved rum
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Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorA got a letter from our illustrious cue-ball governor, Rick Scott. I could only think it was a mistake. It was. My wife is a registered Republican, and it was actually addressed to her. I handed it to her. She took one look and immediately tossed it into the trash. Anything from Rick Scott is always the wastebasket. Seems like our esteemed governor wants cash from us to save the Repub lican Party in Florida from a fate worse than death. He starts out by telling us that President Obamas reckless agenda is hurt ing Floridians. I am sick and tired of it. Wow! Sick and tired of it? How about when the Republicans, under the leadership President George deer in the headlights Bush crashed the economy, and his only answer to the mess was to give the White House keys to President Obama and then leave town? What a solution blame it on the next guy. He then goes on to say the Republicans lost close races in 2012, including the presidency. Supposedly we need to donate to the state Republican Party to make sure the same thing doesnt happen at the state level. Apparently theres a little marketing disconnect here, but when it comes to money, Scoyts insanity knows no bounds. He continues to blather about electing rock-solid candidates (Tea Partiers?) from the Florida State legislature to the U.S. congress, and all the way to the Oh right, he almost forgot. Hes running for re-election with a 35-percent approval rating. I must note that Scotts approval rating has been on a slight rise. Thats because hes done nothing terribly wrong in the past few months. The reason? Recently hes done exactly nothing. Arent we lucky! Scott goes on: Ive been asked to do my part and help with fundraising because as Floridas Governor I see every day how bad President Obamas radical agenda is hurting our state. You think its Obamas agenda hurting us? I think if you look around, Guv, you might see that your silly war with Medicare and Medicaid, and your stubbornly stupid the Affordable Care Act, actually does serious damage to Floridians, many of whom are 55 and older. Oh, by the way, those Floridians you want to protect from Obamas agenda are also called voters Then Scott gets to the real meat of the letter: money. He asks us for generous gifts of $2500, $1000, $500, $250 or $100. The very next paragraph reduces the amounts to $50, $35, or $20. Right after that the small amounts are eliminated. Just the big money, please. To bring in even more money, Scott should have put in a plug for Marco Rubios presidential bid. The Democratic National Committee sent me a fundraising letter and asked me for $3. I complied. Rather than these tiny amounts, Scott should just ask Bill Koch (the unknown Koch brother) for a few million. He lives in Palm Beach. I know paper and postage are expensive these days, Mr. Governor, but bringing Charlie Crist into your letter really takes the cake. You say that $787 billion in the Obama-Crist stimulus package blew a hole in the annual budget. Please explain to me what Charlie Crist had to do with the federal stimulus program. Oh wait, now I get it. Isnt that the Charlie Crist whos going to run against Rick, Im sorry to say I wont be send ing you a check any time soon. I hope thats okay with you, as I know you could be a little short of cash these days. It was tough for you to pay off that Medicare fraud penalty of $1.6 billion, and then have to put up more than $70 million of your own money to get elected. Gosh, Rick, I dont think Floridians are that stupid. Youre not exactly my type of politi incomplete list of people who think other wise and have donated to your campaign already. They are: Ron Book $25,000, Miguel B. Fernan dez (healthcare) $125,000, Donald Trump $100,000, Progress Energy $100,000, Blue Cross $250,000, Wayne Huizenga $250,000, Manny Medina $50,000, Genting and Resorts World $150,000, FPL $250,000, United States Sugar Corp $300,000, Florida Crystals (sugar) $200,000, Stephen Ross (Dolphins) $50,000. (Thanks to eyeonmiami.blogspot.com for the list.) Mr. Governor, it seems like you just cant do anything right. Your campaign to bring new businesses to Florida is really pissing off governors in other states. Your my state is better than your state campaign led Boston Magazine to refer to Florida at the most bat-shit crazy state in the union. Only you could top Rick Perry of Texas as the dumbest governor in the United States. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org A Letter from the Governor? How NiceYou never know whats going to be slipped into your mailbox
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Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorIve been writing this column now for and 20,000 words later, and Im looking back. I started Urbania in the fall of 2011 as a loose exploration of the Biscayne Corridor urban living experience, mainly in the Wynwood-Edgewater area. My relationship with the city and my surroundings at that time spun a richer web than today. I was out in the scene, ear to the ground, connected to the urban experience in a very purposeful way. But by the spring of 2012, I was engaged, approaching 30, and invested in a career as a copywriter. First, I stopped going out so much. I narrowed my circle of friends, and overhauled my physical lifestyle. No more alcohol or cigarettes. I cooked more and and took up exercise and competition as a meaningful part of my life. After spending most of my 20s with little regard for my health and well-being, living a regular, decent life was a new experience as was being a regular, decent person. I also had to get new heroes, because mine were all out of their minds. Most people who create things will put it them. Im no exception. After something is published, I read it once in print to see my editors changes and then place it in the archive. But today I broke that rule. I remembered that day a year ago hot, humid, our rooftops awash in blistering sunshine when I wrote about the weather. Id like to share part of that column again to celebrate a summer that has failed to deliver one storm with a name worth remembering: Like many transplants, I grew up in the north with four full seasons. In the dead of winter, the sun faded to dusk by zero. By July, the thermometer hovered in the 90s, and wed stay out until a late But northern weather wore on me with its physical schizophrenia. From clothing to routines, you need more of everything. I knew Id end up in the sunshine, where you need less. Its simple, cyclical. The few good cold memories I and the comforting way that distinct seasons slow time. The punishment for with cruel speed. When I arrived here, I went to the beach year round. To me, it was always beautiful outside, the water always perfect. I was an excitable tourist on permanent vacation. What was the difference, anyhow, between 72 and 82? May and November? It took me years to tune into these subtle shifts and adapt my lifestyle accordingly. More happens down here between January and December than I ever thought possible: mid-60s to low 90s, cool to hot, dry to wet, crisp to humid, clear to buggy, and on it goes. I now have more to mark seasons with than art and music events. But Ive grown spoiled. Now I dont go to the beach unless its perfect the sun, air, water, day of the week, and time of day must all align. Ive driven home on South Beach, and in my head I see myself at age 12 waiting for the bus. Its dark and freezing. The street is covered lously as a man in an air-conditioned car drives away from a white-sand beach because he cant bear to walk two blocks. These days happen. We curse the heat. We whine about rain. We skip the beach because of clouds. But my worst day in Miami is still pretty good, and Im always grateful for sunshine. That we live in one of the sunniest places on earth is worth smiling about every day of the year. I blame the listlessness of my youth on the lack of sunshine in Pennsylvania and England. Once I heard a radio interviewer ask a Swedish author if her countrys endless nights drive more people to suicide. I found her explanation fascinating. She said Scandinavian happiness is renowned, and that Swedes dont commit more suicide theyre just honest about it. Religious guilt causes people in other cultures to lie and cover up suicide, but Swedes, she said, are not ashamed. Scandinavians, with all their cold darkness, have a remarkably happy reputation. Perhaps as a reaction to their surroundings, they simply insist on happiness. This hurricane season may pass uneventfully, or it may yet bring violent storms that drive us into the streets to help our neighbors. But right now we can be thankful because we know that the story always ends the same; another long whatever went wrong. Feedback: email@example.com Talking of the Weather Once MoreThis transplant nds Floridas climate a topic worth repeating
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22 Our Sponsors: S EPTEMBER 2013By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorThis month marks the end of summer and beginning of autumn (on Sep tember 22), though it doesnt seem that way everywhere in the USA, accord ing to weather charts. In San Francisco, for instance, the average temperature actually goes up in September. Here in Miami, though, the sun is And just when its getting possible to go outdoors without being slathered head-totoe in SPF 237, our advertisers have come up with many special events, deals, places to go, things to do/buy/eat. Septembers only government-approved three-day-weekend holiday is Labor Day, but at Temple Israel (137 NE 19th St., 305-5735900) the holidays, including Rosh Hashanah Kippur (the Day of Atonement, evening of for all ages. For a full schedule: templeisrael. net. Happy New Year! For those seeking not religious but spiritually minded physical renewal, this issues ad for Inner Balance (12579 Bis cayne Blvd., 786-383-3088) offers a deal pilates classes: $30 for 30 days. But keep reading! In addition, theres a special deal for all you BizBuzz readers: Mention the BT for $20 off a ten-pack of group classes. If you are being driven nuts because youre ending summer with not exactly a bikini body, check out Orange Theory Fitness during your one-hour workout, but an afterburn for the next 36 hours during In September, buy a six-month member ship and theyll give you one month free. Get a vigorous workout thatll also teach you to protect yourself on the mean streets at new advertiser Chi Taekwon-Do which has more than 20 years experience in instruction of the traditional Korean martial art (versus the more recently devel oped branch of taekwondo, which empha sizes sport over culturally and spiritually rooted self-defense), is now accepting new students, ages 5-adult, with all levels of experience. Enroll and get a free uniform plus a private introductory class. Treat yourself to some new clothes for that improved bod, courtesy of Frangipani shop actually carries a full range of hand made, sustainable, and fun items, but at a block party on September 7, between 25th and 26th streets, theyll be having a trunk show for Aquarius, a local clothing line de signed by Daniella Sredni, and offering 25% off on her pieces. Yummy snacks, too, adds Frangipanis Jennifer Frehling. And now that weve transitioned to food, our favorite subject: Welcome to new advertiser Bay Harbor Bistro (1023 in-house bakery turns out snacks including the most plumply stuffed empanadas weve ever found in Miami. The Euro-American bistros other fare ranges from tapas to three squares (full breakfasts, lunches, and dinners). See this issues new Dining Guide Also a new addition to the Dining Guide, as well as new advertiser and newest addition to North Bay Villages dining scene: Paprika Cswy., 305-397-8777). Exuberantly exotic dcor transports diners to somewhere fantastical, as does Moroccan/Tunisian/ Middle Eastern food, a hookah lounge, and on Friday nights, belly dancers. September means Oktoberfest, and so does October, at the Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 8002). Festivities start with a big party on September 21, when Munichs Oktoberfest begins, but continue well beyond the Bavar ian festivals October 3 end, every weekend till November. Traditional Oktoberfest beers and skillets will be served, and anyone wearing a dirndl or lederhosen gets a free beer from friendly host Alex Richter. Celebrate NYCs 87th annual San Gennaro Feast in Miami at Laurenzos Italian Market festival September 20-22. Highlights, ac cording to David Laurenzo, will include a hand-carved statue of the saint in the mar kets caf, authentic festa music Italiani, and traditional street foods like sausage and peppers, Italian ices, and fried zep poles. Giveaways and wine specials, too. Been to Fish Fish havent, owing to this extraordinary sea food market/restolounges unlikely loca tion in the corner of an otherwise ordinary strip mall. But there couldnt be a better time to discover this source of impeccably truly grand Grand Opening, September rfrn tb rn rn nnntbBROKER ASSOCIATESpecializing in Urban Lifestyles & Relocation Robbie Bell rfntbbbrfnt rfnttbbttbbtb bnbbtbtntbtbnnbbtb rfrtntf br nbbbnb btnbtn nb ntnb rftntt Continued on page 24BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible
FOR SALE $299,000La Playa Properties Group, Inc. 2275 Biscayne Blvd. Ste 1, Miami, FL 33137 LaPlaya@LaPlaya-Properties.comNow Recruiting Real Estate Professionals305-672-0773LaPlayaMiami La Playa Properties Group @LaPlayaMiami FOR RENT $2,800 ARLEN BEACH CONDO5701 COLLINS AV #1012, MIAMI BEACH Office suite in completely renovated Class B Office Building. Includes: 3 executive furnished offices, conference room, reception area and open area for 4 work stations. Seller financing available!UNIKA CORPORATE CENTER4300 BISCAYNE BLVD SUITE 301, MIAMI PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $124,900Breathtaking ocean views in this 2 Bed / 2 Bath. Completely remodeled with designer furnishings and porcelain floors. Seasonal rental minimum 6 months.VECINO DEL MAR2350 NE 135 ST # 208, NORTH MIAMINice water views from this 1 bed / 1 bath apartment. Full amenities, pool, dock, deck, spa, gym, 1 assigned parking spot & laundry facility. Minutes away from beaches and major highways. Quiet street with walk paths to Oleta river. Easy to show. FOR SALE $325,000Spacious 1 Bed / 1 Bath with spectacular view. Brand new building, European kitchen, 9 ft ceilings, oversized balconies, great amenities: Theater room, lounge areas, 2 pools. Right across recreational park with basketball court & more. Minutes from Bayside & South Beach.QUANTUM ON THE BAY1900 N BAYSHORE DR. # 4308, EDGEWATERLinette GuerraManaging Broker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $379,000Remarkable 2 Bed / 2 Bath with beautiful intracoastal views. Completely updated with new kitchen, appliances and bath, balcony, Excellent full service oceanfront building, pool, sauna, gym, restaurant, 24 hrs security.OCEANSIDE PLAZA5555 COLLINS AVE #6-Y, MIAMI BEACHLinette GuerraManaging Broker 305-915-0148 Linette GuerraRealtor Associate 305-915-0148 Carlos SerranoRealtor Associate 786-253-9551 Ivonne Arana Realtor Associate 305-987-5228 FOR SALE $150,0002 Bed / 2 Bath condo with stunning view of the Cypress Golf Course. Conveniently located on ground floor. Close to I-95, turnpike, Isle Casino, Pompano Race Track, Shopping & Restaurants. All ages are welcome! Bring all offers.PALM-AIRE804 CYPRESS GROVE LN # 106, POMPANO BEACHDays SocorroRealtor Associate 305-401-2256 MICHIGAN TOWER 716 MICHIGAN AVE # 304, MIAMI BEACHJordan LedermanRealtor Associate 248-701-5200Very Spacious 1-bedroom unit just blocks from the Beach and SoBes restaurants and shops! Updated building (recently underwent 40 year cert.). Central A/C, 1 assigned parking, Balcony, Gated building. Low maintenance fees, no special assesments! FOR SALE $200,000 FOR SALE $525,000Spectacular 2/2 unit overlooking Biscayne Bay. Comes with laundry room, brand new Bamboo flooring throughout bathrooms, custom closets, marble balcony, freshly painted with European light fixtures. QUANTUM ON THE BAY1900 N BAYSHORE DR # 3304, EDGEWATERCatherine UpeguiRealtor Associate 305-794-6366 PROPERTIES
24 Our Sponsors: S EPTEMBER 2013demos, tastings, and a farmers market. gardening and healthy cooking programs of community-based Once Upon a Carrot. And neighborhood favorite Piccolo Pizza brings back a favorite special this month: Buy any large-topping pizza, and get a medium cheese pizza free. Work off all that food with our favorite exercise shopping starting at new advertiser Aventura Mattress Dixie Hwy., 305-682-8895), a company that not only sells quality mattresses and box springs but will set up your new bed, cart away the old one, and more. See this issues ad for special offers. If youre serious about exercise, just decline the perks like free delivery and schlep the bed yourself. Roadtrip! New advertiser Mei Kitch ens (2150 NW 33rd St., Pompano Beach, contemporary kitchen and bath cabinet industry with its own patented stiles-andrails technology, is currently celebrating its ten-year anniversary with a sale: 20% off and guaranteed two-week shipping on driving, go to www.MeiKitchens.com. Those looking for bedroom furniture that serves as the artistic focal point of practical in design, will want to view the new Skyline bedroom from Nolte at The Collection German Furniture modular furnishing system can be freely combined for a broad scope of functions, shapes, and design concepts, and dimen sions. It suits any space. With a variety lacquered cream, and optional integrated LED lighting that changes color at the push of a button, its also gorgeous. Contemporary furniture items from across the globe, including Italian leather and European-design pieces, are the spe cialty at new advertiser Antonini Modern Living 8800). Keep your eyes open for details and Opening, slated for the end of October, but it has actually been open for business since May, and normal prices are quite affordable. If what youre looking to purchase is not furnishings but something to furnish, consider The Crimson (601 NE 27th St., 305-377-3337, a glam and environmen tally conscious (LEED silver), 90-unit waterfront condo. The project, offering spectacular, water-view, oneto threebedroom residences and townhouses, was created by Mckafka Development Group, which just this month announced a new partnership with ISG World; this fully Crimsons exclusive sales company. For potential buyers particularly interested in the Upper Eastside, welcome new advertiser Imburgia Realty (www. ImburgiaRealty.com), a third-generation, family-owned real estate company based in Miami Shores, where mother/daugh ter team Cathy Imburgia and Cristina Imburgia Butler live as well as work. For 13 years previously, mom Cathy worked as a bank VP, focusing on business develop ment and personal banking, which assists client relationships in real estate; Cristina worked for the family construction com pany, Imburgia Construction (in business since 1976, and run by dad Lou, a former know the area. And youll feel especially good in your new property knowing that a percentage of the teams proceeds goes to a Stray. Give the team a call at 786-566A different kind of pet rescue, for your own dogs or cats, is offered this month by a unique new business, and new advertiser, Cool Pawz (www.CoolPawz.com or 305wax that protects paws from hot pavement, sharp objects, gravel, etc. It also prevents careening pets from slipping on tile or vases, and other possessions from breakage. Its $9.95 per jar, and 10% of proceeds are donated to a pet adoption center. And at Smiling Pets (7310 Biscayne hospital for both emergencies and the less urgent medical and dental needs of your four-legged family members, Dr. Avi Adulami is offering a 15% discount this month to all new clients mentioning the BT And he adds news: Smiling Pets is now a Green company. Two-legged family members needing medical or dental care will want to join us in welcoming new advertiser Leung Healthcare owned and operated by Dr. Gilbert Leung and wife Theresa. This BizBuzzContinued from page 22 Recherchons agents immobiliers francophones expriments Now recruiting experienced RealtorsVisit our new Morningside storefront at 5781 Biscayne Boulevard Icon Brickell 1bedroom with park and bay views $510,000Peaceful sixth oor one bedroom overlooking quiet tree lined park with fabulous south views to the bay and Key Biscayne Bridge. Offering all possible amenities with an amazing pool deck, fabulous spa and gym and steps from the Brickell nancial community. William Harbour 786 247 1185 1800 club furnished 3 bedroom rental (actual view pictured) $4,500Great bayfront location close to Downtown and South Beach. 320 degree panoramic views from the 32nd oor. 3be/3ba 22sf with 3 balconies, Brazilian oak wood oors. Just amazing.William Harbour 786 247 1185 Morningside adorable 2be/1ba condo $199,000Live in Miamis most sought after gated community for under $200k? Its possible! Dont miss this amazing opportunity and enjoy all the amazing amenities of Miamis largest bay front park: Tennis courts, basketball, bay front pool, boat ramp, kayak. All redone unit with bamboo oors and granite kitchen with SS appliances. William Harbour 786 247 1185 Crimson Tower in Edgewater 1be/1ba $369,000New Construction. The Crimson is a spectacular addition to the waterfront on Biscayne Bay. Eighteen stories surrounded by water, boardwalks and lush tropical landscaping. The breathtaking amenity area at The Crimson "The C Club" features a landscaped promenade sundeck, large swimming pool, hot tub.Jocelyne Abramoff 786 778 9938 Morningside 3be/2ba home $735,0002 story home on 2700 sf with large 2 car garage. Impact windows and doors, private tropical pool exotic landscaping. Morningside is a gated community offering a wonderful park, boat ramp, tennis courts and much more. Contact us today to nd your new home in Morningside.William Harbour 786 247 1185 SOLD Shenandoah Multifamily building $649,00010-unit multifamily building in great Shenandoah neighborhood, close to Calle Ocho and the Roads. Great location close to shops and highways yet in low density area surrounded with historic single family homes. 100% occupancy, 8% cap rate, great upside potential!Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539 SOLD Continued on page 25
Miami Beach (305-760-2950). See their ad in this issue for locations and hours, plus a long list of services and insurance options. And a heartfelt welcome back to return ing advertiser Medi-Station Urgent Care Center (9600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-603-7650), which provides walk-in medical services (including emergencies) for all ages, with less wait time and lower cost than a hospital ER. or sprains, rashes, and migraines to non-ur gent but necessary stuff like school and sport physicals, Dr. Carlos Sanchez and his staff deal with them all seven days a week. Senior citizens often need various other sorts of care that are not medically related, but greatly facilitate their daily lives: per toward the elderly. Thats whats offered by new advertiser Happily Ever Elder (www. is decidedly not a daycare facility. Owner Stephanie Anderson personally provides a full range of services, including errand-run ning, cooking, local transportation, exercise, domestic help (laundry, spring cleaning, bill-paying), simple companionship, and more with respect, and in your own home. A progress report on the makeover of iconic Biscayne Plaza (Biscayne Boule vard and NE 79th Street) from new owners Global Realty and Management: Painting of the faade of dds Discounts and adjoining shops is under way, and the Biscayne Shops are completely renovated and ready for new tenants. All current tenants are staying on (though moving to different spaces). To discuss joining them, call leasing director Theres always something new to do, buy, or eat at the Shops at Midtown Miami Edgewater resident, its hard to remem ber what we did before Midtown Miami existed. Heres whats going on this month: Vision Works, offering designer eyewear at great prices as well as eye exams, is now open; and Pinkberry, the popular, original tart froyo shop, is scheduled to open on September 27. Further, in preparation for October 19s pre-Halloween South Florida Zombie Crawl, the walking dead and their fans can vote on their favorite Crawl T-shirt design till September 13. For info contact the Shops general manager, Lenor Ryan, at 305-573-3371 or firstname.lastname@example.org. With luck, this months BT has arrived in Wine Down Wednesday at HistoryMiami tural meet-and-greet features a preview of the museums upcoming Bob Marley, Messen ger exhibit. If you miss the preview, though, no worries. The exhibition, minus the bever age component, runs October 11January 5. Curated by the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, the show includes a special supple ment highlighting Marleys impact on South Floridians. Check back later this month for info on dates for live, program-related activi ties (like a planned Jamaican-themed family festival featuring Marleys daughter Cedella, a childrens book author). Well also tell you about them next issue. Looking ahead at things you can expect next month, the Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce announces its fab and fun street festival Miami Shores Green Day on October 26, 3:00-8:00 p.m. The unique fair and marketplace will close off NE 2nd Avenue and celebrate the goodness of greenness with music, organic food/drink, and eco-friendly vendors, and demonstrations. To register your business for participation, go to www.miamishores. com/greenday. September 16 is the dead line for inclusion in the print program. Even farther ahead is Miami-Dade Colleges Writers Institute November poetry, and publishing, plus manuscript consultations with agents. But because most workshops at the much-respected Institute are limited to 15 people, its wise to register ASAP, rather than to procras tinate. (Procrastination comes later, when youre a professional writer on deadline.) For more info and registration, go to And farther still: Now that summer vacation is over, how about a winter stay cation? Enter the City of Miami Beach Plugged In contest to win a luxe, carefree beach weekend. Were talking deluxe hotel suite, meals, drinks, tours, concert/movie tix, museum admission, and even park ing. To enter go to MBCulture.com, or text Pluggedin to 91011, by November 30. Finally, youve doubtless noticed numer ous ads for political candidates running in November 5s Miami general election. It wouldnt be appropriate to tell you, in this column, who to vote for. But we do urge you to familiarize yourself with the candidates positions on issues by reading their ads in this issue. Some are quite detailed in them selves, and include websites for more info. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.
26 I wanted to be carried away by the clickety-clack romance of steel wheels, and sway along the rails from Miami to Orlando, brimming with nostalgia. I wanted to watch wild palms and citrus groves unfurl outside big windows often do. I had read reviews online before buying my ticket. People raved. They said theyd choose Amtrak any day over New York City, even if it meant a longer trip. So, along with my childish fascina tion with choo-choos, I set out on a recent summer morning with high expectations. I see now that the effusiveness with which some people speak of Amtrak isnt citement of people unaccustomed to rail Trains, whiskey, and guns form a holy trinity in American folklore, but only the last two still hold a prominent place in American culture. And as I made my way north on the rails, eavesdropping and chatting with affable oddballs, I found myself wondering how South Florida, and most of the United States (once the greatest railroad nation in the world), ended up with a neglected, unreliable, underfunded, and largely forgotten passenger rail network. I wondered, too, about All Aboard Florida, the new passenger rail service that will connect Miami and Orlando starting in 2015. All Aboard Florida promises to do what Amtrak cant run very fast hourly trains on time, with great amenities, from beautifully designed, centrally located stations. If successful, it will be the only privately funded passen ger rail line in the United States. Will anyone ride it? Will All Aboard nancial scheme hatched by New York investment bankers to take billions of local governments? Moreover, how would the success
Amtrak, with its large government subsidies and unreliable service? Would Amtrak be able to survive? Miami, along with Congress and the I drove through Liberty City and Brownsville. I passed housing projects, abandoned buildings, warehouses, garages, and truck depots until I found the Miami Amtrak station next to an electrical yard, in an industrial strip sandwiched between West Little River and Hialeah. Unreachable on foot from anywhere popular with pedestrians, the building at 8303 NW 37th Ave. is the antithesis of everything the rest of the world imagines when they think of bigcity train stations. no food or retail, no easy transit connecan oversized Amshack (the derisive name given to the drab, prefabricated stations erected across the country in the 1970s). Still, theres much to admire. At $42 for a one-way ticket to Orlando with specials as low as $31.50 the prices are unbeatable. And what Amtrak lacks in style, it makes up for in simplicity. herds that have marred so many of my journeys were nowhere in sight the ing mission for this story). I parked my car free of charge, walked 50 feet and was just steps from the waiting train. No lines. No security. No stress. It was so easy, I felt giddy. Inside the station, there was just a smattering of passengers. I took a Miami-Dade County transportation map wasnt even mentioned. I felt like I was in on a secret. My train, the Silver Meteor, was scheduled to leave at 8:20 a.m. and arrive ally take six). A second train, the Silver Continued on page 28 Cover photo by Silvia Ros. Photo above by Terence Cantarellarfntbtbnn nttbtbbt
28 Star, leaves at 11:50 and takes more than seven hours to get to Orlando because it on to New York City, stopping in cities On the platform, I showed my e-ticket to an employee in blue jeans and a Tfor WiFi (an essential amenity promised by All Aboard Florida), but there was corridors offer it, but its often derided as A shout bellowed down the platform, Out of some 100 seats in my car, only six were taken: a redheaded college-age basketball clothes, and a Spanish-speak The scenery initially was predictably glum: warehouses, junk yards, trailer parks, and small private yards strewn eventually cozied up to I-95 and paralreaching a top speed of 77 mph (accordceeding 79 mph is illegal without Positive Train Control (PTC), an expensive braking technology that stops a train if corridor (Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm, we stopped and lingered for I couldnt think of a decent excuse, talked inaudibly for a few minutes, then A woman with matted blonde hair She was mumbling and cursing quietly at utes later she drifted out and continued Rail WorldContinued from page 27 BT photo by Silvia Ros
to go back and forth for the rest of the In Miami, where every sleek, new mega-development leaves me feeling more alienated from the city, its nice to know theres still a folksy, unpretentious There was a time when American more than a century, from before the Civil War until after World War II, nearly every long journey on land began the romantic steam engines of the Gilded Age to the stainless-steel streamliners of the mid-Twentieth Century, trains were imaginations and came to represent Wherever the railroad went, new settlements, new industry, and a new way of South Florida, more than any other part of the country, owes its very existhe coast from Jacksonville to Miami and until 1935, to Key West transformed the once inaccessible southern peninsula into a booming tri-county tracks in the late 1800s, oil and hotel magnate Henry Flagler, earned himself the illustrious title Father of Miami for bringing the city to life and shaping an hasnt run a passenger train on its rails Americas Speedway to Sunshine now strike by the United Transportation continue passenger service, which had able to operate underintense government regulations and growing competition A similar tale played out across the under the burden of their money-losing from collapse, the federal government supporters, initially wanted to let the allowed to abandon passenger service (which they had previously been mandated to maintain) if they helped capitalize More important, the railroads agreed to let the government-run trains use their Continued on page 30 BT photo by Terence Cantarella
In an effort to control the costs of this new venture, Amtrak consolidated more than half the nations passenger trains, In South Florida, the trains, ideally, would After all, those tracks pass through the downtowns of Floridas major cities and Thats how Amtrak ended up where it is today, running on separate tracks too far west of city centers along Floridas east corridor was owned by the Seaboard Coast from West Palm to Miami, it belongs to the Since its tumultuous birth, Amtrak structure owned by private railroads has Freight dispatchers are supposed to give passenger trains preference, but that freight company affairs have resulted in At age 42, Amtrak is young in railroad years, but still living on federal thought that a slimmed-down passenger system would eventually become about $1 billion a year in federal subsidies, despite ever-increasing ridership, and Congress battles annually over its released this year, Amtrak service makes money on its short halls, but not on the serve 83 percent of its ridership, while the longer runs contributed an outsized ridership is at record levels, one of Amtrak to negotiate with the states to share operating costs and responsibiliand state leaders to better understand the location dynamics of Amtrak so that they can make pragmatic decisions going The reliance on taxpayer money has led Transportation and Infrastructure Com Rail WorldContinued from page 29 Continued on page 32 Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami
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and John McCain have been just a few of The liberal response is to point out that no public transportation is selfmass transit systems are all heavily, if no passenger railroad in the world opermove a large number of passengers, only The Silver Meteor, which took me to Orlando, averages just over a thousand passengers a day between New York and lar corridors in the Northeast and CaliMost people under 40, in fact, have never I walked three cars ahead to the lounge car, hoping to chat with my fellow Oddly, I found no one in the lounge who at the very least, Id end up sipping Instead I found two forlorn-looking, middle-age men sharing a table and were engaged in two of our beloved national pastimes: complaining about prices and accusing someone else of That guy should be over here cleaning tables, one said, gesturing to the lounge car attendant, who was on break Yeah, the second one said, espeI slid into one of the bench seats one who sits in the lounge car for way too long, watching people come and go, and awkwardly trying to strike up told me he loves the train and rides it whenever he can, especially since he A bespectacled grandmother in a sailboat-print blouse was playing cards doesnt drive anymore, she said, and was returning to DeLand after taking the Rail WorldContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34 Courtesy of FECI
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An African-American woman with a Yet another elderly lady, a New Yorker in every way possible, said she retired, he gets up to no good when A young guy with hangover eyes and black stud earrings slipped into the button-down dress shirt and sweatpants, introduced himself, then launched into Wynwood and had fallen off his bicycle mine to log on to Facebook and let his friends know he was on a train headed I thought, to have lost both his phone and I tried, once again, to come up with an excuse not to give my phone to a stranger, then Have you ridden this train the people on this train werent here because it was better than here because it was their only In South Florida, I realized, Amtrak is basically a public bus Have you seen the plans for these Theyll have WiFi, gourmet meals, comfy seats, and level boarding An advanced baggage-check system means passengers wont have to carry luggage to the platform, as they do with And unlike many Amtrak trains, All Aboard Florida will connect to local transit in the four cities where it stops: Metrorail, Metromover, and (eventually) Tri-Rail in Miami; the future Wave Streetcar in Fort Lauderdale; trolleys in West systems at Orlando International to run a train every hour on the tracks, few stops, and the ability to reach 125 mph in some areas will make that brisk travel time Dont let the unimaginaFlorida has lobbyists, political clout, public support, and a spiffy by one of the railroad industrys most Rail WorldContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36 NOW OPEN IN MIDTOWN MIAMI 2691 NE 2nd Avenue. Miami, FL 33137 786.600.3910 Miami Ft. Lauderdale W est Palm Beach Orlando Map by Marcy Mock
In an interview with Metro Center Outlook a public affairs program on How much will a trip between Miami Jos Gonzalez, executive vice president of corporate development for which serves as a holding company for All Aboard Florida, says, The cheapest the Miami station sound downright opu ment Center, where the legendary Florida The new station will be the largest of three planned for All Aboard Florida a Central-style affair with elevated tracks that will offer passengers a panoramic entry into the city, according to company complicated structure of corporate because within that structure, skeptics have found reason to question the motives behind the massive investment, and whether in the long run, Floridians will The All Aboard Florida project is actually overseen by two companies: All Aboard Florida Operations LLC and former owns the easement right to develop and operate passenger rail service owns much of the land for the stations in downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and subsidiaries of Coral Gables-based investment equity funds managed by (Fortress Investment Group is a large New York City investment-management Translation: The various components creditor protections, the structure also helps facilitate the potential sale of one Rail WorldContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38 BT photo by Terence Cantarella
And the likelihood of a sale is exactly Chicago CPA and former senior internal news, analysis, and commentary on passenger trains and train travel in the will never be a passenger train operating Norman believes that All Aboard Florida was created by Fortress Investment Group to, shall we say, entice the [All Aboard Florida] simply generates public visibility, he writes, so that when the private equity concern that such as the state, to buy the [corridor], all this public excitement about passenger trains will translate to voters a ploy; enjoy the fun and dreaming while oped, Norman predicts during a recent telephone interview, Fortress Investment Group will approach the state about wants it in order to allow other freight railways to serve South Floridas ports, which are currently only served by the Just as important, he says, the state Southern from buying the corridor from lectively serve every major port along would have no incentive to provide good service or competitive pricing at Florida ports thus jeopardizing the massive investments the state recently made at If the state buys the rail corridor, Norman believes, All Aboard Florida the public demands passenger trains Other online railroad observers predict that All Aboard Florida will begin operations, but that soon after will announce that it can no longer afford as a public good that reduces highway congestion, creates jobs, and delivers to buy the operations component of the tant sum from the sale while continuing to charge the state to use the corridor and rake in millions from the bustling Some railroad forums and transportation reporters also suggest that All Aboard Florida is simply a way to open Rail WorldContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40 BT photo by Terence Cantarella
obtained permission from the state to lay 40 miles of new track from Cocoa to Orlando International Airport, mostly state bought a 200-foot-wide, 22-milelong swath of land along the expressway from private landowner Deseret Ranch That fee, however, is a barely a dent although the lease agreement currently precludes running freight trains, that fact, already stipulates that the tracks shall be designed and constructed by grade characteristics to accommodate An All Aboard Florida spokeswoman didnt respond by press time to a request for comment on the suspicions expressed Last year, however, at a gathering of vice president Jos Gonzalez was asked about the possibility of freight trains tunities in the future, he said, but Speaking before the group, Gonzalez touted All Aboard Floridas business model, citing a ridership study his company commissioned: About 50 million people actually cross [the Orlando, he said, is the most-visited city in the country, with 52 million annual numbers, he concluded, show the huge Ironically, it was the governments company to that potential of a privately In 2011, Governor Rick Scott fastimulus funds intended to help the state build a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, and eventually over low ridership and taxpayer cost, even though several studies for that bullet train, which had been in the planning stage for decades, projected strong million passengers a year and operated When we saw some of those numbers after the governor killed those efforts, Gonzalez explained, we said, there may be a viable business model Rail WorldContinued from page 38 BT photo by Terence Cantarella
Continued on page 42 quietly eyeing a return to passenger rail was one of the top-20 contributors to the tributing $25,000 to the political action an e-mail message requesting information on this part of company history, but senger rail nearly a decade ago, it might explain All Aboard Floridas ambitious The passenger venture was anbegin running, the company said, in extended to almost four, with service ing that construction hasnt yet begun on the new tracks or stations, however, it Although, when the federal government isnt involved in funding transportation projects, work apparently Federal Railroad Administrations environmental approval process, for example, Aboard Florida completed the process for the southern section of its route in Were not asking for any public grants or operating subsidies, Gonzalez way Society, which allows us to move government steps in to give you money, All Aboard Florida did, however, A company spokeswoman wouldnt ment website that posts federal government procurement opportunities, the for infrastructure improvements within amount requested by a railroad in more site says, intends to pursue a separate federal loan application for the rest of the Local governments, meanwhile, are the state bought to lease to All Aboard Florida, counties are looking at ways to connect their local transit systems with worst nightmare, but All Aboard Florida is not averse to sticking its hands into the You might say its more of a publicMy own personal endeavor, meanwhile, brightened up when the lounge car attendant breakfast! ers in plastic wrappers were thrown in a The train was heading inland, away were the orange groves and wild palms with its small stucco buildings, dirt roads, lakes with rope swings, cows lolling under oak trees, and Confederate Three hours later after Sebring, Winter Haven, Kissimmee, and a few unexplained stops we arrived in Orlando gem with two Spanish church-like towers, a shady arcade, Mediterraneanthere are old wooden benches and Through mergers, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad became the Seaboard portation, which leases the building worn feel but suggest it might be time water in the bathrooms, the inability relatively civilized state of the bath rooms, however, suggests that it might
To get to Disney World, I had three choices: take one of the two cabs parked out front for about $50 ($8 more than the train fare from Miami); take the bus (a nearly two-hour ordeal with transfer and wait time); or approach the little, movable Hertz podium in the corner and rent headed to a $50-a-night downtown wouldve walked the four miles, but my cell phone map made it look impos sible without negotiating major inter when I stepped outside the station and found myself in a neighborhood of large, I wanted to say yes but was afraid my I also suspected I might end up on a cot My $50 room was good enough: tiny with unappealing dcor, a clogged I walked to Orange Avenue, where the bars are, ate a burrito, drank too much beer, then returned to my shabby den and fell asleep to the sound of distant We are just now entering a new Golden Age of Rail Travel, according to Americas self-proclaimed foremost passenger rail policy institute, United half of a century have so many opportunities for good, reliable passenger train Nowhere is that more apparent than in may have the most ribbon-cutting appeal, Tri-Rail, South Floridas only commuter train system, has been shuttling passengers between Miami and West it has broken ridership records, operatsame FDOT-owned tracks that Amtrak uses, and are several miles west of South working toward adding Tri-Rail comThe trains would originate in downtown Miami and make 28 stops, mostly in city ditionally, an agency spokesman says, FDOT recently applied for federal grants to help fund construction of an east-west connection between the two lines, which Rail WorldContinued from page 41 Heritage Spotlight:rfntbbfbfb nfrbn nbbb fbfbFAMILY FUN DAY: PERUVIAN ARTS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 FROM 1-4 PM ffbf ffn rbff FREE WITH GENERAL MUSEUM ADMISSIONPERFORMING ARTS OF BLACK PERU SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5 AT 2 PM nffn ff FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLICWORKSHOP: AFRO-PERUVIAN DANCE SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 AT 2 PM bb bbbnfb rbb bbREGISTRATION: $20 (discount available for HistoryMiami members)ALL PROGRAMS HELD AT HISTORYMIAMI, 101 W. FLAGLER STREET, MIAMI, FL 33130 SponsorsIn Association with the Smithsonian Institution BT photo by Terence Cantarella
would pass through Miami International FDOT has tried several times in the past 12 years to secure federal funds to help pay for infrastructure improvements allow Amtrak to run at least one of its trains on the coastal corridor, where it Agency spokesman Dick Kane says, FDOT is now working with All Aboard Florida and Amtrak in coordinating train schedules to determine what the capacity investment needs are to accommodate That means FDOT and Amtrak arent said the work it is doing for All Aboard Florida will both accelerate the possibility of Amtrak coming onto their tracks and Other good news for Amtrak: The Miami station is moving to the Miami Intermodal Center when it opens next bring together Tri-Rail, Metrorail, rental cars, and other transportation services, and connect to Miami International 12th busiest airport in the country, and mean better transit connections and more On the down side, All Aboard Florida and Tri-Rail would likely cut into Amtraks local ridership, especially if All Aboard Florida extends its passenger service to Tampa and Jacksonville, as Will Congress, or Florida taxpayers, continue to fund Amtraks Florida routes An Amtrak spokeswoman didnt directly address the funding issue but explained the companys position this way: Amtrak long-distance trains serve Florida and are an important part of a larger national network connecting communities to larger cities and major disabilities, the elderly, and rural populations that are losing scheduled intercity Sitting in the lounge car on the way back to Miami, a lithe young guy with skinny jeans and frosted hair He plunked a large Ziploc bag stuffed with oatmeal onto the table, portioned a couple of scoops into a bowl, added was Dylan, hed been on the train for 32 hours (it was supposed to take 27) broke up with a long-term boyfriend in New York and wanted to get out of town walked to the Amtrak station (you can do that in NYC) and bought a one-way ticket to Miami, where he knew no one his oatmeal, and the conversation went Do you know which are the most place for a handsome young lad to score This aint nothin, I heard another thought there might be a bus to Miami I pictured him sashaying through Miamis mean streets at night, clutching the plus side, it probably wouldnt have taken long for a lonely, unfussy gentlehand, such encounters in Miami generI gave him a ride to the Omni bus Good luck with your article, he gonna be great! How are you getting back to New the train! Feedback: email@example.com
44 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORSlam the Door on Phony LocksmithsDont do what she did be wary, ask to see a license, get a rm priceBy Sarah Block Special to the BTWhen a friend recently expressed an interest in becoming a locksmith, I really hoped she meant the good kind. Id just gotten over the trauma of replacing my doorknob for the third time. The ordeal cost me more than $100 and my evening plans, despite the companys online advertisement promising fast Im ashamed to admit this was the third locksmith Ive called in the past two years, all of whom I found by entering locksmith North Miami Beach into Google search. None of them was able to open my door without drilling through the lock (destroying it), and forcing me to Walmart for yet another of Brinkss most common door handles. Id been waiting in my buildings zoomed up in a white BMW and came in, toolbox in hand. I never got his name and didnt really notice that his uniform, an undershirt and jeans, had no company name printed anywhere. and I led him to my apartment door. He didnt ask me to verify that this was in fact my home; he just went right to work. I leaned against the wall, holding my the doorknob, the other to grasp blindly for tools in what looked like a very disorganized tool kit. and said his price would be $120 if he kept at it, and that it could be at least $200 if he needed to drill the doorknob. When I insisted that he stick to the price Id been quoted, he gave me excuses: the advertised price covering only the service call, not the labor; the labor cost is an industry standard; I had a very cheap lock somehow a legitimate reason why he couldnt pick it. I wasnt going to agree to an openended tab, and as I stood in freeze mode, waiting for my negotiating skills to turn on, he took a call on his cell phone. From his mannerisms and tone, it was a chummy call, but in a language I he turned to me and said hed been speaking with his supervisor. He could By now, I was tired of waiting outside my door, and I knew the drill, so to speak, from past experience. I could say goodbye to my doorknob and prepare to buy a new one. Because I had to get to work in the morning, and my phone was dying, I agreed. The minutes following are a blur. He grabbed the drill, went to work, and the BT photo by Silvia Ros BT photo by Silvia Ros Continued on page 48 By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterAlan Macken delivered newspapers in his youth. The stop that made the greatest impression on him parking on the roof, at 17071 W. Dixie Hwy. in North Miami Beach. During the It has a wonderful history, Macken says. It was a trophy when I bought it. Macken, a developer who also built Sky Lofts on Miami Gardens Drive in Skylake and many projects in Broward, ing the Macken Aventura Professional Building when he bought it for $2.2 invested a substantial amount of money restoring it to its former glory. He even keeps a Florida Architecture magazine occupied it. But Mackens affection for the building only goes so far. I like the building, he explains. I love the location. Macken is asking the City of North Miami Beach to change the zoning of the 32,000-square-foot parcel on which his 20,000-square-foot building now stands. He wants it upzoned from B-1 to B-2. New buildings constructed on a B-1 parcel are capped at two stories. But on parcels zoned B-2, developers can build the site, should he get the zoning change. But he insists he has the drive and experi ence to spark more development in the area where he was raised. Someone has to someone who went to Sabal Palm Elemen tary, Highland Oaks Middle School, and North Miami Beach Senior High? W. Dixie Highway is a faded thoroughfare that zigzags from NE 119th Street in North Miami up through the unincorporated area west of Aventura known as Ojus, and on to the DadeBroward County line. It winds past strip malls, industrial areas, condominiums, apartments, a cemetery, the Florida East Coast Railway, and the eastern entrance The two-lane road also hosts the Ancient Spanish Monastery, located at W. Dixie Highway: A Sleepy Little Road Ripe ForTake your pick: A) positive growth and development, or B) ruination Continued on page 46
By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterOutdoor advertisements. In the City of Miami, they can be seen everywhere on billboards to buildings, on bus shelters, and on freestanding signs next to unsheltered bus benches. Some of these ads persist Billboard Jungle, August 2013.) Cheerios, Reeboks, cologne, alcohol, and other products on dozens of pay phone kiosks in downtown Miami and all along Biscayne Boulevard. At least 12 of these kiosks, planted in the sidewalks of the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, operate in violation of the law, according to the Florida Department of Transporta tion, because theyre on a state right-of-way without state permits. (Biscayne Boulevard is maintained by the state.) State documents also reveal that advertisements on phone kiosks were forbidden under a master permit issued in 2007 that allowed First American Telecom, a Fort Lauderdale-based company owned by Goran Dragoslavic, to install hundreds of kiosks along state roads throughout Miami-Dade County. FDOTs July 16 letter to First American Telecom only focuses on 12 phones Biscayne Boulevard. The notice demanded their removal by August 12. There wasnt an or else clause in the letter, however. Thats because there isnt any. FDOT doesnt intend to touch the of Miami or Miami-Dade County to deal with the phones if they feel like it. Nancy Liebman, president of the MiMo gasted. She spent months lobbying FDOT to do something about the kiosks in the MiMo District. What kind of an agency, she asks, sends out a letter telling people to get the things off [the state right-of-way] and then, in the next breath, says, Forget about it, call the City of Miami? At worst, Liebman says, the pay phones can be used as an untraceable form of communication by pimps, prostitutes, and drug dealers operating in the district. At best, the kiosks, which she denounces as billboards disguised as pay phones, are visual pollution. In this day and age, she says, with cell phones and Internet media, you dont need to have these things in your face, advertising products. The source of the confusion is a Florida statute passed in 2009 that allows advertisements on pay phones along state-maintained roads with certain minimum standards, such as safety considerations, limiting each phone to three ad panels, and requiring ads to be less than eight square feet in size. However, the cities and counties where these ad kiosks are located were put in charge of regulating and allowing or prohibiting pay phones, with or without advertising. The 2009 state statute gives primary authorization to local governments for pay phones, FDOT spokesman Brian Rick writes in an e-mail to the BT FDOT would defer to the county/city on whether to allow/remove pay phones, unless there is a highway safety issue (too close to the road, for example). Miami-Dade County only issues permits for pay phones operating on countyowned rights-of-way in unincorporated areas, says county spokeswoman Suzy Trutie. County laws are also silent on pay phone advertisements, she adds. When Was the Last Time You Used a Pay Phone?Phone companies dont really care. Their big bucks come from ads lots of them Continued on page 52BT photo by Silvia Ros BT photo by Erik Bojnansky
46 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORhallway echoed with its electric scream. Finally I was able to get inside and retrieve my car keys, and the locksmith escorted me in his vehicle to a nearby ATM. I reached out and handed him his money, from my car window to his, and he gave me a business card. I should call him to install the next lock, he said. I realize now it was a poor decision to tear up his card as he drove off in the distance. But I was frustrated and tired. never getting my business again! Since then Ive discovered the real beauty of call history, which enabled me to track down his name by pasting his phone number into a Facebook wasnt sure it was my guy until I pasted the name into a Google search and a mug shot came up on the website Arrests. org. I recognized him instantly. The arrest took place in March 2009 in Broward County. Public records conpolice for exploitation of the elderly, a third-degree felony. Eventually he plead(No more details about the incident were available by press time.) I reported his name to Miami-Dades Division of Consumer Protection and learned that he doesnt have a locksmith license. The license, Ive since found out, is required in Miami-Dade County. I also phoned Mr. Hazoom for an explanation, but he didnt return the call. Barry Roberts, an attorney for the Associated Locksmiths of America, says consumer education is the only way to avoid becoming the victim of a locksmith scam. The Internet has really allowed the problem to mul tiply, he explains. If you Google a locksmith, dozens of listings show up, and 90 percent are phony. If they have an address at all, it may be an empty lot or pizza parlor. The area code may a boiler room in Missouri or in the Ukraine. Right now in Florida, some one convicted of a burglary 12 times can become a locksmith. I know exactly what he means. At one point Id decided to scope out some of the businesses that come up on my own Google search for locksmiths near North Miami Beach. Several locksmith businesses were operating in my immediate area, and Google showed that they had an address and phone number. When I started driving in search of a store front, I found that only one of the four, Flat Rate Locksmith in Aventura, operated from the location that was listed online. I called one of the numbers the Google search turned up and it rang several times before someone picked up the line. I heard a throat clear and then a man said, Locksmith. I suspected he might have been sleeping. I asked where his business was located, and he responded by asking, Where are you? I didnt need immediate service, I told him. I was just trying to get a sense of my options, and he stated that the business is mobile. LocksmithsContinued from page 44 Continued on page 50 Dont Just Whine, Do Something countys Division of Consumer Protection, which works directly with local law The State of Florida Attorney Generals website has a contact form on its plaint regarding a locksmith scam. The data collected there may be used to substantiate a harder crackdown on scams and support statewide regulation of the locksmith trade.
Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR
Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR 16711 W. Dixie Hwy. Built in 1141, the monastery was transported in pieces to America and reassembled in North Mackens zoning request is currently in limbo. Thats because the North Miami Beach City Council is interested not only in rezoning Mackens property, acres of land on both sides of W. Dixie Highway between NE 170th and 171st streets that consists of parking lots, retail, are examining the possibility of formuthat would allow buildings somewhere as the city creates the zoning that will allow him and young bloods to come here, beautify the area, and give responsible developers an opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the city. The notion of developing properties along W. Dixie Highway has drawn its share of critics. Some of them believe the upzoning talk is actually designed to enfoot commercial complex on a four-acre parcel at 17400 W. Dixie Hwy. The proposed complex is being developed by Braha Dixie LLC, a partnership headed Ralph Braha. Called the Parkview Business Center, the project, if built, will rise to 130 feet at its tallest point and include retail, restaurants, and a 739-space parking garage. The property is is right next door to Greynolds Parks W. Dixie Highway entrance. Activists from around the nation, who formed a Facebook group called the Save Greynolds Park Committee, fear the project could ruin the parks ecosystem and aesthetics. (See Green Piece June 2013.) In an effort to derail the project, Charles Baron, a land-use attorney and resident of the seven-story Greynolds Park citys rezoning last year of Braha Dixies parcel from CF to B-2. Without that zoning change, it would be illegal to build tall nursing homes, hospitals, museums, or government buildings are allowed on land zoned CF, or community facility. Opponents of the Braha Dixie project from the Hyatt project will also degrade the quality of life for residents living in the nearby Sunray East neighborhood. Michael Horton, a Boca Raton-based property appraiser hired as an expert witness by the Save Greynolds Park Committee, believes that residential property values near the Hyatt complex will plummet, thanks in large part to the When you live in a residential area, you want to be away from things that Thats why they generally build subdivisions away from commercial properties. W. Dixie HighwayContinued from page 44 Continued on page 54
Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Bayside, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Miami Design District, Palm Grove, ShorecrestWE CAN DO BETTER! I am Robert Malone Jr., a native son of Miami, an education professional, and community advocate and I am fighting to represent you as District 5 Commissioner.The great Upper East Side neighborhoods of Bayside, Belle Meade, Palm Grove, and Shorecrest are a culturally and economically vibrant area. For far too long, more time, attention and resources were spent in neighborhoods and areas other than the Upper East Side. Now that these communities have joined Buena Vista, the Miami Design District and other great Miami neighborhoods in City of Miami District 5, WE CAN DO BETTER WE CAN DO BETTER than having our commissioners make decisions that affect our businesses and residential communities in secretive back-door deals. As the District 5 Commissioner, I will be proactive, prompt and responsive to the residents and businesses of District 5. As well, I will conduct all city business openly and respectful of the wishes and needs the constituents committed to full access and accountability to you. WE CAN DO BETTER than to allow our neighborhoods to be plagued by increasing crime and decreasing quality of life. These issues touch every corner of District 5 and I will work diligently to help the Miami Police Department hire the additional officers with adequate resources that they have needed for many years. More uniformed officers on the streets of Miami and in District 5 will inevitably reduce crime and help residents better enjoy our great city. WE CAN DO BETTER than having city and county policies in place that are counter-productive to liveable and sustainable residential/commercial development. Far too many businesses are forced to close, suffer tremendous loss or merely never open because of the lengthy permitting process and the costly fees for water and sewer infrastructure improvements. As commissioner, I will proactively and vigorously represent District 5 in dealing with the inefficiencies of County and City governments on water and sewer issues. There is absolutely no reason for Miami to have been made to RETURN $1.5 million of federal funding because the Commission and City Management failed to spend the designated money on public infrastructure. WE CAN DO BETTER about mitigating the impact of increased vehicular traffic by advocating for solutions towards traffic circulation and improved mass transit. As Commissioner, I will work closely with County and State Government to redevelop, improve and expand the citys mass transit infrastructure.District 5, I humbly ask for your support in my bid to become your next commissioner. Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Dr. Robert Malone Jr., Candidate for City of Miami Commission, District 5 I will consider all options, leaving no stone unturned to improve public access to businesses along the commercial corridors of District 5. I will work with all pertinent agencies to improve traffic flow in order to improve cycle and pedestrian access and safety. There needs to be a better drive/pedestrian balance in District 5.
Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORAt that point, I had no further questions, and moved on to the next business. Best Local Locksmith is located right see was empty through the window. I made a second call and got a similar greeting. Locksmith, the voice said. This man, too, responded to my question about the location by informing me that it was a mobile business. When I asked if his business was licensed, he hung up. Before I continue, I should mention that attorney Roberts contends a mobile locksmith can be perfectly legitimate. Some start off in their garage, he says. Theres nothing wrong with that, but consumers should know who theyre dealing with. before paying a visit to Americas Locksmith Service, which was listed in Little Haiti. Locksmith, a man answered. Where are you located? Were mobile. Are you licensed? Now stop calling! That was odd. I thought Id been practicing the art of comparison shopping, but my calls to the different numsame man. This in itself is also not illegal. However, in Miami-Dade County, locksmiths must operate on behalf of a registered business with a minimum combined liThe next week I repeated the same Google search. But now I found no trace of North Miami Beach Locksmith, Best Local Locksmith, or Americas Locksmith Service. There were, I noticed, several new listings showing up in my neighborhood. There are a lot of crimes that are hard to stomp out, says Roberts, and unfor tunately, this is one of them. Associated Locksmiths of America is pushing for statewide licensing for locksmiths, and Roberts and other Florida members of the organization have fought for it over several past legislative sessions. The regulations would require an operating license, a criminal background check, training, and tion while on calls. (It may seem obvious, but locksmiths can easily gain access to everything from private homes to public buildings. Hence the criminal background check.) Miami-Dade is one step ahead of the rest of the state in this respect. All locksmiths operating within the county are required by law to have a license issued from Miami-Dades Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources. They must also undergo a criminal background check and complete an apprenticeship. The regulations became effective in March 2012, and so far, the Division of Consumer Protection, partnering with local law enforcement, has caught about a dozen individuals advertising and operating as locksmiths without a valid license. One legitimate local business, AAA Miami Locksmith, contacted Consumer Protection after suspecting that a recent plummet in its service calls may have been the result of a competing locksmith com pany in the area, Bacigalupo Locksmith, that they claimed was using false advertis ing tactics to lure potential customers. The complaint from AAA was soon followed with others from other local locksmith businesses, such as Half Price Locksmith, Oliviares Locksmith, and Pro Lock and Safe all claiming that Pedro Bacigalupos advertising methods trashing their own businesses by using online reviews had caused a loss in customers and large expenditure AAA Miami Locksmith owner Maria Guadaluz, who opened the business with her husband in 2004, says Bacigalupos negative contributions to their listing on Google+ and other sites confuse and dissuade potential customers. (Her own website, aaaml.com, was not hacked.) She says she was alarmed review sections at various sites with links to Bacigalupos businesss listing on the Better Business Bureau website. This was soon to be followed by regular overhauls of the thumbnail-image section of her listings by his own ads on neon poster paper with warnings like scary or fake business poorly scrawled LocksmithsContinued from page 46 Continued on page 54
Continued on page 54
Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORThe City of Miami does permit pay phones along county roads and city rights-of-way within its boundaries, but not state-maintained roads like Biscayne Boulevard. In fact, the city even has a law expressively forbidding it from granting permits to pay phones on state roads. In short, Miami currently has no laws deal ing with pay phones on state roads. Simon Ferro, an attorney and a lob byist for First American Telecom, insists the phones are legal and that the ads subsidize the pay phones, which he as serts are still a public necessity. We are currently the citys largest provider of this vital economic and social service, Ferro says. In addition to normal daily usage, many thousands of free calls are made by City of Miami residents and visitors to 911 emergency and a variety of local-statenational social service agencies from our phones throughout each year. There are now 162 pay phones along public streets in the City of Miami, according to a study prepared by Daniel Goldberg, an aide to Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. Of these, 69 are located by state roads. The rest are adjacent to city and county roads and thus permitted by the City of Miami. Most of those pay phones, 117 in all, in downtown Miami, 12 in Edgewater, 11 in Brickell, 23 in the Upper Eastside, 21 in Little Havana, and two in Flagami. Pay phone use in the City of Miami has been steadily dropping, Goldbergs study reveals. In 2007, more than 1.7 million calls were made on pay phones. were made from phones on the public right-of-way. That amounts to an average of three calls a day on public rights-ofway for pay phones that charge between Emergency 911 calls from pay phones are free, and although such calls from pay phones in the city have been decreasing overall, calls from phones on public streets have been increasing, from 3010 in 2007 to 4431 in 2012. Ferro insists pay phones will become even more important following natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, or during occurrences like blackouts. A healthy, viable, and accessible public telephone network is critical to every community, he says. Goldberg counters that, in some parts of Miami, pay phones wont be much help following a hurricane. While downing eight without advertisements) and the Upper Eastside has 23 (including one without ads) the working-class neighborhood of Allapattah has just seven all without ads. Overtown, Liberty City, Coconut Grove, and Wynwood combined streets, all of them also without ads. Says Goldberg: Theyre not evenly dispersed throughout the city. Its no coincidence that the areas with the fewest pay phones dont carry advertisements. As First American Telecoms website states: Our phone advertising visible to both pedestrian and vehicular head-on during the course of daily life. The City of Miami always had advertisements in mind back in 2001, when it allowed First American to set up dozens of pay phones along city and county streets not maintained by the state of Florida. In exchange, First American Pay PhoneContinued from page 45 Continued on page 56 BT photo by Erik Bojnansky
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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR is check her Google+ listing for spam. This time last year, we were servicing same period, Guadaluz says. ered Bacigalupo, who is licensed by the county, had created a Google+ advertise ment for AAA Locksmith, listing its current address, but had replaced their phone number with his, and included a link to his online home. When she called Bacigalupo and confronted him, she says, it did no good. Guadaluz says this experience, combined with a larger awareness of the issue of fake locksmiths in operation, also gives her concern for citizens personal safety. Someone came in the store not long ago and told me that a locksmith shed called to duplicate her key returned the next week to rob her home, she says. The bottom line, she says, is to know who youre calling. To be prepared for the potential lockout ahead of time, get to know the locksmith stores near your home, and save their numbers to your phone. For every real locksmith online, there are a dozen fakes, Roberts stresses, which should make it easy to weed them out. For one thing, dont bother with a Second, if you call a business with little proof of establishment, such as a real website, and they answer your call with locksmith rather than the listed business name, they probably arent a registered business. One online resource, Findalock smith.com, has a list of locksmith busi nesses with active ALOA memberships. Finally, if the locksmith you decide to hire shows up in an unmarked car and street clothes, doesnt provide locksmith your to unlock your door, he is probably not legitimate. At that point, the best option is to do what I didnt when I had the chance: Call another locksmith. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org Baron doubts that narrow W. Dixie Highway will be able to accommodate high-rise Marina Palms condominium (now under construction at 17201 Bis cayne Blvd.), the proposed Parkview Business Center, and upzoned develop ments in the vicinty of Alan Mackens property. Its like a little village street now, Baron says, and they want to make it like Biscayne Boulevard. It cant be a Biscayne Boulevard. emphatic in their support of a Hyatt Hotel on W. Dixie Highway when they unani mously approved Braha Dixies site plan during a late-night council meeting on August 22. Members claimed that the proj ect would bring jobs, tourists, more develop ment, and excitement to the NMB area. Once things start moving in this city and things get exciting here, your property values are going to go up, Councilwoman Barbara Kramer predicted during the meeting. Im really excited by this project, excited to see North Councilwoman Phyllis Smith says North Miami Beach needs additional tax-revenue sources to pay for constantly rising city expenses and pension costs. It would be a wonderful utopia if things she tells the BT But the truth of the matter is, the cost of living has increased. There is no sustainability unless we move forward. Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant and founder of CondoVultures.com, be lieves W. Dixie Highway is in fact moving There is little land remaining in Aventura available for development, he points out. Aventura, Brickell, and Coral Gables have become so expensive that businesses are on the hunt for cheaper locations. When the developers do come, theyll knock down whats there now and build anew. Its a sleepy area thats ripe for tear-down, Zalewski says. maintain their pro-development momentum, especially along W. Dixie Highway. Dont you think its time to clean up the area? he asks. Aventura looks good, and its about time North Miami Beach follows that citys lead and move in the right direction. I think that we have to create a new identity for the Dixie Highway corridor. Feedback: email@example.com Taste the First Fruits of the New Year With Us. Then Sample What We Have to Offer the Rest of the Year.rfffn tfbffnt rt bf ffffff frbf frff rfbrf bfttfffrFor more information on High Holy Day Services and a full range of learning and spiritual opportunities for adults and children, please contact us today at 305.573.5900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Temple Israel at137 NE 19th Street, Miami rtf W. Dixie HighwayContinued from page 48 LocksmithsContinued from page 50
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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR American paid the city about $27,000 in permit fees and ad commissions, according to a report by the citys auditor general. In contrast, First American receives $62,400 a year for ads from Vector, a national outdoor ad company, on city and county roads. Vector, in turn, for ads, the auditor general report notes. However, FDOTs 2007 master permit with First American outright declared that no advertisements will be allowed on any pay phone structure within the FDOT right-of-way limits. The July FDOT letter points out that the 12 ad kiosks in the MiMo District were installed after master permit expired, and were not a part of the permitted locations per the 2007 permit. FDOT didnt reply to the BT s ques pay phone advertisement displays on state roads outside the MiMo District yet within the City of Miami, including at least a dozen on Biscayne Boulevard ILLEGAL DUMPING Its not a victimless crime. Its a serious environmental crime that impacts the quality of life in your community.For more information on illegal dumping prevention and proper waste disposal, call 3-1-1 or click www.miamidade.gov/publicworks. Pay PhoneContinued from page 52 Continued on page 58
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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Ferro claims the 2009 state law legalized pay phone advertisements. He also says, in response to written questions from Nancy Liebman, that once the pay phones are installed, there is no need to renew the permit. suing permits for pay phones located on state roads, the city could rake in at least commissions, according to the citys audi tor general report. But just when Miami might amend its pay phone law is unclear. During a June 27 Miami City Com mission meeting, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff proposed that the city seek bids from companies interested in setting up a state-of-the-art kiosk system one that might allow Internet access and provide local information for visitors. Sarnoff withdrew his idea for further tweaking, but not before commissioners Francis Suarez, Michelle Spence-Jones, and Willy Gort talked about how important pay phones can be for tourists and in emergencies. Ironically, the pay phone advertisements, which seek attention from passersby, escaped the attention of most Upper Eastside activists until recently. Bob Powers, president of the Palm Grove Neighborhood Association, says he started noticing the kiosks as early as 2009. To Powers, the ad kiosks were just among a long list of problems that FDOT never got around to solving. Liebman admits she didnt spot them until last year, but suspects they gradually ap peared in the MiMo district over a period of time. It just kept mushrooming, she says. Unlike Liebman, who despises the apparently legal bus bench ad signs as well, Powers doesnt mind outdoor advertisements in the MiMo district. But he cant stand that the pay phones are installed on sidewalks. Why do they have to be another obstacle on a pedestrian walkway? he asks. Why cant they put one of these motels? Powers then answers his own ques tion: Probably because theyd ask for a percentage. Feedback: email@example.com COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org T.M.Est. 1980 Pay PhoneContinued from page 56
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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADETwo for D innerOur new correspondent invites us to get to know his favorite new Upper Eastside restaurantBy Ken Jett BT ContributorFor those of you who dont know me, Im a transplant from the Midwest who, after three years here, is still amazed every day by our city. Out of necessity, Ive been involved in my Shorecrest community from the Having called Miamis Solid Waste Department (305-960-2830) to report illegally dumped trash, we were informed that, if the trash was determined to be on our property, we would be issued a violation. This was Miamis welcome wagon! Since then, unfortunately, Ive wit nessed and personally experienced many of the workings (and nonworkings) of the city. Educated with masters degrees in education and psychology, I view the world through a different lens. In my work as a therapist, I was honored to gather many life stories as seen through the eyes of others. Ive honed my skills to remain detached from the emotional reactions of others, allowing me to focus on outcomes rather than being sucked into the drama. Little did I know how useful these skills would be in dealing with the City of Miami. I try to enjoy life, and am thought to possess a dry wit. Im sure that will show of Biscayne Times in this new role as the BT s Neighborhood Correspondent for the Upper Eastside. Having composed mostly research papers, Im excited at this opportunity to share my person. Oh, and did I tell you? I love wine and food, which brings me to the sub ject of this debut column. Recently I was invited to attend the soft opening of Yasmine Kotbs new restaurant, Minas Mediterraneo (749 NE 79th St., 786-391-0300; www. minasmiami.com). Kotb has creatively transformed an old warehouse into one of the warmest and most inviting places in the Upper Eastside. Dont be fooled by the nondescript faade. The prop ertys interior space and outdoor area are welcome retreats from the craziness of 79th Street. It was a pleasure to join friends, neigh bors, and helpful city and county staff in launching this Shorecrest gem. The contemporary dining room, with its huge factory windows, is marked by a clean dcor, making it open and inviting. A sizeable parking lot guarantees that every guest will have a place to park, a rarity for restaurants in the Upper Eastside. Ad ditional furniture will be arriving soon for BT photo by Silvia Ros BISCAYNE NE 79th Street and Biscayne Boulevard Contact: Randy Tulepan 954.290.8159 rtulepan@g nvestments.com NEWLY RENOVATED RETAIL SPACE AVAILABLENew High-Impact Storefront Glass, New A/C, and White Box Interior with High Ceilings. 1,539 SF and up, starting at $4,350 per month, all-inclusive.
the outdoor bar and dining area. Although the menu centers on the tastes of the Mediterranean, Minas has something every palate will enjoy. From baked kibbe (meatloaf to this Midwest erner) to pizzas and osso buco to moussaka, table of friends did a stellar job of eating its way through many of the menu options, everyone declaring their dish superior. All remarked how the prices seemed low; you get great value for your money. tor, Kotb has established a place that will become a second home table for many in the Upper Eastside. Let me introduce you to the woman behind the wonder. Kotb, who was born in Egypt and emigrated with her parents to the U.S. in the 1980s, recalls that her mother and father experienced great the exotic ingredients needed to keep drive hours to the nearest Middle Eastern market to purchase the requisite provi sions. During summers Kotb spent in Egypt, her grandmothers would labor the entire day preparing family meals and encouraged the children to participate. Working alongside her grandmothers in Egypt and her parents at their learned recipes while navigating restaurant life. After earning a college degree, she found her way into the world of like her love of food, from her parents. She spent 12 years of her life on the road as a lighting technician, tour accountant, promoter rep, and tour manager for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Chicago, and the Who, affording her travel and dining opportunities that many of us only dream about. It was on a Cher tour that she picked up the nickname Mina. At the pinnacle of her career in music, Kotb used her knowledge, experience, and cultural heritage to create a new recipe for personal growth. Start with a Miami vacation home that she adored. Add to this a pinch of encouragement received from Emilio Estefan, whom she met while fans dined at the Kotb family restaurant loved the food and emphasized that Miami lacked Mediterranean options.) Add to this still able to help launch such a project. Stir and let marinate. was happenstance in that the commercial property immediately behind her Shorecrest home became available. By avoiding the high rent and touristic trends of South Beach, she was able to open as a sole proprietor in an area that would provide year-round business. While hosting some notable food haunts like Markys, the Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus, Boteco, Yiyas, Eastside Pizza, and Magnums, NE 79th Street is also peppered with derelict properties. Mina started her project about 18 months ago, long before the Adler Group broke ground on its bayfront Shorecrest Luxury Apartments; before the INS building was purchased; and before Biscayne Plaza changed hands. It took a leap of faith to buy a dilapidated building on 79th Street, with a sex-offender encampment just two blocks away. from zoning and code issues, obstacles that may have caused others to hesitate before trying to open a legitimate business helped her build relationships with city and ships aided her in navigating Miamis no torious bureaucracy, she will think twice before beginning another venture. A persistent community warrior, Kotb is concerned about the lack of foresight is exhibiting with its project to resurface 79th Street, scheduled to commence in August 2014. She says she is dumbfound terns and pedestrian safety are seemingly being ignored. She and others are seeking the as sistance of Florida State Sen. Gwen Margolis to overcome the roadblocks (no pun intended) that are impeding a broader reassessment of such a busy thoroughfare. Kotbs life experience the Egyptian hospitality, the family restaurant, manag ing and promoting projects, and her com mitment to community has culminated in the launch of this restaurant. Shes eager to share her family table. Lets sup port our community supporter. Feedback: email@example.com MiMo STYLE FREESTANDING BUILDING FOR LEASEIdeal for Upscale Restaurant or Retail. 3,413 SF plus 1,815 SF Mezzanine, $11,260 per month, all-inclusive. NE 79th Street and Biscayne Boulevard Contact: Randy Tulepan 954.290.8159 rtulepan@g nvestments.com BISCAYNE
62 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA M I SHORE SAssault on the ShoresAs if tree-invading monkeys werent enough, we also have homeinvading criminalsBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorThe Upper East Side is being overrun by animals, and this time, its not my fault. Okay, overrun is probably a little bit of an exaggeration. But there does seem to be an increase in our local wildlife lately, both the domestic kind and the feral. Un wanted pet dogs are being dropped off to wander the streets in Miami Shores or left tied up in the middle of the night at veteri that breaks my heart). Enormous raccoons have been visible The possums have been lingering until long after daybreak. And that crashing sound youre hearing in the trees? Thats not being made by a particularly large squirrel. Its being made by a particularly elusive monkey. had been spotted swinging through the nearby trees, I thought it had to be an urban legend. But the Shorecrest resident who told me about it had actually received a neighborhood alert. She and her boyfriend had also heard the animal late at night, creating a ruckus and disturbing their dogs, which are fairly passive. I was informed again about the monkey by a woman who was sitting on the lawn across from the Field House in Miami Shores. She was giving away a litter of kittens, which shed rescued from a neighbor who was going to take them to a shelter other beloved senior cat this summer, I couldnt just pass by). Although she hadnt witnessed anything herself, shed been hearing about the monkey from friends. Usually this kind of story I didnt see it, but my friend did would raise a this is Miami, where anything is not only possible but probable. As it turns out, the wandering primate or simian really does exist. Not only does it have quite the reputation, it has been tearing around town, carving out an extensive territory for itself. First spotted in early June around NW 87th Street and 16th Avenue before head ing east, the animal has run across the hoods of cars, up stairways, and across rooftops. Its been photographed and
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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR AAventura Status Symbol: Playoff T icketsIn the era of drugged athletes, some bragging rights have lost their sheenBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorEvery neighborhood has its particular status symbols, some of a pricier variety than others. In certain areas, one can get by is worn and tattered, the likelihood is, in this neighborhood no one will fault the owner. In fact, passers-by are more likely to weave some romanticized narrative into the ragged cloth. Perhaps one of Teddy Roosevelts Rough Riders carried it up a hill in Cuba during the SpanishAmerican War. Maybe it survived a kamikaze attack aboard a destroyer in the South Seas during World War II. In another part of town, one may need to invest a tad more to gain neighborhood prestige. It may do to park your Porsche in your tiled driveway, say, or dock your yacht (named something like Sweet Thing or Crown Jewel ) behind your house. Even if the repo man begins making unpleasant rumblings, one must be vigilant against forsaking the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt keep up with the Joneses! Here in our beloved Aventura, we are not so well suited to ostentatious displays. For starters, a sizable portion of our population lives in condominiums or townhouses, and hasnt much in the way of frontage for display. In such cases, the opportunities to set oneself apart from the pack are limited. This may be why the comedian Jackie Mason likes to joke that class is measured here by the number of French words in the name of the housing development. Other than that, the status options are more personal, more social, the things people in your circle of friends and acquaintances get to know about you like which universities your children attend, which restaurants you patronize, which exotic destination youve selected for your next holiday. From my local observations, the coin of the elite realm seems to be the season ticket to the local sports franchises. At gatherings of varying degrees of formal ity, this invariably provides a steady buzz. In studiously casual tones, one fellow may murmur to another about the delay he suffered before receiving his Heat playoff tickets, despite his many years as a season ticket holder. Yes, he may let slip, the team does provide him with a personal account manager who is always ENROLL NOW
available to him and who leaps to his slightest whim. But dont you agree its irritating that the tickets to the championship round didnt arrive by FedEx until 24 hours before the opening day of that series? His companion may cluck in empaepisode with one of his own. You know how the Dolphins have an annual reception to honor the holders of the most expensive seats in the house? he may ask. Where you get to meet the coaches and the players? Well, one of the star players woman, and she gets a lot of attention everywhere she goes, but this fellow simply would not let up. These star athletes really have some gall, eh? And so it goes. All these woebegone vignettes about puny slights, inconveniences, and misunderstandings are artfully constructed to convey the price of the season tickets, the prized location of the seats, the fulsome pampering. The exact origin of this culture in Aventura remains something of a mystery, but without a doubt it draws heavily on the moments of glory our local teams have enjoyed over the years. We all know well the history of the two Dolphin Super Bowl teams, in cluding the unrivaled Perfect Season of 1972. The Marlins have been World Series champions in two of their 21 seasons, an achievement the Chicago Cubs have not managed in more than a century. The Heat are the reigning champions of the National Basketball Association, their third such victory and second in suc cession. Even the Florida Panthers skated their way into post-season competition in 2011-2012, As long as the hometown squads are episodic winners and not pathetic laughingstocks, this season-ticket competitive ness among Aventuras privileged can endure as an emblem of regional pride. Now the question arises: Can it survive the new revelation of Miami serving as the clearinghouse for the performanceenhancing drugs that have corrupted the integrity of virtually every major sport? The news each day brings more revelations and accusations in the sordid tale of our homeboy, Alex Rodriguez, and all his friends at the now-defunct Biogenesis rejuvenation um clinic. athlete who wanted his edge to come from a lab rather than a gym was heading down to South Miami. Here we had quasi-medical teams stand ing by to give code-named substances to code-named players, guaranteed to make them bigger, stronger, and quicker. Apparently it didnt make them any smarter, though, because all it took was one disgruntled employee and a small measure of scrutiny to pierce their deception. Now that there is a notoriety and stigma in the arena of Miami sports, one wonders how long those season tickets can continue to bestow the glow of status and remain a source of pride to their longrelative or friend calls from New York or Chicago, the questions revolve around Miami drug dispensaries. They seem to expect that all this is happening on our street corners, that we are all regular customers, that we see the players coming and going all the time. (How smooth would it be to work that kind of detail into the next conversation about Heat tickets arriving by FedEx just this morning?) Alex Rodriguez is appealing his debating his chances for reducing his season-and-a-third punishment. His lawyers may succeed in convincing the mediator that he should be sidelined for a considerably shorter period. But who do we turn to for redress? We still own valuable tickets to their about those tickets became our own performance-enhancing drug of choice. Ours was legal, but we may wind up paying a high price just the same. Feedback: email@example.com Every time a friend calls from New York or Chicago, the questions revolve around Miami drug dispensaries.
66 Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNMiamis Parking AddictionIts time to admit it, and address the problemBy Adam Schachner BT ContributorI spent the past month traversing the maelstrom of Miamis parking ordinances. The process started simple: The BT sent me to a panel on development and parking regulations hosted by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a ence was rapturous. While Miamis mind-blowing. My takeaway is that Miami suffers from an over-reliance on cars that hinders progress and development. Miami has a deeply entrenched attachment to They are more than objects of material love and pride; they are dependencies in a region with few convenient alternatives. The need to accommodate our vehicdesign, dictated the terms of zoning for new development, and essentially set the ing accommodations are mandated in construction layout, leaving the potential for charming, meandering, pedestrianfriendly boulevards on the cutting-room booming with high-density construction ing to car-centric ordinances. Miamians make a sport of complaining about parking. While the topics are usually limited availability or inconvenient locations, panel speakers at the the scope of the issue. The panels coverage acknowledged Miamis new season of the construction crane, then drew connections to the impact of car culture on the latest downtown growth spurt. Some may wish Miami aspired to the cosmopolitan charm of urban centers such as Manhattan where com mercial and residential elements are integrated but this vision will remain distant, owing to zoning crafted for our automotive society. Jill Seiner, a University of Florida pro fessor of urban and regional planning and a panelist on the ULI forum, diagnosed Mi amis parking blight. Despite a downtown setting, Miamis urban core was built using suburban ideals and designs, particularly those that embrace a car in every driveway. These standards encourage development around parking, as if cars generated eco nomic activity, instead of people. A dispiriting cycle emerges from Seiners observation. City centers primarily accommodating drivers create dangerous conditions when there is limcity streets. Drivers cruise distractedly looking for a free space. ties looking to solve these issues tend to garages and open lots. This works against BT photo by Adam Schachner 305.456.6406 / dailyofferingyoga.com MIAMIS #1 CLEANSING AND YOGA CENTER! 6901 Biscayne Blvd Miami FL 33138 SPECIAL FOR NEW STUDENTS!$39 5 Class Card. (Regularly $80*) $69 10 Class Card. (Regularly $150*)*Restrictions Apply. O er ends 9/30/2013 FREE YOGA EVERY SATURDAY 10-11AM AT LEGION PARK 200HR TEACHER TRAINING STARTS OCT 2013 Open House September 7, 4-5PMTransform your life, inspire others! Accepting applications now. Directed by Anamargret Sanchez.Featured Guest Teacher, Rod Stryker, Founder of ParaYoga.
mom-and-pops and independent estab lishments relying on their storefront for advertising (because the storefronts are so far removed from the street that the chances they will catch the eye of a pass erby are virtually nonexistent). Instead, we get big boxes and supermarkets. This is a familiar story in the Brickell area, which hosts three Publix supermarkets with ample parking, all located between SW 7th and 13th streets. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one curbside market, the Brickell Deli Market, on the commercial outskirts of S. Miami Avenue. Limited options for independent businesses are only one facet of parkings tion exists between space allocation and income disparity. This was addressed by panelist Bernardo Fort-Brescia, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and cofounder of Arquitectonica. Under the Miami 21 zoning code, Fort-Brescia explained, developers must provide one-and-a-half parking spaces per occupied residential unit, regardless of that households size. The result is that a studio apartment has as much of a parking burden as a three-bedroom apartment. We have a problem here. We are creating a city of second-home wealthy users, but in the end, the cost transfers to the consumer. One example: Well-heeled condo owners who live here part-time leave their cars parked in the off-season. Meanwhile, larger households of full-time residents struggle with their buildings jammed parking garage. In a city reliant on cars, this leaves little room for households with multiple income-earners who must drive separate cars to work. I frequently see this at my spaces, forcing some to hunt for street parking blocks away. Guest parking is virtually nonexistent. In short, residents parking spaces. Fort-Brescia challenged this bureaucratic adherence: The real question is whether there should be a parking code to begin with. The current system, he said, does not give most developers leeway to take risks in designing projects with limited parking. (One downtown condo project, Centro Lofts, will be the One consensus among panelists, it seemed, was a focus on small-scale de velopments. Zoning outside of downtown Miami generally limits the size and height of building projects to prevent the spread of high-rises. Areas that must adhere to these restrictions can maximize walkabil ity and unique businesses if they can get beyond the parking requirements. A reasonable standard for spaceconscious growth is Wynwood, with its streetside galleries. A once-industrial neighborhood devoid of pedestrian action is now known for its walking stance encounters among individuals all a product, in part, of limited parking. Joseph Furst of Goldman Properties, a pioneer in the areas revitalization, ex plains that, with the exception of quickly have no parking lots, therefore people are forced to park away from their desti nation, and they have to walk and engage. Andrew Frey, the ULI panel host and founder of Townhouse Center, a conditions for small-scale urban growth, sat with me recently and summarized the potential for thriving communities beyond downtowns urban core. In his estimation, downtown will continue while peripheral neighborhoods such as Little Havana, Overtown, and Wynwood will become emblematic of compact urban growth. One of his views resonates: A fully developed locale will have a harder time building back down from its towers than constructing moderately upward. The re surgence of construction cranes downtown may indicate that our urban core is perma nently beyond small scale, but municipal centers throughout Miami are primed to embrace designs that build to the side walk and show off their citys compelling attributes, rather than create parking gaps between people and their destinations. A parting thought that stuck with me, fol lowing the ULI panel, was how often I must compete for parking around town. Maybe we need to ask ourselves if the convenience of arriving by car is worth each stress-inducing contest for parking we endure. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
68 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIFor Sale: Pristine Mangrove ForestThe state puts a big chunk of Oleta River State Park on the auction blockBy Mark Sell BT ContributorWake up, North Miami and points beyond! While we were sleeping in August, the state quietly indicated its desire to reduce the size of Oleta River State Park by 150 acres and designate that chunk of mangroves and protected wetlands as surplus property available for purchase. This is huge, folks. The state Department of Environmental Protection has put two parcels on a statewide list of publically owned land to be consid ered as surplus On August 22 and August 23, as people were getting their children off to schools and college, and trying to jump into their fall work rhythms, the DEP hosted two webinars to describe the process facing state-owned land across Florida, including Oleta River State Park and a necklace of parcels along the Florida Keys. The state parkland up for grabs comes in two pieces. The biggest piece, at 129 acres, lies right between the Biscayne Landing site and Florida International University within the City of North Miami, and includes a potential road from 143rd Street and Biscayne straight to the FIU campus. Well, fancy that. FIU President Mark Rosenberg des perately wants a second, four-lane road for campus, which is currently acces sible only from 151st Street. FIU did not respond to e-mails, so for now, let us at tribute the selection of this coveted morsel to Providence rather than lobbying efforts. The second parcel, of 21 acres, sits di rectly behind the North Miami-Dade Justice Center on the east side of Biscayne Boulevard and 155th Street. While the larger parcel (see map) may look like nothing but woods from the air, it lies next to the citys East Arch Creek En vironmental Preserve and nature trail, which includes mangroves, buttonwoods, rivulets, and swamp. These are among the last remaining mangroves in northern Biscayne Bay. Now that people realize what transpired, theyve sprung into action. They include North Miami Council members Carol Keys and Scott Galvin, Tropi cal Audubon Society Executive Director Laura Reynolds, and North Miami environmental lawyer Maureen Brody Harwitz. Bloggers Stephanie Kienzle at votersopinion.com and Eye on Miami also helped sound the alarm. Dont be surprised if you see former Gov. Bob Graham enter this debate. He was governor when Oleta River State Park opened in 1986, with Marjory Stoneman Douglas among the guests. Way back, the Tropical Audubon Societys Tom Pafford and Harvey Abrams assembled the land for the park, which Florida Department of Environmental Protection Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom 305.423.0017 We are Pace... Partners Academics Catholic Empowerment The Tradition of Excellence Continues! Enroll Today!Be a part of the Spartan tradition... 305-623-7223, ext. 342 or visit www.PaceHS.com to get the enrollment process started.
is now South Floridas largest urban park (1043 acres); and Graham worked hard to ensure it would happen. In 2011 he founded, and still chairs, the Florida Conservation Coalition, which he launched in response to the aggressive rollback, by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, of 40-year-old environmental protection policies. Keys said she intended to put this on the City Council agenda as an emergency item for the August 27 meeting. These are protected wetlands, and I hope the City Council puts green space ahead of dollar signs on this, she said. Whoever is doing this is looking to tippy-toe through environmental regulations to put in a road. This land is so fragile. Times a wastin. If you want to chime in, make plans to attend the next meeting of the DEPs Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC), which manages stateowned lands, in Tallahassee on September 13which happens to beYom Kippur, the holiest of the High Holy Days. So good luck getting elected representatives like county Commissioner Sally Heyman, state Sen. Gwen Margolis, or Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Mark Rosenberg or Carol Keys, for that matter to travel all that way on Yom Kippur (this timing may be coincidental; lets just say that Tallahassee isnt exactly famous for its lox and bagels). If you cant make it to Tallahassee, you can e-mail your opinion before September 12 to the following address: Harwitz, the environmental lawyer, jumped into the fray quickly and sent an asserting, among other things: There are no surplus mangroves in Biscayne Bay waters. Its like saying there are surplus pinelands on Dade County land. It is outra geous for Governor Scott to treat these invaluable and essential mangrove wetlands as if they were excess inventory that needed to be cleared out. Governor Scott, once again, through this proposed action of his agency, shows total ignorance and callous disregard for South Florida and its unique subtropical environment and its history. Laura Reynolds of the Tropical Audubon Society participated in the DEP webinars and says, The value of open space isnt just having a park, but it performs a valuable function of clean preventing algae blooms in Biscayne Bay, and providing recreation to the public. This is what keeps Biscayne Bay clean. I do believe we still have a chance to get this pulled off the list al together, if enough people send e-mails to the ARC address. If these parcels dont get pulled from the auction list, Governor Scott has other options. The state could lease the land to another public entity, such as FIU or the City of North Miami. In that case, either the university or the city could have a shot at building a road through the wetlands area. FIU almost certainly cannot afford it, and the City of North Miami would require a bond issue, as the $20 million windfall from the Biscayne Landing developers is pretty much spent. Scott Galvin, who sat in on the side with Keys, but he also could see a compromise that could address FIUs road-access issues through a bond issue and elevated road. North Miami City Manager Stephen Johnson says hed heard nothing of any of this until Carol Keys told him on August 22 and is quite curious. Although its state land, he says, whatever they do is going to be important to the City of North Miami because its all within city limits. This is * Expect a quick decision from Circuit Judge Jorge Cueto over whether to oust Miamis mayor because she allegedly doesnt live in North Miami. The judge, an ex-cop and trained accountant who came to his judgeship from the State Attorneys public corrup tion unit, has reserved September 9 and 10 for hearings. He does not suffer fools or continuances gladly. He just denied City of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones a third term. All that should be good news for Kevin Burns as plaintiff, ex-mayor, and 55-44 loser in the June 4 runoff election. What happens next, and its effect on the city, is subject for another column. Feedback: email@example.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.
70 Culture: THE ARTSBe Our GuestThe Fountainhead Residency is bringing artists from across the globe to MiamiBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorIn a vacant lot on N. Miami Avenue, between 9th and 10th streets, two waving in the wind for three days in hammer, the other a nail, and their dance on NE 1st Avenue, another giant Godzilla, will be bouncing off the faade. Whos trying to take over the city here? It is not an exaggeration to say that a cultural arts weekend in downtown Miami would have the Arsht Center for the Performing dinner and an art exhibit? Forget it. So it truly is a milestone when the second tastings, and bike and trolley rides. town Miami has arrived as a destina tion cultural neighborhood in the way that Wynwood has, but this weekend is a good start. It would also be a mis art walks or the Coral Gables crawls. The downtown Miami that you can from Brickell in the south to the Arsht Center in the north, from Biscayne Bay in the east to N. Miami Avenue to the the number of new venues and activi ties is amazing. of the downtown area during the recession but came roaring back Authority to form a Culurban center. Last year the curator Claire Breukel to organize a weekend that would feature various institutions and venues at a time far enough away from Art Basel to distinguish itself, but as a one-off event and not a monthly night. South African native Breukel, who works out of Miami and New York on ments] hadnt even met each other, she night wouldnt really work. Its also a They decided on an inaugural event day and the evening, with organized bike, walking, and trolley tours to attractions. Museum on Flagler Street (now transitioning to the Perez Art Museum Miami,
Freedom Tower, along with a few galleries and some pop-up spaces, all opened for a weekend. Gerhard Richter was screened, and performance artist Misael Soto set out Picnic Blanket and more arts and entertainment options. Dade Colleges cultural affairs arm is also kicking off its season with a free jazz piano concert from rising Brazilian star Andr Mehmari. Street, which is home to artist studios the Spanish Cultural Center Miami, will can, indigenous, and Hispanic origins of Latin American music. artist Yozo Hamaguchi; watch the Storm grape as well, with two California wine other words, the artists were asked to rowed more than 50 applications from whom are from Miami: Tom Scicluna and Gean Moreno. Scicluna will put up a piece in a his commission, all in coins, into a founmodes of transportation, which includes times, performances, readings, talks, DWNTWN Art Days takes place from Friday, September 20, through Sunday, September 22, with the information hub at Grand Central Park at Miamiworld Center, 700 N. Miami Ave., www. dwntwnarts.com. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org Picnic Blanket Photo courtesy of Michael Blaser
72 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 305-751-8367 305-576-1355 786-286-7355 305-438-0220 305-576-1150 305-573-5730 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009 305-237-3597 305-571-9410 305-576-2828 122 NE 11th St., Miami 786-999-9735 305-491-1526 305-978-4856 130 NW 24th St., Miami 786-409-3585 305-303-6254 305-571-8100 786-505-4443 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 786-202-5554 305-490-6906 299 NW 25th St., Miami 305-502-5624 305-576-1977 305-573-8110 305-576-1804 686 NE 56th St., Miami 786-536-7801 100 NE 11th St., Miami 305-607-5527 786-486-7248 Belle Captive
Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS www.dinamitranigallery.com September 12 through October 25: New Work by Peggy Levison Nolan DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 187 NW 27th St., Miami 305-573-9994 September 12 through October 30: ELITE GALLERY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 September 14 through October 4: Heros Last Stand by Giancarlo Ciavaldini EMERSON DORSCH 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.emersondorsch.com Through October 12: Belle Captive by Victoria Fu Lookout Parade by Matt Rich ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com GALLERY 212 MIAMI CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 516-532-3040 www.gallery212miami.com Through September 2: Wynwood Art Group Special Summer Exhibition with Michael Perez, Hamilton Aguiar, Rogerio Fernandes, Rosana Ferolla, Claudio Souza Pinto, Artie Sandstone, Charlotte Harber, Carol Reeves, David Haradin, Fred Love, Sean Murdock, Alicia Erminy, and Charlotte Oedekoven GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com September 19 through November 2: Why Is Reality a Word by Allan Graham (Toadhouse), curated by Phong Bui GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com September 1 through 30: XX Century Masters with various artists GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 www.generalaudiencepresents.com GREGG SHIENBAUM FINE ART 2239 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-456-5478 HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 www.juanruizgallery.com September 19 through October 19: Fractures by Victor Vazquez KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com September 21 through October 31: Recent Works by Karmelo Bermejo KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: KIWI ARTS GROUP PROJECT SPACE 117 NE 1st Ave., Ground Floor, Miami 305-213-1495 www.kiwiartsgroup.com LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org September 19 through October 12: Versteeg, Gabriel Vormstein, and Odalis Valdivieso MARKOWICZ FINE ART 114 NE 40th St., Miami 786-362-5546 MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdcmoad.org Through September 21: Fellows Collection with various artists September 13 through November 17: A Painter and Her Audience by Antonia Eiriz Elaborate Webs/Striking Exploits by Anne Austin Pearce and Sara Stites September 20 through November 2: Leandro Vazquez MICHAEL JON GALLERY 122 NE 11th St., Miami www.michaeljongallery.com NEW WORLD GALLERY 25 NE 2nd St., Miami 305-2 37-3597 NINA TORRES FINE ART 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 September 6 through 27: Mexican Art Visions 2013 with various artists NNAMDI CONTEMPORARY GALLERY 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 786-332-4736 www.nnamdicontemporary.com Through September 7: The Space Between by Neha Vedpathak NOW CONTEMPORARY ART 175 NW 25th St., Miami 305-571-8181 www.nowcontemporaryart.com September 14 through October 31: Doppelnature by Shawn Smith 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 www.oncearts.com Ongoing: Patricia Chaparro OXENBERG FINE ART 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-854-7104 www.oxenbergart.com PAN AMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com September 12 through November 22: 72 NW 25 St., Miami 305-576-1645 www.pshprojects.com Through September 30: Storage Memoir: 1996 with various artists PRIMARY PROJECTS 151 NE 7th St., Miami 954-296-1675 www.primaryprojectspace.com ROBERT FONTAINE GALLERY 2349 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-397-8530 Through October 4: Chronology: A Timeline, Select Fine Art Works, Post War to Today with various artists SAMMER GALLERY 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-441-2005 Through September 15: SPINELLO PROJECTS 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com Ongoing: Millares SWAMPSPACE GALLERY 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ email@example.com THE SCREENING ROOM 2626 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-582-7191 www.thescreeningroommiami.com UNDER THE BRIDGE 12425 NE 13th Ave., North Miami 305-978-4437 Shelter
74 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Ste 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art September 10 through 27: Landscape is Landscape by Lidija Slavkovic 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres Through September 13: Sweet Tooth by Andrew Holmes The Mastery of Face Recognition by Andrzej Dragan The Three Dictators by Eugenio Merino 2233 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-576-5335 www.waltmanortega.com September 14 through October 15: European Hyperrealism with Alain Bertrand, Ronald Dupont, Fernando Kindelan 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 September 14 through December 21: Genesis by Jerome Soimaud 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737 www.zadokgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information MUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITS 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through September 8: Artha Project with Tyler Healy, Dean Levin, and Evan Robarts Through September 29: I-95 South with Tyler Healy, Johnny Laderer, Dean Levin, Gustavo Oviedo, Luis Pinto, Evan Robarts, and Kyle Yanagihara 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through November 3: Rufus Corporation by Eve Sussman 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org Through October 27: Deferred Archive: 2013 Grants and Commissions Program Exhibition with various artists 3841 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Dacra 305-531-8700 www.dacra.com Ongoing: Richard Tuttle, Marlene Dumas, John Baldessari, Elizabeth Peyton, and Kai Althoff, curated by Tiffany Chestler 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists Ongoing: Carlos Alfonzo 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through September 3: The Drawing Project with various artists, curated by Emmy Mathis Through September 22: Concealed Spaces by Jos Manuel Ballester Through September 29: Six Degrees of Separate Nations by Ebony G. Patterson and Peterson Kamwathi Through December 31:Deep Blue by Javier Velasco September 18 through October 13: Faculty Show with Pip Brant, and Michael Namkung September 18 through January 5: Crisis and Commerce: Worlds Fairs of the 1930s with various artists 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through October 13: Pan American Modernism: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America and the United States with various artists Through February 9: Terrestrial Paradises: Imagery from The Voyages of Captain James Cook with various artists Through April 27: The Art of Panama with various artists 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 www.mocanomi.org Through September 8: Picturing People by Dawoud Bey September 27 through November 3: Love of Technology with Luis Fernando Benedit, Ian Cheng, Jason Galbut, Lena Henke, Morag Keil, Oliver Laric, Ben Schumacher and John Keenen, Josh Smith, Jack Strange, Anicka Yi, Andrea Zittel, Calla Henkel, and Max Pitegoff 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www.margulieswarehouse.com Call gallery for exhibition information 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 http://rfc.museum Call gallery for exhibition information 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami 305-250-9133 www.vizcayamuseum.org Call gallery for exhibition information 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Oiseau et Personnage Creative Arts for Kids AGES 6-12First Saturday of every month 2-4 pm Learn about contemporary art by painting, drawing and sculpting in the style of a renowned artist. September 7 Mungo Thomson October 5 Emmi Whitehorse December 7 Takashi Murakami $18 per class; $12 MOCA membersDiscounts for siblings. Scholarships available Reservations recommended.Free After School Programs AGES 13-19MondayFriday 4-6 pm Classes start Sept. 16 Drawing, Painting, Photography, Film, Fashion Design, Hip Hop, Junior Docents, Technology Communications Lab and more.Application required. Community Service Credit available. MOCA Art Institute is funded in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The MOCA Art Institute is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.The MOCA Art Institute is funded by The Childrens Trust. The Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. MOCA Art Institute is also funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. Additional support is provided by the City of North Miami, Irma Braman Creative Arts Scholarship Fund, Micky and Madeline Arison Family Foundation, the Arnold S. Katz Endowment, Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation, Peacock Foundation, the Columbine Foundation, The Fine and Greenwald Foundation, the Aqua Fou ndation for Women, Jan and Dan Lewis, Stephanie and Tom Bloom, Bank of America, Bloomingdales and Macys.The Museum of Contemporary Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a recipient of the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, NORTH MIAMI 770 NE 125th, North Miami, Florida For more information and to register mocanomi.org or 305.893.6211
Culture: EVENTS CALENDARBallet Gone GlobalPedro Pablo Pea and his annual Inter national Ballet Festival, now in its 18th year, have become staples in the cultural fabric here, with the fest usually being This years festival, running through Sunday, September 8 at various locations, of course, performances from an inter national array of principal dancers from Argentina, Brazil, France, Hungary, and Painting Outside the Lines underwent a transformation, with outside was Antonia Eirz, whose provocative style island, many of whom now reside here in is presenting the first retrospective of Eirzs A Painter and Her Audience opening on Friday, September 13 Clean Your Beach, People!There is nothing more horrifying than ar riving at the beach, gazing at the turquoise waters, then spotting trash washing up on Miami-Dade Coastal Cleanup being held at numerous spots across the county on Saturday, September 21 Sounds from All AroundMiami World Music Festival last year hit a high note, and now its Running from Thursday, September 19, through Sunday, September 22 it fest starts off with a mix of classical sitions from Frenchman Claude Bolling, adds in some Spanish and Cuban music, highlights local Afro-roots drum Salman Rushdie Spotted in Miami Thursday, September 26 Salman Rushdie memoir, Joseph Anton in the third person, Rushdie recounts his life, including the fatwa by Ayatollah (Joseph Anton was the name Rushdie MOCA Goes Techno enced by technology and the rapid changes matter and form (the emergence of video show as curator of the Museum of Contem Alex Gartenfeld brings together a number of international artists inspired by the ideolo gies that bind human users and technological Titled Love of Technology the exhibit opens on Friday, September 27 Reveling in the Tribe erglades in the 19th Century, when a small steadfastly maintained their traditions and culture, which will be celebrated during American Indian Day Saturday, September 28 Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to email@example.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Brazilian Music Man ari won competitions for best original Brazilian pop music and best classical is a prodigy, and now also a rising Brazilmusical talents for the Activate: MD Culture Friday, September 20 at the Freedom Miamis Best Bar Crawl Miami Vice Brickell to To bacco Road Walk Saturday, September 28 A Model Film FestivalThe dramatic fall from grace of enfant terrible John Galliano, head designer Miami Fashion Film Festival from Thursday, Sep tember 12, through Sunday, September 15 (including God Save My Shoes night Runways and Bunk Beds
76 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannBartering in Miami100 Block of NE 82nd Street Guess being in your front yard in Miami opens you up for interaction with others. If this were a small town, one might get invited in for coffee. Not here. A random person entered the owners yard and but the stranger entered his home anyway though the open door and took the owners laptop. Guess they couldnt reneHe was later arrested but told cops hed pawned the computer. Bet he got more likely makes it a bad business deal.Even Our Criminals Are Getting Old1000 Block of NE 83rd Street You never knows who will victimize us. lum who runs like the wind and will incident, we learn that our hoodlums are reaching the age where theyre slowing drens room but apparently found nothing to his liking no items were taken. In the process, the subject dropped a heart monitor at the scene. Guess we need to rethink our image of the Miami criminal perhaps a lumbering, middle-age diabetic with weight issues and a and evidence was left behind tells us this perp needs to think about a retirement plan.Local Drunks Last Stand 601 Biscayne Blvd. Everyone likes to go out on occasion, even if they have no friends of the active alcoholic. A lush ran up $226 on his bar bill but, like most deadbeat drunks, couldnt pay the check. Opportunities were given to him to settle the bill, but the heavily intoxicated man didnt care. Police were summoned and arrested him, so he likely spent the night retching in the toilet at the county jail. Maybe hell make some new friends there and theyll foot the bill during his next jaunt.The Blame Game Goes On1600 Block of N. Bayshore Drive Weddings can be festive events. At this special occasion, a woman happily took pictures of her friends special day with her her phone on a table after each photo. By the end of the night, after composing an impressive album, she looked down at the informed management and was told, It
angered the woman, who called police. phone. Maybe the bride and groom grew and ordered Too Good for PenniesNE 61st Street and Biscayne Boulevard rise in Miami; copper is now considered pennies in 1982, its apparent that copper has become the new gold.A Fiendly Gathering of Friends2200 Block of NE 4th Avenue attendance. Who doesnt welcome an her hostess that someone stole her wallet, Lame Excuses Do Not Impress Ofcers700 Block of NE 127th Street received a text message on his phone Working Through Relationship Problems15000 Block of Royal Oaks Lane to visit. In North Miami, things can shed been disrespected. She admitted Not So Progressive in This TownNE 6th Street and N. Miami Avenue Be Prepared for Any Type of Theft200 Block of NE 57th Street name Michael Jordan) seem to excite location, the victim has had to deal with maybe the older criminal in the earlier Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
78 Columnists: PARK PATROLBig, Beautiful, and Barely Known Biscayne National Park is a world-class ecosystem in Miamis backyard By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorPole dancing in a national park may sound illegal, or just plain wrong, but it has happened assuredly, only in Miami. Yes, I wrote pole dancing. Not in Yosemite. Not in the Grand Canyon. Only in Miami the place with the highest concentration of national parks in the nation. Expect similar misconduct to happen again in mid-October during Columbus Day weekend, when hordes of party people steer their boats into Biscayne National Park. A press release from last years so-called regatta event summarized it this way: There were no deaths this year (six people have died at the event in the past ten years), and few injuries. Over 200 law enforcement cases were made over the weekend. Notable incidents include: A woman who was removed by helicopter after falling on her chin while pole dancing. Those statements come directly from the U.S. National Park Service, although they sound like excerpts from the newly Under the blazing sun, Miamians are visiting a national park to drink, strip, and party themselves to death. This is not Everglades National Park. This is the largest marine park in the system, and it is clearly visible from downtown Miami. This is Biscayne National Park, the underwater wonderland that, to quote Its not all that surprising, says park superintendent Brian Carlstrom. Many people in urban areas think its their backyard park, and dont recognize it Most people in Miami-Dade County remain unaware of the parks existence, according to surveys, and the literature for tourists does little to celebrate Miami-Dade as the only county in the nation to contain two national parks. Biscayne National Park is younger and smaller than its cousin a few miles away, Everglades National Park, but it deserves to be equally appreciated and at least visited by every schoolchild. What Everglades National Park is to sawgrass, Biscayne National Park is to seagrass. Because most of Biscayne National Park is underwater in the Atlantic Ocean and southern Biscayne Bay, it functions primarily as a boaters paradise. The closest park boundary to urban Miami lies just offshore of Key Biscayne and includes Stiltsville, the collection of historic, dazzling structures that hover over the water. Our parks southern border extends to Key Largo, and its area of 172,000 acres is nearly as wide as it is long. Essentially the park covers an aquatic transition zone where the mainland dissolves The great news for any visitor, by land or sea, is that Biscayne National Park is completely free. The bad news for landlubbers is that access is restricted to the end of the road in Homestead, past the speedway and on the doorstep of the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. The main entrance is a little bit remote from the populace of Miami, admits Carlstrom. Longdistance cyclists zip along the mostly empty roads around the park. If you hit the nuclear plants cooling canals, youve gone too far. day trip to visit to the parks headCenter at Convoy Point. Scuba, snorkeling, and other adventures can be booked with the parks concession, called Biscayne Underwater, and a barbecue beside the bay. The parks wildlife makes it truly world-class. Its cross section of ecodiverse places on earth because it gathseagrass beds, mangrove forests, and hardwood hammocks. Here the Gulf Streams tropical waters collide with the tip of a continent. Camping is currently available only on Boca Chita Key and costs $20 per night for a boat slip and primitive site. The much larger Elliott Key is closed owing to damage sustained during last years Superstorm Sandy. The uninhabited islands of Biscayne National Park bathe in tranquility and offer a striking contrast to the bustle of expected to reopen next year, and you bucket list. Several years ago I took my dog, Lucy, camping on Elliott Key for a father-doggie bonding experience. It was one of the best excursions Ive experimantel shines a photograph of this trip Biscayne National Park BT photo by Jim W. Harper BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK 9700 SW 328th St. Homestead, FL 33033 305-230-1144 Hours: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: Yes Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: No Swimming pool: No Playground: NoPark Rating BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARKKey Largo US 1Miami I-95Key Biscayne
showing the sunset glowing behind my furry black angel. This year I went snorkeling on coral reefs within the park with students from Florida International University, many of whom knew little about the park, despite being long-time residents of greater Miami. They saw that the two corals on the U.S. endangered species list were thriving within this section of the park, marking Biscayne National Park as a major refuge for the embattled builders of Caribbean reefs. In addition to natural reefs, the park contains six major wrecks within its maritime heritage trail. While federal and state regulations apply here as they do everywhere, Bis cayne National Park remains mostly wide ation. Attempts in recent years to restrict On the proactive side, the park offers English or Spanish throughout the year. We work with boaters to better inform superintendent Carlstrom. Access to the park is improving. transportation to Biscayne National Park will begin with a free trolley from Homestead that will shuttle visitors to the park, and eventually into Everglades National Park as well. As of last year, the park began hosting naturalization ceremonies for new citizens. Biscayne National Park offers wonder both above and below the waters surface, and it deserves more attention and more respect. Party boaters in Biscayne Bay, listen up: Step away from the pole, turn off the striptease music, and instead start singis a national treasure. Feedback: email@example.com Biscayne National Park Biscayne National Park BT photo by Jim W. Harper credit???/Photo by Mitchell Zachs, 2010 april 30 june 1, 2014 the red threadbased on chinese folktales by stephanie ansin & fernando calzadilladirected by stephanie ansineverybody drinks the same waterMTC presents a medieval murder mysteryby stephanie ansin & fernando calzadilladirected by stephanie ansin november 20 december 22, 2013 Tickets $25
80 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALA Kitty for Your ThoughtsThese days, theres an Internet cat to capture your every moodBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorCats. They are everywhere. They are on my legs as I type this. A lot of them. Doing somersaults through outer space. They are on my nails, too. One is grumpy. The other one has a Pop-Tart for a body. Why is this? Its because, besides the fact I have a penchant for colorful, wacky designs, cats are the new black. In the world of techno nerd-generated animal merchandise, cats are the new fad. Fads come and go. Trends, on the other hand, hang around in popular culture much longer than fads, says Daniel Levine, direc tor of the Avant-Guide Institute. Animal im agery = super trend. Cats gone viral = fad. Indeed, while certain animals enjoy their 15 minutes on clothing, slapped on car bumpers, and adorning tweens back packs, the cat slinked in and transformed its image from an animal associated with the socially unacceptable crazy cat lady who creates puffy-paint-decorated sweat shirts to an icon even the snottiest hipster is proud to post across her chest. How did this happen? From a trends perspective, cats are surprisingly enduring, Levine says. It all started with the LOLcat meme back in 2005, which gained much of its traction through the weekly ritual of Caturday on 4chan and I Can Has Cheezburger. (For the uninitiated, those are Internet bulletin boards and blogs.) Cats apparently are cooler than dogs or any other animal. At least, one animal behaviorist told me that. Im not going to tell you who that person is, because she would be forced into a secret life, always looking over her shoulder, for fear the Dog People might seek revenge in most unsavory ways. Mark Venezia is vice president of sales at Spreadshirt, an e-commerce platform for the creating, selling, and buying of ideas consumers love. He says cat-themed merchandise has grown from four percent in 2009 to ten percent currently, and that store sales are up by 50 percent. People love their cats and all things cat-related, as noted by Mashable geeks, independents, and hipsters, Venezia notes. They prefer felines to pooches for their inscrutable vibes. I considered the Hip Cat notion. It makes sense. Cats are known for their BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith
independent streaks. Hipsters think they are independent, or at least independent thinkers. Cats require less attention than is popular, as seen on leggings and in nail art. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
82 Columnists: PICTURE STORYBy Paul S. George Special to the BT The mighty hurricane of 1926 smashed into Miami and other parts of South Florida with winds in excess of 130 miles per hour, leaving mass destruction in its wake. The storm struck on September 17, sweeping over Miami Beach before slam ming the Miami mainland just before daybreak. It caught many Miamians by surprise. Worse, a large number of people ventured outdoors as the storms eye passed overhead and the air was calm. When the hurricanes powerful winds returned, many were trapped on todays MacArthur Causeway and the SW 2nd Avenue bridge over the Miami River. More than 100 people lost their lives and thousands were left homeless. Few parts of the Greater Miami area were spared as the storm cut a wide swath through the area. The accompanying photograph shows the busy intersection of 12th Avenue and W. Flagler Street, in the Riverside neighborhood (todays East Little Havana) on September 18, presumably a short time after the storm left the area. fallen utility pole, the trees in the upper part of the photograph shorn of their leaves, and the wood-frame buildings surprisingly still standing. The people in the left-hand corner of the photograph are standing on an overhang at the second level of todays Beramar Apartments. Greater Miami slowly dug itself out of the devastation left by the storm. Its comeback was inhibited by the economic crisis that settled over the area with the collapse of the real estate boom earlier in 1926. The national economic depression following the collapse of the stock market in October 1929 only exacerbated the situation. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: email@example.com Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami, #2003-275-2 The Killer Hurricane of 1926A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami
Columnists: YOUR GARDEN The Fight Against MitesWith some plant species, keeping pests in check is as easy as peeling off a few leaves By Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorGingers and related species have always been one of my favorite plant families. It would be structures as this one, closely related to bananas, costus species, and heliconias. At Parrot Jungle, I grew dozens of species of these striking plants. It is from this group of plants that I pest management. My desire to cultivate plants in a pesticideand fungicide-free manner had been piqued years before, but I was not sure how to go about it in the garden I had been tasked to cultivate. controlling the red spider mites that I had to spray every couple of months with a very powerful pesticide (or miticide, to be exact). It seemed that, during the warmer months of the year, the underside of the lowest leaves would get not careful, the mites would eventually cover all of the foliage, particularly the undersides of leaves, in a week or so. One day it dawned on me that, whenever I checked for spider mites, I would automatically grab the lowest, and oldest, leaf on the plant and lift it up to look at its underside. This went for all of the gingers and related species. Well, what happens when a leaf begins to die on a plant? The plant those nutrients can be moved to actively growing locations like new leaves, fruit, This is why you should never remove too many older green leaves or fronds from palm trees. You are removing critical nutrients from that palm and that does not seem to be the case with gingers and related plants. I started removing the two or three oldest leaves from the bananas that I was growing just before they started to change in color from their normal green to a slightly yellowish green. By removing these older, or senescing, leaves, I found that I was actually removing a source of food from the spider mites and, after a couple of months, I no longer had to spray for the mites. It seemed the mite populations thrived on the nutrient-rich newer leaves that had nutrients in a less available form. By the time I left the Parrot Jungle site to work full-time at Jungle Island, I had completely stopped spraying for spider mites on bananas (after having sprayed these plants quite intensively for 14 years). This method of removing the oldest leaves also worked on other species of related plants like heliconias, costus, birds of paradise, and canna lilies. I was really proud of myself. Whats more, I no longer had to purchase very expensive miticides. Still, during the few years that I was practicing this method, I was very concerned about the effect removing still green but yellowing foliage might have plants. Perhaps because this group of plants is monocarpic meaning they could not discern any effect on the frecies of plant, or on the size of the hands of bananas. I was soon removing all of the lowest leaves on all of the ginger plants and associated relatives. This method also canna lilies some longtime Parrot Jungle visitors may remember on the corner of Red Road and SW 111th Street. This corner of plants had been the most sprayed group of plants at Parrot Jungle early 1980s till the time I left the park. During my travels in Malaysia and Borneo, I have had the opportunity to view and photograph many species that we rarely see here in the states. The photo that accompanies this article is a torch ginger, Tapeinochilos ananassae that I found growing on the island of Borneo. This is a plant that has foliage that can grow up to ten feet tall. The cence, grows on its own stalk out of the ground up to several feet and can last a couple of months before it discolors and falls apart. I have grown torch gingers in large containers successfully. The foliage and more compact, perfect for a small garden or balcony. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski
84 Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY Other Parents Are AwfulInsecure about your child-rearing skills? Just take a look at some of the maniacs out thereBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorIm not sure this makes me a better mom, but I have found some very entertaining and like-minded parents on podcasts. On a recent listen, I came across a Drew Magary piece called The Haters Guide to Other Parents. I almost wet myself laughing while simultaneously getting whiplash from vigorously nodding in agreement with his analysis. Like Magary, I will admit I am not the worlds best parent. I make mistakes. I make bad decisions. I am human, which means I also like to judge people, wrong as that is. It is embedded in our DNA, though, and sometimes agreeing with your spouse that Johnnys mom just sucks is well liberating. With that in mind, I want to say thank you to Magary for identifying these ten types of parent who make me feel like a leather-pant-wearing mommy rock star by comparison (and also, like I want to call Child Protective Services on them): That lady who drops her kids off at the playground and then goes for a run. My thoughts: This is not the burbs in 1981, lady. That is a bad idea. There are people like Ariel Castro and Snaggletooth staked out, waiting for your Lululemon-wearin butt to run off, so they can swipe your kid. Parents who refuse to wipe the boogers of their kids face. My thoughts: I have been chasing boogers for nine years now, and they can be downright smarter than me, tougher than me, and faster than me. Im not a On the other hand, there are sometimes more pressing matters to worry about, and frankly, wouldnt you rather have boogers than a raw schnoz? The misery parents who are so anxious they want others to share their panic. at PTA meetings and birthday parties just to tell me that the BPA levels in Ikeas cups are off the charts, or that a neighbors kid got ringworm from another neighbors cat. I know some of these parents intimately. Hats off to you, Debbie Downer. questions about sleeping habits, nu tritional habits, and even educational plans sometimes before youve given birth. My thoughts: Just. Stop. It. with their kids in public. My thoughts: Trust me, my four-year-old can be the demon spawn, and I have gone off my rocker in the playback reel of bad parenting highlights, but I cant imagine shaking my baby in the entrance of Target, yelling, Why didnt you tell mommy you had to pee? while my kid horror. This really happened. Yesterday, in fact. Kudos, lady. You just made the all-star team. Aggressive drivers in the school park ing lot. My thoughts: OMG, get off your phone and pay attention, Staceys mom! Yes, I did just honk at you. You almost hit the new kindergarten teacher as you barreled that Escalade into the roundabout! Anything-Goes Parents. My thoughts: I admit it, the parent in category number three got to me. I dont want my kid playing in the dirty mud outside the park because Im afraid shes right about the sewage backing mud-pie making isnt worth Hep B. But what harm can come from letting kids be kids sometimes? I come from a time and place where kids had the freedom to jump in puddles, play baseball in the street, and walk to the park by themselves. But then again, we didnt have car seats or sunscreen. Im just an #%shole whos on the phone the whole time. My thoughts: As I write this, my phone is nestled comfortably in my lap. I grow anxious when it isnt near me. Addiction is hard, but your kids need to know you like to hang with them periodically. Mommy, watch this! need not be constantly interrupting your Facebook post about Top Chef Masters Parents who want their children to have every advantage possible. My thoughts: Chill out. Your kid is going to have gray hair by the age of eight at this rate. Putting her in karate, Chinese, and paying for the private gifted testing isnt going to change the fact you need to pay more attention to what you are doing to contribute to the success of your child. Ariel Castro My thoughts: I think Magary made an interesting decision by ending his list with this one, but this dude scares me, too. These people exist. This guy raised several of his own kids, who seem to have ended up normal (but clearly hadnt visited his home for years). parenting mediocrity because of some of the things I see my fellow moms and dads do. This is why its okay that Magary says, Other parents are the worst! Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org A Personal Assistant Service For the Senior CommunityQUESTIONS? CALL US TODAY at 786-348-0712www.happilyeverelder.com on & More!
Columnists: GOING GREENI Do, We CanA surprise wedding ceremony serves as a reminder that justice in all things is possibleBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorTomorrow all of your dreams could come true. Your neighbors could spontaneously come visiting friendship. Your commute to work could dissipate into nothing, and road rage could become a memory. Miami could be pronounced the greenest city in the world. Peace on earth is possible. With all the apocalyptic movies feeding our imaginations and all the scienments rapid decline, it seems illogical to welcome the future, especially the future of the city predicted to lose the most to a rising sea. Yet we must remember not only the mistakes of history, but also the victories, when people did the right thing and created a better world. We have to hold on to hope. Civil rights. World wars. The American Revolution. People have demonstrated over and over again they can band together and defeat the enemy especially when the enemy seems overwhelming. Lets be clear. The enemy of climate change and sea-level rise is overwhelming to the point of being nearly incomprehensible. It will defeat and drown Miami and most of Florida if we continue with business as usual. The equation is as simple as one minus one. We, the people of Earth, owe a huge debt of fuel-based pollution that has been accumulating since the industrial revolution, and this debt must be paid. Miami may not survive the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise in its current form, but it could transform into something better. Remember when the electricity went out after Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and you actually talked rejoiced because they didnt have to go to school. Adults hugged those kids a little tighter. We survived. This year, and in coming years, we should expect more frequent and more forceful hurricanes. We should expect seawater to ruin our drinking water. With such overwhelming problems caused by a warmer ocean and more disruptive climate, why should I be feeling so hopeful? I am beyond hopeful, actually, and thinking about miracles, not because of what I know, but because of what I experienced today. I experienced a miracle. Today I had a surprise wedding. By surprise I mean I had no idea it would happen this way, at this time, although I have known the person I wanted to marry for many years. It was like a surprise birthday party times 1000. My partner and I were on vacation in Los Angeles, visiting a friend, when the two of them secretly plotted to bring me to the courthouse on an errand. Stepping into the courtyard, completely clueless, I saw two attractive men embracing each other and being embraced by family members. Then I saw a line with other couples waiting for the justice of the peace. Then I started crying. At age 45, having spent more than 18 years with a partner who did not believe in marriage, I had given up on the idea. But this summer a spark of hope was rekindled by the Supreme Court decision that expanded gay marriage. In the back of my mind, I thought that, one day, I would get married in Florida; probably around the time I was ready to retire, when I would strap my partner into a wheelchair and roll him into the courthouse against his will. But still, it would happen. Instead he planned a vacation, planned a wedding, and surprised me with something life-altering. Same-sex marriage and my surprise wedding may seem to have nothing to do with environmental justice per se, but justice is justice. If we can defeat ignorance and hate, we can certainly defeat carbon dioxide. Make no mistake, the changing climate and our response are the grand issues of our era. Future history books will have a sidebar about the emergence of gay marriage, but whole chapters will be devoted to the way a changing climate rearranged human existence itself. Miami is one of the great battlegrounds in the war against pollution. It could sink, as predicted, or it could rise from its waterlogged ashes. It could become a true community and a new paradigm. It could become the place the rest of the world points to and says, Look, if they can do it, we can do it, too. Some days I give up on the dream of a healthy and clean future, free of pollution. I stop hoping and believing that it can happen. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow I will wake up with hopes and dreams intact, and I will believe that a miraculous, earth-saving sur prise is just around the corner. I will believe that the good side of history can repeat itself. Tomorrow could be the day that catch es you by surprise. It could be a miracle. Send your tips and clever ideas to: email@example.com. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org Traditional Taekwon-Do Instruction NOW ACCEPTINGNEW STUDENTSAges 5-Adults, All levels of Experience. Free uniform and private introductory class with enrollment.786-493-409 5 9617 Park Drive Miami Shores, FL 33138786-493-4095Visit us online at www.chitkd.orgITF affiliated school with over 20 years instructional experience.
86 Columnists: VINO By Bill Citara BT ContributorHit em where they aint, as Wee Willie Keeler once said, is as good advice in wine buying as it is in baseball. I know, baseball metaphors are as trite as chewing gum commercials Americas pastime, the boys of summer, our clichs where we can get them. And besides, in life as well as baseball, hitting the horsehide-covered spheroid to that vacuum-gloved third baseman with a .357 Magnum for an arm will leave you with a batting average lower than Sarah Palins IQ. Anyway, Wee Willies point admittedly extrapolated halfway to Jupiter is that the best way to get the biggest bang for your bat, and buck, is to play ball in less-crowded territory. When it affordable price which, after all, is the reason for Vinos existence that often means shopping outside the terminally jam-packed Cabernet-ChardonnayMerlot-Pinot Noir aisles. Since its still hotter than Hades in a blast furnace, with lobster season upon us and stone crab season coming up fast, it seemed a reasonable proposition that this months affordable wines be white. And we do have some good ones. Two excellent examples are the 2012 Chateau Saint-Pierre de Mejans and the 2010 Domaine de Pellehaut The Saint-Pierre comes from the Luberon region of Provence and is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Ugni Blanc, the last being one of the chief grapes used in the production of cognac. Its a quiet little party for your taste buds, rife with ripe apricot and green apple and pronounced minerality from the regions limestone-laced soils. different. Made from six grapes, it fools you with a nose of ripe tropical fruit, only to smack you in the palate with crisp, citrus acidity. Think taking a bite of a ripe, juicy mango that tastes like a bracingly tart pineapple. It may be something of an acquired taste, but it certainly is unusual. The 2012 Mont Gravet Ctes de Gascogne on the other hand, is of much less elaborate pedigree, being 100-percent Colombard. Wine drinkers of a certain vintage may recall domestic French Colombard (which translates as crap), but this quite appealing wine is nothing character, with a bit of richness, some soft citrus acidity, and a hint of the diesel aroma exhibited by some Rieslings. Sticking with France, we come to the 2011 Cave de Tain Marsanne another 100-percent varietal, though this one from the northern Rhone Valley. Its a classic Marsanne, teasing with a creamy, and pear, then satisfying with refreshing lemon-lime-mineral to be complemented with a fat mound of stone crab claws. Weve all read a lot about Greece lately, most of it not very complimentary. So heres some good news: Boutari 2010 Kre tikos Composed of 70-percent Vilana and 30-percent other varietals even more unpronounceable than the French, its a simple, citrusy, mineral-y wine thats perfect for sitting on some rustic tavernas little seaside patio, enjoying a handful of olives and water. The Greeks may not be so do know how to live. Italys been in the news a lot, too, and much of it isnt any happier than the word on Greece. So the hell with it. Pop the cork on a bottle of 2011 Orvieto Classico and tell the world to go screw. Its a simple wine a little citrusy, a little herbal, a little earthy, not particularly distinctive, but pleasant enough. with a French-sounding name: Mnage Trois And no, it has nothing to do with naughty sex. Its a lush, fruity mnage of Chardonnay, Moscato, and Chenin Blanc, produced by Napas Folie Deux and as charming as the wine country the Moscato, some ripe pear and apricot from the Chardonnay, a touch of earthy acidity from the Chenin Blanc. Think about it over a platter piled high with stone crab claws or Florida lobster tail fresh off the grill. Thats a homerun if ever there was one. Feedback: email@example.com BUYING OR SELLING A HOME?MiMo Title Services, owned by attorney Barbara B. Gimenez, is a full service title company. We guarantee fast, dependable, professional service, before, during, and after your real estate transaction. MENTION THIS AD FOR SPECIAL SETTLEMENT FEE: $495*MiMo Title Services, LLC*RESTRICTIONS APPLY. VALID THROUGH 10/31/13. Unusual Whites That Score Big Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less 14490 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami Beach, FL 33181 (Right across Costco)15% Offfrom July 1st to Sep 30th 2013 a regular priced purchase of $40 or more. 305.705.2383Follow usDefineboutique
Columnists: DISHOctoberfest in September? Of course!Food news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorSince 1810, September has been the month heralding the start of the worlds largest food festival: Okto berfest, in Munich, September 21 through October 3. Ponder whether beer is indeed food, and other deep questions (such as why Oktoberfest happens mainly not in berfest, September 28, 2:00-11:00 p.m. Sponsored by Fado Irish Pub and Zevents, the beer/food/music fest has three ticket levels: A $65 ticket includes unlimited free samplings of more than 75 beers and small bites/beer pairings from 2:00-6:00 p.m.; $25 tickets are partyonly, from 6:00 p.m.; and $95 tickets add early entrance and a VIP tent with more freebie premium brews plus what will doubtless be a much-needed private restroom. For info and limited half-price tix: www.bricktoberfest.com. Meanwhile, news for the three pan con bistec yet: Finally, four months after what was projected in April as a three-week closEnriquetas Sandwich Shop (2830 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-4681) reopened in mid-August. Contrary to rumors previously published elsewhere, owners are the same: Jos Luis Pla and his daughters. Food is the same, too. Whats changed: The interior is renovated, should patrons choose to use it. (Several Cuban friends insist that cafecitos always taste better ordered at a window and consumed in the street.) News from Liza Meli, former owner of Ouzos Greek Taverna, whose closing was reported last issue: Expect a seafood eatery in the riverfront space. I sold it to the BigFish corporation, Meli reports. The building needed lots of renovations, especially after the Shuckers incident, which they were willing to do. (The out door deck at Shuckers collapsed June 13, sending diners into Biscayne Bay, injuring dozens.) But no mourning, fans of Melis mezes. Shes readying a new Greek/Medi terranean tapas/wine bar-market, Grape & Olive, for an opening around November, in a nearby 79th Street space. OPENINGS Minas Mediterraneo (749 NE 79th St., 786-391-0300). Owner Yasmine Kotbs heri tage is Egyptian-via-Texas, but the dishes at this newest entry to 79th Streets growing restaurant enclave are inspired by virtually all countries surrounding the sea: Egypts besara (fava hummus), chicken Milanese, boeuf Bourguignon, Israeli salad, paella, and more. Recipes come from Yasmines mom Sonia, whos the chef. KC Healthy Cooking (11900 Biscayne Blvd. #103, 786-502-4193). Though elegant in dcor, this globally inspired place is ultra family-friendly, down to chef Jerry Dominique, whose previous experience was 25 years cooking for his own kids. Its gotta be said: The gorgeously layered/ molded quinoa, avocado, and tuna salad sure doesnt look like my moms tuna noodle casserole. Bet your mamacita never made you blueberry/roasted walnut/choco late empanadas, either. Preservation (18250 Collins Ave., 305974-0273) highlights creative dishes (from Culinary Institute of America-trained chef Ryan Harrison, and owner/partner Nicole Richaud) fusing fresh ingredients with traditionally house-smoked/cured/pick led preserved items. See this issues new Dining Guide additions for details. Perfecto GastroBar (1450 Brickell Ave., 305-372-0620). From Barcelona, this hangout features mixed extreme rustic/extreme modern dcor, modern music, and traditional tapas the Spanish kind. Highlight: incomparably fat-marbled, tender yet toothsome, both salty and sweet/nutty 5J jamon Iberico de bellota from acorn-fed pata negra pigs, in the USA, but the ultimate in cured hams. Better than the best prosciuttos. In fact, perfecto. CLOSINGS At Brickell Keys Mandarin Oriental Hotel, both Azul and Caf Sambal are closed. The indoor/outdoor Asian fusion Sambal is gone permanently, according to the Mandarins Heidi Barfels, with the space scheduled for replacement by a newconcept eatery. Top-end Azul, closed to the public owing to renovations, is planned to reopen later in 2013 but evidently with changes, too. Exec chef Jacob Anaya jumped ship to the bustling Brickell gastro pub OTC last month, citing excitement at returning to roots-reality and creating his own dishes. Funny. Azuls previous chefs (Michelle Bernstein, Clay Conley, Joel Huff) all mentioned the need to recharge Downtowns eclectic Asian hidden hotspot, Little Lotus which opened in 2011 to critical and public acclaim, is gone. Unfortunately, tension with the landlord had been problematic from nearly the start. And after sushi chef Michael Asalie left for Buddha Sushi a year ago, food and service had seriously declined. Also kaput, without explanations at press time: Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich (a North Miami institution since 1954), and Egyptian Pizza Kitchen in the Shops at Midtown Miami. Hungry for more food news? See Biz Buzz, page 22. Send me your tips and alerts: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback: email@example.com
88 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAijo1331 Brickell Bay Dr.,786-452-1637Hidden within Jade condo, this sleek Japanese fusion resto lounge (whose name means love) is also a jewel. Foodloving Venezuelan owner Rene Buroz encourages innovation, and his chefs (including four from Zuma) respond with beautifully plated items as fun as they are flavorful. Dont miss the layered croquante (a sort of Asian croqueta: mouthwatering crispy rice, subtly smoked salmon, and creamy crab), Aijo kani (king crab legs with citrus foam clouds and rich emulsified butter dip), or creative cocktails from a mixologist who also juggles and plays with fire. Area 31270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterraneaninfluenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Atrio1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6529Admittedly, the Conrad Hotels top-end restaurant has had its ups and downs since its early days as one of the few exciting fine-dining restaurants in the Brickell/downtown area. But Atrio is ready for rediscovery. Despite Brickells recent restau rant explosion, few venues are as spectacularly suitable for a sophisticated breakfast, lunch, or dinner for grown-ups whod rather not shout over DJs. Panoramic views of Miami from the 25th floor are now matched by locally oriented dishes, including a mango/lime mayo-dressed lobster sandwich, crisp-skinned snapper with grapefruit salsa and basil aioli, a bracing orange tart, even citrus butter in the bread basket. $$$-$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/ sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$Banana & Leaf234 NE 3rd St., 786-431-5548Ever get tempted by the convenience of supermarket sushi boxes, but feel uneasy about freshness and disgruntled about sparseness of fillings? In the grab-and-go containers here, raw fish glistens and makis like a plump snow crab roll have a satisfying seafood-to-rice ratio. If youd rather, dishes on the larger custom menu arrive almost as fast. There is also limited, tasty Southeast Asian fare. Most unbelievable: Prices beat supermarket sushi by far. $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! $$-$$$ Biscayne Tavern146 Biscayne Blvd., 305-307-8300From restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, this contemporary tavern seems tailor-made for a newly urbanized neighborhood, inviting residents to hang from breakfast to late-night snack time, over updated comfort food thats globally inspired while adhering to the local/organic mantra. Among expected casual favorites (solid American burgers; Asianesque pork-belly sliders) highlights are items that chef Will Biscoe stamps with his own unique, unpretentiously inventive touches, from small plates (housemade potato chips with blue cheese fondue) to large (a long-bone short rib chop with truffle popover; South Florida bouillabaisse). More than 30 craft beers accompany. $$-$$$ Blue Martini900 S. Miami Ave. #250, 305-981-2583With a 41-martini menu (plus exotic lighting, late hours, dance floor, and live music most nights), this wildly popular place is more lounge than restaurant. Nonetheless food offerings are surprisingly ambitious, including substantial items like sliced steak with horseradish sauce, as well as shareable light bites -parmesan-topped spinach/artichoke dip, served hot with toasted pita; shrimp and blue crab dip (yes: crab, not faux krab); a seductive puff pastry-wrapped and honey-drizzled baked brie. Come at happy hour (4:00-8:00 p.m. daily) for bargain drink/ snack specials, and lots of locals. $$ Bonding638 S. Miami Ave., 786-409-4794From trend-spotting restaurateur Bond Trisansi (originator of Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro), this small spot draws a hip crowd with its affordable menu of redesigned traditional Thai dishes, wildly imaginative sushi makis, and unique signature Asian fusion small plates. Highlights include tastebud-tickling snapper carpaccio; an elegant nest of mee krob (sweet, crisp rice noodles); blessedly non-citrus-drenched tuna tataki, drizzled with spicy-sweet mayo and wasabi cream sauce; greed-inducing bags of gold, deep-fried wonton beggars purses with a shrimp/pork/mushroom/waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$ 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 eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numer ous 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. $$ Brasileiro801 Brickell Bay Dr., 786-502-3829Fittingly, the indoor/outdoor bay-view space in the Four Ambassadors, occupied by Miamis first Brazilian rodizio restaurant back in the early 1980s, is now home to a 21st-century upgrade. For insatiable carnivores and fans of Latin Americas best dinner show, theres the traditional parade of tableside, sword-wielding gauchos carving all-you-can-eat meats, including must-not-miss medium-rare picanhas, delectably fat-capped sirloin. For more modern and/or light eaters, prepared dishes by Gully Booth, one of Miamis best-kept-secret chefs, include goat cheese croquettes, stuffed dates, and crab cakes Martha Stewart once proclaimed the best shed eaten. $$$$Brother Jimmys BBQ900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J evidently didnt hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmys opened more than 20 years ago. Miamis location is actually the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the slow-smoked pulled pork butt tastes righteous -no interfering glop, just hot sauce-spiked vinegar to balance the fab fattiness. Theres other cue, too, including big (not baby back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$-$$$Bryan in the Kitchen104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/ grain salads and homemade-from-scratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ 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. $-$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Ceviche Piano140 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414Owners Martin and Charo Villacorta, a married chef/pastry chef team, think of this eatery as a relocation (in the same downtown plaza) and reinvention of their former best kept secret spot Martini 28. Most dramatic changes: upscaled size, and with its glamorous white piano, upgraded elegance. The menu has also been altered to be less of a global wild card. Focus is now strongly on Peruvian cuisine, including a shrimp/calamari-smothered fish fillet with aji amarillo cream sauce. But no worries, old fans. Some of the old favorite dishes remain. $$ 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. $$$$$ The Corner1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or creative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is transforming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout. The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets (the latter from Om Nom Noms cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti) ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the Crazy Madame, Frances Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 297.rf ntbnf nttnf tnt f f t tff nff ff MIAMIThe Filling Station & Garage Bar95 SE 2nd St., 786-425-1990This fun, locally oriented dive, opened in 1994, was hip more than a decade before downtown was. And its 2008 relocation to larger quarters, plus two subsequent expansions, signal that it has more than kept up with the explosion of newer neighborhood hotspots, without pretensions or yuppified prices. On the fresh, hefty hamburgers, true Miami weirdness is displayed in toppings like peanut butter or Nutella. Other standouts: tangy-spicy Buffalo wings; homemade tater tots; the oil pan (fried pickles and onion rings with two sauces); and an ever-changing list of craft beers. $-$$ The Butcher Shop165 NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120Unbelievable but true: At the heart of this festive, budget-friendly beer-garden restaurant is an old-school gourmet butcher shop, where sausages from classic (brats, chorizo) to creative (lamb and feta) are house-made, and all beef is certified USDA prime -rarely found at even fancy steakhouses. Take your selections home to cook, or better yet, eat them here, accompanied by intriguing Old/New World sauces, garnishes (like bleu cheese fritters), sides, and starters. Desserts include a bacon sundae. Beer? Try an organic brew, custom-crafted for the eatery. $$-$$$Kouzina Greek Bistro3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-1825Across the tracks from Midtown Miami, this hidden-by-hedges spot features a patio with authentically festive ambiance and food by Alexia Apostolidi, also authentically Greek but known to locals for her critically acclaimed fare at defunct Ariston. The menu includes many mezes, both traditional (like tsatziki and eggplant spreads) and unusual (bacalao croquettes with garlic pure and roasted beet coulis; sesame-sprinkled manouri cheese envelopes), plus limited entres highlighted by cheese/herb-crusted lamb at dinner and lunchtimes lamb pita wrap. Dont miss the semolina pure side -heavenly Greek cheese grits. $-$$$ Paprika1624 NE 79th St., 305-397-8777This exotically decorated restaurant, serving Mediterranean cuisine from North Africa and the Middle East, has several unusual features, including Friday-night belly dancing and a hookah lounge. Food menus also feature appealing, unusual choices (zaatar-spiced seared lamb loin carpaccio with chickpea pure; stuffed boureka puff pastries; mussels in creamy saffron sauce) along with familiar hummus, kabobs, more. Lunchtime sandwich standout: merguez (intensely spiced lamb sausage) with tzatziki, hummus, salad, and fiery harissa sauce, on fresh pita. $$-$$$Bay Harbor Bistro1023 Kane Concourse, 305-866-0404Though small, this ambitious European/American fusion bistro covers all the bases, from smoked salmon eggs Florentine at breakfast and elaborate lunch salads to steak frites at dinner, plus tapas. As well as familiar fare, youll find atypical creations: caramelized onion and goat cheesegarnished leg of lamb sandwiches; a layered crab/avocado tortino; pistachio-crusted salmon. A welcome surprise: The bistro is also a bakery, so dont overlook the mouthwateringly buttery croissants, plumply stuffed empanadas, or elegant berry tarts and other homemade French pastries. $$-$$$Preservation18250 Collins Ave., 305-974-0273Restaurant trendsetters, anyone with a back-to-the-land ethic, and lovers of food history and culture will especially love this rustic-looking places focus: proteins and produce, house-preserved via curing, pickling, and smoking. And its no novelty act. Dishes arent all preserved, but rather use preserved items to accent fresh ingredients: a Cobb salad with fresh greens, tomato, and egg, plus house-smoked bleu cheese dressing, chicken, and bacon; smoked tomato soup with fresh basil mousse; smoked short rib Benedict for brunch. A variety of jarred preserves and pickles are available retail, too. $$-$$$.
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSelaborate Croque Madame (a bchamel sauce-topped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon and caramelized onion. $-$$ Crazy About You1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-421-8800Just two words, Daniel Boulud, should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort food to run, not walk, to this restaurant. Downtowns db is indeed an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Matthieu Godard flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes. Especially strong are seafood preparations, whether sauced with a refined choron or lustily garnished with Provencal accompaniments like tender sea scallops with chickpea panisse. $$$-$$$$ D-Dog House50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no low-rent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Dominique Bistro-Club1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-371-8859At typical restolounges, the resto part often gets the short end of the stick. But not at this chic but friendly spot, where Gerardo Barrera, an alumn of Pariss Le Cordon Bleu, plus his wife Dominque and her brother Jos Sigona, welcome diners with Frances best-known bistro classics: coquilles St. Jacques (tender scallops in mushroom/white wine sauce); a precision-cooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eos485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Originally opened by Michelin-starred New Aegean chef Michael Psilakis, Eos changed upon the chefs departure into a more familiar Mediterranean resort eatery, minus Greek-inspired innovations. Now inspiration comes mainly from Spain and Italy, with nods to Morocco and Latin America. Best bets include a tasting platter of Spanish cheeses and cured meats; a pistachio-garnished salad featuring Serrano ham, figs, and arugula; crispy parmesan risotto balls with prosciutto and smoked tomato dip; and olive/smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken. At lunch burgers and upscale sand wiches are added. $$$-$$$$Fabiens605 Brickell Key Dr., 305-364-5512From off-shore, Brickell Key looks like a solid condo canyon, but it has secrets, including this eatery, whose refined but almost rural-feeling indoor/outdoor space, plus its traditional bistro menu, turn a business lunch into a short sojourn in the French countryside. The $20, 20-minute, three-course execu tive menu, featuring steak/frites with herbed maitre dhotel butter, is irrestistible, but dont neglect harder-to-find classics like salmon Grenobloise with particularly lemony capered beurre blanc, Perigord salad (with duck prosciutto and foie gras), or for dessert, a flakey praline cream-filled Paris-Brest pastry. $$-$$$$ Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$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, sambalspiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$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 balsamicdressed 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. $$Half Moon Empanadas192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singapore-style noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (fromscratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily compe tent service. $$$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. $$$$$Jamon Iberico Pata Negra Restaurant 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous 1624 79th Street (JFK) Causeway North Bay Village, FL 33141 305.397.8777 www.PaprikaHookah.com BELLY DANCING SHOW8:30PM to 12 MIDNIGHTCOUSCOUS SPECIALHAPPY HOUR2x1 ALL DRINKSThursday & Friday 5PM-8PM SPECIAL LATE NIGHT MENU15%OFFwith this ad or mention BT HOOKAH SPECIAL 27 FLAVORS ORDER 2, GET 3rd FREE E L L Y D A N C I N GS H O O O O O O O O O O O O O O W W Monday-Thursday 11:30AM 11PM Friday 11:30AM 12 Midnight, Saturday 5PM 12 Midnight Sunday 5PM 11PM M EDITERRANEAN C UISINE
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Business Hours: 12pm-3am Every Day 305-947-00643881 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach, Fl(Intracoastal 163rd Street Mall) www.yakko-san.comNot affiliated with Hiros Restaurant on 163rd St. YAKKO-SANAuthentic Japanese Cuisine Specializing in regional Japanese cuisinefocusing on small tapas-like plates you will not find anywhere else.Full Bar -Hiros17040-46 W. Dixie Highway 305-949-0776 or 305-949-4685Mon-Fri 11amam/Sat & Sun 1pm-12amClick your online order & get delivery right to your door www.sushiexpress.com(Also located in South Beach 305-531-6068 and Oakland Park 954-772-0555) DINE-IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY CATERING Sushi Express
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTScured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, formerly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$Largo Bar & Grill401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcute rie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$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., 305-789-9929Like its Midtown and North Miami Beach siblings, this Lime Fresh serves up 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. $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.Medialunas Calentitas919 Brickell Ave., 305-517-3303At this first U.S. location of a Uruguayan chain, the signature specialtys crescent-like shape says croissant. But medialunas dont have croissants puff-pastry flakiness; theyre more substantial buttery breakfast rolls. And either simply syrup-glazed or stuffed (with ham and cheese, dulce de leche, more), they make a terrific Latin comfort-food breakfast or snack on the run. The same is true for equally bargain-priced empanadas (three varieties with distinctive fillings from Uruguay, Argentina, or Mexico) and tiny but tasty migas sandwiches like the elaborate Olympic: ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, peppers, eggs, olives. $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 popu lar 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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Momi Ramen5 SW 11th St., 786-391-2392Banish all thoughts of packaged instant ramen. Perfectionist chef/owner Jeffrey Chen (who cooked for more than a decade in Japan), changes his mostly ramen-only menu often, but constants are irresistibly chewy handmade noodles; soups based on creamy, intensely porky tonkotsu broth (made from marrow bones simmered all day); meats like pork belly and oxtail; and authentic toppings including marinated soft-cooked eggs, pickled greens, more. Other pluses: Its open 24/7, and the ramen ranks with the USAs best. Minuses: Its cash only, and the ramen might be the USAs most expensive. $$$MPP Brickell141 SW 7th St., 305-400-4610Tasty Peruvian eateries arent rare in Miami. Peruvian finedining restaurants are. In the tastefully toned-down but still glam space formerly housing And, this second location of Limas popular Mi Propriedad Privada specializes in familiar flavors presented with seriously upscaled preparations, plating, and prices. But many ceviches, tiraditos, and starters (like especially artful layered/molded mashed potato/ seafood causas, or clever panko-breaded fusion causa makis) come in trios for taste-testing. And ceviche lovers score on Tuesdays, when all-you-can-eat costs the same as a trio. $$$-$$$$$ My Ceviche1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-960-7825When three-time James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee Sam Gorenstein opened the original My Ceviche in SoBe, in 2012, it garnered national media attention despite being a tiny take-away joint. Arguably, our newer indoor/outdoor Brickell location is better. Same menu, featuring local fish prepared onsite, and superb sauces including a kicky roasted jalapeo/lime mayo), but this time with seats! What to eat? Ceviches, natch. But grilled or raw fish/seafood tacos and burritos, in fresh tortillas, might be even more tempting. Pristine stone-crab claws from co-owner Roger Duartes George Stone Crab add to the choices. $$Naoe661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263Chances are youve never had anything like the $85 prix-fixe Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Corys tiny but nationally acclaimed oasis, transplanted from its original Sunny Isles space with its supreme serenity intact. By reservation only, in two dinner seatings of just eight people each, and omakase (chefs choice) only, meals include a seasonal soup, a fourcourse 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 freshgrated wasabi to each mind-reelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-and-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$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. $$ Perricones15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-caneat deals. $$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 pioneer ing 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., 305-381-6025Roman-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. FULL BUTCHER SHOP NOW OPEN!Prime Meats & Sausages, Craft Beers, Wine & More Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-3:30 Dinner Wed-Sat from 6PM FRESH SEAFOOD MARKETLocal. Unique. Ocean-to-Market. SAT. SEPT. 21, 11AM 4PM 13488 Biscayne Blvd. 11AM-10PM Tues-Thurs & Sun, MARKET 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS 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. $ Porketta43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034Warm, juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herbstuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced porketta) roast, at its best, is hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry deli-style pork roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or in three mini-sandwiches, convenient for sampling the places three sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $-$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Scalina315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/ mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Stanzione 8787 SW 8th St., 305-606-7370 Though Neopolitan-style pizza isnt the rarity it was here a decade ago, this is Miamis only pizzeria certified authentic by Italys Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This means following stringent rules regarding oven (wood-fired), baking time (90 seconds maximum, here closer to 50), tomatoes (imported San Marzano), olive oil (extra-virgin), even flour (tipo 00, for bubbly-light crusts). Toppings do exceed the three original choices served in 19th-century Naples, but pies like the Limone (fresh mozzarella, pecorino, lemons, arugula, EVOO) prove some rules should be broken. $$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 musthaves 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? $$Temaris1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-836-2747In Japan, temaris are ornamented hand balls, used since the Seventh Century for sport and as good luck folk-art objects. At this Japanese/Latin hot spot, temaris are reinterpreted, both playfully and artfully, as beautiful, bite-size sushi balls (each about half the size of normal nigiri): vinegary rice topped with sliced raw fish or beef, plus nipples constructed from several of the eaterys dozen-and-a-half sauces. Fancier mini-balls feature fusion combinations like spicy tuna, almonds, and tobiko, or substitute crispy rice. Normal-size makis, small plates, and desserts are also fun. $$-$$$Tobacco Road626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budgetpriced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meatsmoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$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, hormone-free, 100% Angus patties (or alternatives like veggie burgers, a lightlybreaded 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. $ Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/ dinner destination mainly by default. This replacement, from restaurant empire-builder Richard Sandoval, brings downtown power dining into this decade. As the name suggests, you can go bullish with steakhouse fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) rodizio experience. But the places strongest suit is its pan-Latin small plates -upscaled refinements of classic favorites: crisp corn arepas with short rib, guacamole, and crema fresca; fluffier cachapas pancakes with tomato jam; more. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciuttoand-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/ dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tuyo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/ MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Wok Town119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-yourway stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/ scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ 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-inyour-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restau rants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ 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: bacon-wrapped 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-and-dark chocolate mousse cake will hook you for life. $-$$ Basanis3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red-sauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$Bengal2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurant-starved stretch of Biscayne Boulevard, this spot serves the same sort of simple but satisfying Italian fare (antipasti, soups, salads, pizzas) as its older sibling, South Miamis Blu Pizzeria, plus burgers. The thin-crust, pliable pizzas, though lacking burn blisters, are brick-oven cooked, as are blues, unusual calzones (like the blu oceano, fatly filled with mozzarella, prosciutto crudo, arugula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 181800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Bloom2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5443Miamis most innovative art district is the perfect setting for this hip hangout, whose mad-genius menu proves that food is indeed one of the creative arts. Reinvented Latin/Asian street foods from chef Ricky Sauri (ex-Nobu) include spicy Spam-topped rice cakes; tuna tartare in seaweed tacos; a reina pepiada arepa, whose traditional mild chicken filling is replaced by shredded duck, avocado, tangy-sweet tamarind sauce, and Japanese mayo; an especially elegant Korean bibimbap; a vegan shitakepumpkin tamale with nutty, cheesy natto sauce. For liquid art aficionados: cocktails like the eye-popping Tequila Beets (featuring roasted beet juice). $$$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 butteryrich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant2004 Biscayne Blvd. 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/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. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Crumb on Parchment3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Cypress Room3620 NE 2nd Ave., 305-520-5197Deer and boar heads on wood-paneled walls juxtapose with crystal chandeliers at this tiny fourth restaurant in Michael Schwartzs burgeoning empire, evoking feelings of dining in a century-old millionaires hunting lodge -in miniature. Many dishes are similarly fun fantasies of 1920s Florida fine dining, pairing yesteryears rustic proteins (including wild game) and veggies with preparations that are ultimately refined interpretations of the past: antelope/wild mushroom gnocchi; French onion soup with a sort of gruyere tuile float instead of the usual gooey melt, served on a lacy doily. Dont miss the royal red shrimp, or Hedy Goldsmiths desserts. $$$$$ Daily Melt3401 N. Miami Ave. #123, 305-573-0101Masterminded by Chef Allen Susser, the concept is to bring diners the comfort of homemade grilled cheese -like moms, if mom hadnt usually burned the bread and improperly melted the cheese. The Melts custom grill press browns/melts sandwiches perfectly every time. Additionally, Susser tested numerous allAmerican cheeses (no imports or artisanal products) for gooey goodness. Mom probably also didnt create combinations like cheddar with green apples and Virginia ham, or allow a simple signature grilled American cheese to be dressed up with truffle butter. Accompaniments include roasted tomato soup, chopped salads, and sweet melts like smores. $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
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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. $$-$$$ Feverish Pops Shops at Midtown Miami 3552 NE 1st Ave., 305-482-1832When kids are sick, you take them to a doctor. If your inner child feels feverish, though, the cure is Felecia Hatchers handcrafted, vegan-friendly, natural and organic frozen treats -popsicles reinvented for grown-ups. At this literal mom-and-pop shop, Hatcher and husband Derek Pearson offer more than 25 changing flavors, some spiked (like locally sourced mango with bourbon), others just sophisticated (pineapple basil, strawberry balsamic, choco late banana). No artificial flavors, no refined sugars. Particularly playful inner kids can customize with coatings ranging from nuts to truly nuts: pop rocks, potato chips, and more. $ 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. $$$Gigi3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ 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 house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic bluecheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ 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, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the cre ative 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. $$-$$$Kouzina Greek Bistro 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-1825This festive indoor/outdoor restolounge has native Greek owners -a chef, Alexia Apostolidi, also from Greece but with local critical kudos for her contemporary Greek creations at nowdefunct Ariston; and a menu centering on mezes -shareable small plates, both classical (like tzatziki, hummus, and eggplant dips) and original (bacalao croquettes with garlic pure and roasted beet coulis; feta-filled phyllo envelopes drizzled with mountain thyme honey). Limited but luscious entres, like honey-glazed pork belly with charred fennel and a polenta-like semolina cake, also fuse chef-driven invention and evocatively simple traditional flavors. $$-$$$ 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. $-$$La Provence2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Lagniappe3425 NE 2nd. Ave., 305-576-0108In New Orleans, lagniappe means a little extra, like the 13th doughnut in a bakers dozen. And thats what you get at this combination wine and cheese bar/backyard BBQ/ entertainment venue. Choose artisan cheeses and charcuterie from the fridges, hand them over when you pay (very little), and theyll be plated with extras: olives, bread, changing luscious condiments. Or grab fish, chicken, veggies, or steak (with salad or cornbread) from the hidden yards grill. Relax in the comfie mismatched furniture, over extensive wine/beer choices and laidback live music. No cover, no attitude. $$ Latin Caf 20002501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$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. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins freshbaked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948Chef/co-owner Dena Marino calls MCs food modern Italian -neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this place is one of our towns hottest tickets. But tasting tells the tale. Marinos food incorporates her entire culinary background, from her Nonnas traditional Italian-American kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarellos famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$ Mercato4141 NE 2nd Ave., 786-332-3772Adjacent to Dena Marinos hot hangout MC Kitchen, the contemporary Italian chefs artisanal market and breakfast/ lunch caf is for diners wanting a quicker (but not fast-food) sit-down meal, or inventive take-out. Pressed for time? Try a pressed sandwich like Marinos Italian Cubano (porchetta, prosciutto cotto, Swiss, pickles, and Dijon mustard dressing, on ciabatta). Along with hot or cold sandwiches, theres a wide variety of homemade breakfast pastries, breads, cookies, and fresh-baked quiches, plus salads and a daily-changing soup. Market items include exotic jams, craft beers, and Marinos private label EVOO. $-$$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. $$-$$$$Mikes at Venetia555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced 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, avo cado, 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., 786-391-1818With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to downhome buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade char cuterie. 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. $ Palatino3004 NW 2nd Ave., 786-360-5200When longtime favorite Jamaican joint Clives fell victim to gentrification, few expected to find similarly skilled old-school CaribbeanAmerican soul food in Wynwood again, especially not at old-school prices. But thats what this small, super-friendly mom-and-pop spot serves up: breakfasts like ackee and salt fish, fried dumpling and callaloo, or an egg/maple sausage/cheese grits combo; plates (with sides) of oxtails, curry goat, jerk chicken; richly crusted piquant chicken or meat patties that contend with Miamis best. Surprises include homemade pastries, and $1 ice cream cones in tropical flavors like soursop. $-$$ Pashas 3801 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami 3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$Pieducks3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548Behind this Wynwood warehouse faade youll find pure Southern roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbe cue 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-offthe bone overcooked, and enjoyably fattier than baby backs; vinegar-doused pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$ Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to pro sciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$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 Institute-trained Richard Hales does change his menu, so wed advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken wings and Chinese-inspired, open-faced roast pork buns with sweet chili sauce and homemade pickles. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot pre pared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Custom-sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, especially for those who enjoy tastetesting a plate pairing Italys two most famous prosciuttos: Parma and San Daniele. But homemade pastas are also impressive, as are hard-to-find regional entres like fegato alla Veneziana, which will turn liver-haters into lovers. $$-$$$ Salsa Fiesta2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-freshdaily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned PER PERSON -$14 50 ENTRE PRICES START AT A purchase of $40 or moreEnjoy this exclusive offer with this ad the next time you experience the fondue effect. $ 15 00
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$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. $$-$$$ Soi Chinese Kitchen645 NW 20th St., 305-482-0238No chop suey. No kung pao anything, either. In fact, anything on Sois menu that sounds like something from a normal Chinese eatery wont be: char sui ribs come with delicate corn pancakes, wonton soup is kafir lime broth with a mushroom/ truffle-butter-stuffed ravioli, lo mein is housemade noodles with pork belly and sous vide 63-degree egg. Basically its contemporary Chinese fine dining fare similar in creativity and quality ingredients to ultra-upscale Hakkasans, but served by a tiny take-out joint (with a few patio tables and counter stools) at neighborhood prices. $$Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Time for Wine2200 NE 2nd Ave., 786-409-4898This wine store/tapas bar is a labor of love, in a stretch of Wynwood that still needs lots of love, from businessman David Taboada -who positively radiates enthusiasm for his hobby. Dont be discouraged by the car lots and other unscenic surroundings. The ambiance inside is as casually hip as the wine selection, priced astonishingly well (many bottles around $10-$15). Consume on-premises for a mere $5 corkage fee, waived at happy hour. To accompany, there are housemade traditional tapas, panini, and charcuterie/cheese boards, plus one substantial dailychanging lunch special. $$Tony Chans Water Club1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$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: chocolatecovered 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-cho rizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$Balans Biscayne6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Blue Collar6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$Boteco916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapaslike pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$DeVitas7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ 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. $Fiorito5555 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-2899While owners Max and Cristian Alvarezs description of their eatery as a little Argentinean shack is as charming as the brothers themselves, it conveys neither the places cool warmth nor the foods exciting elegance. Dishes are authentically Argentine, but far from standard steakhouse stuff. Chef Cristians background at popular pop-up The Dining Room becomes instantly understandable in dishes like orange and herb-scented lechon confit (with pumpkin mash, pickled cabbage salad, and Dijon mojo) or sopa de calabaza, derived from Argentinas peasant stew locro, but here a refined, creamy soup. Many more surprises -even steaks. $$-$$$ The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeasterninspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Garden of Eatin136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eatin 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. $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 openface frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$La Cigale7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more techniqueintensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweetsavory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And ricebased plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$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 bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless bone less 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. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$Sweet Saloon7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999At this dessert/snack/cocktail bar, from the owner of Moonchine, youll find live and DJ entertainment, too, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.-assuming you can find the place, that is. Its above the pan-Asian eatery, up a hidden back staircase. Asian savory snacks include dumplings, edamame, krab rangoons, satays. Desserts range from homey American (NY cheesecake, mini cupcakes) to continental (strawberries melba, housemade Belgian waffles, a shareable chocolate fondue/fruit platter). Actually, some cocktails double as desserts (a Godiva dark chocolate martini) or Asian savories (infu sion jars of Stoli and lemongrass). $$Uvas6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Oggis Caffe1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey traditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If youve wondered about the much-debated difference, heres where to test the taste. $-$$ Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) 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. $$$-$$$$ Lous Beer Garden7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys executive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$ Cte Gourmet9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ 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? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-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. $-$$ Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSBagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$Bagels & Co.11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hot-smoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingredients such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of the infamous Luther: a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Cane Sucre899 NE 125th St.,305-891-0123From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/ lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted freshbaked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smokedfish 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. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$City Slickers807 NE 123rd St., 305-891-6565If you hear hoagie and instantly think $5 footlong, this health-minded gourmet sub shop will be a revelation. Instead of processed proteins and sad pre-prepared toppings inside factory-produced rolls, you get fresh-baked white, grain, or sundried tomato breads generously stuffed with quality meats (including rotisserie turkeys/chickens and rare roast beef made in-house), sparkling-fresh veggies, and more than a dozen imaginative dressings. Choose a signature sub or build your own. There are also signature or DIY salads and homemade soups, plus craft beers or wines to accompany.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. $ Fish Fish13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124Heres what makes this elegantly warm restolounge and seafood market not just an irresistible neighborhood draw but a worththe-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. $$-$$$$Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-notmiss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$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 celeb chef was a kid. The piccolo space has since expanded, but the place is still child-friendly, and portions are still prodigious. Most dishes evoke nostalgia, including our favorite white wine/lemon sauce-drenched veal piccata with capers and artichokes. There are surprises not found at old school red-sauce joints, too, like lunchtimes surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojomarinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Los Antojos11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombian-cuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Mama Jennies11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Piccolo Pizza2104 NE 123rd St., 305-893-9550Pizzas at this spin-off from family-owned Il Piccolo impress even NYC visitors, thanks to recipes proprietor Hubert Benmoussa learned from an authentic Neapolitan pizzaolo. Other favorites here include subs on homemade baguettes and, surprising for a pizzeria, delightfully custardy quiche (Benmoussa is part French). But it would be unthinkable to miss the pies, especially our favorite Italia: subtly sweet tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, plus mixed greens and uncooked prosciutto on top -both pizza and salad. There are also nicely priced catering trays of finger subs, quiche squares, pizza bites, more. $-$$ Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Steves Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tiny Thai House12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646The space is tiny. The menu, which features Thai specialties but includes sushi plus Japanese appetizers and entres, is not. Despite the huge selection of sushi/Thai restaurant standards, though, dont overlook items harder to find in America, like floating noodle soup, a popular street food from Thailands boat-based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-rich beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll (tuna, salmon, crab, avo cado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to Chinese-American to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$ Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ Chipotle Mexican Grill14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with chipotlemarinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/ tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$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 mega-crepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ *Must present all coupons. Not valid with other offers. Tax not included. Exp. 7/31/13** *
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSDuffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, espe cially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ El Gran Inka3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institu tion since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tunamelt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spinoff of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Julios Natural Foods Emporium1602 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-947-4744Vegetarians and vegans tired of settling for the one sad steamed vegetable entre tacked onto most menus will be in in pork-free pig heaven. Owner Julio Valderramas healthy global (though mostly Mediterranean, Mexican, and New American) menu of not-so-small plates, salads, sandwiches/ wraps, and organic grain-based platters is so immense you could literally eat for months without repeating -or indulging in poultry and fish dishes. Cooking isnt cutting-edge, but unusual spicing keeps things interesting. Especially recommended: a signature veg-and-feta-packed zaatar flatbread; also slightly sinful sweet potato with butter and cinnamon. $-$$ Kebab Indian Restaurant514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Kings County Pizza18228 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-792-9455If your feelings about Brooklyn-style pizza have been formed by Dominos flopsy-crusted, ketchupy, cheesefoody pies, stop here to sample a slice of the real thing. Admittedly, the crusts are not those of the coal-fired classics from Brooklyns legendary Totonnos or Grimaldis, but theyre similarly medium-thin and crisp -though not like a cracker; you can fold them for neat street eating, and they taste like honest bread, not cardboard. A variety of toppings are available even on slices. There are also whole pies with varied toppings. The large is humongous. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar ItalianAmerican classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd. 305-949-8800 www.limefreshmexicangrill.comLike its downtown and Midtown siblings, this Lime Fresh serves up carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Little Saigon16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$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; pro ceed 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. $$$Oishi Thai14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly sur face-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genu ine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appro priate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ Soprano Caf3933 NE 163rd St., 855-434-9035Sicilian native Rocco Soprano, original proprietor of South Beachs Sopranos, has transformed this Intracoastal Waterway space, formerly the enoteca Racks, into an elegant but family-friendly restaurant featuring classic Italian dishes plus steakhouse fare, all in prodigious portions. For an ultimate Miamian/Italian fusion experience, arrive by boat at Sopranos dock, grab a table on the water-view deck, and enjoy a coal-oven pizza -perhaps the famous truffled white pizza, or our personal fave secchi: sopressata salami, zesty tomato sauce, provolone, goat cheese, and fresh fior di latte mozzarella. $$$ Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunchtopped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Tunas17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 www.tunasrawbarandgrille.com The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a new chef, Rolf Fellhauer, who spent 28 years at the famed La Paloma. He has added his touch to the menu, with delicacies such as Oysters Moscow, mussels Chardonnay, and Grouper Brittany. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after midnight, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$ Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin73 NE 167th St., 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modestlooking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habitforming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$ 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 Japaneseinspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$
Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Bettos Ristorante Italiano1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled, renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/ effusively charming host of Surfsides neighborhood favorite Caf Ragazzi). Best make reservations. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noodles with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauted medaillons with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$ 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 chefcentered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with meltin-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burnbubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$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 spe cials, including unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$BagelWorks18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of hand-sliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machinemade rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ 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. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vege tarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories includ ing hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/ sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Fresko19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737Forget thick, dough-wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slathered with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy eatery eschews the starch/sugar-laden traditional tfavorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contemporary as the restaurants dcor. Asian-influenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a lightcrusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$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. $$-$$$Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restaurant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Montanara18855 NE 29th Ave., 305-974-0167A lushly vine-covered walkway leading to the door and back patio of this secluded but expansive restaurant serves notice that diners are in for an exclusive Italian experience. Ilario Giunchi, co-founder of Caracass famed original La Montanara, has brought much of the menu to this second location, including housemade pastas and creative carpaccios like a delicate crudo version of vitello tonnato. Whatever else you order, dont miss the signature mascarpone/prosciutto focaccias from the beautifully tiled stone pizza oven. Budgeting diners: Explore weekday lunch specials, which include sides. $$-$$$$ Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, Americanized-Cantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbeanstyle seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) 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. $$$$ Chef Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily specials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinner for the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a reno vated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$Piazzetta17875 Collins Ave., 305-918-6816You cant help feeling optimistic about a tourist towns food scene when its resort restaurants, which generally walk the middle of the road, get creative. And it doesnt get much more creative than this stylish restaurant and Italian market, which bills itself as a trip to an Italian-inspired little market square, but which, along with artisanal salumi plus pizzas and pastas, serves sushi. Particularly tasty: the native Neapolitan pizza chefs truffled taleggio and mushroom pies; meltingly tender braised short ribs; an impeccable market-driven meat and cheese platter. $$$Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill17630 Collins Ave., 305-682-1243Sushi may well have been served in Sunny Isles before this longtime neighborhood favorite opened, but Sumo was the neighborhoods first sushi bar to double as a popular lounge/ hangout as well as restaurant. Ladies nights are legend. While Thai and Chinese dishes are available, as well as purist nigiri, few can resist the truly sumo-wrestler-size maki rolls, the more over-the-top, the better. Our bet for biggest crowd pleaser: the spicy Pink Lady (shrimp tempura, avocado, masago, cilantro, and spicy mayo, topped with rich scallop-studded dynamite sauce. $$-$$$ Timo17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ rfntbrbrffnnfbnbrbr rrffrrntbtn THAI & JAPANESE LUNCH SPECIALS from $7.99 Monday-Saturday SINGHA BEER 2 FOR $6 All Day Long305-758-05167941 biscayne blvd., miamiSee our extensive Thai & Sushi menu atwww.SiamRiceThaiAndSushi.comDINE IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY PARTY CATERINGOpen 7 Days for Lunch and Dinner FOLLOW US ON Mon-Fri 11:30AM 11PM; Sat-Sun 12:30PM 11PM
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