Biscayne times


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Biscayne times
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Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication:
Miami, Florida
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July 2013
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University of Florida
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BAY HARBOR ISLANDS The master plans MIAMI SHORES Gorgeous 4BD/4BA Mid HIGHLAND LAKES 2 Story 4bd/3ba on a
have arrived! But if your dreams aren't as Century Modern home. Totally remodeled, quiet cul-de-sac, 3300SF, vaulted ceilings,
we envisioned, time is on your side to 2,886+/-SF, high ceilings, slate fireplace, ofc&playrm/den, eat-in kitchen, familyrm
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^tk Michele Berlowitz (305) 632-1588 O
1021 Kane Concourse I3 rR
A ^Joanna Tessler (305) 968-6558 Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154 RA.O


Biscayne Times

March 2014



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Biscayne Times

March 2014

where you live?
We can help you count the ways.

Biscayne Times

March 2014


26 Rebuilding the Boulevard: Avra Jain
14 Feedback: Letters
18 Jack King: The Red-neck North
20 My View: Yes to Code Enforcement
22 BizBuzz: March 2014
44 Music and Beer at Luna Star Cafe
45 Biscayne Park vs. North Miami: Border Wars
46 Miami Shores Salvation: Sewers
54 Adam Loses His View
56 Mark Sees Hidden Turmoil
58 Jen Wants an Arts Colony
60 Ken Honors Ann Carlton
62 Jay Knocks on Doors
64 Anne Tschida on the Sackner Archives
66 Melissa Wallen's Galleries + Museums
68 Events Calendar: Max Raabe & the Palast Orchester
70 Derek McCann's Biscayne Crime Beat
72 Jim W. Harper: South Pointe Park
74 Picture Story: Train Depot
75 Your Garden: Love Those Lichens
76 Kids and the City: Spring Break Fun
77 Going Green: Deep Dredge Dangers
78 Vino: There's More to Italy Than Chianti
79 Dish: It's a Pizza Pie World
80 Restaurant Listings: 296 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants


PO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137
Serving 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

Jim Mullin
Erik Bojnansky Senior Writer
Anne Tschida, Arts Editor
Jay Beskin, Pamela Robin Brandt,
Crystal Brewe, Terence Cantarella,
Christian Cipriani, Bill Citara,
Karen-Janine Cohen, Wendy Doscher-Smith,
Gaspar Gonzalez, Margaret Griffis,
Jim W. Harper, Ken Jett, Jen Karetnick,
Jack King, Derek Michael McCann,
Silvia Ros, Mark Sell, Jeff Shimonski,
Melissa Wallen, Harriette Yahr

Sal Monterosso
Marc Ruehle
Nancy Newhart
Sandra Glorian
Marcy Mock
DP Designs
South Florida Distributors
Stuart Web, Inc.

All articles, photos, and artwork in the Biscayne Times are copynghted by Biscayne Media, LLC. Any duplication or reprinting
without authorized written consent from the publisher is prohibited.


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March 2014

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

5bd 3.5ba pool approx 3500 sq ft,
room for an olympic pool 2 car
garage, high ceilings, open
floorplan all hurricane impact
windows private grandfathered in
boathouse with boatlift 1.49m

Biscayne Times

March 2014

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B'ltBs on sale inow %N

The Preserve Touwnhome Condos

Gated town home living amongst Miami's Upper East Side Communities.
i .:.....- 1, -:

3 BD /2 BA Upper Level 1,549 $359,000 $2,400/mo
2 BD /2 BA 3-level 1,287+/- $289,000 $2,100/mo
2 BD /2 BA Lower Level 1,045 $239,000 $1,800/mo

The Preserve Town Home Condos is a tranquil and beautiful upscale
community adjacent to and tucked into Miami Shores built on 6 acres of
land, surrounded by mature oak trees and tropical landscaping, and has
a beautiful park area as well as a community pool. Built in 2005 & 2006,
the Preserve Townhome Condos consists of 98 two- and three- bed-
room residences each with a private garage. Professionally managed by
the First Service Residential with fully functioning board of directors.


Est. 1995

Community highlights:
* 98 Units in 12 building with 3 town home styles
* One condo association
* Over 70% owner occupied.
* More than 12.5% in reserves.
* Buy with 20% down
* Gated community with central park, community
room and pool.
Close to Shores Shopping Center & Publix.
East of Biscayne Blvd on NE 90th Street
4 5 blocks to the bay.


March 2014 Biscayne Times

March 2014

Biscayne Times

Commentary: LETTERS



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Downtown Needs DawnTown
Thank you for Helen Hill's story highlight-
ing the annual DawnTown design competi-
tion ("Countdown to DawnTown," Febru-
ary 2014), which was a most fascinating
read. I love the exuberance of the design
ideas and can picture them easily.
Miami has a reputation already for inno-
vative, bold architecture, and a "competition
of ideas" is a perfect way to introduce us to
designs that deserve to be realized.
It was interesting to see that entries come in
from around the world, which says something
for Miami's architectural draw. And how wise of
the planners to have the competition not focus on
high-rise structures, but on street-level projects,
whether Metromover stations orpublic art, that
can also be iconic and beautiful to beholdt
Shannon Blake

Marvelous for Marvel?
Here's what I think: Miami is the P.T.
Barnum of the art world. Throw some glit-
ter on it, Art Basel it, and sell it.
The DawnTown design contest isn't so differ-
ent Some serious architects, serious enough at
least to attend UibanLand Institute conferences
halfway around the world, wanted a design com-
petitionthat would put the city onthe map.
Fineu, but what did they come up witl? A
comic book contest No wonderthey can't get
the city interested inbuildingthe winning entries.
Maybe if they send them offto Marvel, the de-
signs will at least get some mass nmaiket circulation
Bobby Brown

Imagine Letting Kids Design
Miami's Future
The cover story about DawnTown, for
professional designers and architects, made
me wonder what it would be like to offer a
similar kind of design contest for Miami's
urban future in our local high schools.
Untrained but unfettered imaginations can
produce marvelous ideas.
In fact, I don't have to stretch my imagina-
tion to see a teenager come up with something
as good as Pulse, the pulsating, neon, giant ur-
chin-like waterfront sculpture from a designer
in Texas. A floating stage? That's probably an
old-news idea to our kids, who've grown up
with the ocean almost at their doorstep.
Design competitions like this benefit
so many others besides the winners. They
draw us into the realm of possibility and a
future of "what if?" I say, go for it, Miami.
Let's build up the competition and drill
down for local talent.
Amelia Garcia-Williams

Tried It, Liked It
I had to comment on Jeff Shimonski's
article ("Surprise! That Weed Is Delicious!"
February 2014). We have creeping cucum-
bers in our yard too, and I always thought
they were pretty but useless. No more.
I decided to experiment like he did
(making sure we had the non-toxic kind by
checking with my nursery) and made a garden
salad with the tiny cucumbers, Parmesan,
prosciutto, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and a
vinaigrette. It was as delicious as he said!
Mandy Prescott
North Miami

Miami Shores: In Search of an
Actual Journalist
While it's true that Miami Shores Village
Hall did a poorjob of informing the public
about the NE 10th Avenue street block-
ages for utility work ("Conspiracy Alert:
Tenthgate," February 2014), so did the BT's
correspondent, Jen Karetnick, who wasted
five paragraphs chatting about the George
Washington Bridge, the governor of New
Jersey, and what kind of town Livingston is,
before getting to the local stuff:
"No one seems to know what it's about We
noticed large pipes- but are they for drainage?
Gas? Is FPL somehow involved, eventhoughno
trucks are around? And who's responsible? Is it a
village concern ora county one?"
Those are the questions, but what are
the answers? Not found on websites? How
about asking somebody who was working
on the job? The village manager or public
works director?
I thought that's what news publications
are supposed to do.
As for the police department's com-
munications M.O., that's the outfit that
kept our crime wave of armed robberies
secret until the 24th one hit the public fan
in mid-August.
If an actual journalist had been cover-
ing Miami Shores, we might have known
months earlier that our lives and property
were in danger.
I grew up in New Jersey, too, and I
never met Chris Christie either.
I saved that line for last because it isn't
worth printing.
Miami Shores

Old Photo, Old Name, Old
I was surprised to see in your January cover
story by Erik Bojnansky a picture of the
Lemon City drugstore where my mother
Continued on page 16

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014

Join upscale and trendy national, regional and local businesses and artisans in renovated mall. Participate in the gentrification of
Miami's Hot Upper East Side on highly trafficed Biscayne Blvd & NE 79th Street.

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Miami's Upper East Side is making stride in the redevelopment coming. Properties are been sold and leased at a
frenzied pace. The most notable change the surrounding communities will see now is the commencement of the renovation and
repositioning of the mall on the NW corner of NE 79th Street & Biscayne Blvd.
The new owners are Global Fund Investments, LLC, an acquisition, leasing and management company that owns and
operates 32 shopping centers of over 4.1 million square feet. Based in Miami, Florida with offices in Houston and Arlington, Texas. The
redevelopment will entail raising the eastern side of the mall and replacing it with a CVS on the corner of Biscayne and NE
79th Street. Already, long-time tenants have been relocated to the western side of the mall making way for renovations and
recruitment of restaurants, night-clubs, galleries, furnishing and design showrooms, as well as more upscale service businesses.
Located "MidPoint" between Aventura and downtown Miami/Brickell, the Beaches and the Airport; the Shoppe at MidPoint, are sur-
rounded by over 161,000 people making and average of $47,000 or more with over 26,000 vehicles passing by daily into and out of
the communities of Miami Shores, Belle Meade, Bay Point, El Portal, Morningside, Biscayne Park, Shorecrest, Palm Grove, & North
Bay Village. MidPoint is exclusively represented by Majestic Properties, Inc.

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TEL 305 582 2424

March 2014 Biscayne Times

Est. 1995

March 2014

Biscayne Times

Commentary: LETTERS


MThe Seventh Annual j4
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For more information, contact Cameron Sisser

Continued from page 14

worked Nmjics, Matter," January 2014).
She believed it's where she caught polio in
1951, from handling money.
I'm pretty sure she and my father, who
was from Northern Ireland, would vote for the
name Lemon City today because I remember
how proud they were being Americans.
My dad became aU.S. citizen after having
fought the Nazis in World War I for the Irish
Regiment of Canada. Gave up all of his benefits
for love of my mother and his new country.
Growing up, he never pushed his heri-
tage at me and worked hard to assimilate,
something few here do nowadays.
David Copeland
Miami Beach

Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Persian
Hills, Koreatown, Little Saigon:
Naming Works!
Thank you, Biscayne Times, for the
fascinating and well-balanced story about
the history of the Lemon City/Little Haiti
neighborhood and the thorny issues of
community identity.
I won't lump Peter Ehriich in with preda-
tory developers who grab distressed properties
while showing contempt for neighborhood sen-
sibilities. But for a fellow who's passionate about
remedying Miami eyesores, he didn't exactly
express an enlightened attitude about people.
Surely he's not so shallow that he believes
his fortunes will rise and fall on a name. If that's
the case, why is he already buying in the area?
The name Little Haiti may not receive
"official" sanction, but keeping "Little
Haiti" off a street map won't erase it from
the local psyche. Get over it. Work with
it. If developers want to raze the area and
50 years' worth of evidence of a Haitian
community, they'll only succeed in leaving
a ghostly imprint of the past on a collec-
tive memory like that of other ghettos
whose people were pushed out.
There is a way development can occur
that acknowledges distinctive neighborhood
character. In Los Angeles, for example, I
worked a few blocks from Chinatown in one
direction, Little Tokyo in another, and Disney
Concert Hall, MOCA, and city/county office
buildings in yet a third. A few more blocks
on the final compass point, and I was at the
landmark, mostly Hispanic, gloriously bus-
tling Grand Central Market (something the
founders of the failed Caribbean Marketplace
would benefit from studying).
Granted, these neighborhoods are in
downtown L.A. proper, but they wouldn't be

what they are today, destinations for locals
and tourists alike, without redevelopment that
brings in money. (Need I mention as well
the L.A. neighborhoods of Little India, Little
Ethiopia, Persian Hills, Koreatown, El Pueblo,
or Little Saigon? This naming stuff works.)
Finally, the opposition argument -
that Haitians are moving out of Little Haiti
and therefore the name should disappear
with them is meaningless. Memory of
place is greater than the numbers of people
who occupy it at any given time. Look at
Plymouth Rock.
With this in mind, the Haitian commu-
nity and the NE 2nd Avenue Partnership
may have a greater impact and leave a lon-
ger-lasting legacy on the city if they push
for a Haitian National Museum in Little
Haiti that documents the island's turbulent
history and the many diaspora stories. This
would give the area a true anchor for visi-
tors and an enduring site to memorialize
the ongoing struggle for acceptance.
Lydia S. McNichol

We'd Like to Thank the Academy
I can't tell you how much I love reading the
BT I got the January issue today and ate it up.
You have to harbor the most talented, intelli-
gent writers in Florida, and probably beyond.
I loved Jack King's "A Year of News"
and Christian Cipriani's farewell ("A Love
Letter to Miami"), among the other articles.
There must be a prestigious award
given to monthly news magazines. I will
look this up. Biscayne Times should be
nominated, for sure.
Pat Burke
Bonsall, California

Would You Throw Humorist a
Under Bus?
I find it morally reprehensible that you
have a writer on staff (Derek McCann)
who would suggest that because of one
incident with a cyclist, "maybe it's okay to
bump them off the road" BiscJi Ic Crime
Beat," November 2013).
As editor, you, Mr. Mullin, should be
ashamed of yourself for allowing this to
be published. My hope is that it generates
enough attention that it will prevent anyone
from advertising with your publication.
My entire family rides bicycles in their
spare time, and many women and children
in Miami do the same. You're an embar-
rassment to the local community and
Henry Jimenez

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014




The Pa a




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Biscayne Times

March 2014


Commentary: MIAMI'S KING

Gainesville Memories
Back then, integration at UF was in its infancy

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By Jack King
BT Contributor

I often wonder why I've lived most of
my life in Florida. Right, I know the
weather is a factor, and you're always
close to the water. So maybe I've just
answered my own question. But there
are some things that I really do not like
about Florida namely, everything
north of Orlando.
Granted, when I was young, I was
consumed with the idea of attending the
University of Florida in Gainesville, way
north of Orlando. When I got there, inte-
gration was in its infancy a mere 100
years after the Civil War. UF admitted
its first black undergraduate students in
1962. A year later, when I got to Gaines-
ville, there were maybe ten of them.
I had never gone to an integrated
school, as if you could call a school with
26,000 white students and 10 blacks
"integrated." Most of the students got
along well, but there were white-power
demonstrations all the time, though they
didn't attract much attention. We went
to classes together, studied together, but
never ate together. It was a real eye-
opener for me.
Off campus, Gainesville turned out
to be a very seriously redneck, racist
town. There were strict rules that
made me very uneasy. Even talking to
a black student off campus could get
you into a fight. It was just like every

other racist town in the South, from
Ocala to Nashville.
I seldom returned to north Florida
after college, until work took me to
Pensacola and Ft. Walton Beach, where I
was trying to bring some of our group of
newspapers into the technological 20th
Century. Going out to dinner up there
was another eye-opener. Most of the
restaurants had many black customers.
I'd never seen that in north Florida. I had
high hopes that things had changed, but
then I learned these were people from
the Air Force and Navy bases in the area.
There were no locals. One Air Force guy
told me it's wise to embrace integration
when someone is shooting at you and the
guy saving your life has dark skin.
As much as possible, I tried to stay
out of north Florida. So you can imag-
ine how happy I was when I found out
the New York Times had purchased four
newspapers in the north, including the
Gainesville Sun. The rednecks were
about to get a hell of a shock, seeing how
the world really works.
Over the next 30 years, integration
slowly progressed, but resistance was
still there, mostly underground. The
attacks on blacks then moved to the
criminal justice system, where ar-
rests for minor drug infractions rose
There were several reasons for this.
First, penalties for using marijuana were
pegged to those for hard drugs, which

made for longer prison sentences. Since
the preponderance of drug arrests were
targeted at people of color, you got
those folks off the streets, which made
rednecks happy. And that came with a
bonus. Laws were changed so that when
these people got out of jail, they could
no longer vote. Wow, what a deal for
America's racists!
It used to be that cops had a mo-
nopoly on shooting unarmed black men
and claiming self-defense. The Florida
legislature changed that. Now any white
guy can shoot an unarmed black man
and claim self-defense.
One such incident recently happened
in Jacksonville. The white guy fired ten
shots into a car with four young black men
inside. He killed one but missed the others.
The white guy was charged with
murder and attempted murder. The jury
couldn't reach a unanimous decision
on the murder charge, but did find him
guilty on the attempted murder charges.
The joke on the street is that he should
go to jail because he's such a bad shot,
having scored just 25-percent. If he had
killed all four, it obviously would have
been self-defense and he'd probably have
walked free.

In 2008 something happened that the
racists in Florida and around the country
thought could never happen in their
America: We elected a black president.
The Ku Klux Klan was incredulous. The
rednecks were in mourning. Old white
guys just didn't know what to do. After
all, this is a white country!
And then something even worse
happened in 2012: We elected the same
black guy again! In north Florida and all
over the South, rednecks and other rac-
ists were apoplectic.
What to do? Some of them came
up with a tried-and-true plan. They
proclaimed, "Let's secede from the
United States!"
A group called the League of the
South is promoting secession for 20
states, including Florida. But not all of
the states are from the old Confederacy.
The League of the South is reaching out
to anyone who'll listen.
The Florida chapter has purchased a
billboard on the Appalachee Parkway in
Tallahassee, just down the road from the
state capitol. The billboard message is
just one word: Secede.

Feedback: letters(ibiscaynetimes.corn

I4 See and hear the band online at: www.geldcoastbigband. c


Playing Big Band Classics For Your Dancing Pleasure!

Jazz, Swing, Easy-Listening, Ballads, and Latin styles for civic,
corporate, fuindraisers, and private galas. From 1 to 15 pieces.

Arnold Perlberg, Director 305-754-6976 e-mail:

Biscayne Times March 2014

March 2014

Biscayne Times

crate & barrel


pottery barn

west elm

the container store

barker animation art gallery

liapela modern baby

sher gallery

bang & olufsen

sirona fine art


z gallerie

twelve home stores

March 2014 Biscayne Times 19

Commentary: MY VIEW

Trash Piles, Broken

Fences, Rotten Roofs
Where is code enforcement when you really need it?

By Olga Figueroa
Special to the BT
T here are few places in South
Florida like the Village of Biscayne
Park. "This is like Mayberry," my
friend Monica told me some 20 years ago.
It has that small-town feel, lush
vegetation, wildlife, nice parks, and (who
could forget?) a log cabin that serves as
city hall. One thing I could do without,
however, are some of its inhabitants, the
ones who moved to the village for all
of those reasons but then decided the
maintenance and upkeep of a house was
not for them.
Many years ago, a new neighbor in-
formed my husband that she and her spouse
didn't do yard maintenance, not at all. Just
so he'd understand, apparently, she added:
"No maintenance! Noooooo maintenance!"
Once a month or so, they pay a lawn
man to run the mower. What few trees
and shrubs grow on the property are
wild and unkempt. And most recently,
the husband began stacking construc-
tion debris next to their illegal shed in
the backyard. Needless to say, I eagerly
await the sprouting of the usually dread-
ed air potato vines maybe they'll
camouflage the junk pile.
I've been told that I live on one of
the prettiest streets in the village. Yet
the ongoing indifference and neglect by
some make me feel otherwise.

A former village official told me that
failure to comply with city codes can
sometimes be rooted in simple ignorance,
not apathy or defiance. For example, it
took several visits by our code enforce-
ment officer to make the occupants of one
house on our block understand that trash
bags shouldn't be placed curbside three
days before pickup, or just in time for the
weekend. It took some encouragement
from the village manager for them to
invest in a trash can and then to actu-
ally put it away after the trash was picked
up. I thought the battle was won, but then
they placed a pink sectional sofa at the
curb first thing one Monday morning.
This indifference to property main-
tenance has no boundaries, it seems.
Lately, residents of the usually pristine
Miami Shores have been stacking debris
just in time for the weekend, but appar-
ently this doesn't offend city officials as
much as a front-yard vegetable garden,
which the resident gardeners were forced
to remove (see "Celebrate Our Local
Roots," January 2014).
Cities establish codes to maintain a
certain quality of life for residents. Regu-
lating when debris should be disposed of,
or how tall front-yard hedges should be, is
done for a purpose: to maintain aesthet-
ics and property values, or for safety
concerns. Codes also exist to prevent resi-
dents from neglecting the obvious, like a
moldy roof or broken fence that can affect


W. Biscayne Canal Drive: The pile grew so big it blocked traffic.

a neighborhood's image.
Recent evictions and renovations
have marred the usually attractive W.
Biscayne Canal Drive in nearby unincor-
porated Miami-Dade. Property owners
fail to contact the county to schedule
trash pickups, leaving other residents to
endure the mess.
A few months ago, a pile of construction
debris in the area grew so large that cars
and a school bus couldn't share the road. I
called the county and reported the problem,
and the pile was cleaned up within two
days. The services are there, sometimes free,
sometimes for a fee but they're there.
Opponents of code enforcement
are quick to bring up the issue of their
personal rights and freedoms, and their
strong dislike for cities like Coral Gables
that have stringent codes. They're apa-
thetic; and while they may be quick to
cite their rights, they're even quicker to
disregard the rights of others.
Cities give property owners ample
time to appeal citations and correct
violations, often more time than they
deserve. Codes need to be enforced
promptly, particularly when failure to
do so affects the masses. A few months
ago the roof of a North Miami apartment


building, with a long history of code
violations, collapsed while it was finally
being repaired. Hundreds of residents
were displaced and their property was
destroyed. The apartments weren't fit for
anyone, but few thought it was serious
until the roof caved in.
There are rental complexes on NE
125th Street and 14th Avenue with sag-
ging balconies filled with junk, furniture,
even mattresses. Faded bed sheets cover
windows and doors just seven blocks
east of city hall, at what appears to be
nothing short of a slum. Hopefully, it
won't take a balcony collapse for North
Miami Code Enforcement to act.
A house is not just a home or an
investment; it's also a reflection of the
people who occupy it. If the exterior is
grimy, overgrown, and neglected, its oc-
cupants are perceived as negligent, if not
outright slovenly.
There are many people out there who
take pride in how they live, and we'd
love to have them as neighbors. And
there's a simple solution for residents
who find it difficult to keep their houses
presentable: Move.

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.corn

S Selected Objects,
Furniture and Gifts
from around the

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

""NN _

'440 10

1221 Biscaya Dr I Surfside 1 4 Bed/4.5 Bath, 3,612 SF w/ 210' Protected Waterfront

--pw wq0Mw Vw
19925 NE 39 PI #201 I Porto Vita, Aventura 3 Bed/4.5 Bath, 3543 SF 2 terra


5925 NE 6th Ave I Morningside Miami
3 Bed/ 2.5 Bath 3,084 SF on 8,280 SF Lot

485 NE 94th St Miami Shores 1 4 Bed/
3 Bath 3,396 SF on 19,964 SF Lot

325 NE 95 St I Miami Shores 13 Bed/
2 Bath, 2,441 SF on 11,178 SF Lot
$5 000

5925 NE 6th Ave I Morningside Miami 5524 NE 7th Ave I Morningside Miami 6103 Aqua Ave #501, Aqua I Miami
3 Bed/ 2.5 Bath 3,084 SF on 8,280 SF Lot 5 bed/ 3.5 Bath, 4,026 SF, on 11,017 SF Beach 3 Bed/3.5 Bath, 2,203 Sq. Ft.
$1,499,000 Lot $1,475,000 $1,175,000

5838 Alton Road Miami Beach 4 Bed/ 3850 Plaza St I Coconut Grove 436 94th St Miami Shores 4 Bed/
3.5 Bath + Guest House, 3,633 SF on 7,225 18,125 SF Prime Lot Builder's Dream! 3 Bath, 2,831 SF on 6,400 SF Lot
SF Lot $1,080,000 $925,000 $885,000

9033 Froude Ave Surfside 3 Bed/2 Cricket Club 1800 NE 114 St # 2209 10609 NE 11th Ave Miami Shores
Bath, 2,229 SF on 8400 SF Lot North Miami 2 Bed/3 Bath, 2,320 SF Prime Builders Lot 11,700SF
-20 880 $414900 S2?100 ()(

3059032850 TEXT OR AiisLL eeBB Ralty NANYBATCELORTeam

March 2014 A Biscay n Tie B t-r mMoe roM e r





March 2014

Biscayne Times

Our Sponsors: MARCH 2014


Sales, special events, and more from the people who make
Biscayne Times possible

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

-I3 L eware the Ides of March."
That line from Shakespeare's
66 Julius Caesar refers to the
date on which the emperor was assassi-
nated, an event that marked the transi-
tion from booming Roman Republic to
Roman Empire and that empire's slow
decline and fall. Superstition surround-
ing the date we know today as March 15
has endured, literally, for ages.
Before that, though, the Ides symbol-
ized positive transition, March being the
month of seasonal change from winter
to spring's rebirth. In the oldest Roman
calendar, actually prior to the Julian
calendar we still use today March was
the first month of the year, and full of
celebrations for spring and the new year
involving food, drink, music, revelry,
fertility rites, and general optimism.
This month, BT advertisers can help
you transition from wary to positive,
even down to an upgrade of the way
Americans celebrate mid-March's most
infamous holiday, St. Paddy's Day. No
more lousy green-dyed beer! Read on.
One of the biggest transitions in
anyone's life (big decisions, big money
involved) is buying a new house. An-
other is landing a new job in real
estate, for instance. Returning advertiser
Best Beach Real Estate (3033 Biscayne
Blvd., 855-308-7887), in association
with Best Real Estate School of Florida's
Midtown campus, can help you do both.

Their last four-week, pre-license sales as-
sociate course in January/February was
so successful they've added four more
courses. Start dates are March 31, May 5,
June 2, and July 7. Check out this issue's
ad for details. Naturally, Best Beach can
find you a swell house, too.
Those relocating to a neighborhood
they don't know well are in special need
of a Realtor who can tell them about ev-
erything going on there like EWM's
Robbie Bell (305-528-8557,, a total urban
lifestyle specialist with her finger on
the pulse of Edgewater, Wynwood, the
Design District, Buena Vista, the Upper
Eastside, El Portal, and Miami Shores.
She makes it her business to know not
just where the hip homes are, but where
to find neighborhoods' best bets, includ-
ing food. In fact, she'll be hosting a party
at N'Namdi Contemporary Gallery on
April 10, at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate the
release of her newest "Scrumpterou
Report," a guide to her personal favorite
restaurants. We'll remind you again in
April's "BizBuzz."
In the Design District, Majestic
Properties offers an earlier chance to get
to know the neighborhood and neigh-
bors, at the company's once-monthly
"Majestic Monday" at the Oak Tavern
(35 NE 40th St.), March 24 from 6:00
p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Though intended for
the professional design and real estate
communities, the event isn't work it's
a darned good party, with networking.
Featured: complimentary hors d'oeuvres,

half-price drinks, and DJ Scratch N
Sniff. Arrange an invite at rsvp@tmajes
Exciting news from Opulence In-
ternational Realty (2060 N. Bayshore
Dr., www.OpulenceInternationalRealty.
corn), South Florida's newest broker-
age firm: Power luxury real estate agent
Tomi Rose has just joined the team as
senior vice president of the Sports and
Entertainment division. With a resume
including more than 200 celebrities (the
late Michael Jackson, basketball player
Shaquille O'Neil, actress Vivica Fox,
many more), there's no doubt she under-
stands what it takes to give top-notch
service to busy movers and shakers.
Congratulations to Majestic Prop-
erties' Brian Carter (305-582-2424,, a long-
time advertiser who just landed the listing
for iconic Biscayne Plaza now under the
ambitious new ownership of Global Fund
Investments, renamed Midpoint. One need
only drive by to see all the renovations and
other big changes in the works. If you're
interested in opening a new business or
upgrading the location of an established
business, e-mail or give Brian a call.
While some real estate agents narrow-
focus on a certain geographical area, a

certain price level, or a certain type of
property, new advertiser (but real estate
veteran) Jack Coden wants buyers to
know he's just the opposite. "I want to be
the Realtor for every man," he says. "I sell
every product houses, condos, busi-
nesses, raw land in every neighborhood
all over Miami, at every price point."
Another Realtor and new advertiser
who casts a wide net geographically:
Antonio Baldo (office: 305-674-4000,
ext. 4179; cell: 305-321-5415), anEWM
associate who works from the company's
Miami Beach office but has both sale
and rental listings extending north from
the Beach to Bal Harbour and even up
to Hollywood in Broward County. His
language fluency is broad, too: English,
Spanish, and Italian.
Attention, luxury condo-seekers:
Sales have begun at 151 at Biscayne
(14951 Royal Oaks Ln.), a two-tower
ocean-view project just off Biscayne
Boulevard. Amenities in the 160 spa-
cious two- and three-bedroom residences
include kitchens with granite counters
and Italian cabinetry, bathrooms with
whirlpool tub and separate shower, eight-
foot-deep balconies, and so much more.

Continued on page 24

Best priced unit in resort style bldg. Great income
property. Freshly painted, new carpets, full size w/d in
unit. 24 hr valet, 2 story state-of-the-art gym, heated
pools, billiards room, children's playground, business
center, bbq area. Offered at $250,000.

Large renovated 2/2.5, spectacular water views, newer
kitchen with granite countertops & stainless steel
appliances, washer & dryer in unit, marble and wood
floors, extra storage space. Great neighborhood, A+
schools. Offered at $395,000.

DIRECT: 305.710.6407
OFFICE: 305.866.4566

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014

..... ......."



:: : .

Biscayne Times

March 2014

Paramount Bay, 3 beds, Sbaths, 1 den
Low floor endless view of Biscayne
Bay, large white glass tiles, California
closets in all rooms, beautiful kitchen
and bathrooms.
William Harbour 786 762 2602

1 Bedroom next to Paramount Bay
Great views, lots of space, new
kitchen, lots of closets, bayfront pool
and tennis courts... this 831 sf 1
bedroom has it all! Unit is currently
rented. Waterfront building in red-hot
East Edgewater. Don't' miss it.
Serge Uzan 786 762 2602

'-. S

1060 Brickell Avenue 2bed
Great opportunity to own TODAY in
Miami's most desirable avenue. Why
wait for pre-construction? This 2
bedroom has beautiful wood floors
and great pool and city views.
Luxury condo with all amenities.
Yann Rouseau 786 762 2602



Paramount Bay gorgeous bedroom
Amazing bay views form this 2/2 in
luxury Edgewater condo. Great
amenities, huge balcony. White tiles
throughout. 1240 Sq Ft of pure luxury.
William Harbour 786 762 2602

Midtown multifamily building
5-unit multifamily property in trendy
Biscayne corridor close to midtown
and design district. All units recently
updated. Great income producing,
great upside potential close to the
Design District; 100% occupancy.
Jocelyne Abramoff 786 762 2602

South Beach 1 be/1 ba with parking
Location, location, location! Between
Lincoln road and Hispaniola way this
rare condo has it all: Open kitchen,
lots of closet space, covered parking.
Located at pool level, your door opens
to the pool deck!
Muriel Lhoff 786 762 2602

MornTingiTd[e HisoicH m [- ijSTTouff_7

Our Morningside Sales Gallery will be open
on Sunday March 2nd, 2014 for 1 to 5pm
5701 Biscayne Boulevard


Brokerage & Consulting

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014

Our Sponsors: MARCH 2014

Continued from page 22

You really have to see it to believe it.
Call 866-692-9777 to schedule a visit.
In your new home, you'll crave new
furniture and actually, thoroughly
spring-cleaning your current home to
look practically new brings on the same
desire. Well, the motto of Antonini
Modern Living (3201 N. Miami Ave.,
786-422-8800) is: "Out with the old, in
with the new," and they've got a floor-
sample sale this month designed to do
just that. From March 21-24, Antonini
will also be participating in the Miami
Home Design and Remodeling Show at
Miami Beach Convention Center.
You'll also want to check out Best
Furniture Buy, a new advertiser that
has just opened a new location in BT
territory (8108 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-
7152), as well as a new store west of the
Biscayne Corridor in Miami Gardens.
Best's specialty is affordable modern
Italian furniture that looks, and feels,
much more expensive than it is.
For high-end German-engineered
custom kitchen furniture, check out the
gorgeous luxe offerings at new advertiser
Alno USA Kitchen Showroom (3650 N.
Miami Ave., 305-576-2566). And develop-
ers: This Southeast U.S. flagship store,
which opened just last summer, outfits
entire new condo projects (its most recent
deal closed is a 240-unit Miami Beach
development), as well as single homes.
With four medical and dental offices
already in Miami-Dade and Broward
counties, Leung Healthcare probably
isn't in need of any more new physical
homes, we'd guess. But the practice is
indeed growing, with the recent addition
of two new employees to the medical
staff: Nadine Cantave, a nurse prac-
titioner; and Jean Philippe Charles, a
certified physician assistant. Both have
special interests in primary as well as
urgent care, and can understand your
concerns in many languages; they're
fluent in Creole, Spanish, and English.
Speaking of being multilingual:
Learning really does come easier when
one starts young, so Ines Lozano, the
quadrilingual principal of Metropolitan
International School of Miami (3465
NW 2nd Ave., 305-439-7191) wants
parents to know that in addition to MIS's
Spanish and Mandarin Chinese language
programs, the ambitious new private
school is one of only two schools in the
nation that offer an Italian AP course at

the middle-school level.
At Monsignor Edward Pace
High School (15500 NW 32nd Ave.)
this month's news is about fun and
fundraising: the Spartan Golf Clas-
sic on April 4 at the Country Club of
Miami. The annual tournament benefits
Spartans-4-Spartans, a program that
helps students in financial hardship
owing to family illness, death, or loss
of employment. To participate, contact
Elvita Reigosa (305-624-8534, ext. 212,
Education needn't be just for the
young. If you're an otherwise sane adult
whose dream is to become a professional
writer (or you're already a pro writer
who wants to learn better skills), save
these dates: May 7-10. That's when Mi-
ami-Dade College's Center for Literature
and Theatre (401 NE 2nd Ave., 305-237-
3940) will be presenting its next Writers
Institute four days of workshops on
fiction, nonfiction, poetry, publishing,
and more, taught by respected authors
and agents. Consult this issue's ad for
details, and register early for whatever
interests you (space is limited).
To teach old dogs new tricks, literally
rather than figuratively, the Shops at
Midtown Miami (3401 N. Miami Ave.,
305-573-3371) invites you to celebrate St.
Patrick's Day at the Miami Lighthouse
Dog Walk, March 16 from 9:00 a.m. to
noon. To win prizes for their owners,
dogs compete in such games as the Cake
Walk (canine musical chairs, with cake
the prize) and Hot Dunkin' Dogs (dogs
are challenged to stick their heads into
water buckets to retrieve a hot dog; win-
ners get $20 Target gift cards. Note: St.
Patrick's Day is actually March 17. But
March 16 is also national "Everything
You Do Is Right Day," so celebrating a
day early is fine.
At Laurenzo's Italian Market (16445
W. Dixie Hwy., 305-944-5052), David
Laurenzo is celebrating St. Paddy's on
both the 16th and the 17th with "our awe-
some corned beef and cabbage, available
in our caff&." And on St. Joseph's Day,
March 19 (when Italians feast on tradi-
tional dishes honoring Christ's father), the
caffR will offer scrumptious Sicilianpasta
con sarde, pasta in an exotic tomato/
raisin/fennel/sardine/pignolia sauce,
covered with breadcrumbs symbolizing
the sawdust in a carpenter's workshop.
Zeppole id 'fi,' (cream puffs), symbol-
izing nothing in particular, but also tradi-
tional St. J's Day foods, will be available
the week before and after the feast.

Whole Foods Market (12150 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-892-5505, and 21105 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-682-4400) is also thinking Ital-
ian this month, with its sixth annual "Crack
Heard 'Round the World" event, celebrated
at all Whole Foods stores planet-wide on
March 8, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. We know
what you're thinking, but this is a spectac-
ular traditional method used to break open
85-pound wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano
cheese. To the demo/sampling, the North
Miami store has added an old-fashioned
carnival with live entertainers, carny
foods, and games of chance benefiting
Whole Planet Foundation.
How 'bout some bread with that
cheese? Baker/owner Claude Juneau's
Great Harvest Bread Company franchise
(1817 NE 123rd St., 954-263-9532), a new
advertiser, is practically right around the
comer, "making the neighborhood better
one loaf at a time." Exactly which loaves
(cheddar garlic, cinnamon chip, about 15
more per month) are available each day
varies, but all are tasty, nutritious, and
fresh-baked daily. Check out homemade
sweets, sandwiches, and other miscella-
neous goodies, too. Present this issue's ad
for a free loaf of honey whole-wheat bread
with the purchase of any other loaf.
In all of our previous write-ups of
indoor/outdoor Italian seafood hangout
Big Fish (620 NE 78th St., 305-373-
1770), on the Upper Eastside's Little
River, we've raved about how enjoyable
it is to eat on the expansive new water-
front deck. Well, owner Danilo Cacace
wants readers to know something we
didn't: Eating isn't the only thing diners
can do on the dock. They can also arrive
by boat and actually dock there. Evi-
dently, that's the main function of docks.
Who knew?
Perhaps the most exciting way to
upgrade your food/drink celebrations
this month comes courtesy of the Miami
International Film Festival, March 7-16.
It's Lee Schrager's "Culinary Cinema"
program, which pairs his favorite food
films with three-course meals from ter-
rific area restaurants that match perfectly.
As you'll notice when you go to MIFF's
website (
for tickets/info, more than 100 films are
scheduled for screening, so there are
plenty of tasty temptations, figuratively
speaking, for non-foodies, too.
This March, musical revelry needn't
be limited to endless drunken cho-
ruses of "Who Put the Overalls in Mrs.
Murphy's C Iho\ dci '" Florida Grand
Opera's season is far from over, with

performances continuing through May.
Further, the remaining two operas, Tosca
and Thais, are packed with far more pas-
sion, promiscuity, and general fertility-
rite-related stuff than ancient Romans
could have managed at their wildest
toga parties. Go to for tix
and detailed plot descriptions of all the
scandalous goings-on onstage.
The St. Martha-Yamaha Concert
Series (9301 Biscayne Blvd., 305-458-
0111) March performances feature sea-
sonally appropriate music, too, though of
a soaringly inspirational sort: a commis-
sioned musical meditation on the Martha
and Mary story, on March 29 and March
30. The star is flutist/composer Nestor
Torres in an ensemble performance with
pianists Paul Posnak and Miguel del
Aguila, plus conductor Tania Leon. Tix
only $10 general admission and include
a festive post-concert light bites/wine
At MDC's Museum of Art + Design
(600 Biscayne Blvd.,,
this month's news is the start of a new "Get
to Know MOAD" campaign to raise public
awareness. You don't have to go to the
museum's website; the museum will come
to you via e-mails informing you about
upcoming exhibits, openings, lectures,
films, artful happy hours, and other special
happenings. Just sign up for MOAD's
mailing list:
aspx. And to end this plug on a particularly
happy note, museum admission is free.
Not smiling yet? If not, it couldn't be
because there isn't a lot to smile about this
month. So could it be because you're self-
conscious about your smile? Biscayne
Dental Center (14771 Biscayne Blvd.,
305-945-7745) can help fix that. At this
multi-specialty oral health and cosmetic
dentistry practice, it's Invisalign Month.
Throughout March, the center is offer-
ing free consultations about these clear,
virtually invisible braces and also giving
a whopping $500 discount off treatment.
Finally, at fairly new but already
award-winning Bike Nerds (9538 NE
2nd Ave., 786-332-3463), proprietors
Thomas Korray and Diego Pinzon say
ultra-cool skateboards will soon be
supplementing their top-quality bikes.
No firm arrival dates yet, as the guys are
still selecting vendors, but give the place
a call for updates. The nerds love talking
to BT readers.

, 11,. ilioi special coming up atyour busi-
ness? Send info to bizbuzz@tbiscaynetimes.
corn. For BT advertisers only.

March 2014 Biscayne Times

March 2014

Biscayne Times



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W hen the 61-year-old Vaga-
bond Motel at 7301 Biscayne
Blvd. reopens in April, it'll
have three neon signs flashing out front,
welcoming visitors, just like it did in the
1950s, when US 1 was the main high-
way for tourists road-tripping to Miami
Beach or the Keys.
Guests will swim in the Vagabond's
fully restored pool. Or they can sit by
two giant palm trees (each weighing
more than a thousand pounds) while sip-
ping drinks at a fully stocked pool bar.
The hotel's 45 rooms will be
equipped with flat-screen televisions,
high-speed WiFi, and 1950s-inspired
furniture from designer and entrepreneur
Stephane Dupoux. The floors of some of
the rooms will be covered with restored
Dade County pine. The walls of all the
rooms will be adorned with geometric
shapes drawn by Ugandan artist Ken-
neth Nyakabwa.
By May, a 1950s-style diner and bar will
be operating in the hotel's former lobby.
That's the plan anyway. And Avra
Jain, the 52-year-old lead developer
of the Vagabond, has been pressing
her construction crews, electricians,
designers, fellow investors, landscap-
ers, and other vendors to meet that
deadline. On any given day, you can
see Jain on site, giving directions, ana-
lyzing change orders, negotiating with
insurance adjustors, installing light
fixtures, carrying packages, or picking
up litter.
"She does as much of the work herself
as she can," says Joey Grill, founder of
Click Models, who has partnered with
Jain in real estate ventures here and in
New York. "She does the work and shows
by example what needs to be done."
Her technique seems to be working.
Just six months ago, the Vagabond was
still boarded up and partially gutted.
Its previous owner, former Hugo Boss
executive Eric Silverman, walked away
from the property in 2009, owing mil-
lions of dollars in mortgage payments,

The Vagabond's famous mermaids fountain will be working soon.

J r 2,:a &: ;Jte&

Dalia Lagoa: "She loves real estate, and the more I got to hang out with
her, the more I got to like it too."

property taxes, and fines, after his
efforts to bring the rundown motel back
to its glory days failed.
In his absence, vagrants regularly
broke into the place. Neighbors com-
plained that the pool a noxious brew
of rainwater, algae, and garbage had
become a breeding ground for mosqui-
toes. To exterminate the mosquitoes,
City of Miami employees tore down a
wall on-site, backed in a truck filled with
construction debris, and dumped it into
the pool.

The debris has been replaced with
clear-blue water. The wall has been
rebuilt. The Vagabond's crumbling roof
was replaced, as were the historic build-
ing's shoddy plumbing and utilities.
"This is a new building," says Jain,
"in an existing, fabulous shell."
That shell was originally designed
in 1953 by B. Robert Swartburg, the
architect who also designed the Bass
Museum and the Delano Hotel in Miami
Beach. About 15 months ago, Jain and
her partners paid $1.9 million for that

shell and that's not counting the $5
million they intend to spend fixing up
the place.
(Jain's team is also promoting the
building as the Vagabond Hotel, even
though the signs outside announce it as
the Vagabond Motel, which is how it is
historically known. "Lots of motels don't
have pools or restaurants," Jain explains.
"Motel is not a great description. Hotel
is a better description." It's also a better
Internet search term. So far, she has
no plans to ask the city's Historic and
Environmental Preservation Board for
permission to change the sign.)
Jain raised another $7 million in
order to buy four other post-World War
II motels: the Royal Motel, the Bayside
Motor Inn, Stephen's International Motel,
and the South Pacific Motel. They're all
within the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard
Historic District, located between 50th
and 77th streets, where demolition appli-
cations receive enhanced scrutiny from
city staffers, and where new construc-
tion is restricted to a height of 35 feet.
Her goal: to create an environ-
ment that will help the area to continue
improving by phasing out cheap motels
blamed for the presence of prostitutes
and drug dealers on the street after dark,
and sometimes even during the day.
"I focused on the motels," Jain says,
"because if you change the motels, you
change the neighborhood." She's walked
into some of them, she explains, and has
seen signs that read: No refund after five
minutes. "What does that say?" she asks.

ancy Liebman, president of
the advocacy group MiMo
Biscayne Association and a
former Miami Beach city commis-
sioner, compares Jain's business model
to that of the late Tony Goldman, a New
York developer who bought several old
Art Deco buildings in South Beach in
the 1980s and transformed them into

Continued on page 30

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comMarch 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014


- E -



March 2014 Biscayne Times

. ..... .. ..

March 2014

Biscayne Times

Avra Jain
Continued from page 28

upscale boutique hotels, revitalizing
Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue in the
process. "Bringing back these [Boule-
vard] motels will bring back the signifi-
cance of the historic district," Liebman
says. "Up until now, people thought
they were just a bunch of dumps."
But Jain isn't just buying old motels.
She and her partners recently closed
on a circa-1973 office building at 5555
Biscayne Blvd. She also co-owns land
in the Design District, the ground-floor
retail spaces at Marina Blue condomin-
ium in downtown Miami, the Regions
Bank building at 3550 Biscayne Blvd.,
warehouses in Little Haiti, and various
apartment buildings in Miami.
And she's on the hunt for more
"She's an amazing woman," says Lyle
Chariff, founder of the Chariff Realty
Group, who owns a parcel of vacant land
with Jain in the Design District. "She's
nonstop. It's like she's 50 people com-
bined into one."
"It's probably best that I don't think
about it," Jain jokes when the BT asks
how many projects she has under way.
"Every day I know what needs to get
done, and I get it done. It doesn't seem
overwhelming to me."
Jain is exceptional in the South Flori-
da real estate world. For one thing, there's
her gender. Although many women in this
region are top-selling brokers, with some
even owning their own agencies, the vast
majority of developers in South Florida
are men. "It's a rare situation," says Truly
Burton, executive vice president of the
Builders Association of South Florida,
regarding female developers. "This is
going to sound a little bit Old World, but
it's a man's world."
Jain also tends to invest in places
before they're swarmed over by other
developers and speculators. "She's unique
because she sees the potential value of
areas that other people don't see initially,"
says Tony Cho, CEO of Metro 1 Properties
and a venture partner of Jain's in the rede-
velopment of Rail 71, a 130,000-square-
foot warehouse space on 3.7 acres at 7205
NE 4th Ave., adjacent to the FEC railroad
tracks. (Their plan: Create a space that will
attract startups, retail furniture, and food
and beverage companies.)
Catching Jain's eye right now are
motels, warehouses, office buildings,
small parcels, and faded apartment


Jain and Del Vecchio love 5555: It's in the heart of what's happening, and
look, there's Soyka's across the street."

buildings along Miami's Bis-
cayne Corridor, particularly
in the Upper Eastside and the
Little River area of Little Haiti.
But 12 years ago, her focus was
more geared toward building
new things.
In 2002, Jain and her a
partners reportedly spent $19
million assembling nearly five
acres of land by the Adrienne
Arsht Center for the Performing f
Arts with the intent of build- P
ing a 57-story high-rise called
Opus, along with a Miami
branch of the Whitney Museum
of American Art. But the
Florida Department of Trans-
portation wanted the land for
the eventual expansion of 1-395
as it approaches the MacArthur l
Causeway. Although the land
was seized through eminent *
domain, the state did give Jain
and her partners $78 million ,
for their troubles, according to
media reports.
In 2004, Jain invested in
Kubik, a proposed two-tower,
16-story condominium project
that was to be built at 5700 Bis- Tony
cayne Blvd. But neighbors ob- potel
jected to the scale of the project, see i
Tied up in litigation for years,
Jain left the Kubik venture in 2008. That
controversy helped inspire the creation
of a 35-foot height limit in the MiMo
District. The Kubik site, meanwhile,
remains vacant.

Cho: "She's unique because she sees 1
ntial value of areas that other people do
initially "

Jain's last two major projects coincided
with the onset of the Great Recession. She
acknowledges that she took a huge loss
on Blue at Doral (now known as the Blue
Hyatt Residences). In 2009, she also sued

Beal Bank Nevada in federal court for her
partnership to retain a 25-percent stake in
Regalia, a 42-story, 40-unit luxury condo
in Sunny Isles Beach. Jain expects to take
a loss on that project as well.
"We both had some hard times and we
lost a lot of money doing big projects,"
says Paul Murphy, Jain's partner at the
time. During the economic downturn, he
confirmed they lost five parcels of land.
Jain stares into space when recalling
what she calls the challenging times. "I
think that was a bad time for a lot of
people," she says. "Not just for me, but
the whole world.
I'm just so glad it's over," she adds.
"You find out who your friends are. And
it's disappointing sometimes, but that's
just part of the learning process."
Actually, it's not quite over. Two of
her former partners, Jerold Kaufman
and Abraham Cohen, both from Aven-
tura, filed a lawsuit against
her and Murphy in December
2013. They claim that Jain and
Murphy defrauded them "in an
attempt to improperly retain
millions of dollars of profits
for themselves" related to the
Regalia project.
Jain and Murphy recently
filed a countersuit, claiming it
was Kaufman and Cohen who
defrauded them. Jain and Cohen,
meanwhile, have been locked in a
litigious battle over Blue at Doral
since 2009.
Neither Kaufman nor Cohen
returned phone calls from the
BTby deadline. Their lawyer in
the Regalia suit, Robert Stok,
says his clients want their in-
vestment in the project honored,
but Jain allegedly isn't intent
on negotiating. "She's a bare-
knuckle fighter," he says.
"I prefer to wear gloves," Jain
* quips. "I was willing to let some
%"*" things go, but once they attack
you, then you have to set the
record straight."
A couple of hours earlier,
.0 Jain had been in the midst of a
the beehive of construction activity
*n't at the Vagabond. Now she's off
in a Volkswagen GTI to check
out an apartment she might
invest in elsewhere in Miami. She's not
just checking out a property she's
scouting a potential partner worthy of

Continued on page 32

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Biscayne Times

Avra Jain
Continued from page 30

navigating Miami's recovering real
estate market.
"It's about finding good partners," Jain
says as she works the stick shift. "There's
a lot of money out there right now. A lot
of money. But there aren't many good
deals a lot of money chasing not that
many good deals."
Jain has never embarked on a real
estate project alone. She
always enlists partners. ..
Aside from the equity they i
bring to a project, they
provide their special exper-
tise. Partners, she says, can
make or break a project.
"Having good partners is
really helpful," Jain says.
"Having a bad partner is the
worst. You can't focus on
what you're doing."
Jain says she didn't t41.
have to worry about "bad
partners" until she came
to Miami. "I was a little
naive," she admits. "In
New York we did every-
thing by handshake. Your
word mattered. I've been
disappointed. I felt that
some people made repre-
sentations about things and
they didn't [fulfill them]."
Her lesson? Match the
right partners to the right
projects, be more particular,
and stay in control. Her let- Joseph ED
downs, Jain notes, occurred us togett
in situations where she was on real e,
not the lead.
At the building, Jain is greeted by the
prospective partner, the current owner
of the apartment building, and a few

i NE 1 5L

real estate brokers. One of those brokers,
Daniel Cunningham, a senior associate
with Marcus & Millichap, is already
among her fans.
"Most people, they want to see what's
here today," he says, "and they don't
want to see what could be here tomor-
row. The typical people [in real estate]
think they have vision, but they're really
following somebody else's. But she's
obviously seeing something that other
people haven't seen yet, and she's the

View from NE 2nd Avenue of Dean Lewis's remake of the Regions Bank

)el Vecchio: "Our mutual friends put
er, figuring we had a similar mindset
state development."

first one in."
The apartment building is a faded
yellow, two-story structure. Its tenants

building, plus new development.

converse in Creole and English while
the landlord shows Jain around. At the
rear of the building, next to a wicker
basket full of flattened aluminum cans,
roam a hen, rooster, and a half-dozen
chirping chicks. This inspires a dis-
cussion among the brokers about the
City of Miami's "chicken patrol." Jain,
though, remains focused on the particu-
lars the condition of the roof, what
parts of the apartment building are
made of concrete, what parts are made
of wood, evidence of termites, and the
renovation activities of other developers
in the immediate neighborhood.
From the second floor she spies
another apartment building. This one
has just been renovated. One of the
brokers familiar with the landlord of that
building tells her he's seen more cars
parked in the lot lately. It's a promising
sign. When it comes to making modest
upgrades in a neighborhood (just enough
so that apartments are still market-rate

affordable), Jain likes allies.
"Can we take this little block, buy
enough of it?" Jain had asked herself
just prior to the apartment tour. "Can we
make it our own little enclave? We have
to own enough of it. Or the right people
will have to own enough of it."

vra Jain was born in California
and raised in Champaign, Illinois.
Her father, Ravinder Jain, from
India, is a civil engineer who has written
numerous textbooks on environmental
analysis. Her mother, Barbara, can trace
her ancestry in America to pre-Colonial
times and is in the continuing adult
education field. She was an assistant
dean in the social services department
of the University of Illinois. Avra has a
twin sister, Anna Jain Bakst, who is the
president of footwear and accessories for
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.

Continued on page 34

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

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March 2014

Biscayne Times


I il K-.-

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The Stephen's International Motel was in such bad shape that only the
historic "bookends" will remain.

Architect Dean Lewis creates commercial space in the Stephen's center
and offices at the bookends.

Avra Jain
Continued from page 32
Purdue, she first applied them in what
would become a 16-year career as a bond
trader in New York. "A strong math
background works very well on Wall
Street," she says.
Did she get rich? "It was enough
money," she replies.

"I left [Wall Street] because I went to
a big project," Jain says. "Up until then, I
was kind of dabbling on the side."
It's through real estate that Jain met
Joey Grill a moment he describes
as "love at first sight." Professional love,
actually; he appreciates her passion for
restoring buildings. "We renovated many
landmarks and buildings together," he says.
"In my opinion, her desire for profits is a

by-product of her passion for building."
A different kind of passion was the
reason Jain left New York for Miami
in 1999. "I got involved with somebody
who was here," says Jain, who frequently
visited South Beach in the 1980s. "It
was a person I was with for nine years.
She was my girlfriend at the time." That
girlfriend, whom Jain declines to name,
even agreed to carry Jain's fertilized egg

in her womb. They're no longer together,
but Jain and her daughter, now nine,
stayed in Miami.
For the past seven years, her partner
in life and business has been 56-year-old
Dalia Lagoa. They met in a Miami party in
2002. "It was all very interesting because
we both worked in New York at the same

................Continued on page 36 ..............

I. J

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

Avra Jain
Continued from page 34

time," Lagoa says. "But we never ran into
each other until we moved to Miami."
"Her resume is off the charts," Jain
says. "She was a managing director of
[the Paris-based bank] Soci&te Generale.
She did global structural finance for them,
and she retired at 45 because she could."
That's why Lagoa came to Miami,
to retire. Instead, she's going into the
motel business. She holds a stake in the
Vagabond and the other motel purchases.
She'll even manage the Vagabond, at
least until a permanent management
company is found.
"She loves real estate," Lagoa says
of Jain. "And the more I got to hang out
with her, the more I got to like it too."
The 5555 building on Biscayne
Boulevard is a 16,000-square-foot glass
box on stilts with gated parking. Inside
are water-damaged tiles, 40-year-old
disco-era light fixtures, orange floor tiles,
an obsolete phone switchboard system,
solid-wood doors, and a clunky eleva-
tor. Jain and Joseph Del Vecchio, a real
estate investor from New York, bought

The circa-1953 South Pacific Motel at 6300 Biscayne Blvd. will be
converted into offices like the Stephen's.

5555 for $2.3 million last month. They
love the parking, the high ceilings, the
solid concrete bones. And they really
love the location.
"It's in the heart of what's happening
in Miami," Del Vecchio says. "This is
the heart of the neighborhoods that are

being renovated. And look," he says,
pointing at the 55th Street Station just
west of the Boulevard, "there's Soyka's
[restaurant] across the street."
Del Vecchio and Jain have known
each other for about two years. On the
first day they met, Jain showed him

the seven-story Regions Bank building
at 3550 Biscayne Blvd. "Our mutual
friends put us together, figuring we had
a similar mindset on real estate develop-
ment and investing," Del Vecchio says.
"The minute we realized we did share
the same mindset, we decided almost
immediately we should buy the building.
Avra took the contract out, we signed it,
and the rest is history."
Del Vecchio also owns a piece of the
five motels. He and Jain hope to bring
more quality offices to the Biscayne
Corridor. "You're starting to see a large
demand for office space," Jain says. So
much demand, in fact, that the Regions
building, after an extensive upgrade, is
now 90 percent occupied.
To add more quality office inventory,
they plan to demolish everything inside
the 5555 building and transform it into a
state-of-art office facility.
They're also turning motels into
offices. The 68-year-old Stephen's
International at 6320 Biscayne Blvd. will
become an office and retail plaza called
the Stephen's MiMo Plaza. (Or what's

Continued on page 38

Mon-Fri 9am-8:30pm I Saturday 10am-7:3Opm I Sunday lOar-5:30pm
9600 E 2d A MImi Sores, FL 33138
Establistd 29 ir Urgent Care to Sere the Community.

Urgent Care

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014

- em-


me ropolitan

5 3465 NW 2ND. AVE MIAMI, FL 33127

March 2014 Biscayne Times

." ......... "...

, ,,. ..i,.,
:..." .:" ,-

March 2014

Biscayne Times

Avra Jain
Continued from page 36

left of it. The hotel was in such dismal
shape that most of it is being torn down.
Only the historically significant "book-
ends" will remain.) The circa-1953 South
Pacific Motel at 6300 Biscayne Blvd.
will also be converted into offices.
Less clear is the future of the
62-year-old Bayside Motor Inn at 5101
Biscayne Blvd. Dean Lewis, the archi-
tect for Jain's motel renovation projects,
says it may remain open as a motel, or
it could become an extended-stay hotel,
or maybe transformed into live-work
spaces for artists.
The Royal Motel at 7411 Biscayne
Blvd., which opened in 1951, will remain
a motel once its renovations are complet-
ed in about a year. But the Royal will es-
sentially become a 25-room annex for the
Vagabond next door. So will an apartment
building at 7272 NE 6th Ct., which will
offer ten family-size units. Altogether,
when fully operational, the Vagabond and
its affiliates will have 80 rooms.
Regardless of what the motels of
Biscayne Boulevard are used for, the

The Royal, dating from 1951, is next door to the Vagabond and will be
renovated and remain a motel.

fact that a team of investors has come
in, intent on redeveloping them, has
created excitement in the historic district.
"From my perspective, there has been a
tremendous uptick for demand in prop-
erty on Biscayne since they [Jain and

her partners] have been doing this," says
Tony Ulloa, a Keyes commercial broker.
The Jain development wave has also
pleased Walter Figueroa, whose family
owns the fully restored 1953 New Yorker
Boutique Hotel at 6500 Biscayne Blvd. It

improves his customer base, increases the
hotel's property value, and proves a point.
"I've been saying this forever," Figueroa
declares. "Somebody should come here
and see the potential of the Boulevard."
Figueroa, who completed a five-year
revamp of the New Yorker in 2010, has
long argued that the $200-plus room
rates in Miami Beach provide an op-
portunity for Boulevard motels to offer
an affordable, clean alternative for tour-
ists. Plus, it's hard for people staying in
Miami Beach to leave the Beach or
find parking. "We're busy all the time,"
he says. "We have free parking and easy
access to anywhere from here. People
love it."
In fact it was the New Yorker's high oc-
cupancy rate that grabbed Jain's attention.
"One reason I realized there was an oppor-
tunity on Biscayne Boulevard was that my
friends tried to stay at the New Yorker and
they couldn't get a room," she says.
The MiMo District's 35-foot height
limit didn't even dissuade her. React-
ing to the concerns of Upper Eastside
residents fearful that their part of the

Continued on page 40

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March 2014

Biscayne Times

Avra Jain
Continued from page 38

Biscayne Corridor would be
overrun by developers, Miami
City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff
demanded a 35-foot height limit
for the historic district as part of
Miami 21, an overhaul of Miami's
zoning laws. Prior to the height
limit, developers could build up
to 95 feet on Biscayne Boule-
vard, says architect Dean Lewis.
Despite opposition from property
owners, the Miami City Commis-
sion narrowly approved Sarnoff's
height limit by a vote of 3-2 in
October 2009, and enacted it the
following year.
Property owners weren't
the only ones who opposed the
35-foot cap. Some motel preserva-
tion advocates, including Nancy
Liebman of the MiMo Biscayne
Association, feared the height
limit would dissuade develop-
ers from renovating the motels
because they couldn't add an extra
floor for more revenue. The MiMo

Architect Dean Lewis helped to develop "air
rights," and now he's inundated with calls from
MiMo property owners.

Biscayne Association pushed for a
53-foot height limit instead.
But property owners weren't
completely stripped of their op-
tions. The new height-limit law
allows them to sell their "develop-
ment rights" to developers whose
projects are located in specially
designated, high-density zoning
areas of Miami. The project in the
high-density zone thus obtains a
"development bonus" in the form of
greater height or density rights than
it was initially granted.
For example, if a property
owner in the historic district could
have built a 100,000-square-foot
building prior to Miami 21, but
can only build 40,000 square feet
because of the height limit, the
owner can sell the balance of
60,000 square feet of "air rights"
to someone else in a designated
high-density area.
Utilizing her contacts in the
real estate world, Jain was the first
developer in the MiMo District to
sell air rights (development rights)
to another builder. Last year she

sold 440,000 square feet of the Vaga-
bond's development rights for $3 million
to Jorge Perez's Related Group and
David Martin's Terra Group, enabling
the two developers to enlarge the size of
their condo projects in Coconut Grove,
Edgewater, and Brickell. (Martin is also
a partner of Jain's in the Regions Bank
building project.)
She also sold the Royal Motel's
142,868 square feet of air rights to Prop-
erty Market Group's Kevin Maloney for
the 57-story Echo Brickell project at 1451
Brickell Ave.
"Selling air rights allowed us do an
extension renovation at the Vagabond,"
Jain says. "Otherwise, the property
didn't warrant so much spending."
The process was a learning curve for
her and the city. Jain says it took six months
of conversations between city planners,
architect Dean Lewis, and land-use attorney
Lucia Dougherty to figure out a system.
"There was no market for TDRs [transfer
of development rights] when we started this,"
says Lewis. His office is now inundated
with calls from MiMo District property

Continued on page 42

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I 'i 'k. # ;t :j At it i I. I Pi om

Avra Jain
Continued from page 40

owners, especially vacant parcel owners
interested in selling their own air rights. But
selling development rights is a complicated
process, the architect warns. A landowner
can't just simply sell air rights over a vacant
lot, for example. "You can't just sit back and
reap the benefits of TDRs without doing the
work" of building, he says.

D ark clouds were forming in the sky
and there were dozens of boxes of
fragile lights sitting out in the open A
vendor just left them there, beside the outdoor
furniture meant for the Vagabond and another
client Most of the lights were for the Royal
Motel and the Vagabond's restaurant. They
wouldn't be ready for installation for weeks.
The truck that was supposed to take
the materials to a warehouse hadn't arrived,
and the vendor wasn't answering her phone.
"It's going to rain, and she's not here,"
Lagoa fumes to Jain.
Jain, Lagoa, and a gargantuan fore-
man discuss their options. Should we put
the boxes in the hallway? How about one
of the rooms? Which room?

The fantasy look is about to become reality at the Vagabond and Jain's
other motels along Biscayne Boulevard.

"You know. I don't think it's going
to rain," the foreman says, "but it'd be
best if we hurry."
It will rain, a lot. A half hour from
now, sheets of water and electricity will
fall from the sky and crash to the ground.
But right now the sky is just a bit gray,

although it's getting grayer.
"You say the word," the big guy tells
Jain, "and we'll..."
"Yep," Jain replies.
And with that, six people, including
Lagoa and Jain, started grabbing boxes.
Jain had expected to do some work on

the site anyway. She's wearing blue
Sears overalls. Eventually, they form a
human chain. Then about three people
not grabbing boxes start asking Jain
questions about color schemes. They're
vendors. Jain talks to one of them for a
few minutes without a pause in the box
brigade, before referring him to designer
Stephane Dupoux. (Dupoux, by the way,
is also a partner in the Vagabond.)
About 15 minutes later, the boxes are
loaded into two rooms. The outdoor fur-
niture remains outside. But Jain doesn't
want to leave the furniture unattended.
So she volunteers to stay nearby in her
construction office, located in a giant
room inside the Royal Motel until the
truck arrives. (The construction office
previously served as the residence for
the Royal's previous owners.)
Is she annoyed? Not at all, Jain
answers. The Vagabond is a complicated
project, she explains. Things happen.
"You can't sweat the little things,"
Jain says. "The big things you can get
upset about. The little things, you can't
get upset about."

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.corn

Biscayne Times March 2014


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Biscayne Times

March 2014

S I t



Biscayne Times


March 2014


S -' Y

What's Not to Love at

Luna Star Cafe?
Come for the ale, stay for the music, and make yourself at home

By Harriette Yahr
BT Contributor
hat do you get when you mix
specialty beers from all over
the world with exceptional
live acoustic music? The Luna Star Cafe,
an aberration of the best sort located in
North Miami. If you've been to Luna,
you can appreciate its uniqueness. If
you've never heard of it, you may be
surprised that a place like this exists in
your back yard.
"You don't find anywhere like it
in Miami," says Tony Shalom, a Bay

Harbor resident and Luna Star fan. "It's
that laid-back, folksy, Greenwich Vil-
lage coffee shop atmosphere."
Think of chocolate stout, espresso,
kitschy wall art, spoken-word poets
- and guitar and saxophone players -
merging into your living room. Mix
in elk burgers, vegan cookies and
stories swapped around the bar and a
picture of this eclectic cafe takes shape.
Luna Star Cafe is situated across from
the Museum of Contemporary Art, at 775
NE 125th St. It's open Tuesdays through
Saturday (and occasionally Sundays),
from 5:00 p.m. until the crowd fizzles out.

Alexis Sanfield: "It's never been about the money. We're in it for the

Where else can you get together with friends and see a group like Celtic

Alexis Sanfield is the visionary
behind this not-so-Miami (nor North
Miami) establishment. She's listed as
"sole proprietor, chef, world traveler, and
hostess extraordinaire" on the Luna
Star website, which also notes: "Various
artists, students, lawyers, CEOs, and
players" are the customers.
Perhaps not taking herself too
seriously has helped Alexis stay afloat
for 18 years without advertising or
a Twitter account. Certainly, Luna
Star's friendly, welcoming vibe helps.
There's something for everyone, as
long as you're not into Budweiser. "Go
to Billy's," is Alexis's mantra, refer-
ring to Billy's Pub Too down the street,
if you're looking for happy hour spe-
cials or...Budweiser.
Beer at Luna Star is part of the decor.
More than a hundred varieties line cool-
ers and the back walls. There are Old

Style Porters, Strong ales, Brown ales,
Flemish Sour ales, lagers, California
IPAs, Bohemian pilsners, Hefeweizens,
Trappist Quad ales, Dopplebocks, pil-
sners, and more.
Alexis runs down the best sellers.
There's Nostradamus ("I favor Belgian
ales over American ales"), Kwak ("it
comes in a really special glass"), Old
Engine Oil (a Black ale from Scotland),
and Einbecker (a Schwarzbier from
Germany). Beer 101 is part of the experi-
ence. There's St. Peter's Cream Stout
("full-bodied it's a stout's stout.") and
St. Bernardus Trappist Ale ("only six
monasteries brew beer.").
If you're into local microbrews,
Swamp Ape (Cape Canaveral) and Holy
Mackerel (Fort Lauderdale) are among
the offerings. A chalkboard lists new

Continued on page 47

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comMarch 2014



Biscayne Times

March 2014



Border Wars

North Miami and Biscayne Park want to annex new territory the

same territory

By Erik Bojnansky
BT Senior Writer

he 3100 people who call Biscayne
Park home live in a true bedroom
community. Except for a park and
recreation center, a village hall (housed
in a log cabin built by the Works Prog-
ress Administration in the 1930s), and a
public works complex, everything else in
this village is residential.
Biscayne Park also charges the high-
est property tax rate in Miami-Dade
County: $9.70 for every $1000 of as-
sessed property value, minus homestead
exemptions and other state tax breaks for
primary residents. In spite of that rate,
Biscayne Park faces a fiscal crunch so
great, say village officials, that it could
jeopardize the future of the 81-year-old
"We went through and looked at budget
[scenarios] and there'll be a significant
shortfall in 2017," says David Coviello,
Biscayne Park's newly elected mayor.
Biscayne Park's budget isn't large.
This year it amounts to only $2.3 million.
But thanks to state caps on taxes levied
on homesteaded property, village of-
ficials can't collect on recent increases in
property values. As a result, they've been
scrambling for grants to pay for capital
maintenance and services that include
a police force of 11 full-time and 14
part-time officers, two code enforcement
officers, and a full-time village manager.
The way out? Annex 44 acres of
commercial property just east of the
348-acre village. Commercial property
owners aren't entitled to the same tax
breaks as homeowners. Thus Biscayne
Park could net an extra $262,450 in tax
revenue almost immediately.

"Annexation is the only way to sig-
nificantly increase revenue and diversify
our tax base so we can address that
shortfall," says Coviello. "It's really a ne-
cessity. We obviously need the revenue
to survive."
Survival isn't the only motivation.
Biscayne Park officials hope the extra
revenue will enable the village to reduce
the property tax rate.
But there's a hitch. North Miami
has already claimed part of the area
Biscayne Park wants to annex from
Biscayne Boulevard on the east, NE 16th
Avenue on the west, and from NE 116th
Street north to NE 121st Street.
"We did the application first," says
Lucie Tondreau, North Miami's mayor.
"Of course we're going to oppose them."
The contested area includes two tax-
revenue jewels: the large office buildings
at 11900 and 12000 Biscayne Blvd.
This isn't the first time Biscayne Park
has explored annexation as a means of
diversifying its tax base. In 2005, Bis-
cayne Park's former Mayor Ted Walker
proposed annexing huge swaths of un-
incorporated land, including Belmar on
Biscayne Bay and the Peachtree neigh-
borhood just east of the FEC railroad
tracks around NE 110th Street.
If that had been enacted, Biscayne
Park's population would have swelled from
3000 to 15,000; residents killed the plan.
Last year Biscayne Park analyzed an-
nexing 71 acres of land east of it before
settling on its current application of 44
acres. (See "Strapped for Cash? Try a
Land Grab," May 2013.)
Besides the disputed office and retail
area, the Biscayne Park East plan includes
a 34-acre section east of the railroad
tracks near NE 120th Street. Within that

-. .......

Cash cows: These office buildings are being sought by both North Miami
and Biscayne Park.

area are warehouses, car and boat repair
facilities, the Bay Wind Apartments, and
the recently opened Alta Mira Apart-
ments. Because 283 registered voters live
there, a voter referendum may be required.

North Miami, a ten-square-mile
municipality of about 59,000 that
charges property owners $7.93 for

Continued on page 48........................................................
Continued on page 48

March 2014Biscayne Times

March 2014

Biscayne Times


Saved by the Sewers
Downtown Miami Shores is launching a transformational project
and no flush jokes, please

By Mark Sell
BT Contributor
t last the way looks clear for
sewers to come to downtown
Miami Shores in the second half
of 2015.
When that happens, restaurants,
cafes, and eateries of all types can open;
doctor's offices can expand; and a host
of other businesses can follow. Miami
Shores is one of the few downtown in
South Florida to rely on septic tanks.
"It's just absolutely essential now if
we're serious about anything other than
office uses," says Jesse Walters, execu-
tive director of the Greater Miami Shores
Chamber of Commerce and the village's

vice mayor. "Restaurants and cafes are
just not going to happen without this."
If all works according to plan, the
village council will put the project out
to bid in March, with groundbreaking
in summer, and project completion in
summer or fall 2015. The council ap-
proved a special taxing district back in
January 2013, but logistical and bureau-
cratic issues intruded.
Crews will start ripping up the alleys
behind NE 2nd Avenue from NE 94th
Street to 101st Street late this summer.
They'll dig a connecting line from there
through five long city blocks along NE
97th Street to the county's nearest sewer
connector at NW 3rd Avenue, a block
west of the village boundary.

Miami Shores Vice Mayor Jesse Waiters: "Restaurants and cates are just
not going to happen without this."

Until fall 2015, landlords, merchants,
and residents of NE 97th Street between
NE 2nd Avenue and NW 3rd Avenue

will need to hang in there while crews
drill and dig.
Continued on page 49

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

Luna Star Cafe
Continued from page 44

arrivals: Bison Organic Hop Cuv&e and
Fat Tire recently joined the inventory.
"We have too many beers," Alexis jokes.
Her favorite? "Samichlaus. It's brewed
only once a year, on December 6, aged
for ten months, then bottled."
If beer is not your thing, there's wine,
saki, hard cider, and plenty of non-alco-
holic and coffeehouse standards.
Food is a lesser-known (yet impres-
sive) feature of the caf&. Alexis dons
her "Chef Amber" hat to prepare pizzas
(including pepperoni), burgers (including
bison), salads (Greek is popular), sand-
wiches (Genoa salami and Irish cheddar
is a favorite), pasta (including gluten-
free), and more. Specials are common-
place. House rule: "We're unpredictable
and things change often here."
Another rule? Improvisation.
One night a cafe assistant who'd been
wanting to pump up the vegan offer-
ings emerged from the kitchen with a
kale chip experiment. She handed out
samples. Is it good? Too spicy? After
some evolution, Alexis added kale salad

Beer 101: Close to 150 varieties of brew fill the coolers and line the walls.

(with roasted red peppers, onions, and
goat cheese) to the menu.
Belgian ales and salad greens aside,
music is the main draw. Michael Stock is a
regular. For the past 30 years, he's hosted
"Folk & Acoustic Music" Sundays on 91.3
WLRN-FM. Stock says Luna Star has
developed a reputation across the country for

touring acoustic musicians looking for a seri-
ous listening audience in South Florida. "It's
really amazing," he adds, "to think that you
have some of the best live music anywhere in
the world, right here, right in North Miami."
Artists who have included a stop
at Luna Star while touring nationally
include Dan Bern, Spider John Koerner,

Malcolm Holcolme, Ray Bonneville,
Clive Carol, Panama Red, and Paul
Geremia. South-Florida-based perform-
ers who play Luna regularly include
the Diane Ward Band (Diane Ward,
Jack Shawde, Debbie Duke), Matthew
Sabatella, Bob Ingram, Grant Livingston,
Box of Light, and the Sarah Jacob Trio.
If you're thinking of giving Luna
Star a whirl, March's must-see shows
include Pete and Maura Kennedy
(March 9), Night Breeze (March 19), Mel
Dancy (March 26), and Graham Wood
Drout (March 29). CD release parties
are always a good time (arrive early for
a table): Catch Spider John Koerner on
March 8 and Diane Ward on March 15.
Luna Star also serves as a commu-
nity space. FIU students and professors
gather monthly for "Science Cafe" (a lec-
ture series) and The Honest Liars Club
(a creative writing series), both open to
the public. Songwriters meet up (also
monthly), and activists throw fundraisers
(including Earth Day, the Dolphin Proj-
ect, and the Cat Network). And although
the bulk of the music is acoustic in the

Continued on page 50

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Biscayne Times

March 2014


San ata-Ymh

20321 Cocr Series

Border Wars
Continued from page 45

every $1000 of assessed value, has
been looking at annexing unincorpo-
rated areas near its borders since 2011.
The city has four applications pending
before the county.
If they win the right to annex, North
Miami officials hope to obtain another
$262,450 in tax revenue. The area, which
includes a few parcels on the east side of
Biscayne Boulevard, also receives its water
from North Miami (as does Biscayne Park)
and, according to Tondreau, is already
considered part of North Miami.
Right now, property owners in
unincorporated areas are only charged
$1.93 per $1000 of assessed value.
However, officials from both munici-
palities are pitching the advantage of
greater services.
The North Miami application brags
that the average response time of the
North Miami Police Department (with
123 sworn officers) is 9 minutes 20

seconds, while the Miami-Dade Police
Department's average response time is
15 minutes 54 seconds. The city would
also waive a $137 fee charged to areas
outside of North Miami for its water,
consider hooking the unincorporated
areas (now dependent on septic tanks)
to its sewer system, and provide gar-
bage pickup.
Biscayne Park, on the other hand,
would hire more police officers and a
part-time code enforcement officer to
service Biscayne Park East.
To reach Biscayne Park East, village
denizens will have to travel through
North Miami or Miami Shores and the
unincorporated Peachtree neighborhood.
A series of fences and the railroad tracks
now separate the proposed annexation
area from Biscayne Park.
Village manager Heidi Shefran says
the barriers won't be a problem. "We're
prepared to provide code enforcement on
an as-needed basis," she says. As for law

Continued on page 51

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014

Shores Sewers
Continued from page 46

Then, according to the plan, down-
town Miami Shores will at last blossom,
with people walking to and fro among
restaurants new and old, retail establish-
ments, and the 0 Cinema/Miami Theater
Center near NE 98th Street.
Downtown occupancy has improved
since the horrid days of 2008-2011, hold-
ing at around 80 percent for the past year,
up from less than 50 percent in 2008,
when a massive NE 2nd Avenue road con-
struction project collided with the Great
Recession, with ruinous consequences for
landlords, investors, and merchants.
But those occupants tend to be
professional services. Landlords want
food and retail along the storefronts, and
sewers provide the skeleton key to bring
the dead zone to life. (Septic tanks have
limited capacity, less than active restau-
rants produce.)
While many have worked hard on
this effort, particularly Miami Shores
Councilman and former Mayor Jim
McCoy, everyone agrees that the real
medal of honor for making it happen
goes to village manager Tom Benton, a
42-year village employee who started
raking country club sand traps in high
school and went on to serve 20 years
as public works director and the last 16
years as manager.
Miami Shores Village is just part of
the puzzle, and that's why it has been
tough to pull off. The installation of
sewers in Miami Shores require the bless-
ing of the Miami-Dade Department of
Environmental Resources Management
(DERM, now ______
called Regulato-
ry and Econom- Miami Shores resi
ic Resources), get by with septic
the Miami-Dade Sewer hookups wi
Water and
water and and institution
Sewer Author-
ity (WASA),
and the Florida
Department of Health.
Personnel shifts and retirements of
key county personnel, particularly at
DERM, brought about a period of confu-
sion, sending sewer champions reeling
through cycles of elation and despair. But
as of mid-February, all is back on course.
"We've made great strides in the last
couple of weeks," Benton says. "The
team understands the importance of this,
and they've assured me that they'll make
this happen."



"From DERM's point of view, there
are no hurdles whatsoever," says Carlos
Espinoza, DERM's wastewater permit-
ting chief. "We're waiting for the project
plans, and review them before issuing
the construction permit."
As Benton sees it, in mid-March, the
village council will put out bids for the
"design-build" project, an increasingly
common process in which the construc-
tion manager completes the design (now
30 percent complete) and assumes the
risk if the project runs over budget or
The village council authorized $3.8
million for the project in January 2013,
with 15 percent contingency. That figure
could now be closer to $5 million but
will not be known until the bids are in.
"It's a small project, but a tricky proj-
ect," Benton says.
For one thing, these will not be
conventional "gravity-based" sewers,
which depend on a slope to push through
waste, but rather a low-pressure system
that pushes waste through a series of
force mains to the pump station on
NW 3rd Avenue. This method is neither
common nor exactly novel. The City of
North Miami Beach has operated such a
system for 25 years.
Installing sewers and water mains
will require unusual care, with creative
engineering and design. Crews will have
to work in narrow alleys barely a dozen
feet wide. The county requires sewer and
water mains to be at least eight feet apart.
While crews install new 12-inch
water mains on the outside part of the
alley, buildings will receive uninterrupt-
ed service from existing six- and eight-
______________ inch mains
right next to
ents will continue to the build-
anks at their homes. ing until
I be for commercial theoutside
mains are
al buildings only. ready. Then
ready. Then
the sewer
lines will go
where the existing water mains now lie.
To add to the trickiness, crews will
need to avoid existing AT&T lines under
the alley, and minimize the impact on
neighboring residents. While most al-
leyways adjoin parking lots, some abut
residential yards, including one occupied
by Tom Benton and his family.
Miami Shores residents will continue
to get by with septic tanks at their homes,


Real Estate Services for South Florida's Lifestyle Since 1978

Continued on page 52

March 2014 Biscayne Times

March 2014

Biscayne Times


Some of the best live music anywhere

Luna Star Cafe
Continued from page 47

singer/songwriter tradition, Alexis also
programs blues, jazz, and bluegrass.
Beer fanatics and guitar freaks, elk
burger aficionados and vegetarians,
poets and storytellers, liberals and
conservatives you'll bump into lots of
characters here. "Music is what brings us
all together," says Stock.
So how does Alexis make ends meet?
How does a place like Luna Star Cafe,
in the middle of North Miami and not a
quaint college town, survive? "Carefully,"
admits Alexis. "It's a struggle every month,
but we keep pushing on. I do this because

e in the world, right in North Miami.

I love what I'm doing. It's never been about
the money. We're in it for the community."
The indoor smoking ban, which
took effect in 2003, hit the balance sheet
hard. "We lost 40 percent of our business,"
Alexis recalls. Outside is a seating area
where people are free to smoke, but that
didn't help the attrition.
There's been just one scary night at
Luna Star in nearly two decades in 2011,
an armed robbery. Even though the North
Miami Police Department headquarters is
within eyesight of the cafe, three masked
men walked in late one evening. They
ordered everyone to the floor and patted

Continued on page 52

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Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014


Border Wars
Continued from page 48
enforcement, the Biscayne Park Police
Department already provides aid to
neighborhoods in North Miami and the
unincorporated pocket.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner
Sally Heyman, whose district includes
Biscayne Park and parts of North Miami,
believes that Biscayne Park's need for
the extra tax revenue is greater than
North Miami's. "Biscayne Park needs
additional revenue and a diversified [tax
base] for sustainability," Heyman says.
"God forbid we have another recession or
a hurricane. There is only so much you
can draw from residents there."
Biscayne Park activist Audrey
Ehrhardt says the idea of annexation is
gaining popularity in her village. Several
residents spoke in favor of annexation
during a commission meeting in Janu-
ary. "I guess it's because of taxes," says
Ehrhardt, who initially opposed annexa-
tion. "I figure it'll be more expensive [to
service the area], but it looks like they're
investigating." However, she doubts that
the voters in the annexation area will
support the measure because their taxes
will increase.
Former Biscayne Park Commis-
sioner Bryan Cooper vows to oppose
annexation. "What do we get with an-
nexation of the unincorporated neigh-
bors to the east?" he asks in an e-mail
to the BT. "Likely, it will be long-term
fiscal drains on our already taxed
budget, a police department pulled
away from patrolling our current
streets, residents in the annexed area
who revolt against the code warriors
from the west, and who then run for
election to take over our commission
seats and fight for their lifestyle."

Cooper wants to offer Biscayne Park
residents another choice: "closer ties" or
even a merger with Miami Shores, a
municipality that charges $8.07 per $1000
of assessed value. If c become part of
Miami Shores, our taxes go down and our
services and benefits will go up," Cooper
argues. "The fiscal crisis ends immediately."
Miami Shores Councilman Jim McCoy
says the idea of forming a single city be-
tween the Shores, El Portal, and Biscayne
Park has been discussed informally many
times over the years. "The topic comes up
periodically, but it has very little traction,"
says McCoy, who has lived in the Shores
for 35 years. "It has never been seriously
considered, and it has never been proposed
by Biscayne Park."
Mayor Coviello is sure Biscayne Park
can come up with a solution that main-
tains village sovereignty. "The village
has been incorporated since 1933," he
says. "We've been a viable municipality
since then. We can address these issues
one way or the other."
As for annexation, Coviello says Bis-
cayne Park will continue to press its case.
"The county is going to make a decision
on this. It's in their hands," the mayor
says. "We'll certainly make the point
that the annexation is a necessity for the
continued viability of the village."
That point might be moot if Biscayne
Park and North Miami don't work things
out. Jorge Fernandez, coordinator for Mi-
ami-Dade County's Office of Budget and
Management, says if any city objects to
an annexation, the application is rejected.
But it isn't just Biscayne Park's ap-
plication that's in danger. Fernandez says
it's possible that North Miami's applica-
tion could be killed by an objection from
Biscayne Park.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.corn

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Community News: BISCAYNE C(

Shores Sewers
Continued from page 49

like their counterparts in El Portal and
Biscayne Park. Sewer hookups will be
for commercial and institutional build-
ings only.
Ownership along NE 2nd Avenue
has changed in the past decade. Real-
tor Ruben Matz and his entrepreneur
wife Gladys bought up big tracts of the
avenue around 2005, with big ideas and
the right vision, but lost millions thanks
to unlucky timing. Construction and
the Great Recession forced them to give
back properties to the late Miami Shores
Mayor Henry Everett and businessman
George Bennett, who together dominat-
ed ownership along NE 2nd Avenue.
After taking back his property on
the east side between NE 95th and 96th
streets, Bennett, now 89 years old, sold
the 30,000-square-foot building in De-
cember 2010 for $1.6 million to stockbro-
ker Richard Caccamise and his mortgage-
broker wife Theresa, who remodeled the
exterior into a French-Mediterranean
design and gutted the interior.
Everett passed away in July 2013 at
age 85. In December 2013, his widow,

Luna Star Cafe
Continued from page 50

them down, says Alexis, who had a gun
held to her head. One person was injured, a
retired NYPD officer who intervened (and
recovered). The perpetrators made off with
cash and assorted valuables.
The incident didn't sway Alexis's resolve:
"I keep it out of my mind and soul. It could
happen anywhere." Nor did it sway Keith
Rouse, her life partner of many years. Rouse
works in the film business and is often at
Luna Star helping and hanging out.


Frances Everett, sold the 32,000-square-
foot Everett Building between 96th and
97th streets on the west side to Todd
Leoni, who also owns the building that
houses Pizzafiore restaurant, as well as
substantial blocks of real estate along
Biscayne Boulevard in the Upper Eastside.
"It's hard to rent out without sewers,"
says Leoni. "We're 40 percent occupied
right now. We have some leases out, and
we think the building will be full again
in the next year. When this project is
done, there should be nothing to stop the
Shores from becoming a good, vibrant
city. With restaurants, people come. That
way everyone can survive."
"I'm thrilled for this street," says
Chamber of Commerce chairman Lance
Harke, who moved his law firm, Harke,
Clasby & Bushman LLP, to 97th Street.
"This is a win-win and long overdue."
Jesse Walters says downtown
Miami Shores is singular. "There's a
vibe here, a small-town feeling that
people want," he beams. "People want
to move here from the Upper Eastside,
and even from Coral Gables, because
of that sense of community."

Feedback: letters(

For him, Luna Star is not just about the
music. It's the people, the camaraderie, that
makes the place so special. The cafe is a
place for conversation and connection. "Just
the other night, after a big concert and ev-
eryone was gone, in walks a group of about
ten people. We ended up drinking saki and
hanging out until 2:00 in the morning. That
kind of thing happens a lot here. You never
know who's going to show up."
Rolling with the flow of custom-
ers, and weathering ups and downs

Continued on page 53........................................................
Continued on page 53

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

Luna Star Cafe
Continued from page 52
gracefully, are essential for any business.
For a live-music venue, that's even more
Dave Daniels, owner of Churchill's
Pub, the only other music venue for miles
and a significantly larger one, knows a lot
about surviving in Miami. He's been at
it since 1979. "It can be difficult. Alexis
works miracles there with a small capac-
ity," he says of Luna Star's 900-square-foot
space. "But there really isn't anyone else
doing quite that genre of music."
Their relationship is supportive. Some
Friday, Daniels catches up with Alexis
over dinner at Luna Star. On Mondays,
when Luna Star is closed, Alexis is often
at Churchill's for "Jazz Jam."
About support, Alexis applies for
grants, including from the North Miami
Community Redevelopment Agency
(CRA). In 2012 she received $15,000 from
the CRA. The money went to an interior
upgrade: new floors, stage, shelves, paint.
It was a stretch to accomplish every-
thing with the awarded funds; Alexis's
friends propped her up. When it came
time to install the wood floors, the fur-
niture had to be moved off the premises.
All of it. "We had to get everything out of
here. Furniture was everywhere, in busi-
nesses up and down the street," Alexis
recounts. "Customers took chairs home."
A show of solidarity of a different sort
happened when Starbucks opened across
the street in 2005 and decided to program
live music. "They called some of our
musicians and asked them to play there,"
remembers Rouse. "I kept getting calls
from our musicians!"
In the end, as the story goes, no one
would do it, no one would play there.
When Starbucks closed a few years later,
it was Alexis's birthday. Luna Star held



a celebration. Today a Starbucks coffee
cup hangs in effigy next to the bar, along
with other playful oddities.
Some nights are more free-form than
others at Luna Star, which is billed as a
"listening room," which means listening
(not talking) during performances so
pick your night accordingly. Tuesday, for
instance, is openjam. As the website nar-
rative puts it: "Very laid back, a great way
to meet some of the caf6's performers and
regulars in a very low-pressure environ-
ment. Novices and pros are welcome to
come on down and join the jam, try out
new material, or participate in sing-alongs."
And what would a groovy bar/coffee
house be without an open mike? Luna Star
holds its twice a month. Nicole Noel and
Chance Meyers, attorneys by day, "old-
time folk duo" by night, hopped onstage
during a recent open-mike night. "I moved
up to Broward for work. I used to live in
North Miami," says Noel. "I always heard
about this place, but it took coming back to
play here to actually come inside."
Local singer/songwriter Omin6 tapped
into the secret of Luna Star Cafe a long
time ago. She's gigged here for years.
"We're blessed to have a magical place like
Luna Star in Miami. Alexis is an angel."
If you come, remember to bring cash
and an easygoing attitude. The cafe doesn't
accept credit cards or reservations. During
live performances, a $10 minimum per
person applies, as well as a cover charge,
which goes directly to the musicians.
There's no dress code. Says the
proprietor: "Wear something weird. No
roller-skating. Hang gliding, on the other
hand, is encouraged."

Visit for a
schedule of events, menu, and other tid-
bits that could not fit into this article.

Feedback:. letters(atbiscaynetimes.corn

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March 2014

Biscayne Times

Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWN

Changing Skyline,

Changing Perspective
Density and obstruction accompany downtown's progress

By Adam Schachner
BT Contributor
My fiancee and I were moving
in together and had a list of 12
rental apartments to consider,
all peppered across the City of Miami
like challenges in a scavenger hunt. The
possibilities extended from Coconut
Grove to Midtown, with likely contend-
ers condensed in the downtown area.
We wanted to stay centralized, but
with access to our respective work down
south and social circles throughout the
city. The first stop seemed like a reach
to me before we even hit it not owing
to the cost, since we'd be splitting the
bill, but just by a natural reaction to a

location I'd always considered privi-
leged: Brickell Avenue.
This rental space was a litmus test -
an early morning sample at the start of
a long day of prospecting. The unit was
more of a curiosity than an ambition, just
to see what a genuine Brickell apartment
had to offer. Entering the space and im-
mediately taking in the view of down-
town, we both simultaneously decided we
wouldn't be seeing any other rentals at all.
A year and a half later, I've been
constantly humbled by the skyline.
Downtown's towers are silhouetted at
dawn and the iconic Miami Tower lights
up festively each night. The Tower has
particularly dominated my love of down-
town for decades. A subtle eye-catcher

designed by the renowned architectural
wizard I.M. Pei, this building embodies
Miami's character and class.
In my youth, it radiated with white
under lighting that dazzled amid its
neighboring buildings. In recent years,
shifting hues of deep blues, neon greens,
and passionate reds hypnotize onlookers
and scream Miami style. Our skyline is
a magnificently accented work of art that
inspires contemplation.
Suffice to say, we've made our home
in a wonderful space on Brickell, but all
the while our view has been the highlight.

No matter what project engages me -
watching TV, playing videogames, read-
ing my eye is drawn downtown.
Therefore, when Brickell Magazine
recently published a mockup of the
downtown skyline in 2020, my heart was
set thumping, at least initially. A concep-
tual composite of roughly 20 building
projects that could be completed in the
next six years (no guarantee they'll all
get built), it depicts a downtown that
continues to pop with vivacity.
The thrill for an increasingly metro-
politan downtown was alive in me, but


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March 2014

with it came some apprehension. After
scouring the downtown designs on my
computer, my attention was once again
drawn outside, to the nighttime view of
downtown, and I realized that at some
point, the vista had already changed dra-
matically. One of the newer projects, Nine
at Mary Brickell Village, had shot up like
Jack's fabled beanstalk, and completely
blocked our view of the Miami Tower.
The glowing pinnacle's nighttime
technicolors will now be forever ob-
scured from our panorama. Such is the
march of progress.
Emily Schmall of the Curbed Net-
work, a national real estate blog, rein-
forced this ominous portent in reviewing
this hypothetical skyline of the near
future. Likening it to a "subtropical
Manhattan," she comments on its density
and its obfuscation of the impacts of
climate change, and pulls no punches
in headlining her review "Magazine's
Miami 2020 Depictions Are of a Con-
crete Jungle."
The projections offered by both
magazines have left my feelings thor-
oughly mixed. Given these insights into
the inevitable growth currently under

way in the Brickell area, I've spent the
last weeks meditating on the view and
contemplating what this part of town
means to me.
Over the years, I've had many
preconceived notions of Brickell as
a community. To me, it was a status
symbol, the downtown Miami that does
not require being completely downtown.
In my prior estimations, Brickell was my
dream neighborhood to aspire toward
for retirement, not to be surveying in
my early thirties. In my youth, living on
Brickell seemed like a mark of lifelong
accomplishment, as opposed to an enter-
tainable option coming before marriage,
family, and a career portfolio.
I was born and raised in East Kendall,
happily contained between the Falls and
South Miami. That area set my standards
for socialization, entertainment, and
demographics. In my estimation, even as
a teenager, Brickell embodied an exalted
and distant possibility if I struck the
right kind of success. I'd never dreamed
of palatial fantasies such as Cocoplum
or Star Island, no matter the depth of the
oceans of wealth my adolescent mind
conjured. In my ambitiously modest

notions of the sweet life, living on Brick-
ell Avenue was living right.
Not quite suburban but modestly
metropolitan, chic without pretentious-
ness, Brickell always seemed to be Mi-
ami's Manhattan, without the pejorative
overtones in Schmall's review. Brickell
Avenue is where living in a high-rise
accompanies a melting pot of cultural
influences, entertainments, and activities.
Now, as a resident, my perspective
on Brickell remains relatively unaltered,
other than having attained the means to
live here sooner than I thought possible. I
love that I live in an area that allows me to
commute to work by train. I'm thankful
for dwelling in one of Miami's loveliest
(let alone only) walkable communities.
Most of my needs are met by travelling on
foot or by bike, a lifestyle I could not have
boasted back in Kendall. There's a perfect
balance of sun and greenery by day and
relative quiet at night, with the exception
of the occasional speed demon rocketing
down the avenue. Yet even with those
roaring engines, the mood and motif of
living on Brickell Avenue has been more
or less summarized in one sentiment:

At least, until I lost my view of
Miami Tower.
So here's the challenge that comes with
thinking about life on Brickell before moving
here, during my tenure, and imagining the
future: I'm spoiled by getting to live here, but
I'm concerned about it getting spoiled.
After a lifetime of seeing Miami as a
city that is not a city, but instead a metropol-
itan suburbia, I've happily found a perfect
balance on Brickell. The thrill of being
close to downtown has not abated, although
the view is slightly from afar. The closer it
comes, the more it represents the qualities
I desire in a city: diverse opportunities for
commerce and productivity, a scope of en-
tertainments, and pervasive access by foot.
Still, living on Brickell has taught
me that I can't have my cake and eat it,
too. If this area's remarkable growth is
to come to fruition, I'll have to see the
skyline change dramatically. In seeing
Miami's Manhattan develop over the
coming years, with it will come density
and obstruction. Will it still be the Brick-
ell I anticipated and have experienced?
Time will tell.


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March 2014

Biscayne Times

Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMI

Not as Calm as You

May Think
A run-down of staff shakeups, sick dirt, and our very own boxing champ

By Mark Sell
BT Contributor

ave for the occasional odd psy-
chodrama from the dais, North
Miami City Council meetings have
seemed deceptively calm of late.
Don't let that fool you. Appearances
deceive, for plenty is going on both
above and under the hood some of it,
we're sure, way under.
As all can see, rebranding proceeds
with fury at Biscayne Landing, and the
One Fifty One signs have replaced the
leasing signs. As for the stuff under the
hood, everyone knows that Police Chief
Marc Elias resigned (more on this later)
amid sudden, murky circumstances and
after suffering chest pains, but there's
no official reason why he's gone. Sudden

flashes of tantrum arise as quickly as July
4 rockets between Mayor Lucie Tondreau
and Councilman Scott Galvin, and then
disappear into niceties just as quickly.
Circumstance and time limit us this
month, so let us start by working against
type and sharing good news.
A shout-out to Kavon Nealy and the
North Miami Police Athletic League
(PAL): Kavon Nealy, 14 years old and
85 pounds, is now the No. 2 boxer in the
nation in his class, and first in the South-
east. He missed being No. 1 in the USA
by a hair in a decision fight in Texas on
February 2. He's a solid student at Al-
lapattah Middle School, has trained with
PAL since he was seven, and wants to
turn pro. Ian Ford is his trainer. Officer
James V. Stuart started the North Miami
PAL 20 years ago, and it mentors 350 or

400 kids a year. Sports is the draw, and
mentoring and leadership training is the
key. PAL will move into new digs at the
southeast corner of NE 8th Avenue and
NE 135th Street early next year.
Biscayne Landing: It's official now,
big time. All Biscayne Landing signs are
out, and it's now "One Fifty One at Bis-
cayne" or, if you prefer, "One Fifty One at
Biscayne Now Selling Condos." Almost
makes you forget it was once a landfill.
At One Fifty One, dogs must now
wear condo association tags with proof of
vaccination, and we residents have just re-
ceived new security passes. Solicitous valet
parkers for condo buyers have suddenly

appeared to shoo us away from certain
reserved parking spaces where we park
when we remember we just forgot some-
thing. Leasing signs have disappeared.
Lobbies and grounds are starting to look
much spiffier. As the real estate market
booms here, we renters who do not buy
may soon have to pull up stakes and find a
gypsy caravan, circus, or alms house.
Within the next month or so, bids
should go out on the "spine road" linking
NE 143rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard
with NE 151st Street east of the Boulevard.
By summer, you'll likely see "dynamic
compaction" pulverizing the construc-
tion fill now piled right behind the Target,

Biscayne Times

March 2014

Costco, and Biscayne Commons for the
road bed, with the first cars scheduled to
come through around mid-2015.
That road will give drivers from
143rd Street a clearer shot to the 25-story
One Fifty One towers, the North Miami
Athletic Field, ATM High, David Law-
rence Elementary, and FlU's Biscayne
Bay Campus.
At FlU, construction has just started on
a 130,000-square-foot, three-story rehearsal
and production studio and residence for
400 Royal Caribbean cruise-ship perform-
ers. As you might guess, it's a partnership
between Royal Caribbean and Flu, with the
university community sharing use of the
facilities. Completion date: January 2015.
FIU, by the way, is still looking hard
at an alternate route to its campus. Possi-
bilities include the spine road, NE 163rd
Street via the edges of Oleta River State
Park, widening 151st Street, and the
nature trail between NE 135th Street and
the campus. The last is a dandy proposi-
tion, but only if you wish to incite a riot.
Oleta Partners also say they're get-
ting very close to signing a ground lease
for a luxury car dealership on the south-
east corner of 151st Street and Biscayne

Boulevard, replacing the old Biscayne
Landing sales office atop the hillock.
Expect that corner to start changing fast.
As for the construction fill, that
194,000 cubic yards of slag contami-
nated with small amounts of aluminum
silicate (a possible carcinogen that blows
into Highland Village to the south, in
North Miami Beach) remain on the site,
trucked in from Brickell City Centre
with county DERM's approval but over
the objections of Project Manager and
ex-North Miami Mayor Joe Celestin
(whose $250,000-a-year contract just got
renewed for three years) until DERM
in late May told them to stop. Council
members ordered Oleta Partners to
remove it, but then it appeared that the
council might change course and charge
Oleta Partners $1 million to keep it. And
finally, at the February 25 meeting, the
council voted 3-2 for Oleta Partners to
remove the fill for once and for all.
And so, as things stand, Oleta Part-
ners will need to find someone to take
the stuff. Vice President and Biscayne
Landing overseer Herb Tillman says he
is in talks with various parties, seeking a
home for the fill. One striking thing about

the February 25 3-2 vote was that the
three council members who voted to get
the fill out were Commissioner Philippe
Bien-Aime the real swing vote Vice
Mayor Scott Galvin, and Commissioner
Carol Keys. While Mayor Tondreau and
Commissioner Marie Erlande Steril voted
yes, but with no particular enthusiasm.
That would solve a budget pickle for a
city running on fumes as the $21 mil-
lion Oleta partners dropped through the
chimney in 2012 runs out. Significant tax
revenue from Biscayne Landing looks
doubtful until about 2017, and municipal
operating money will be tight.
Personnel: Two big resignations have
marked the past few months. Marc Elias,
as noted, suddenly resigned as police
chief in early February, amid visits to the
hospital for chest pains and unfavorable
publicity about Haiti trips on the city tab,
some with Mayor Tondreau. His replace-
ment, for now, is interim chief Leonard
Burgess, who seems well-regarded and
comes up from the ranks.
As for new chiefs, we like the ones
who earn their titles from the ranks, with
professionalism first and politics second.
North Miami has some great cops.

Please don't tell us that Elias was chafing
over perceived interference from some
council members over promoting certain
sergeants. Section 19 of the city charter
prohibits council members from giving
orders regarding personnel, on pain of
being thrown off the council. Only the
city manager has such authority.
You might remember that in November,
Vernon Paul abruptly resigned as finance
director with a criticism of the city's com-
mitment to "a stable financial position." In
short order, a new finance director quietly
arrived: Camelia Colin-Siguineau. She
is a CPA, which Paul was not. She's also
the former campaign treasurer and cur-
rent spouse of former and perhaps future
Florida Rep. Philip Brutus, for whom
Mayor Lucie Tondreau campaigned.
We have urged an independent foren-
sic audit of the city's finances, but that
idea appears deader than vaudeville. At
the mere mention of an audit, state Rep.
Daphne Campbell (a Tondreau cham-
pion) and state Sen. Gwen Margolis are
said to flee for the hills. Plus, it's almost
a sure loser in a 3-2 council vote.

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.corn



Biscayne Times

March 2014

Neighborhood Correspondents: MIAMI SHORES

A Modest Proposal to

Revitalize Downtown
Writer residency programs could attract new businesses

By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor

A lot of folks, it seems, think it's
a good idea to move to Detroit.
That's where a nonprofit organi-
zation called Write a House is purchas-
ing abandoned homes for about $1000
each. Write a House is fixing them up
with the help of another helpful group,
Young Detroit Builders, which teaches
real-life skills to unskilled youth. Then
they're giving them away to aspiring or
established writers who may be rich in
talent but are poor in, well, money.
The houses are in neighborhoods
with character, such as Little Bangla-
deshi Town, but where there are so

many rundown residences that the banks
haven't even bothered to file foreclosure
paperwork. These are also areas where
the arts can or are already beginning to
thrive, another attraction for the scribe
who is currently strapped.
The accepted writers will be leasing,
for a nominal fee, the house from the or-
ganization for two years in order to cover
taxes and insurance. Should everything
be copacetic, at that time the deed will
be turned over to them, along with all
the accompanying homeowner responsi-
bilities. Aside from paying for utilities or
perhaps kicking in some labor here and
there, the writer's main responsibility is
to occupy Detroit and raise the neigh-
bors' property values.

No one I know thinks I'm a polar
vortex kind of girl. So given the number
of times I've been sent articles on this
subject by well-meaning friends and
acquaintances, I can only come to one
conclusion: There's gold to be mined in
this idea for Miami Shores.
Now, this is not a call for writers to
occupy the Shores not yet, at least.
Although there are a few long-term fore-
closed properties here, we have far more
vacant business buildings downtown.
Perhaps it's time to take a page from the

nonprofit handbook and philanthropic
programs like that at The Betsy-South
Beach, a hotel that hosts artists of all
kinds all year long, and think about es-
tablishing writers residencies instead.
The difference between a residence
and a residency is that the latter is
temporary. It can be handled in several
different ways. Landlords can establish
a welcoming colony and charge writers
sustainable fees for the living and work-
ing space. Guests in these kinds of situ-
ations have limited terms of engagement

Biscayne Times

March 2014

- say, a week to a month and are
expected to look after themselves. But
hosts would have the responsibility of
providing some basic amenities. So the
fees, while not nominal, don't compare
to luxury hotels either. For writers whose
brain waves are frozen along with the
land in the Northeast and Midwest, you
can bet it'd be a very popular destination.
A second approach, with a less bed-
and-breakfast aspect, is to establish a
nonprofit organization and charge writ-
ers application fees only for the privilege
of working and living for a week or two
at a time in our picturesque little village.
They'd be responsible for their own
transportation and food.
Or, as at The Betsy, organizers can
scout the writers they want, house them
in a boutique hotel, feed them at BLT
Steak, throw receptions for them, and
generally make them feel like kings and
queens for a little while. (Residencies
this generous are rare.)
It sounds like this would be terrific for
writers, but how would it help the land-
lords of those vacant downtown buildings,
aside from the obvious mitigation of lost
income? After all, landlords with empty

office space are probably getting all sorts
of tax breaks, right? And how would it
benefit those of us who live here and don't
see the difference if writers flock to Little
Bangladeshi Town or Little Haiti?
Well, as in Detroit, my hope is that
like would attract like. Unbeknownst
to many, we already have a large com-
munity of writers, poets, musicians, and
artists living in the Shores as permanent
residents. Establishing a writers colony or
rotating residencies would attract stores
and galleries that cater to the fine arts and
the needs of those individuals. It would
also beckon other arts organizations to
set up shop here. Today's writer and artist
isn't exactly the beatnik of the Sixties;
certainly village officials can't argue with
this kind of well-heeled crowd.
Also, writers in residence would
provide a boost to Miami Shores facilities
that already exist: an underutilized library,
a local university willing to provide read-
ing venues, and the artsy, independent 0
Cinema at Miami Theater Center.
Perhaps more important, writers
residencies require something of their
guests that benefits the community.
Perhaps it's not as dramatic as rehabbing

a house, but it's still a form of labor in
kind. For instance, visiting writers might
give workshops to teens at Doctors
Charter School or Miami Country Day.
They could offer readings of their latest
works, or even works in progress, at the
country club. They could pontificate on
their subjects in public lecture series and
give demonstrations of techniques at the
community center.
In fact, on a very practical level, writ-
ers have a level of expertise that can help
a community in ways that other types of
artists may not be able to. Every assign-
ment a writer receives, every book or
essay he or she begins to write, requires
an investigation into a different discipline,
another culture, a world apart from the
one in which we live. In short, writers
become relative lay-experts on their beats.
So, as captive Dear Abbys, writers in
residence can provide solutions to those
niggling problems that many of us suffer
from in the Shores but don't exactly
know how to resolve. Because writers
are both experts on their subjects and
expert researchers, they often provide
unique methods of absolution that locals,
stuck in their climactic and cultural

bubbles, might not have considered.
For instance, let's consider the white
fly problem. We've got one. It's been on-
going for several years now. My neigh-
bors' ficus shrubs are dead. Mine are
turning from lush green barriers keeping
out the street traffic into brittle skeletons
that reveal everything on both sides
of the fence. Perhaps a visiting garden
writer, who would be intellectually
intrigued by the ailments of our various
flora, would find a solution.
There are also plenty of people in-
terested in going green, but who are not
sure how to go about it. Invite a journal-
ist who writes about sustainable issues to
hold a forum, and you've got the Green-
ing of Miami Shores something the
leaders of this community are publicly
behind under way.
The point is, at l ... li ii
downtown aside from rumors of a
Belk department store opening would
be under way.
Editor's note: Something else is
indeed under way in downtown Miami
Shores. See page 45 in this issue.


Biscayne Times

March 2014

Neighborhood Correspondents: UPPER EASTSIDE

Here's to You! Please

Ignore the Graffiti...
A local hero is honored for the bridge she helped build

By Ken Jett
BT Contributor
n January 21, the city dedicated
the bridge on Biscayne Boule-
vard crossing the Little River
between 77th and 78th streets as the Mrs.
Ann Carlton Bridge. The musician, en-
tertainer, world traveler, and community
activist, whose roots run deep in Miami,
served the area for many years.
Unlike recent dedications of Manatee
Bend Park and Carlos Gimenez Fire Sta-
tion 13, this celebration was much more
intimate, having already been rescheduled
three times because of Carlton's failing
health. In attendance were Mayor Tomais
Regalado, the community liaison from
Commissioner Keon Hardemon's office,
assorted city staffers, Ann Carlton, her son

Bob, and members of the community.
The bridge was built in 1996 to
replace a wooden bridge constructed in
1928. When Carlton learned that FDOT
intended just to pour composite atop the
old bridge structure, she first turned to
local leaders for help, and when they ig-
nored her requests for a new bridge, she
traveled to Tallahassee.
After her trip, she was surprised to
receive a call at 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday
night asking what kind of bridge she
would like installed. Carlton, being a
formidable neighborhood voice, was at a
loss for words. She didn't know anything
about bridges (what layman does?). The
caller suggested a bridge like Star Island's.
Carlton figured that if it was good enough
for Star Island, it would be good enough
for the residents of the Upper Eastside.

Giddy with excitement, she was
unable to sleep that night and phoned an
activist friend, Vi Jacobson, and asked
her to throw on a robe and go with her
to Star Island to see what kind of bridge
they were getting.
While the architecture appears identi-
cal to the bridge at Star Island, unfortu-
nately, that is where the similarities end.
Star Island's bridge is clean and pristine,

but vandals have ravaged ours.
I was one of the community members
present at the bridge dedication, and I
was surprised and embarrassed by the
graffiti tags on the bridge. Furthermore,
not all lights are operable at night, and
the light panels that do work illuminate
the graffiti even more, despite attempts
to paint over the eyesores.


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Biscayne Times

March 2014

So the city followed through with
dedicating this bridge littered with
graffiti, dodgy as it is to someone
who has worked to make the area better.
Graffiti tags on the sides of the bridge
are clearly visible. The painted-over
tags on the lamp covers shine through at
night except for the spire that is burnt
out. Rather than the pleasant reflection
on the water of the lights from the Star
Island bridge, our lighted spires call out
to other tag artists like Batman's beacon.
It's not FDOT's responsibility to
maintain the bridge. That job belongs
to the county. Yet despite numerous
contacts by area leaders and county
Commissioner Audrey Edmonson's staff,
we're unable to maintain the bridge.
Would a burned-out bulb be allowed
on the bridge at Star Island, let alone
graffiti tags?
Could we have not spared some paint
and obtained one of the undoubtedly
stockpiled light panels on hold for Star
Island's bridge?
During the dedication ceremony, the
96-year-old honoree was keenly aware
of the deficiencies of her bridge. Had
I received the honor, I would've been

flattered.. .and then quickly requested that
my name be stricken from it (even if I had
to borrow someone's spray can to tag over
my name). Not Carlton. She beamed with
pride as she recounted the day that her son
took her to see the sign for the first time in
2012. "I cried like a baby," she said.
Most longtime residents of the Upper
Eastside know Carlton and pieces of
her vivid and unique history. In 1932
she was crowned Miss New Jersey. A
concert pianist, her Warner Bros. con-
tract was cut short when she married her
husband, Jon, an opera singer and former
concert violinist.
Her parents were urged by family
members to relocate to Miami in the
1940s. In the 1950s, her parents ran the
general store in Lemon City. Ann and
Jon, known as the "Karrol and Carlton"
team, performed for U.S. troops in more
than 100 countries for 17 years spanning
the 1950s and 1960s. Later she would
receive a Silver Medal by the Far East
Command for her distinguished service
to our service men and women.
When her husband's previous
performing partner refused to travel
overseas for engagements, Ann quickly

learned to play her custom-built accor-
dion to create the duo. They played with
notables like Frank Sinatra, who accord-
ing to Carlton, asked if he could borrow
Jon's arrangement of "Old Man River."
Ann and Jon served their communities
abroad and here at home. They were both
active in political and community affairs.
She has lived in her Shorecrest home for
50 years, proudly displaying commenda-
tions and certificates of appreciation, along
with photos of "Karrol and Carlton." The
newsprint stories inadequately detail a life
dedicated to helping others, from her neigh-
borhood homeowners association, local
HIV service organizations, and city board
memberships. She has received congressio-
nal citations, national letters of recognition,
and medals for overseas service.
In a recent column about our new
Upper Eastside fire station (sans fire
truck), you may have read that I dis-
agree with the city's naming of things
after living people. That still stands, but
until this bridge dedication, I hadn't
considered how the honoree might feel. I
assumed that it was always a good thing
- until I saw the condition of this bridge.
Maybe Mayor Gimenez is conflicted

or embarrassed by having a fire station
named after him in the most populous
area of sex offenders and predators in
the city, where eight people still call his
station's sidewalk home sweet home.
We can do better! Public Works needs
to be held accountable to maintain the Ann
Carlton Bridge. If it can be done for Star
Island, it can be done here. Or is another
road trip to Tallahassee in order? Can't we
come up with a solution that might cover
the light panels with a film that can be
removed easily and replaced regularly?
We also need to get tougher on graf-
fiti violations. On these structures that
bear someone's name, the hoodlums are
not only soiling the edifice, they're also
soiling the name of the honoree.
It seems fitting that Carlton's latest
recognition takes the form of the Ann
Carlton Bridge, given the scope of her
life's work. She and Jon bridged the
gap between home and overseas for
our troops. She bridged gaps between
needs within the community and those
accountable to meet those needs at local,
county, and state levels.


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Biscayne Times

Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTURA

Aventura, Pull Down

That Moat!
Candidates need access to condos

By Jay Beskin
BT Contributor
raggadocio isn't my style, but
I do take justifiable pride in
retiring from the Aventura City
Commission undefeated. I ran twice and
won twice, which I guess makes me the
Rocky Marciano of South Florida. That
being said, I do have an issue with the
election process down here; or perhaps I
should say my issue is with the election-
eering process.
To dramatize the point I want to
make, let me tell the tale of a particular
race in which I had a degree of involve-
ment. This was one of those situations

- fairly common in contests for all but
the highest-profile offices where can-
didates weren't going to have the kind
of money that buys prime-time televi-
sion spots and other expensive forms of
advertising. This meant that the battle
would be fought and won on the ground.
It called for classic "retail" poli-
tics. Every day of the campaign would
be spent wearing out shoe leather on
sizzling pavement, going from house
to house, door to door, standing there
waiting, with no clue whether Homer
Simpson or Jennifer Lopez would open
the door, whether you'd be greeted with
a chocolate-chip cookie or a rolling pin.
All day long, for weeks on end, your life

would turn into a knock-knock joke.
"Who's there?"
"Candy who?"
"Candy-date for school board. Can I
have a few words with you?"
That's not to say that this sort of
thing is no fun, if you'll pardon the
double negative. First of all, if you're a

salesman by nature or persuasion, you
can get a charge out of the challenge
of paying cold calls and going in fast
to close the deal. Of course, you never
know what's going to happen after they
say you have their vote. In fact, some-
times even a sincere potential voter has
a funny thing happen to him on the way
to the voting booth. You just have to
assume that if you made that connection



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Biscayne Times March 2014

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

in the moment, the odds are in your favor
that they'll do on Election Day what they
say they'll do today.
It's also cool to meet new people, who
often are very interesting characters with
stories to tell. In the course of such walks
and talks, I've been greeted by quite a few
such individuals I'd have had zero chance
of encountering in other contexts.
Once while out pounding the pave-
ment, I was invited into the home of Jose
Canseco Sr. He took me into a room
that was a veritable shrine to his famous
son's career, the walls festooned with
photographs and memorabilia from Jose
Jr.'s journey from Little League through
Major League Baseball.
Another resident regaled me with
tales of his career in the State Depart-
ment, moving from country to country,
building fortifications for U.S. Embassy
buildings from Bolivia to Saudi Arabia.
This was no Washington bureaucrat
filing reams of paperwork in quadru-
plicate and gaming every angle of the
pension system; this was a man as proud
of his skills as he was of his mission.
Yet another gentleman reported that
he'd been turned off to the byways of

government during his service in the Air
Force. He swore up and down that on the
day Kennedy was shot, planes carry-
ing nuclear payloads were sent to attack
the Soviet Union, and that by a miracle
Lyndon Johnson was able to turn them
around at the last possible moment. To
my knowledge, nothing like that has ever
been reported, so maybe this guy was
nuts or maybe I got a glimpse into a
secret chapter of U.S. history.
Here's my pet peeve: The problem
with campaign retail stumping is not
the work involved, but the barriers al-
lowed. As things stand, buildings (and
developments) that post security guards
at the door (or the gate) keep candidates
from entering the premises. Politicians
are treated like interlopers in the idyllic
world of shuffleboard and swimming
pools cushioned behind high hedges.
The attitude you encounter there is the
one that resonated in that old phrase on
the ubiquitous signage when we grew up:
"No solicitors."
Whatever it was that human beings
might solicit, in good faith or bad -
sales, handouts, signatures for petitions,
blood donations was stopped in its

tracks. This was the message: "Who
are you to invade my cocoon with your
entreaties? How dare you rub my con-
science with prickly things, instead of
stroking it with velvet? Haven't I put in
my years as a productive citizen with my
PTA meetings and my raking leaves and
my shoveling snow? Am I not entitled to
insulate myself now from the importun-
ing hordes and their plebeian concerns?"
The results of those barriers hurt both
the candidates and voters, who might
like what they have to say. Anyone
running for office without deep pockets
for television advertising has no way to
connect with the voters in these pro-
tected enclaves. On top of that, many of
those buildings or developments house
their own voting precincts. This creates
an amazing circumstance in which the
people living inside the walls never see a
candidate come in and themselves never
go out, not even to vote.
Rain on election day is, of course, is
the ultimate destroyer of this kind of
candidacy. Say you went out and made
friends with everyone but the folks in the
high-rises and the gated communities.
You had a fair chance to win but only

if the weather cooperates and your voters
can leave their homes and head to their
polling places.
If it rains, your voters are trapped
while the other guy's voters can cast
their ballots in their buildings without
a drop of rain mussing their hair. The
can-do loses to the condo.
Yes, I believe the laws should be
changed, but I realize the incumbents
have no motivation to do so. This
phenomenon mainly hinders new blood
from entering the fray without name
recognition; the sitting legislators have
crossed the moat already, and they're
happy to pull up the drawbridge behind
them. The people most affected are the
ones inside the walls, and they may not
realize how high a price in democracy
they are paying for their privacy.
So, in this space at least, be it re-
solved: Henceforth candidates for public
offices and their duly registered and
bonded agents shall not be denied access
to any building or community housing
citizens who vote for said office. There
you go problem solved!

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.corn

March 2014 Biscayne Times

March 2014

Biscayne Times

Culture: THE ARTS

Making Art Out of Words

A local couple share their love

By Anne Tschida
BT Arts Editor

t was a gorgeous February Sunday
in Miami, and everyone lucky
enough to be here should have
been basking in the outdoors. But
by midday there was already a
steady flow of visitors to the P6rez
Museum of Art Miami, a testi-
mony to the strength of our latest
cultural addition.
In one gallery, a mix of students,
art professionals, and art aficio-
nados was taking in a guided tour
of the exhibit "A Human Docu-
ment: Selections from the Sackner
Archive of Concrete and Visual
Poetry," and they were spellbound
- not just by the works on view, but
by their docents, none other than
Ruth and Marvin Sackner, owners
of said archive.
Welcome to their world of
concrete and visual poetry, where
the spatial arrangements of words,
and the uses of typographical
elements, and even collage and
paints, combine to form visual
art. The designs can evoke or even
depict the meanings of the words
that comprise the artwork; or they
can be abstract word compositions
whose shapes have little to do with
the words employed. Among the

and collection

of visual poetry

works on view are those that incorporate
text; art made from books that have been
manipulated; and art created by the pic-
torial arrangements of words and letters.

rom Phillips: A Humument Sixth
Revision, 2005-11, gouache and ink on

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rl V-I,-

The exhibit includes works reflective
of early European modernist movements,
such as Italian Futurismo, Dadaism,
Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus, and
French Lettrisme. It includes typewriter
art, rubberstamping, and experimental
calligraphy. An 1897 poem by the French
symbolist poet St6phane Mallarm6 is
among the hundreds of works on view
from the Sackner Archive.
The entire archive, which includes more
than 75,000 pieces, is the largest in the
world. And it is based in Miami, two reasons
why this exhibit among the inaugural ones
chosen to open the museum, is so exciting.
The works, from various countries
and eras, are arrayed in a way that is
fascinating, fun, and revelatory, with
words, in various fonts and forms, at
times accompanied with design elements,
painting, or collage.
On this Sunday, the Sackners were
both wearing custom-made sweaters

woven with visual poetry imagery. From
the start, it was clear that they have an
intense relationship with their archive.
Marvin Sackner has a story to tell
about every grouping in the exhibit,
from the early Russian and Italian pieces
to the works of the beat poets and Andy
Warhol, and explains the political, musi-
cal, philosophical, and pop influences
that inform certain works. Do we, for ex-
ample, truly grasp how labor-intensive it
was to use a manual typewriter to design
a page of words? Listening to him, we do.
His curiosity and wonderment about
the archived works form the backbone
of the Sackner collection. Sitting in the
penthouse condo off Biscayne Boulevard
where the entire archive is housed, the
Sackners explain how their vast archive
came into being. And it is vast.
Although catalogued and meticu-
lously organized, the archive fills almost
every nook and cranny, and includes

Biscayne Times

li i,.I (f

Now at PAMM: "A Human Document: Selections from the Sackner
Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry."

March 2014

books, periodicals, cor- i r -
respondence, and more.
They've always been their
own curators, and the in-
timacy they have with the
collection is intense.
Originally from Phila-
delphia, the couple moved
to Miami Beach in 1964,
when Marvin was pursu-
ing his medical career at
Mount Sinai, and then as 4
a professor of medicine
at University of Miami.
By the early 1970s, he'd
invented a suction catheter
and eventually acquired
34 more medical patents,
which financially allowed
him and Ruth to act on
their passion of collecting.
His applied his re-
search skills to collecting,
always wanting to know
the story behind the story.
Hence the eventual idea
of an archive rather than
an art collection. "We
have retained copies of Franz Mon
the correspondence to and decollage.
from dealers, curators,
artists, poets, and critics since the col-
lection was formed," they write on their
website. "We chose to call our collection
an 'archive' because an archive includes
correspondence, documentation, and
ephemeral material, as well as core items
of the collection."
While Marvin is the scientist, Ruth is
more the aesthetic valuator. They seem
to know each work as though it was a
child of theirs, recalling the development
of a particular artist or piece of art.
They didn't intend to develop a
collection of concrete poetry; their
first interests included the Venezuelan

: Woman on a Typewriter, 1965,

geometric kinetic and op artists Carlos
Cruz-Diez and Jesfis Rafael Soto. But in
1974 in Switzerland, they met English
artist/collagist Tom Phillips, whose pri-
vately printedA Humument is described
on the artist's own website as "a radical
'treatment' of a forgotten Victorian novel
by means of collage, cut-up, ornament,
and other techniques."
The actual title of the 1892 book was
A Human Document, by W. H. Mallock,
and the result in Phillips's hands was
an entirely new narrative, with even an
entirely new protagonist, though some of
the original text pokes through and helps

d.a. levy: Women in the Radical Mo
1968, collage on paper.

further the narrative. The couple fell
hard for it and decided to pursue similar
word-art artworks.
Pages fromA Humument are fea-
tured in the museum (reworking the
entire book is still a work in progress,
even after more than 40 years) and the
homage to its spirit resides in the very
name of the PAMM exhibit itself, "A
Human Document." This is personal.
Another Phillips piece, the Complete
Text of First Draft of Dante's Inferno
Translation (/j I-, j .. 1,. Backing Paper)
dates from 1994. Dante's work also
inspired a trio of large paintings along

one wall, some of the most
colorful pieces in the room.
These works are from U.S.
artist Paul Laffoley, made
in the 1970s, and resemble
a combination of alchemy
charts and mandalas as
viewed through a sci-fi
lens. They are based on
S Dante's Divine Comedy
S, ^and composed of acrylic,
oil paint, and digital cut
SMany of the works beg
for explanation about their
intricate composition-
like the 2008 piece from
another U.S. artist, Brian
Dettmer, which is actu-
ally a sculpture. The book
cover we see is a portal,
and we peer into layers of
cut pages that make one
image; he has cut each in-
dividual page of this book
to make a collage-looking
It all adds up to an in-
'ement, tellectually stimulating and
engaging artistic journey,
and from a collection that
has been painstakingly built right here in
Miami. A nod must be given to PAMM
and to curator Rend Morales, who spent
a year picking out pieces that would
reflect this archive, and for putting a
spotlight on "A Human Document."

"A Human Document: Selections from
the Sackner Archive of Concrete and
Visual Poetry" runs ;h,. ,iji May 25 at
the Prez Museum ofArt Miami, 1103
Biscayne Blvd., Miami; open Tuesday
;li,. ii Sunday;

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1- 1 **200 Hr. Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training Starts March 2014


March 2014

Biscayne Times




2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information

2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
www.alejand ravon
Through April 5:
"Drawing on Memory" by Sam Winston
"In Circle" by Marcolina Dipierro

151 NE 40th St., Ste 200, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information

348 NW 29th St., Miami
Through April 18:
"City Skins" by Paul Amundarain

561 NW 32nd St., Miami
Through March 7:
"Textile for Men and Machine Breakers" by Carrie Sieh,
curated by Bernice Steinbaum

122 NE 11th St., Miami
Through March 9:
"Peace Off Mind" by Frank Haines and Christopher

2248 NW 1st PI., Miami
Through April 5:
"Paper Work" with Joana Bruessow Fischer, Jorge
Chirinos Sanchez, Kyu-Hak Lee, Pablo Lehmann,
and Tony Vazquez

12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information

2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami
"HOX" by Douglas Hoekzema
"Sym City" by Yuri Tuma

Chris Fennell, Guts and Glory, acrylic, glitter, painted paper, and acryloid
resin on canvas over panel, 2013, at Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art.

158 NW91st St., Miami Shores 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
305-490-6906 786-486-7248
March 1 through April 20: Through March 28:
"Say Yes" by Chris Fennell "Dark Continents" by Marina Font
Reception March 1, 6 to 10 p.m.
541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-573-9994
305-571-1415 Through April 30: "Haussmannization" by Jorge Mino,
Call gallery for exhibition information Eduardo Capilla and Leopoldo Maler

2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 151 NW24th St., Miami
305-573-8110 305-576-1278, Call gallery for exhibition information
Through March 29:
"Tender Game" by Luis Gispert FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY
2247 NW 1st PI., Miami
2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami Call gallery for exhibition information
305-576-1804 GALLERY DIET
Through April 4: 174 NW 23rd St., Miami
"The Rhythm of Materiality" by Uisuk Byeon 305-571-2288,
"The Visitors" by Charlote Squire Call gallery for exhibition information

100 NE 11th St., Miami 8375 NE 2nd Ave., Miami
305-607-5527 Through March 22: "A Durable Scale of Values" by Joseriberto Perez
March 7 through April 12:
"Fathoms" with Adrienne Rose Gionta, Andrew HARDCORE ART CONTEMPORARY SPACE
Horton, ARG + Yasmin Collaborative, Gardner Cole 72 NW 25th St., Miami
Miller, Ivan Santiago, Joe Locke, Kristin O'Neill, Nick 305-576-1645
Gilmore, Yasmin Khalaf
Reception March 7, 7 to 11 p.m. Through March 8:
"Tapestries" by Raimundo Travieso

301 NW 28th St., Miami
Through April 19:
"Afterimage" by Martin C. Herbst

223 NW 26th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information

46 NW 36th St., Miami
Through April 12:
"In the Era of the Soul" by Angela Lergo

151 NW 24th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information

117 NE 1st Ave., Ground Floor, Miami
Through March 15:
"i-Miami 2013" by Marc Schmidt

2300 N Miami Ave., Miami
March 6 through April 30:
"A Line in Motion" by James Chedburn
Reception March 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami
March 8 through April 12:
"Inholdings" by Christy Gast
Reception March 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

122 NE 11th St., Miami
Through March 8:
"Single Solid Burner" by JPW3

172 NW24th St., Miami
Through March 22:
"Reflective Realities" by Christopher Winter

177 NW23rd St., Miami
Through March 8:
"Consider This" by Gregory Coates

2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami

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Biscayne Times March 2014

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March 2014


March 6 through April 5:
"New Forms" by Nanin
Reception March 6, 7 to 10 p.m.
2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through April 19:
"Made in Miami" with various artists

151 NE 7th St., Miami
Through March 23:
"Into the Rainbow Vein" by Magnus Sodamin
151 NE 40th St., Miami
Through March 6:
Jonathan Prince

171 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through March 4:
"Retrospective" by Mark Humphrey
2750 NW 3rd Ave., Ste 4, Miami
March 6 through 28:
"Borderland" by Leah Brown
Reception March 8, 2 to 9 p.m.

NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets
'Wynwood Walls" with various artists
2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information


800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Through March 16:
"In His Own Likeness" with Othon Castaneda, Rocio
Garcia, Eny Roland, and Mario Santizo
924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Through March 30:
"One Out of One Thousand" with Jenny Brillhart,
Nicole Doran, Katerina Friderici, Marina Gonella,
Gamliel Herrera, Babette Herschberger, Kathy Kissik,
Rosa Naday Garmendia, Lori Nozick, Kerry Phillips,
and Natalie Zlamalova


2..1',r ..

Sam Winston, Modern Gods (detail), archival
inkjet printed on Japanese Kozuke paper, 2013,
at Alejandra von Hartz Gallery.

2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Through March 16:
"ESL" by Piotr Uklanski
March 13 through July 20:
"Vanitas: Fashion and Art" with various artists

CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation)
1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information
23 NE 41st St., Miami
"Looking at Process: Works from the Collection of
Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz" with various artists
10975 SW 17th St., Miami
Through March 9:
"Aesthetics & Values" with Ray Azcuy, Carlos
Betancourt, Antonio Chirinos, Maritza Molina, Ralph
Provisero, Carol Prusa, Onajide Shabaka, Kyle
Trowbridge, and Michelle Weinberg
Through April 20:
"Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs"
with various artists

1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables
Through March 23:
"Pueblo to Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian
Pottery" with various artists

Melissa's Pick
London-based artist Sam Winston's latest exhibition, "Draw-
ing on Memory" his first solo show at Alejandra von Hartz
Gallery is interested in how memory works, as well as its
importance within the context of passing time and language.
"Drawing on Memory" consists of conversations with four
diverse people whose relationships to time and memory are
entirely unique a prisoner, a meditator, an Alzheimer's
patient, and a touring rock musician. These conversations
were then transcribed onto paper using carbon pens and de-
constructed by Winston, who reassembles their messages into
abstracted visual noise. The works eventually lose their narra-
tive and history as they overlap and bleed into one another. A
dense, visually stunning tapestry of language, "Drawing on
Memory" is not to be missed. Melissa Wallen

"Finished in Beauty: Navajo Weaving from the
Permanent Collection" with various artists
Through April 27:
"The Art of Panama" with various artists
Freedom Tower
600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Through March 8:
"(in)tangibility" by Lauren Pascarella
Through March 29:
"Rituales en Haiti" with various artists
"Following Your Own Sense of Justice" by Leonard
Through July 12:
"The Influencers I: Prominent Works from the MDC
Permanent Art Collection" with various artists
March 27 through April 27:
"Beyond The Rails: Notes on Trains, Travel and
Society" with various artists
March 27 through May 4:
Tatiana Vahan
770 NE 125th St., North Miami
Through March 9:
"Angel Without You" by Tracey Emin

1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Projects Gallery
Through March 30: Bouchra Khalili
Through March 16:
"According to What?" by Ai Weiwei
Through April 20: Yael Bartana
Through May 25: "A Human Document: Selections
from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual
Poetry" with various artists

"For Those in Peril on the Sea" by Hew Locke
Through July 27:
"Image Search: Photography from the Collection" with
various artists
Through September 28:
Monika Sosnowska
March 13 through August 31:
"Imagined Landscapes" by Edouard Duval-Carrie
Reception March 13, 6 to 9 p.m.
591 NW 27th St., Miami
Through April 26:
"The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse" with
various artists, curated by Katherine Hinds
"The Wisdom of the Poor: A Communal Courtyard" by
Song Dong
"Calzolari, Kounellis, Pistoletto" byArte Povera
"Paintings and Sculpture 1986-2006" by Anselm Kiefer
"Foto Colectania Foundation, Barcelona, Spain,
Chema Madoz" with various artists
95 NW 29th St., Miami
Through August 1:
"28 Chinese: 28 Contemporary Chinese Artists at the
Rubell Family Collection" with various artists
1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Through May 18:
"Bust of a Doctor" by Gideon Barnett
"Rebirth of Rome" with various artists
"Rendering War: The Murals ofA. G. Santagata" by A.
G. Santagata
"Echoes and Origins: Italian Interwar Design" with
various artists

Compiled by Melissa Wallen
Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to

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March 2014 Biscayne Times

-- . . . . .

March 2014

Biscayne Times


Virtuosity, Mirth, and Charm
Here comes another U.S. tour for those virtuoso musicians who can also move
an audience to helpless laughter: Berlin's Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester.
MR&PO brings a dazzling nod to the stylish cabaret, dance, and big band music
popular in Weimar Germany during the 1920s and 1930s (and American songs
of the era as well). Shows sell out from Shanghai to Tel-Aviv to New York's
Carnegie Hall. When the university music students debuted their band in 1987,
an enraptured audience demanded that they repeat the entire program and
it's been onward and upward ever since. MR&PO comes to the Arsht Center for
the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) on Sunday, March 9, at 8:00
p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $95;

Films About Food, With a Meal
The Miami International Film Festi-
val, like the South Beach Wine & Food
Festival, has grown into a huge success.
So why not combine elements of each? A
segment of this year's MIFF titled "Culi-
nary Cinema" has been curated by none
other than Lee Brian Schrager, founder
of the Wine & Food Festival. Starting on
Saturday, March 8, a movie about food
will be paired with dinner at a Miami-area
restaurant, the menu inspired by the film.
Films include Soul of a Banquet, Brasserie
Romantique, Final Recipe, Le ( l'. Food
for Love, and Jadoo, the final film, which

screens Friday, March 14. For details on
participating movie houses, restaurants,
and tickets, go to
program/culinary cinema.

"Put On Your Red Shoes and
Dance the Blues...."
The Spanish Cultural Center, or CCE, (1490
Biscayne Blvd., Miami) has grown into
a community/meeting center, part of the
reason it moved downtown from Coral
Gables, featuring free or inexpensive multi-
cultural art, theater, and musical performanc-
es. The center also encourages other groups
to host events, such as the grouping called
The Nightclub. As part of the "This Is Not a

-he Wolfsonian-FIU WLRN aheMiami tlf----

March 20-23014
March 20-23



Got complaints? Want to
suggest solutions? We're all ears.
Call the Complaints Line today!

SKnight Foundation Anonymous (T NorthernTrst

'l~~lt~lllL2LIt!C 'NA \ ?}f S~ m W ONTXINEBLAJ

Museum" exhibit (which ends March 7), The
Nightclub celebrates its "14th "edition" with a
dance party Thursday, March 6, from 7:00
p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Let's Dance! features DJs
CC Cruz and Le Spain, and VJ Consuelo
Constafieda; free. RSVP at www.ccemiami.

Borders and Other
Demarcations Between Us
Actor, director, "theater artist" Thaddeus
Phillips, whose most recent work a New
York Times critic called an c\qLI-iLc
show.., among the most original musical
theater works I've seen in years," brings a
new work, 17 Border Crossings, to town.

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More details at I 3, 7O7.3023

On the Tequesta Trail
March is Florida Archaeology Month,
and the Deering Estate at Cutler (16701
SW 72nd Ave.) is hosting two Tequesta
Trail walking tours to introduce guests
to this long-vanished people and their
local habitat. The Tequesta hunted and
canoed around the land known now as
the Deering Estate (and, of course, in
downtown Miami), and walkers will
follow the ancient trail that the original
Floridians navigated along Miami Rock
Ridge, study artifacts from the area,
visit a burial mound, and get to know
the lush landscape. The walks take
place Saturday March 8, and Sunday
March 9, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.;
tours are free with admission, which is


The Center
Y Literal ureoi Thedtre
, Miami Wade Cotege

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014


Presented by Miami Light Project, the solo
show takes us through his experiences
crossing the borders of Egypt, Jordan,
Israel, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Bali, Co-
lombia, Mexico, Cuba, Morocco, Austria,
Italy, and the Czech Republic. Performanc-
es, which blend "global ideas, surprising
images, and extreme playfulness," run
from Thursday, March 6, through
Saturday, March 8, at 8:00 p.m. at the
Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW
26th St., Miami); tickets $20 to $50 for

A Russian Doctor Dolittle Meets
the Ballet
The Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida presents
its latest child-friendly and funny perfor-
mance with Dr. Ouch!. Based on poems of
the beloved Russian children's poet Kornei
Chukovsky, the dance tells the adventures
of a doctor (adapted from Doctor Dolittle)
who travels to Africa to help the animals
and meets monkeys, tropical birds, other
amazing creatures.. .and pirates. Profes-
sional dancers are accompanied by a
number of young talents. On Saturday,
March 8, and Sunday March 9, the com-
pany will put on 3:00 p.m. matinees and

A Tour Through Miami's Jewish History
Temple Emanu-El in Miami Beach, with its blend of Byzantine and Moorish
architectural elements, is not just a beautiful example of the deep roots of
Jewish life here it's considered one of the most spectacular synagogues
in the nation and will be featured as one of the stops, along with Beth David
and the Holocaust Memorial designed by Kenneth Treister on HistoryMi-
11ini'S 111 \\ FLi,'Ici St N Iuini I .Jell ihi Hi'lor. Coacli Tounr Tk c\' cII
tikcs plicc Sniid... NUrcli. 9 lion I1 "1 i1i in Io noon N m bc il $15 I1ion-
IIh ilib l -1 $45 i1cS'l i OII i'qiiii t.'d cil\ lOnii lliiS oiS Nl \ I i oI!'

evening shows at 7:00 at the Aventura Arts
& Cultural Center (3385 N.E. 188th St.,
Aventura); tickets cost $25; lap tickets are
also available. More at

The Real Deal for Your Nightlife
Winter nights in South Florida are not
called balmy for nothing. So enjoy the
balm of a pleasant moonlit evening with
the naturalists of Greynolds Park (17530
W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach)
as they lead guests on a Creatures of
the Night EcoAdventures walk from
7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday, March
14. You'll explore the park's nocturnal
denizens under the stars. No snow, no

clouds. Admission is $6; go to the "Cal-
endar" link on for
registration and more information.

A Hollywood Don't Ask, Don't Tell
The resident theater company at the Arsht
Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami),
Zoetic Stage, is back with a play that
premieres on Thursday, March 20, and
runs through Sunday, April 6. Written
by Michael McKeever, Clark Gable Slept
Here is billed as a satirical look behind the
scenes in Hollywood as a silver screen idol
gets through the Golden Globe Awards
ceremonies while his wife and staff are left
to deal with the body of the male prostitute
found on his bedroom floor; at 7:30 p.m.;
tickets cost $45;

Tales From the Little Havana
The Sandbox Series at the Miami Theater
Center (9806 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores)
offers Paradise Hotel from Juan C. Sanchez,
a performance on Friday, March 28 at 8:00
p.m. Sanchez has strung together seven
vignettes taking place in the same down-and-
out motel on Calle Ocho, but from different
decades from the 1950s until the present.
Tickets are $20. Sanchez will also be leading
workshops throughout the month; go to for details.

Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida.
Please send information and images to

Biscayne Times 69

750 N.E. 55th terrace, Miami, FL 33137



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March 2014


Biscayne Crime Beat
Compiled by Derek McCann

Nosy Guests Are Now Welcome
4300 Block ofNE lstAvenue
Who wants to be the houseguest from hell?
This person let an old friend stay with him
in his home and disabled the alarm as he
headed to work so his friend could come
and go as he pleased. However, someone
was apparently watching. A rear window
to the home was smashed in and several
packed boxes were taken The guest, having
heard the window being smashed, assumed
it was just his friend and did not want to
interfere. Maybe he assumed a temper
tantrum was under way and wanted to give
his buddy some space? Victim was a dolt
himself, thoroughly cleaning the crime
scene to ready it for the police.

Humpty Dumpty Air Conditioning
4200 Block ofNE 1st Avenue
Owner was mowing the grass in her
yard when she noticed the cage to her air
conditioner was now open. Upon further
inspection, scraps of paper and metal
had now replaced the compressor. So not
only were the guts stolen from her unit,
but an attempt was made to cover it up
and put it back together, ghetto-style. No
arrests have been made.

Just Another Wobbly Truck
1000 NE 1st Avenue
You'd think that a U-Haul store would
have better security, or maybe people
just don't steal the trucks because they

assume this too. Well, it looks
like open season at this lot i
one of their U-Haul trailers
suddenly went missing from the
parking lot; we are surprised
that the employees even noticed
the theft owing to the mountains
of bubble rap that surround
them. Hopefully, the vehicle
will be returned soon with the
obligatory gas refill.

While He's There, Might
as Well Fill that Xanax.
100 Block ofNE 54th Street
You've got to feel for those brave
souls who cycle around town
in heavy traffic. On his way to
a Walgreens, this poor chap chained his
bike to the bicycle rack, which really
serves as an open storefront for Boule-
vard thievery, and then made his way
inside. Despite the plethora of video
cameras, the man's ride was gone forever,
leaving just the silly chain in its wake. If

you have a bike in Miami, realize it will
always be a rental.

Helping Hands of Miami
900 Block ofNE 2nd Avenue
When one gets inebriated, usually it is a
good idea to have someone else around


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Biscayne Times March 2014


Biscayne Times

March 2014

to sort of guide you home, at least. But
this is Miami, and we have no time for
that. This person left Club Mekka and
decided it would be best to sleep on the
grass nearby; grass can be comforting
and relaxing, of course. Someone was
kind enough to help him up later, but
of course he had to take his wallet and
watch as well. Kindness comes with a
barter price, mind you, so make sure you
have something to barter with.

The Spoils of War or Late Rent
400 Block ofNE 82nd Terrace
Evictions are rough for all involved,
but changing the locks would seem to
be a necessity. This landlord chose not
to, and other neighbors saw the tenant
frequent the apartment in the days after
the eviction. The refrigerator would go
missing in the end before locks were fi-
nally changed. Imagine if said landlord
waited longer?

Even Our Puppies Are Unsafe
from Theft
7600 Block ofBiscayne Boulevard
This owner had tied his three-month-old
puppy to a tree and then left for the day.

While this is often a common occurrence
in Miami, it has led to at least two dog
thefts in the past two weeks. There were
no witnesses to the assumed theft, and
Animal Control was not in the area at the
time, leading this poor owner to mourn
for his lost shepherd-mix puppy. Once
again, our criminal element limits our
choices: Leave Fido tied up outside all
day, or let him relieve himself at will on
your furniture.

Southern Charm Can Manipulate
the Toughest
700 Block ofNE 81st Street
The victim was likely wanting to help
a person in need and drove his new
acquaintance from Miami Beach to his
Miami home. The man called himself
Dave and said he was from Clarkesville,
Tennessee, and wanted to live with his
cousin in Hallandale Beach. Victim
decided to leave him to his own devices,
and then jumped into the shower. Not the
best move, because his Southern friend
took the victim's keys and wallets, and
left in an unknown direction. We think
"Hallandale Beach" should have thrown
him off a bit.

Whole Foods Brings Out the Dead
200 Block ofNE 57th Street
Nice to have fresh fruit growing from
your trees, as that is one of the great
things about Miami. Just don't forget
that security fence. We now have jump-
ers running into private gardens and
terrifying homeowners. In this latest in-
cident, the frazzled owner was not even
sure if the fence jumpers were after just
the mangoes or if this just an old-school
burglary attempt. Either way, the zom-
bies are out in force: watching, running,
and jumping. Even without the mangoes,
there will still be blades of grass to steal.

Shenanigans at PetSmart
3101 N. Miami Avenue
Yes, even animal owners break the law
at the expense of others. A woman left
her cell phone on a PetSmart counter
and walked away. The couple behind her
then finished their transaction. The next
person to the counter saw the cell phone
and, being a typical pet owner, ran
outside to catch the couple to give them
back their phone, thinking it was theirs.
Turns out it was not theirs, and the

rightful owner returned, enraged. Calls
were made to that couple on the numbers
PetSmart had in their database, and they
denied having the other phone. We guess
the person who left the phone there was
a cat owner, the person who returned it
a dog owner, and that couple, hopefully,
have not gotten past goldfish yet.

Wolf of Biscayne Boulevard
2100 N. Miami Avenue
A man who goes by the name of Tony told
the victim he could make him a fortune in
penny stocks. He was going to buy him a
million shares. Victim drove Tony to the
bank, which should have been a warning
right there, because if a mover-and-shaker
by the name of Tony does not have a
car, there could be a good reason. The
victim handed Tony $50,000. Tony told
him he was going inside to make money
orders. Thirty minutes passed, and there
was no sign of Tony anywhere. He never
even entered the bank. Guess if you had
$50,000 to lose, you may have met your
share of Tonys, though no more feature
films, please.

Feedback:. letters@tbiscaynetimes.corn


I. tori SmoeTcnlg

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March 2014

Biscayne Times

Columnists: PARK PATROL

South Pointe Packs in

the Views

Beautiful ships compete with beautiful people

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

ut your hands in the air and wave
em like you're on The Love Boat!
Not sure if any rapper
will appropriate those lyrics, but
I am sure about the world's best
place to practice the "Love Boat
Wave." Down the lane from the
world's busiest cruise ship port,
this park is the world's waviest.
Or most waved at. Crazy wavy.
Cruise ship passengers just
love to wave (what's up with that?),
and it happens regularly at South
Pointe Park. Come for the view;
stay for the arm spasms.
But wait, there's more than
just ship watching at this 17-acre
oasis at the end of the Beach. ,e
After a quick dip in the Atlantic,
among the surfers, let's dry off The
and consider a three-segment affoi
approach to the park, which was
rededicated in 2009 after a $22.5 million
overhaul based on designs by Hargreaves
Segment One is just over the dunes.
With its winding pathways and hilltop
views, this breathtaking place puts the


South Point

exclamation point in South Pointe.
Yes, I said hilltop, as in the place
where Teletubbies live, because from
beach level rises an actual hill with an
actual incline and an actual winding

park's hill rises some 40 feet above sea I
rding expansive water views.

pathway. The top of the hill places you
about 40 feet above sea level and provides
sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Currently the view is somewhat
marred by the construction of a replace-
ment pier inside Government Cut. That

Park Rating

1 Washington Ave.,
Miami Beach 33139
Hours: Sunrise to 10:00
p.m. (walkway 2:00 a.m.)
Picnic tables: Yes
Barbecues: No
Picnic pavilions: No
Tennis courts: No
Athletic fields: No
Night lighting: Yes
Swimming pool: No
Playground: Yes

The walkway along the water is worth the price of admission which is
flat-rate parking.

fishing pier will eventually
provide the ultimate setting
for every tourist's postcard-
worthy photo shoot. It's
scheduled for completion
this summer at a cost of
This City of Miami
Beach project includes
provisions for turtle-safe
lighting, following the
city's ordinance of 2006,
despite Miami-Dade County
remaining the only county
in South Florida lacking a
comprehensive ordinance.
evel, From the pier, the sidewalk
forks into the uphill portion
and the shipping channel
walkway. Let's walk up the hill.
A sign clearly prohibits wheels and other
forms of speedy transportation, so you can
relax along the smooth gray incline. On
your left are native grasses and other plants
common to sand dunes. A few isolated
benches beckon, but upward you walk until
the path becomes horizontal again and con-
tinues in a giant "S" shape around the park.
You are walking above water.
Watch out for supermodels, super
photographers, and their entourages.
Their constant photo shoots here take
advantage of hovering above the average,
little sea-level people.
Stepping gingerly, you spy a curious
round structure, with public restrooms
below and a wooden deck above. Here
children sit in mothers' laps, cradled
in the curves of orange lounge chairs.
Nearby, a taut woman unfurls her yoga
mat in the shade of a ceramic cruise ship
smokestack. Oh, I get it; you're on a sta-
tionary deck! Do the Love Boat Wave!
Below deck, the children's playground
appears to be an adult's conception of

fun for the fashionable children of SoFi
("South of Fifth," the newer name for
the South Pointe 'hood). Everything is
beige and askance and shaped like giant
horseshoes with inset lighting and so SoFi.
There's even a concession called Blissberry.
Much more enticing is a splash zone
of giant, silvery SoFi squiggles. When
you push the big orange buttons, they're
supposed to spray, but on this day they
just dribble. No fun here.
Segment Two is the park's center, and
here things turn more pedestrian. The
inland sidewalk holds little to appeal to
non-joggers, and the native plant areas cast
shade over a few benches fit for reflection.
Along the channel, however, the walk-
way is stunning beautiful and mesmer-
izing. It's the entire reason to come here
and watch the ships go by. And watch
the people this is South Beach, after
all, where the men are more beautiful
than the women, and the women are more
beautiful than allowed by nature.
The walkway, called "Cut Walk"
for its location along Government Cut,
proves so popular that it remains open
until 2:00 a.m. while the rest of the park
closes at 10:00 p.m. This exception also
allows patrons to linger at the upscale
Smith & Wollensky restaurant that strad-
dles the walkway in the park's center.
At the terminus of Washington
Avenue, the park's plaza disappoints.
Framed by the massive condominiums
of Apogee and Portofino, this open space
should be the park's grand entryway. In-
stead, it features a frustrating parking lot
(usually full) and a recent construction
zone that awaits landscaping.
The plaza lacks shade and features a
perplexing series of metal spines stick-
ing out of the ground. Are they exhaust
pipes? Mini cannons for confetti? Why
are they lined up in military fashion?

Biscayne Times March 2014


Biscayne Times

March 2014

When those squiggly poles are working
right, kids frolic under showers of water.

Water cannons on the plaza will be working again soon,
and grass covering gravel.

Peering inside, you see an apparent spigot
for shooting water. If it did shoot, the blast
might knock you flat on your back.
Aha! They're water cannons gone
dry. The website of the City of Miami
Beach's Office of Capital Improvement
Projects states that this area is undergo-
ing a "water feature renovation." Online
photos show that fountains used to spew
from the plaza's floor.
Moving on, the park's third segment
is closest to PortMiami and flows into

German artist Tobias Rehberger
Obstinate Lighthouse for the pa

Miami Beach Marina. Besides an off-
leash area, its trademark is a German
exclamation point by Tobias Rehberger.
Installed in 2011, Obstinate Light-
house is a whimsical 55-foot structure
with a disco beacon on top and with
what appear to be giant hockey pucks
stacked during a game of Jenga. Curious,

cute, and worth the
* created $500,000? Probably.
rk. Another curious
feature, the rectangular
wharf or cutout area, which provides front-
stage seats for fish-watching. No fishing and
no swimming allowed in this park; you can
only peer into the outdoor aquarium.
While the world-class views from
South Pointe Park usually sparkle with
turquoise waters flushed by the ocean,
they're about to get a lot murkier. For the

next two years, the Deep Dredge project
is blasting and dredging to deepen the
port (see "Going Green"' in this issue).
It's cruisin' for a bruisin'.
Ironically, one of the park's signs
facing cruise ship passengers state in bold
letters: "Do Not Anchor, Do Not Dredge."
If only.
Put your hands in the air, and wave
'em like you just don't care.

Feedback: letters@ biscaynetimes.corn

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March 2014 Biscayne Times

March 2014

Biscayne Times


The Railroad that Built

A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami

By Paul S. George
Special to the BT

When Henry M. Flagler's
Florida East Coast Railway
steamed into Miami in April
1896, it transformed a wilderness into a
settlement that would incorporate as the
City of Miami just three months later.
Flagler, the great oil and railroad
baron, built a small, temporary station
on the corner of today's W. Flagler Street
and NW 1st Avenue at that time. In 1897
a larger, more attractive wood-frame sta-
tion replaced it on the western portions
of today's Miami News/Freedom Tower

block. The photograph accompanying
this article shows the station in 1905,
with the young city beginning to rise
amid the piney woods.
Many guests of Flagler's magnificent
Royal Palm Hotel arrived by rail at the
station and were delivered to their quar-
ters by draymen in horse-drawn car-
riages moving south along N. Bayshore
Drive and S. Bayshore Drive.
In 1912 the Flagler organization replaced
this handsome facility with a new railroad
station at today's 200 NW 1st Ave. A two-
story structure, the station was built of Dade
County pine. By the 1950s, city officials and
others were calling for a new facility, one that

would rise outside of the downtown district.
But this demand never reached fruition
Instead, the FEC Railway halted service into
downtown Miami in 1963, as a violent labor
strike began, and the last of it stations was
razed in the fall of that year.
Long before then, in 1925, the hand-
some Miami News building, featuring its
signature Giralda tower, rose on a portion of

the site of the 1897 station. Today it is one of
the city and area's most revered buildings.

To order a copy of this photo, please
contact HistoryMiami archives manager
Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@a
historymiami. org.



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Biscayne Times

March 2014

Columnists: YOUR GARDEN

You Can Love Your

This master of symbiosis is harmless to your trees

By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor

ne of my favorite mentors early
in my horticultural career was a
fellow named Mr. Rule. Hear-
ing me talk incessantly about one par-
ticular family of plants I liked back then,
he advised me to become a generalist
and not a specialist. I heeded his counsel
to pursue knowledge and experience in
the many facets of horticulture, and I
found it to be a wise decision.
It was Mr. Rule who introduced me
to what used to be called "shelf fungus,"
the fuzzy gray-silver stuff that grows
on the trunks of palms and other mature
trees. Back then, people would spray the
tree trunks with copper to kill the "shelf
fungus" because, presumably, it would
damage and eventually kill the tree, es-
pecially royal palms. (Even today, people
sometimes spray to kill a plant before
even finding out what it is; I've seen
bromeliads and other plants killed by
copper from overspray during a control
operation for "shelf fungus.")
At any rate, I eventually came to
learn that "shelf fungus" is actually two
or three different groups of organisms
growing together and supplying one
another with different types of nutrients
that, alone, they are unable to manufac-
ture. This type of relationship is known
as a symbiosis, and the organism in
question is called a lichen.

The main body of a lichen, the thallus,
is a particular species of fungus, and the
organisms that live inside this fungus are
either a species of alga or of cyanobacte-
rium, sometimes both. The benefit of this
symbiosis is that the algae and/or cyano-
bacteria inside the thallus will provide a
source of nitrogen and carbohydrates to
the fungus, and the fungus will provide
shelter to the algae and/or cyanobacteria,
and protect them from dissection. The
shape or form of the thallus is typically dif-
ferent from the normal forms of the fungi
or algae if each were growing separately.
These completely different types of
organisms get together when they both
start growing in the same place on a
perfect substrate, or surface. Lichens can
be found on trees, foliage, rocks, sand,
and even on metal in almost every con-
ceivable habitat on the planet. Here in
our neighborhoods, it is common to see
several different lichen species, in quite
different forms or colors, on the trunk of
a single royal palm.
Some lichens are very attractive,
and many people will think of them
as a moss species, although this is not
the case. The accompanying photo was
taken in my garden of a crustose lichen
growing on the trunk of a croton. The
photo shows an attractive green shade in
the body, or thallus, of the lichen. This is
due to the algae inside the thallus having
been rehydrated by a heavy rain the pre-
vious night. When conditions are drier,

An attractive crustose lichen is growing on the trunk of a croton in my yard.

the thallus will become an attractive sil-
very color. Lichens can tolerate very dry
conditions and will normally rehydrate
rapidly with available moisture.
The lichen growing on my garden
croton has a form called "crustose,"
meaning crust-like and flat. Some species
are more "foliose," with a thallus that
resembles leaves; these are quite common
on palm trunks and other trees. Other
forms include "fruticose" (shrubby) and
"gelatinous" lichen species. Some are very
colorful; in many cases, the color aids in
light-gathering or deflection, depending
on the needs of the particular algae or
cyanobacteria in the thallus.
A couple of weeks ago, I was inspect-
ing a group of palms at a residential
property and noticed that a number of
lichens were growing on the sides of the
palm trunks that got hit by the timed
sprinklers every day. This was definitely
an indication of overwatering and, in this
case, of also leaving the sprinklers on
during times of high rainfall. (To digress
slightly, on several recent projects, I've
also seen the bark on palms softening
and peeling off in sections, most likely
owing to the palms growing in situations

that are too wet or immersed in flooded
conditions for long periods. Even though
many palm species, such as coconut
palm, can tolerate very wet conditions
around their roots, constant wetness on
the trunks can eventually cause these
very durable plants to fail.)
Lichens do not parasitize, or pull nutri-
ents from, the plants on which they grow.
There is no need to kill them. Sometimes
lichens will cover the branches of trees that
are already under stress or are dying. Here
the lichens aren't killing the trees; they
are just taking advantage of the exposure
to sunlight because of the lack of foliage
and the perfect conditions of the substrate.
The surface of the branches is drying and
cracking, creating a wonderful growing
medium for the lichens to attach to and use
for their own benefit.

. ,.4 i,. ,/.'.i, is an ISA-certified
municipal arborist, retired director of
horticulture at Parrot Jungle and Jungle
Island, and principal of Tropical Designs
of Florida. Contact him atjeff@ttropi-

Feedback: letters(

rBele Aquarium and Garden Design

* 'ea ti' (er <';ar
Lt-t .,. I Ak ,m1 a, s Arhf."

r; -1 -
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March 2014 Biscayne Times

March 2014

Biscayne Times


Spring Break: It's Not

Just for College Kids

Vacation or staycation, there are options galore

By Crystal Brewe
BT Contributor
spring break is nearly upon us, and
while I don't feel that we South
Floridians deserve it nearly as
much as some of our neighbors to the
North, I'll take it. I'll grab it, I'll plan for
it for months, I'll wallow in it, and I'll
relish it.
I like Spring Break Crystal. She's ab-
normally carefree, she's breezy, she orders
froo-froo drinks and sings in the shower.
For me, and most of my parental
compatriots, though, spring break has
evolved from the throbbing music,
suntan oil, and beer-soaked beach bash
along the Gulf of Mexico to a frantic
search for a Disney-drenched (or at least
family-friendly) week where everyone
makes it out tantrum-free.
So just for you, I have researched a
few fantastic options that might help you
find your spring-break self.
Last-Minute Cruises: Just because
you buy your tickets at the last minute
doesn't mean you can't plan. Our family
decided months in advance on a date to
take a cruise. We made sure we had the
time off work, checked our passports,
and arranged for a house sitter all before
purchasing the tickets to our cruise.
We researched the amenities of the
various ships and itineraries in advance
but logged on to

and scored all-inclusive passage for
only $149 per person only 36 hours in
advance of our embarking time!
Cruise lines have championed the
family vacay experience by offering
something for everyone: spa options for
Mom, gambling for Dad, waterslides and
rock climbing walls for the kids. Sure,
cruising isn't for everyone. It has some
high and low points, but overall, if your
expectation is spoon-fed fun (and I mean
that literally; you'll eat continuously) for
all with little to no effort, it will satisfy.
A few tips: Get your pool time in early
and then move on to indoor games, family
croquet or mini golf, or to the kids' camp
program. The pool scene progresses into
an all-out MTV spring break scene by
midafternoon, where young and pliable
minds might learn more moves than
Miley Cyrus could ever teach them.
Make sure you attend the scheduled
dinners; there is usually a theme and
sometimes the kiddies are invited to get
involved in the fun.
Pack antibacterial wipes and bottled
water both are available on the ship,
but with all of the negative hype sur-
rounding cruise lines and norovirus
lately, better to be safe than sorry.
South Seas Island Resort, Captiva:
You can also score last-minute deals to
hotels on the standard deal sites, but if
you want a guaranteed family-friendly
experience with some built-in fun,

book at the South Seas Island Resort in
Captiva now. This family-friendly resort
village, a former Key lime plantation, is
now an eco-balanced natural habitat for
dolphins, manatees, and some of the best
shells seen on the East Coast.
The property is so vast that free trol-
ley services shuttle you from one end to
another through mangrove forests and
families of bike riders. Hit the waterslide,
grab some coffee (at the on-property
Starbucks), then head over to the nature
center for a guided nature walk; or just
hang out with the resident animals.
Room sizes range from standard
hotel rooms to three-bedroom beach
condos and even private homes.
Miami Staycation with spring
break camp: You don't really have to
travel. I mean, this is where most people
want to come anyway, right? Save some
dough for an escape during our extreme
weather months over the summer.
Act like a tourist and take in a "Wall-
cast" at the New World Symphony, book
a beach hotel for a night or two, and hit
the beach like a snowbird with a full day
of supplies ice chest, magazines you
never get to read, sand toys, an umbrella.
You'll look like a pack camel as you roll

up, but you will be comfy all day long.
Plan a barbecue on the beach with friends
and schoolmates who are also staycation-
ing, or take a drive to Fort Lauderdale to
the big drive-in movie Cineplex.
Perhaps you can't take time off work
but don't want the kids to miss out on
spring break fun. Check out some of the
local weeklong camp programs. Miami
Theater Center has a 9:00 a.m. to 4:00
p.m. camp for ages 6-12, where students
take a fun-filled artistic adventure explor-
ing self-expression and working toward a
finale performance. The Miami Museum
of Science also has a fantastic program
for kids in pre-K through fifth grade.
They'll take on chemistry explorations,
create a crystal garden, make goo and fizz,
and even create food experiments.
Whatever you chose, don't chose
boredom! This year our family probably
won't make a jaunt to any far-off Spring-
breaklandia and will likely opt for a
combination of Miami staycation options.
With two working parents, our spring
break is a team effort, but we manage to
fill the time with memorable experiences.
Happy spring breaking!

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

Columnists: GOING GREEN

Sifting for Truth in the

Environmentalists claim they're left in the dark about monitoring
and mitigation specifics

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

he largest dredging project in
decades, and the first since 2006
in PortMiami, began with little
fanfare in November. Work is expected to
continue for two years, preparing the port
to accommodate new "mega-cargo" ships
arriving through a deeper Panama Canal.
Environmentalists who settled a law-
suit in 2012 over plans to use explosives
during the dredging now worry about
whether the terms of the settlement,
which include increased mitigation and
monitoring, will be implemented.
"What makes you think for one
minute that the contractor is going to
follow the rules and regulations?" asks
Capt. Dan Kipnis, one of the plaintiffs
for the lawsuit against the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers. "There are no penal-
ties for dragging your cable through sea
grass or coral. They can kill manatees or
dolphins, and there are no penalties. All
they'll have to do is stop."
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Com-
pany, based in Illinois, has won $205.7
million in contracts for the project,
nicknamed Deep Dredge. And already,
Kipnis says, he's spotted a dead manatee
near the Julia Tuttle causeway, where a
battle over new pilings was under way
before the Miami International Boat
Show in February. "I'm not saying those

boats killed it. But all of this could have
been avoided."
At the time, Kipnis was concerned
that metal pilings erected north of the
causeway near Miami Beach to demar-
cate 16 acres set aside for future sea
grass plantings (part of the mitigation
efforts) had created too narrow a chan-
nel for the mega-yachts heading to the
Indian Creek Waterway for the show,
and that an accident would wreak yet
more environmental damage.
Kipnis, who also chairs of the City
of Miami Beach Marine Authority, says
the Army Corps of Engineers refused
to move the pilings. "They said no, and
then they lied to us," he claims. "The
[demarcated] site wasn't even being
used. It pisses me off... It's unbelievable
dealing with them and the Port of Miami.
They consider it an affront to them."
He's not done, either. "It's the Army,
Army Corps of Engineers. It's war with them.
They win every time, any way they can"
PortMiami's expansion is moving
faster than similar projects planned for Port
Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and other
ports northward, and Gov. Rick Scott is a
strong supporter. Many officials, as well as
the Miami Herald, have voiced approval of
the $220 million project, part of $2 billion
in planned capital improvements.
The 2012 lawsuit was settled in
return for $1.3 million for the Biscayne
Bay Environmental Enhancement Trust

Fund and some expansion
of seagrass and coral miti-
gation projects, including
the relocation of some
corals and the creation
of nine acres of artificial
reefs. While the seagrass
project is in clear view,
the corals seem to be MIA.
"I'm completely in the
dark about where these Colin Foor
corals are going," says the rarest
Colin Foord, co-founder in action."
of Coral Morphologic, a
coral aquaculture/art lab near downtown.
He frequently dives in areas near the
port and says he plans to rescue corals
threatened by dredging.
"Who's checking to make sure they're
doing their job?" Foord asks. "Who's
going to prove [they moved the corals]?"
He says the contract calls for the removal
of corals greater than ten inches in diam-
eter, plus potentially 1500 smaller corals.
Some of the removed corals are to
be transplanted onto existing reefs. But
Foord asks, "Where is this natural reef
they've selected? I'd love to know." He's
particularly concerned about an extreme-
ly rare hybrid coral he discovered in the
shipping channel.
"It is without question the rarest coral
in the state," says Foord of the hybrid
of two federally protected species, the
staghorn and elkhorn coral, which have
largely disappeared from Florida's reefs.
"This is evolution in action."
The hybrid coral, however, receives
no protection under the Endangered Spe-
cies Act.
PortMiami's shipping channel is an
unexpected place for corals to thrive, notes

d's hybrid: "It is without question
coral in the state. This is evolution

Foord: "It's probably the oldest artificial
reef in Miami. The corals that are living
there can be quite old and quite unique."
He has been approved by Miami-Dade
County and the state wildlife commission
to collect corals, but he awaits the green
light from the Army Corps of Engineers.
With funding from the Knight Founda-
tion, he plans to film his underwater work
and release a feature-length documentary.
Like the silt it spreads, many ques-
tions swirl around Deep Dredge. Will it
require 600 days of dynamiting to reach a
depth of 50 feet? How will the continuous
explosions affect the 12 protected marine
species and the ocean and bay habitats?
"It's going to be a disaster for Bis-
cayne Bay," warns Kipnis. "You can't
do a project of this size and not have
impacts. I grew up on Star Island. I know
the environment in this place, and I've
watched four to five dredging projects,
and they've all been disasters."

Send your tips and clever ideas to:

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I F .============ ===============
March ~ ~ ~ ~ Egls 201 BRussian Tiespokenayeims

March 2014

Biscayne Times

Columnists: VINO

Super Tuscan Tastes on a Pizza Budget
Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

By Bill Citara
BT Contributor
Chianti is as quintessentially Ital-
ian as pizza and pasta, Sophia
Loren and Isabella Rossellini,
Ferrari and Lamborghini, Armani and
Versace, talking with your hands and
driving on the sidewalk.
This Vino isn't about Chianti. Be-
cause even though Chianti may be the
best-known and most common Italian
wine, the country's wine world is so
much larger than that.
There's Barolo, the extraordinarily
long-lived wine known as "the Bur-
gundy of Italy," and full-bodied Brunello,
considered one of the world's great red
wines. There's Amarone, made from
grapes allowed to raisin, inky and
powerful and highly extracted. And then
there's the whole range of Super Tus-
cans, super premium wines made with
New World techniques, pushing against
thousands of years of Italian winemak-
ing tradition.
Sadly, this Vino isn't about them
either, as our appetite for the truly great
wines of Italy is matched only by our pa-
thetic inability to afford them. But don't
despair, wine lovers, because beyond the
oceans of ubiquitous Chianti, the pricey
Barolos and Brunellos, Amarones, and
Super Tuscans, is another ocean of excit-
ing and well-made Italian wines more
suited to those of us with Armani tastes
but pizza budgets.
Think Nero d'Avola and Negroa-
maro, Valpolicella and Dolcetto, Tuscan
blends that may not reach the heights

of the Super Duper Whooper Tuscans
but still deliver plenty of vinous joy and
satisfaction. That's where Vino is going
today, riding around in our wannabe
Lamborghini (a six-year-old Miata) with
a fistful of dollars and a thirst for Italian
reds that won't break the bank.
For a versatile, everyday kind of
wine, you can't do much better than
Dolcetto. Literally, "little sweet one,"
Dolcetto comes from the same Pied-
mont region that produces Barolo,
though unlike its more revered and
expensive counterpart, it's lighter and
fruitier, making up in drinkability what
it lacks in complexity. The 2011 Casa
Sant'Orsola Dolcetto d'Alba is an ex-
cellent example, with bright cherry and
raspberry fruit, a hint of spice and olives,
and the varietal's characteristic slightly
bitter almond finish.
Another easy drinking wine, though
one that could benefit from a little more
time in the bottle, is the 2012 Villa
Maffei Valpolicella. Its deep color
suggests bold and robust flavors, but it
actually sits lighter on the palate, tasting
of cherries and raspberries with earthy
notes of olives, leather, and mushrooms.
It would play well with lighter meats, say,
roasted chicken or veal stew.
A seriously good deal for ten bucks
is the 2011 Caldora Montepulciano
d'Abruzzo. Not to be confused with
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, made
mostly with Sangiovese, the d'Abruzzo
Montepulcianos are made from the
grapes of the same name, which impart
soft tannins and appealing ripe cherry
flavors nuanced with anise and aromas of

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toast, olives, and tobacco. This is
a well-structured wine that tastes
even better with food.
One of the most promising
developments in the Italian wine
industry came in 1992, when the
designation Indicazione Geo-
... I ,, 6, .Tipica (IGT) was intro-
duced. IGT wines (which include
Super Tuscans) are made with
varietals and techniques not nec-
essarily sanctioned by traditional
(and legally binding) designations Laur
like Chianti and Barolo. W. D
Within the IGT designation sour
there's plenty of variation of d'Ab
grapes and quality. The 2009 $10.,
Strade Vecchie Toscana, for The
example, was a musty, sour, Nortl
curdled-tasting mess that went Spiri
down the drain faster than you 6525
could say, "Yecchhh!" Banff's at PL
2010 Centine, on the other hand, 2171
was as delightful as the Strade 3433
was revolting, with bracing Total
aromas of black cherries and 305-
blueberries, toast and sweet for $
spices. Those aromas carried
through on the palate, where it
was full-bodied and mouth-filling and
exceptionally well-balanced, taming all
that concentrated fruit with just enough
tannins and acidity.
If you're looking for big reds that
can go toe-to-toe with anything from
grilled sausages and hearty ragus to a
thick, juicy steak and barbecue, a pair
of wines from Southern Italy should do
you just fine. The 2011 Stemmari Nero
d'Avola is the most important grape of
Sicily, where it makes a midnight-purple,

enzo's in North Miami Beach (16385
ixie Hwy., 305-945-6381) was the
ce for three wines, the Montepulciano
ruzzo for $9.99, the Negroamaro for
)9, and the Nero d'Avola for $11.99.
Trade Vecchie costs $9.99 at the
h Miami Beach ABC Fine Wine &
ts (16355 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-
), and the Centine clocks in at $11.99
iblix (14641 Biscayne Blvd., 305-354-
; and 1776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-
). Finally, the North Miami Beach
Wine & More (14750 Biscayne Blvd.,
354-3270) carries the Dolcetto d'Alba
11.99 and the Valpolicella for $9.99.
full-bodied wine rich with intense, black
'n' blueberry fruit and spice.
The 2011 Feudi di San Marzano
Negroamaro comes from Puglia, on the
heel of Italy's boot. Like the Stemmari,
it's bursting with ripe, extracted black-
berry-blueberry fruit, though with more
generous amounts of spice, earth, and
olives, flavors that linger in your mouth
long after each sip. It may not be a Lam-
borghini, but it's a helluva nice ride.

Feedback: letters(



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Ilk, T O A MW

Biscayne Times

" f

March 2014

Columnists: DISH

It's a Pizza Pie World

Food news we know you can use

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

n the BT's geographic part of the
food world, this month there's good
news, bad news, and good news that
may turn out bad-ish.
First, good news: 2014's James Beard
Award semi-finalists have been announced,
and two of Miami's four honorees are from
Biscayne Corridor restaurants: Michael
Schwartz (credited by Beard only for
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink but also
proprietor of two other Design District
restaurants) as overall Outstanding Chef,
and Horacio Rivadero from The District
Miami as Best Chef: South.
In the spirit of cooperation rather than
competition with Miami Beach (a cross-
bay trolley would be so nice, to avoid
parking problems when dining over there)
congrats also to the two Beach nominees:
Jose Mendin of Pubbelly as Best Chef:
South, and The Broken Shaker for Out-
standing Bar Program. Finalists will be
announced on March 19.
Possibly good news: Innovative chef
Klime Kovaceski once ruled mid-Beach
at his long-lived New Continental fine-
dining restaurant Crystal Cafe, and more
recently was the original chef/partner
at glam Trio on the Bay before leaving
town. Now he has announced that he'll
be back and at a Biscayne Boulevard
location with something different:
CRUST, a new concept in pizza that
incorporates his fine-dining background.

What may turn bad, Klime revealed
when I caught up with him: Landlord
lease-negotiation problems have cropped
up, so the Biscayne address now "doesn't
look too good for us." He's scouting other
possibilities in Miami-Dade County
and even possibly Broward. Noooo! So
keep an eye out, neighbors, for possibili-
ties (spaces with existing kitchens and
permits; decor doesn't matter), so we can
keep Klime in BT territory.

Only six months after opening a third
downtown location of South Beach's
pioneering pizzeria Spris, at 200 S.
Biscayne Blvd. (305-400-6667), Graspa
Group has opened Spris #4 in Midtown
(3201 N. Miami Ave. #102, 305-567-
0999). When the first Spris opened more
than 15 years ago, beautifully burn-blis-
tered, wood-oven authentic Neapolitan
pies were unheard of. Wood ovens are
everywhere now, but Spris's pies can
often still smoke the competition.
Opened temporarily as an Art Basel
pop-up, then closed, the third location
in a more recent mini-chain success
story, Jugofresh Wynwood Walls, is
now officially open and already infa-
mous, owing to a snapshot of Beyonce
that went viral. The star, while posed
on the healthy fast-food/juice joint's
counter in front of a huge Andy Warhol-
inspired mural of Leonardo da Vinci's
Last Supper, depicting Christ's last meal
surrounded by his disciples, accidentally

(well, probably) placed herself at the
painting's exact center, blocking Jesus.
Outrage erupted from literal-minded,
rightwing Christian groups, who ac-
cused "Beysus" of "replacing Jesus."
In the downtown space originally
occupied by chef Gerdy Rodriguez's
cutting-edge micro-gastronomic resto-
lounge MIA is new restolounge Imperia
(20 Biscayne Blvd., 786-290-3305), an
equally ambitious venture, though the
cuisine is accessibly trend-following
rather than attempting to be trend-
setting. The dining component has two
parts: Imperia Restaurant, serving Latin
and American fare (sliders, ceviches,
empanadas, steaks, tropically accented
snapper, and more), and Imperia Healthy
Garden and Market, a more casual juice
bar/eatery serving all-organic fare.

Now the bad news: Chef Ho (16850 Collins
Ave., 305-974-0338) has folded. When this
restaurant, originally called Chef Philip Ho,
opened to huge critical acclaim in 2011, the
former Setai dim sum chef brought unusual
sophistication to his own eatery's unlikely
Sunny Isles mall location After an ownership

change in January 2013 and name-change
in August, new management said Ho was
still chef, but actually his involvement had
lessened to morning dumpling-making There
was a new dinner chef, and the non-dim
sum menu, originally dotted with dishes like
custaidy homemade tofu with Asian eggplant,
became standard neighborhood Chinese.
As the real estate mantra goes, "Loca-
tion, location, location." A bad one can be
fatal for even a good house. Just blocks
north on the same ungentrified stretch
of NE 2nd Avenue where Time for Wine
folded about two months ago, Jean Paul's
House(2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373),
where chef Jean-Paul Desmaison cre-
ated Peruvian-influenced eclectic cuisine,
has followed suit. A reader reported the
closing, but because the phone is discon-
nected, and e-mails to the restaurant have
gone unanswered, I can't provide details
- except that sure enough there's a "For
Sale" sign in front of the shuttered spot.

Hungry for more food news? See "Biz-
Buzz," page 22. Send me your tips and
alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.corn.

Feedback: letters(

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305-397-8841 or 305-397-8842

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March 2014

Biscayne Times

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The Biscayne Corridor's most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 296.

Restaurant listings for the BT Dining Guide are
written by Pamela Robin Brandt (restaurants@ Every effort has been made to
ensure accuracy, but restaurants frequently change
menus, chefs, and operating hours, so please call
ahead to confirm information. Icons ($$$) represent
estimates for a typical meal without wine, tax, or tip.
Hyphenated icons ($-$$$) indicate a significant range
in prices between lunch and dinner menus, or among
individual items on those menus.
$=$10 and under
$$= $20
$$$$= $40
$$$$$= $50 and over

Brickell / Downtown

15th & Vine Kitchen
485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373
In the 15th floor space originally occupied by Eos, the Viceroy's top-
end restaurant now focuses its decor on spectacular bay views (par
ticularlyfrom an outdoor garden/pool terrace). And the mostly small
plates menu of accessible internationally influenced New American
fare is more Miami appropriate, too. Especially recommended:
Asian-inspired items like spicy ginger meatballs with sweet sambal
chili sauce, or lump crab croquettes with srnracha, remoulade, and
a fnrise/fennel salad. Favorites like flatbreads and sliders plus a
classy setting make this a striking business-lunch option. $$$ $$$$

231 Brickell Bay Dr.,786-452-1637
Hidden within Jade condo, this sleek Japanese fusion restolounge
(whose name means "love") is also a jewel. Food loving Venezuelan
owner Rene Buroz encourages innovation, and his chefs (including
four from Zuma) respond with beautifully plated items as fun as
they are flavorful. Don't 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 31
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234
Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fish
ing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isn't a
glamorous dining setting. But we'd eat outside. From the expansive
terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views
of Brickell's higlh-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. It's
hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impres-
sive. The food is impecablyfresh regional fish, prepared in a clean
Mediterranean influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative.
Luckily you don't have to choose one or the other. $$$ $$$$

1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6529
Admittedly, the Conrad Hotel's 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 Atrno is ready
for rediscovery. Despite Brickell's recent restaurant explosion, few
venues are as spectacularly suitable for a sophisticated breakfast,
lunch, or dinner for grown ups who'd 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. $$$ $$$$
901S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191
Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miami's
second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular
Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated
global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging
on the dogfriendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur
(which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus dressed side
salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian
fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miami's more relaxing experi-
ences. $$ $$$
Bali Cafe
109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751
While Indonesian food isn't easy to find in Miami, downtown
has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and

construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated cafe has sur
vived 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 Indonesia's signature rijsttafel,
a mix-and match collection of small dishes and condiments to be
heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $ $$

Banana & Leaf
234 NE 3rd St., 786-431-5548
Ever get tempted by the convenience of supermarket sushi boxes,
but feel uneasy about freshness and disgruntled about sparseness
of fillings? In thegrab-and go containers here, raw fish glistens and
makis like a plump snow crab roll have a satisfying seafood to-rice
ratio. If you'd rather, dishes on the larger custom menu arrive almost
as fast. There is also limited, tasty Southeast Asian fare. Most unbe-
lievable: Prices beat supermarket sushi byfar. $
Bar6 Urbano
1001 S. Miami Ave., 305-381-5901
"Hot, hip, Hispanic" is a huge understatement to describe the
street smart urban flair of this tropical restolounge. After about
9:00 p.m., droves of high energy young partiers make the place
seem more Latin singles bar than eatery. Nevertheless, the largely
but not exclusively Colombian -inspired, Latin/Caribbean comfort
food cuisine can be inspiring. We're partial to snacks like the
arepa Colombiana, heaped with fresh white cheese, and the sinful
chivito sandwich (steak, ham, melted mozzarella, and a fried egg).
But there are also full entrees like a bandeja paisa (Colombia's
belly busting mixed platter of proteins and carbs). $$ $$$

Batch Gastropub
30 SW 12th St., 305-808-5555
The name refers to Batch's signature novelty items, which we
think of as gourmetfastfood cocktails: high quality fresh ingredi-
ents (some barrel aged), pre-mixed in batches and served on tap
for instant gratification. But a menu designed by E. Michael Reldt
(exArea 31), means solid foods are serious chef driven pub grub:
the Mac Attack, sophisticated mac 'n' cheese featuring gnocchi
and aged Gruyere; sinfully succulent burgers, substituting brisket
for leaner beef; nachos upgraded with duck confit; wood oven piz
zas topped with unusual combinations like pumpkin plus shortnrib;
duck fat popcorn; housemade sodas. $$

Bento Sushi & Chinese
801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904
Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which spe-
cializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited
Chinese and Thai -inspired dishes of the mix and match, pick your
protein then preparation sort) has been mostly an insider's secret
deliveryjoint for Brickell residents. But it's 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 entrees (the nigin assort
ment sushi and lacy battered tempura especially recommended).
Bubble tea, too! $$ $$$

Biscayne Tavern
146 Biscayne Blvd., 305-307-8300
From 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 that's 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, unpreten
tiously 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 Martini
900 S. Miami Ave. #250, 305-981-2583
With 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 surpris-
ingly 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. $$

638 S. Miami Ave., 786-409-4794
From trend spotting restaurateur Bond Tnrisansi (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 beggar's purses with a shnmp/pork/mushroom/
waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$


Atelier Monnier
848 Brickell Ave. #120, 305-456-5015
Sesame Street's Cookie Monster adores all cookies. As a
more specialized Macaron Monster, we assure you that this
French bakery/cafe's exquisite macarons (not clunky coconut
macaroons, but delicate, crackly crusted/moist inside almond
cookies, sandwiching creamy ganache fillings in flavors ranging
from vanilla or praline to seasonal fruits) are reason enough to
drop in daily, perhaps hourly. That the place also hand crafts
equally authentic French breads, complex pastries, baguette
sandwiches, salads, soups, quiches, omelet's, ice creams, and
chocolates is a bonus icing on the gateaux. $$

Burger & Beer Joint
900 S. Miami Ave. #130, 305-523-2244
While not quite Miami's first hip hangout featuring high qual
ity burgers, the original South Beach B&B certainly goosed
the gourmet burger craze in a major way. This Brickell branch
has all the familiar favorites, including the ten pound Mother
Burger really more good gimmick than good. Otherwise
B&B, which still consistently makes "Top 10" lists, features
a huge selection of basics in addition to beef (bison, turkey,
chicken, veggie, seafoods); nicely balanced topping combos;
and enough succulent sides (tempura battered pickles, fried
green beans, mini corn dogs) to make a meal that's totally
burger free. $$ $$$

Seasalt and Pepper
422 NW N. River Dr., 305-440-4200
Unlike older Miami River market/restaurants like Garcia's,
run byfishing families, this stylishly retro/modern -industrial
converted warehouse (once Howard Hughes's plane hangar)
has an owner who ran South Beach's hottest 1990s rnightspots,
so expect celebrity sightings with your seafood. What's unex
pected: a blessedly untrendy menu, with simply but skillfully
prepared wood oven cooked fish and clay pot, shellfish casse
roles. Standouts include luxuriant lobster thermador, as rich as
it is pricey; flavorful heads on jumbo prawns, prepared classic

Bon Fromage
500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632
Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese
and wine cafe/shop is like a pint size version of Midtown Miami's
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 char
cutene) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette
sandwiches features numerous high quality, imported favorites,
but don't miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin
bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesn't melt but tanta
lizingly softens when heated. $$
801 Brickell Bay Dr., 786-502-3829
Fittingly, the indoor/outdoor bay view space in the Four
Ambassadors, occupied by Miami's first Brazilian rodizio res
taurant back in the early 1980s, is now home to a 21st century
upgrade. For insatiable carnivores and fans of Latin America's
best dinner show, there's the traditional parade of tableside,
sword wielding gauchos carving all you can eat meats, including
must not miss medium rare picanhas, delectably fat capped
sirloin. For more modern and/or light eaters, prepared dishes
by Gully Booth, one of Miami's best kept secret chefs, include
goat cheese croquettes, stuffed dates, and crab cakes Martha
Stewart once proclaimed the best she'd eaten. $$$$

Brother Jimmy's BBQ
900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650
The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J
evidently didn't hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork
'cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmy's opened more
than 20 years ago. Miami's location is actually the first south of the
Mason Dixon line. But the slow smoked pulled pork butt tastes right
teous no interfering glop, just hot sauce-spiked vinegar to balance
the fab fattiness. There's other 'cue, too, including big (not baby
back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$ $$$

Bryan in the Kitchen
104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777
This quirky cafe-market's chef/owner is a former smoothile-swilling
model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic "green
gourmet" menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological corn-
sciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal.
Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, rangingfrom
healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-from-scratch snacks (beef
jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring nottoo-sweet adult flavors
and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choosejust one category, we'd
sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $ $$


Pizza Pazza
275 NE 18th St. #109, 786-762-2238
Close your eyes while eating Naples-born Sal Matuozzo's wood
oven pies and you'll be in Naples. Crusts: Thin rather than Roman
super thin; there's just enough chewy thickness to emphasize
you're eating honest bread, not a cracker. Toppings: High quality
(fresh fior di latte, not commercial mozzarella ; intensely flavor
ful sauce featuring imported San Marzano tomatoes; garnishes
including fresh black truffles) and applied judiciously enough that
each bite tastes slightly different neither ungenerously Spartan
nor crassly overloaded. Prices: higher than typical neighborhood
pizzerias, lower than a plane ticket to Italy. $$

R House
2727 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-0240
A strikingly stylish restaurant that's part art gallery could be pre-
tentious, in a still largely ungentrified area of cutting edge artsy
yet still working class Wynwood. But modular movable walls
to accommodate changing installations, and its own name
make it clear the art component is a serious working gallery.
Hardworking chef/owner Rocco Carulli demonstrates a locals
orientation with a menu highlighted by skillfully crafted, hearty
entrees (Brazilian seafood moqueta stew, coffee/chili rubbed
short ribs, sweet pea falafel) available in affordable half por
tions: small plates of big food for starving artists. $$ $$$


725 NE 79th St., 305-754-5558
Just east of Liza Meli's defunct Ouzo's Taverna, her similarly
rustic festive tapas and wine bar/market has an extensive,
mostly small plates menu including all of Ouzo's Greatest
Greek Hits (refreshingly light and lemony taramosalata carp
roe spread, amazingly succulent grilled fresh sardines, her
mom's lemon cake, more), plus more broadly Mediterranean
creations like an Italian inspired grana padano flan, uniquely
topped crostini and flatbreads, cheese/charcuterne boards.
The boutique wine selection focuses on unusual (sometimes
virtually unknown, and unavailable elsewhere in town)
Mediterranean varietals from family owned vineyards. $$

Cafe Bastille
248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575
Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French feeling
and tasting cafe is a most civilized wayto start the day. Formerly
breakfast and lunch only, the cafe 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. $ $$$

Ceviche Piano
140 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414
Owners 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 wildcard. Focus is now strongly on Peruvian cuisine, including
a shrimp/calamarn-smothered fish fillet with aji amanrillo cream sauce.
But no worries, old fans. Some of the old favorite dishes remain. $$

Chophouse Miami
300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000
Formerly Manny's Steakhouse, Miami's Chophouse retains basi-
cally everything but the famed name (from the original Manny's in
Minneapolis), and remains Miami's 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. $$$$$

465 Brickell Ave., 786-329-4090
Derived, like all Cipriani family restaurants worldwide, from legendary
Harry's Bar in Venice (a favorite of Truman Capote, Hemingway, and other
famous folks since 1931), this glamorous indoor/outdoor riverfront locr
tion in Icon has two absolutely must not miss menu items, both invented
at Harry's and reproduced hereto perfection: beef carpaccio (drizzled
artfully with streaks of creamy-rinch mustard vinaigrette, not mere olive oil)
and the Bellini (a cocktail of prosecco, not champagne, and fresh white
peach juice). Venetan-style liver and onions could convert even liver
leathers. Finish with elegant vanilla meringue cake. $$$$$

The Corner
1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887
With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or
creative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from

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lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is trans
forming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout.
The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets
(the latter from Om Norm Norm's cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti)
ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the
Crazy Madame, France's elaborate Croque Madame (a bechamel
sauce-topped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon
and caramelized onion. $ $$

Crazy About You
1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442
The owners, and budget friendly formula, are the same here as at
older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entree (all under
$20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or
Asian influenced choices (like Thai marinated churrasco with crispy
shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial
stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto.
The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short
lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores
- including a million dollar water view. $$$

Cvi.che 105
105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454
Fusion 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 flaslh-marinated raw seafood creations,
such as tiradito a la crema de rmcoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chilV
cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian
Chaufa fried rice (packed wth jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari)
are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$

db Bistro Moderne
255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-421-8800
Just two words, "Daniel Boulud," should be enough for foodies crav
ing creative French/American comfort food to run, not walk, to this
restaurant. Downtown's db is indeed an absentee celeb chef outpost,
but on site kitchen wizard Matthieu Godard flawlessly executes dishes
rangingfrom the original db Bistro's signature foie gras/short rib/black
truffle-stuffed burger to local market-drrven dishes. Especially strong
are seafood preparations, whether sauced with a refined choron or
lustily garnished with Provencal accompaniments like tender sea scale
lops with chickpea panisse. $$$ $$$$

D-Dog House
50 SW 10Oth St., 305-381-7770
While 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
notjustfood 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. There's a full liquor bar. $ $$

Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita
1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103
From the stylish setting in Miami's historic Firehouse No. 4, one would
expect a mighty pricy meal. But entrees, which range from Nuevo LatJno-
style gnger/orange-gazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini
burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer
- no lowrent 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. $$$

900 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-4633
Happy hour comes twice daily (after work and lunch) atthis second
location of a popular South Beach sushi, pan-Asian, small plates
restolounge, bringing discounted prices on treats like rock shrimp
tempura with spicy aioli. Regular prices are reasonable, too, for
seafood flown in daily, and makis displaying solid creativity rather
than gimmickry. Especially enjoyable are items accented by Japanese
ingredients rarelyfound in Americanized sushi bars, like the Geisha
Roll's astringent shiso leaf, beautifully balancing spicytuna, pickled
radish, and rich eel sauce. A huge sake menu, too. $$ $$$

Edge, Steak & Bar
1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535
Replacing the Four Seasons' formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge
offers a more kick back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare
there's 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 don't eat beef have no beef. $$$$ $$$$$

Elwoods Gastro Pub
188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222
Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and update
ed classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with
artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites likefish and chips can't 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. They're in for a wld ride. $$

Fado Irish Pub
900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972
Unlike most Miami "Irish" pubs, which serve mostly American bar
food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherd's pie, Fado
(pronounced "f'doe") has a menu reflecting the pub grub found
today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing
are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particu
larly 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. There's a seasonal menu, too. $$

The Filling Station & Garage Bar
95 SE 2nd St., 786-425-1990
This 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 ham
burgers, 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. $ $$

Fratelli Milano
213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300
Downtown isn't yet a 24/7 urban center, but it's experiencing
a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this
family owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At
lunch it's almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or
crunchy clabatta; 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
alia Milanese on arugula. $$ $$$

Garcia's Seafood Grille and Fish Market
398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765
Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable
Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafood's
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, Garcia's claws are as
good as Joe's but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is
most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahl mahi. $ $$

Havana 1957
1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-381-6651
If you never had the chance to enjoy classic Cuban dishes in
glam 1950s Havana (pre-He Who Must Not Be Named), you
can now at this nostalgic restolounge. Eat your way through the
day, from hefty four egg/croqueta breakfasts to late-night mini
pan con bistec bar bites, surrounded by old school memorabilia,
music, and mojitos. Admittedly, prices are higher than those
at average Miami Cuban eateries. But daily specials, including
Wednesday's especially tasty mojo marinated chicken fricassee
in sweet savory criollo sauce, are a great value. And the time trip
is priceless. $$ $$$

Hibachi Grill
45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223
Imagine a mini express Benihana. This place specializes in tep-
panyaki 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 Island Bistro
605 Brickell Key Dr., 305-364-5512
In the space that was formerly Fabien's, this bistro has near identi-
cal lunch and dinner menus of French inspired food: Basque-style
shrimp pil pil, salmon with beurre blanc, steak au poivre. But there's
now an espresso-rubbed steak, too, tie-in to an added Panther
Coffee Bar serving pastries and other light bites from early morning.
That, plus a new lounge with daily happy hours, makes the place
feel less formal and more like a casual contemporary hangout. So
do daily specials, including Thursday's "Shells & Bubbles," a bargain
seafood/champagne feast. $$ $$$

II Gabbiano
335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063
Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultra
upscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect
power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And
the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat mar
ket, thanks in part to the flood of freebies that's a trademark of
Manhattan's II Mulino, originally run by II Gabbiano's 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., 305-324-1111
From the outside, you know you're walking into the ground floor of
a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room,
you'd swear you're in Spain. Obviously Spain's famous cured hams
are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly chang
ing menu, from a roast suckling pig entree to a fried chorizo and
chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Don't miss bacalao filled
piquillo peppers, or two of Miami's best rice dishes: seafood paella
and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$ $$$

Largo Bar & Grill
401Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706
Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day
playingvisitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlook
ing Miamarnna is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge,
just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You won't go wrong with
stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish
tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle),
generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or
daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$ $$$

La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge
68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800
This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was
unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alterna
tives like amaretto tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce
and cilantro spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truf
fle 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 Lawyer's Liquid Lunch, a
vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$

La Moon
144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209
Atfour in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy
Burger, a Colombian take on a trucker's burger: beef patty, bacon,
ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn
pancake "bun." While this tiny place's late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday
and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition
to Colombian classics, there's a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna,
seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $ $$

La Provence
1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003
Great 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 it's likely
not from a restaurant's own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery
croissants and party perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar
is the bakery's cafe component, whose sandwich/salad menu
reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats

(essentially salade Nicoise on artisan bread) will truly transport din
ers to co-owner David Thau's Provencal homeland. $$

La Sandwicherie
34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852
This second location of the open air diner that is South Beach's
favorite apres-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight
SundayThursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smooth
ies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra
crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcutene and cheeses
(saucisson sec, country pate, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad
veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwichene's incompara
ble Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an
interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques),
plus A/C. $ $$

L'Entrecote de Paris
1053 SE 1st Ave., 305-755-9995
If menu choices makes you nuts, this place, originally a Parisian
eatery with locations in Brazil, is the restaurant for you. There's
only one pnrix fixe meal offered: an entrecote steak with a famed
creamy sauce of 21 ingredients (here, predominantly curry),
accompanied by a walnut garnished mixed greens/tomato salad
and shoestring frites, plus a crunchy-crusted baguette. Your only
choice is how you like your steak precision cooked. Ala carte des-
serts are indeed extensive; avoid stress by choosing a macaron
flight of mixed flavors. $$$

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
1 W. Flagler St., 305-789-9929
Like 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 mahl mahl for fish tacos comes
from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties
include low carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $

600 Brickell Ave., 305-579-1888
Named after a 15th century Italian painter, Lippi does have
artful decor and plating, but otherwise the moniker is mislead
ing. The food is neither Italian nor, as some descriptions claim,
Mediterranean inspired. It's Philippe food an extensive menu of
mostly shareable small plates (a concept Philippe Ruiz pioneered
at Palme d'Or in the 1990s), inspired mainly by the chef's clas-
sic French technique and geographically limitless imagination.
Standouts: weakfish ceviche with corn panna cotta and purple
potato foam; lobster ravioli in aerated coriander scented bisque.
Everything is beautifully balanced and refined. $$$$ $$$$$

Lunch American Style
221 NW 1st Ave., 305-379-1991
"Tasting the country, one place at a time" is this lunchroom's motto.
We'd recommend bringing friends for a tour of many regions'
favorite foods, most creatively interpreted. They're also crafted
with homemade ingredients rangingfrom fresh baked breads
to the house-smoked pastrami on a "Big Apple" sandwich. The
Naw'lins po'boy (featuring crispy fried shrimp and horseradish
remoulade) is also highly recommended. Tryto make room for
Iowa fritters (mouthwatering fried corn puffs with remoulade dip),
too. To accompany: changing craft beers. $ $$

3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025
Originally 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 today's 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 Calentitas
919 Brickell Ave., 305-517-3303
At this first U.S. location of a Uruguayan chain, the signature spe-
cialty's crescent like shape says "croissant." But medialunas don't
have croissants' puff pastry flakiness; they're 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 comfortfood 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 Cafe
364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117
For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch only French
cafe serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert)
loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with
time to sit, we'd recommend the savory crepes, garnished with
perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crepe like the Bonne Maman
(whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown).
And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too,
includingjust a few full entrees, with correctly made traditional
sauces one wouldn't expect at a luncheonette except, perhaps,
in Paris. $ $$

Miami's Finest Caribbean Restaurant
236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254
Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving
her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office
workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular
item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with
festival (sweet fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians
are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All
entrees come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no
one leaves hungry. $

Mint Leaf
1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050
Part of London's 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 notjust the familiar northern Indian "Mughlai"
fare served in most of America's Indian restaurants, but refined
versions of south India's scrum ptious street food. We've happily
assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone.
And dosai (lacy rice/lentil crepes rolled around fillings rangingfrom
traditional onion/potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so
addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$ $$$$

Miss Yip Chinese Cafe
900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088
Fans of the South Beach original will find the decor different.
Most notably, there's 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 Ramen
5 SW 11th St., 786-391-2392
Banish 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 sim
mered all day); meats like pork belly and oxtail; and authentic top
pings including marinated soft cooked eggs, pickled greens, more.
Other pluses: It's open 24/7, and the ramen ranks with the USA's
best. Minuses: It's cash only, and the ramen might be the USA's
most expensive. $$$

MPP Brickell
141 SW 7th St., 305-400-4610
Tasty Peruvian eateries aren't rare in Miami. Peruvian fine-dining
restaurants are. In the tastefully toned-down but still glam space
formerly housing Andu, this second location of Lima's popular Mi
Propnriedad Pnrivada specializes in familiar flavors presented with seri-
ously upscaled preparations, plating, and prices. But many ceviches,
tiraditos, and starters (like especially artful layered/molded mashed
potato/seafood causes, or clever panko breaded fusion causaa
makis") come in trios for taste-testing. And ceviche lovers score on
Tuesday, when all you-can-eat costs the same as a trio. $$$ $$$$$

My Ceviche
1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-960-7825
When 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 tinytake-away
joint. Arguably, our newer indoor/outdoor Brickell location is bet
ter. Same menu, featuring local fish prepared onsite, and superb
sauces including a kicky roasted jalapeno/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
Duarte's George Stone Crab add to the choices. $$

661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263
Chances are you've never had anything like the $85 prinxfixe
Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Cory's 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 (chef's choice) only, meals
include a seasonal soup, a four-course bento box, eight pieces of
sushi, and three desserts. Cory personally does everything for you,
even applying the perfect amount of housemade artisan soy sauce
mix and fresh grated wasabi to each mind reelingly fresh nigin. Few
eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$
neMesis Urban Bistro
1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911
Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe
in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing
people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. That's our
prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed
by Top Chefcontestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu
of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination
with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signa
tures include South African smoked veal bootie, and Peruvian pinoli
pancakes wth housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and
maple granules. $$$ $$$$

1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900
For those who think "Argentine cuisine" is a synonym for "beef and
more beef," this popular eatery's 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 jalapenos, basil, and the refreshing sweet
counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce.
Especially notable are the entree salads. $$ $$$

Oceanaire Seafood Room
900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862
With 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, chefSean 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 bar's cold
water oysters) are ultra fresh. $$$$

1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612
Over 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 hang
ing out,just without the fuss of formal dining out or the expense.
Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover
today's 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 Sushi
200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003
Since its 1958 invention, conveyor belt sushi has been the most
fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how
long plates had been circulating on the sushi go round? Happily,
this sushi boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic
covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of
diners grabbing makis, nigin, 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. $ $$

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014

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March 2014 Biscayne Times

Biscayne Times

March 2014


1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116
The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the
same healthy Middle Eastern fastfood is served at several newer out
lets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pasha's was
a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which
it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range
from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy
walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas
to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $ $$

Pega Grill
15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666
From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North
Beach's Anston, 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. $$

Perfecto Gastro
1450 Brickell Ave., 305-372-0620
This transplant from Barcelona features decor that mixes rustic and
urban, plus modern music and traditional tapas (the Spanish, not global,
kind). Must have: imported 5Jjamon Ibenco de Bellota from acorn fed
pata negra pigs lusciously marbled, tender yet toothsome, the ultimate
in cured hams. But other tapas like the salmorejo en vaso (a creamy,
pumped Andalusian variation on gazpacho), papatas braves (crisp-frined
potatoes with spicy aoli), fuelt (Catalan salami, similarto French saucisson
sec), and crispy prawns are pretty perfect, too. $$ $$$$

15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449
Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this mar
ket/cafe was one of the Brickell area's first gentrified amenities. At
lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinner's strong suit is the pasta list,
rangingfrom Grandma Jennie's old fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi
purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sunday's $15.95
brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles,
smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our
town's most civilized all you-can-eat deals. $$

1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888
If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in jokes (it
evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nunes's kids
- we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), you'll experience pretty perfect
pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly char blistered
crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but that's what you'll
consistently find here and a newer take-out/delivery-only Midtown
branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesn't get
cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an
option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$

69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025
Roman style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have
been available in the Miami area since the mid 1990s. But the
familiar squares and Pizzarnum's are similar only in shape. Main
difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting
crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as
light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of near
ly 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. $

43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034
Warm,juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herb-
stuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced "porketta") roast, at its best is
hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every
day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry delFstyle 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 place's three
sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $ $$

Adrienne Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722
Though the opening of Barton G.'s elegant performing arts center
eatery did feature a live giraffe, the food's actually more grown up
than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is pnrix fixe: Any three
courses on the menu (meaning three entrees 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 des-
serts, one with a luscious creme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$

Raja's Indian Cuisine
33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551
Despite its small size and decor best described as "none," this
place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely
found in Miami's basically north Indian restaurants. The steam
tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the
custom made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory
fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and
chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$

The River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915
This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by
temptJng menu selectJons like soft-shell crabs wth 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 difficultto 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. There's also a thought
ful Mwine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$

Rosa Mexicano
900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001
This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience
that's haute in everything but price. Few entrees top $20. The
decor is both date-worthy and familyfriendly festive but not
kitschy. And nonsophisticates needn't fear; 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
Rosa's signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few
pomegranate margantas ensure no worries. $$$

Soya& Pomodoro
120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511
Life is complicated. Food should be simple. That's owner Armando
Alfano's philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmo
spheric downtown eatery. And since it's also the formula for the
truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), it's fitting
that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet
sophisticated Italian entrees. There are salads and sandwiches,
too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open air court
yard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local
musicians and artists. $ $$

Sparky's Roadside Restaurant & Bar
204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877
This cowboy-cute
eatery's chefs/owners (one ClAtrained, both BBQ fanatics nick
named Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/
apple-wood stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personal
ized 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 lem
ongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside,
the quality of the food is as good as much higher priced barbecue
outfits. $ $$

Stanzione 87
87 SW 8th St., 305-606-7370
Though Neopolitan style pizza isn't the rarity it was here a decade
ago, this is Miami's only pizzeria certified authentic by Italy's
Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This means following strain
gent 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 cen
tury Naples, but pies like the Limone (fresh mozzarella, pecornno,
lemons, arugula, EVOO) prove some rules should be broken. $$

Sumi Yakitori
21 SW 11th St., 786-360-5570
If your definition ofyakiton has been formed from typical
Americanized sticky-sweet skewers, this late-night place's grilled
offerings, flavored with the subtly smoky savor of imported Japanese
binchotan charcoal will be a revelation. Decor is more stunningly
stylish than at chef/owner Jeffrey Chan's adjacent Momi Ramen,
but cooking is equally authentic for items like skewered duck
(served with scallion sauce), juicy sausage-stuffed chicken wings,
bacon wrapped hardboiled quail eggs, or grilled hamachi kama
(super succulent yellowtail collar). Supplemental dishes, including
pork buns and sauteed veggies, also excel. $$$

Sushi Maki
1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779
Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many
familiar favorites on this Brickell branch's menu. But the must haves
are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eatery's
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. $$ $$$

49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097
This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each
nation distinctly, plus intriguingfusion items with added Caribbean
touches. Cooked entrees, 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 chill 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 Peru's traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese
sauce? $$

1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-836-2747
In Japan, temarns are ornamented hand balls, used since the Seventh
Century for sport and as good luck folk-art objects. At this Japanese/
Latin hot spot, temans are reinterpreted, both playfully and artfully, as
beautiful, bite-size sushi balls (each about half the size of normal nig-
n): vinegary rice topped with sliced raw fish or beef, plus nipples con
structed from several of the eatery's 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 Road
626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198
Prohibition era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar,
strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known
since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also
offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00
a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget priced
steaks, and burgers. There's also surprisingly elegant fare, though,
like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat smoker in
back turns out tasty ribs. $$

Top Burger
109 NE 1st St., 305-379-3100
Inside this "better burger" spot, decor 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 lightly breaded
chicken Milanesa, and all beef hot dogs) on toasted buns, with
fresh cut French or sweet potato fries. Welcome surprises include
an assertively spicy/tangy BBQ like secret sauce; prices that, while
not 1950s level, rival those atjunkfood joints; and old school ser
vice the kind that comes with a smile. $

Toro Toro
100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710
Back before Miami's business district had any "there" there, the
InterContinental's 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 steak
house fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) "rodizio
experience." But the place's 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 pan
cakes with tomato jam; more. $$$ $$$$$

Trapiche Room
1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656
With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of
them housing high profile db Bistro, it's not surprising that this
small, second floor restaurant is something of a "best kept secret."
But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasn't Daniel Boulud's
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-diningfare. Both decor and service, similarly, are swelegant,
not stuffy, and the room's intimacy makes it a romantic spot for
special occasions. $$$$

Tre Italian Bistro
270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303
"Bistro" 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 prosciut
to-and fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either
as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with
orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with
n'gawtfor Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$ $$$

Truluck's Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse
777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035
Compared 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 Truluck's
own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joe's) and other sea
food that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably
fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and
gracious service. $$$ $$$$

415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200
Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery,
unlike the cafe downstairs, isn't student run. Rather it's 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 proteges Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes
citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signa
tures 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. $$$$$

Verde Restaurant & Bar
1103 Biscayne Blvd., 305-375-8282
Located in the Perez Art Museum Miami, this indoor/outdoor bay
front bistro, a project of restaurateur Stephen Starr, serves elegant,
eco friendly fare to match PAMM's green certification. (Museum
admission not required.) Seafood crudos shine: hamachi "sashimi"
slices flash marinated in a subtle citrus/ponzu emulsion and enliv
ened byjalapenio relish; a sprout topped, smoothly sauced tuna
tartare with lemon and horseradish flavors substituting for cliched
sesame. Light pizzas topped with near paper thin zucchini slices,
goat cheese, roasted garlic EVOO, and squash blossoms virtually
define farm to table. And doughnuts with Cuban coffee dip are the
definitively local dessert. $$ $$$

Wolfgang's Steakhouse
315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-487-7130
Proprietor Wolfgang Zweiner worked for decades at Brooklyn's
legendary Peter Luger's before opening the first of his own much
praised, old school steakhouses in 2003, which explains the qual
ity of the USDA prime-grade steaks here dry aged on premises
for bold, beefy flavor and tender but toothsome texture. Prices
are prodigious but so are portions. The 32 ounce porterhouse
for two easily feeds three or four folks curious to taste the differ
ence. Plentiful sides include a bacon starter favored bythose who
love Canadian bacon over pork belly. Personally,just the simple,
superb steaks leave us happy as clams. $$$$$

Wok Town
119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993
Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist decor (with com
munal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the
menu, this Asian fast food eatery, owned by Shai Ben Ami (a Miss
Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those
airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom cooked by Chinese
chefs, starters (like soy/garlic coated edamame), salads, and have-
ityour way stir fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold,
fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with
sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$

270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277
This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San
Pellegnrino's list of the world's 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 waythrough
the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetar
ians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt in your mouth
pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely
garnished tofu rocks. $$$$

Midtown / Wynwood / Design District

3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant
1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688
Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants
in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands.
So it's 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 sauteed meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$

B Sweet
20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453
At this homey neighborhood jewel, located in a former apartment
building, husband/wife team Tom Worhach and Karmnna 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. $ $$

3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911
Despite this tiny place's modern decor, the family run ambiance
and Italian American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red
sauce joints that were ourfavored hangouts growing up in NJ's
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?
It's an offer you don't refuse. Don't refuse garlic rolls, either, or
sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. There's more complex fare,
like chicken a la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$

2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976
At this Indian eatery the decor 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, needn't worry. America's favorite familiar north Indian fla
vors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and
presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islam's
version of kosher which doesn't mean that observant orthodox
Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$

Bin No. 18
1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575
At this wine bar/cafe, the decor is a stylish mix of contemporary
(high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels).
Cuisine is similarly geared to the area's smart new residents:
creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger inter
nationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterne platters
at night. Though the place is small and family run friendly, chef
Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: aru
gula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs,
and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$

3451 NE 1st Ave. #103; 305-573-8886
Inspiration for the Chinese food at this hotspot came from authen
tic flavors Richard Hales (from Sakaya Kitchen) encountered
dunringtravels in China, but the chef's considerable imagination
figures in mightily. Example: Don't expect General Tso's chicken
on the changing menu. The General's Florida Gator, though, is a
distinct possibility. Dishes less wild but still thrilling, due to strong
spicing: bing (chewy Chinese flatbread) with char sui, garlic, and
scallions; two fried tofu/veggie dishes (one hot, one not) savory
enough to bring bean curd maligners (and confirmed carnivores)
to their knees. $$ $$$

Bocce Bar
3252 NE 1st Ave. #107; 786-245-6211
A bocce court outside plus interior decor imported from Italy, floor to
ceiling, serve notice that this eatery's shareable small plates (salumi/
cheeses, pastas, and composed antipasti featuring perfect produce)
are thoroughly Italian inspired. But all are elevated by inventive twists
from chef Timon Balloo, of adjacent Sugarcane. Vegetarian dishes
especially impress: creamy polenta with a poached egg, savory
rapini, and shaved truffle; crispy artichoke with mustard seed aioli;
Thumbelina carrots with mascarpone and "pistachio granola," a dish
that magically makes the common root vegge a mouthful of wonder
fulness; 25 year aged balsamico ice cream. $$$

Buena Vista Bistro
4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909
If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely
satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami
resident we'd be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros,
it's open continuously, everyday, with prices so low that you can drop
in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pate) with a crusty baguette,
steak with from-scratch fntes, salmon atop ratatouille, or many chang
ing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$

Buena Vista Deli
4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945
At this casual cafe/bakery, co owned by Buena Vista Bistro's
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 (con
tamining housemade pates, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami,
and other charcuterne classics) are irresistible, and a buttery crust
ed, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more
than a fast food combo meal. As for Postel's homemade French
sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter cream filled
puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $ $$

The Butcher Shop
165 NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120
Unbelievable 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. $$ $$$

297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792
This elegantly comfortable multvroom indoor/outdoor venue is
described as an "art gallery/lounge," and some do comejustfor cock
tails like the hefty cafe con leche martinis. But don't overlook chef Guily
Booth's 12 item menu of verytastytapas. The signature item is a truly
jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach
Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed itthe best she'd
ever had. Our own prime pick: meltin your mouth ginger sea bass anti-
cuchos, so buttery rich we nearly passed out wth pleasure. $$

Catch Grill & Bar
1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414
A 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. It's worth call
ingto 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. $$$ $$$$

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014





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Cerviceria 100 Montaditos
3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373
Student budget prices, indeed. A first grader's 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 Ibenco cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to
the cured ham slivers. Other options revolve around pates, smoked
salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. There's cheap draft
beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$
City Hall the Restaurant
2004 Biscayne Blvd. 305-764-3130
After 30+ years spent guiding other owners' restaurants to success,
Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own exparn-
sive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard that's suddenly
looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and
comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex Emenril's) has
designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/
crunchycrusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port
wine syrup, and subtly truffled bLchamel; crispy calaman (rings and legs)
with light lemonytomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly
free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$
The Cheese Course
3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681
Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimern-
tary prepared foods, this place's self-service cafe component nevertheless
became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations
make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique like bacon and
egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avoca-
do, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized
for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate
fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$
Crumb on Parchment
3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444
Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Building's central atrium,
invisible from the street), Michelle Bernstein's bakery/cafe packs
'em in, partly dueto Bernstein's 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 Room
3620 NE 2nd Ave., 305-520-5197
Deer and boar heads on wood paneled wallsjuxtapose with crystal
chandeliers at this tinyfourth restaurant in Michael Schwartz's bur-
geoning empire, evoking feelings of dining in a century-old millionaire's
hunting lodge in miniature. Many dishes are similarly fun fantasies
of 1920s Florida fine dining, pairingyesteryear's rustic proteins
(including wild game) and veggies with preparations that are ulti-
mately 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. Don't miss the royal
red shrimp, or Hedy Goldsmith's desserts. $$$$$
Daily Melt
3401 N. Miami Ave. #123, 305-573-0101
Masterminded by Chef Allen Susser, the concept is to bring
diners the comfort of homemade grilled cheese like mom's, if
mom hadn't usually burned the bread and improperly melted the
cheese. The Melt's custom grill press browns/melts sandwiches
perfectly every time. Additionally, Susser tested numerous all
American cheeses (no imports or artisanal products) for gooey
goodness. Mom probably also didn't create combinations like
cheddar with green apples and Virginia ham, or allow a simple sig
nature grilled American cheese to be dressed up with truffle butter.
Accompaniments include roasted tomato soup, chopped salads,
and sweet melts like s'mores. $
The Daily Creative Food Co.
2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535
While the food formula of this contemporary cafe is familiar -
sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus
coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the
place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local
newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to
chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it yourself proj
ects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes,
breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $
The District
190 NE 46th St., 305-573-4199
At the house whose original restaurant tenant was One Ninety, decor
has been renovated dramatically from shabby to chic, and the pan
American gastropub cuisine also matches a more mature Miami.
Horacio Rivadero's dishes reflect both Latin and American influences
with considerable creative flair and fun. Favorites: lobster tacos with
pickled cabbage, aji Amanrillo escabeche, and crisped shallots; lus-
cious lamb tartare, featuring toasted pignolias and mustard oil; and
the Black Magic mousse, with vanilla/sweet potato drizzles, house-
made marshmallows, and a pistachio cookie. $$$ $$$$
El Bajareque
278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170
Dozens 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 Miami's 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. $
,Eg9& Dart
02 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022
While co-owners Costa Gnrillas (from Maria's, 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); galactobounco, 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 gath
rings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$
Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop
186 NE 29th St., 305-5734681
This Cuban breakfast/lunch old timer actually serves more than sand
wches (including mammoth daily specials)- and since reopening after
a fire, does so in a cleanly renovated interior. But many hardcore fans
never get past the parking lot's ordering window, and outdoors really
is the best place to manage Ennriqueta's mojo-marinated messy mas-
terpiece: pan con bistec, dripping wth sauteed onions, melted cheese,
and potato sticks; tomatoes make the fats and calories negligible.
Accompany with fresh orangejuice or cafe con leche, and you'll never
want anything else, except maybe a bib. $
The Embassy
4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-8446
Don't come to this embassy for passports. The name is short for
"Embassy of Wellbeing and Debauchery." You will, however, feel transport
ed to Spain's gourmet capital, San Sebastian, after sampling ambassador
Alan Hughes's cunning pintxos (complexly layered Basque-style tapas).
From a self-serve bar, choose from a changing selection of skewered
stacks; brie, homemade figjam, and twizzles of silkyjamon Serrano; roast
tomato, goat cheese, and anchovies on buttery garlic toast many more.
Small plates, to-die-for desserts like floatJing island with lychees, and week
end brunch items demonstrate similar mad-chef skills. $$-$$$
George's Kitchen & The Loft
3404 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-9199
Veteran Miami restaurateur George-Eric Farge raises the sophistication
bar at his new two-story restaurant/lounge. But the real star is Michelin
starred chef Steven Rojas, who combines French technique and persorn-
al creativity for dishes like Idiazabal cheese churros with romesco sauce,
a green pea pot de creme "jar" with bacon marmalade (accompanied
by butter fried baguette slices for spreading), soy-glazed hamachi crudo
with ginger gelee, and caper-sprinkled short rib tartare, the meat's rich-
ness cheekily upped by poached bone marrow and caviar. Brunch and
lunch items are equally ingenious. $$$
3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520
As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has mini
malist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary
Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff Mclnnis
(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 possiblythe world's best BLT, feature
ing Asian bun "toast," thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and
housemade pickles. There's $2 beer, too. $ $$
Harry's Pizzeria
3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963
In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key compo-
nents from Michael's Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east local/
sustainable produce and artisan products; wood oven cooking

homemade everything (includingthe ketchup accompanying cnrisp-
outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz
signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted
pizzas range from classic Margherntas to pies with house-smoked
bacon, trugole (a subtlyflavorful fruity, not funky Alpine cheese),
and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious
salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$
Hurricane Grill & Wings
Shops at Midtown Miami
Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133
This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown
Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat coded sauc
es and dry rubs meant for custom tossing with wings and other
things (including white-meat "boneless wings," really wing shaped
chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-
cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with
garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too,
including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$
iSushi Cafe
3301 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-548-8751
Ever get tempted by supermarket sushi rolls, just because
they're there? Don't be. This quick casual cafe has a menu
similar to that at sushi/Japanese small plates, fast food take
out joints (individual niginr, makis, and party platters, plus small
plates like edamame, seaweed, etc.) and comparable prepare
tion speed, too, but with ingredient quality and freshness that's
more upscale. Prices are actually considerably cheaper than
those of market makis that might have been sitting around for
days. Additionally, ambiance, though casual, is stylish enough
for a date or dinner with friends. $$
Jimmy'z Kitchen
2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505
No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miami's best
classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with
fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or
shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and bet
ter than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, notjust
on weekends. But don't ignore the meal-size salads or higlh-quality
sandwiches, including a pressed tnripleta containing roast pork, bacon,
Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$
Joey's Italian Cafe
2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488
The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Cafe District, this stylish
indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope
- and as affordable. There's a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al
pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist del
icatelythin, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante
or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the
mosaic centered decor 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., 305-392-1825
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Apostolidi, also authentically Greek but known to locals for her critically
acclaimed fare at defunct Anston. The menu includes many mezes, both
traditional (liketsatziki and eggplant spreads) and unusual bacalaoo
croquettes with garlic puree and roasted beet coulis; sesamespnrinkled
manoun cheese envelopes), plus limited entrees highlighted by cheese/
herbcrusted lamb at dinner and lunchtime's lamb pita wrap. Don't miss
the semolina puree side heavenly Greek cheese grits. $$$

La Provence
2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002
(See Bnrickell / Downtown listing.)

3425 NE2nd. Ave., 305-576-0108
In New Orleans, "lagniappe" means "a lite extra," likethe 13th doughnut in a
baker's dozen. And that's whatyou get at this ombination wine and cheese
bar/backyard BBQ/entertainment venue. Choose artisan cheeses and
charcutenefrom the fridges, hand them over when you pay (very little), and
they'll be plated with extras: olives, bread, charging luscious condiments. Or
grab fsh, chicken, vegges, or steak (with salad or combread) from the hidden
yard's gnll. Relax in the comfie mismatched furniture, over extensrve wine/
beer choices and laidback Ive music. No cover, no attitude. $$

Lemoni Cafe
4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080
The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/start
ers primer. What it doesn't convey is the freshness of the ingredi-
ents and the care that goes into their use. Entree-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 Grill
Shops at Midtown Miami
Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463
Like 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 mahl mahl for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas
are housemade daily. Niceties include low carb tortillas and many
Mexican beers. $

Lim6n y Sabor
3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739
In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and
open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a special
ty. 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 chill cream sauce. $$

Lost & Found Saloon
185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008
There's an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly

Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday only break
fast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. It's
now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern style
fare at rock bottom prices. Dishes like pinon and pepita crusted
salmon, chipotle-dnrizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or cus-
tomizable 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 Bistro
4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066
Inside this converted 1940s home's blue-and white dining room
- or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden din
ers 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 puree, and airytarama caviar
spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava puree, and rich
tomato walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is,
with Mandolin's fresh baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself.
$$ $$$

MC Kitchen
4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948
Chef/co owner Dena Marino calls MC's food "modern Italian"
- neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this
place is one of our town's hottest tickets. But tasting tells the
tale. Marino's food incorporates her entire culinary background,
from her Nonna's traditional Italian American kitchen to a long
stint in Michael Chiarello's famed contemporary Californian eat
ery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating
here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtime's "piade-
nas," saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop
heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients
from za'atar to salmon roe. $$$ $$$$

4141 NE 2nd Ave., 786-332-3772
Adjacent to Dena Marino's hot hangout MC Kitchen, the contem
porary Italian chef's artisanal market and breakfast/lunch cafe 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
Marino's Italian Cubano (porchetta, prosciutto cotto, Swiss, pickles,
and Dijon mustard dressing, on ciabatta). Along with hot or cold
sandwiches, there's a wide variety of homemade breakfast pas
tries, breads, cookies, and fresh baked quiches, plus salads and a
daily changing soup. Market items include exotic jams, craft beers,
and Marino's private label EVOO. $ $$

Mercadito Midtown
3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423
Some people frequentthis fashionable restolounge, festooned with
graffitvstyle 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 favor
ite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chill 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. $$ $$$

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550
An instantsmash hit,thistruly neighborhood-oriented restaurantfrom
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 cuttingedge (crispy beef cheeks with
whipped celenac, 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. There's also a broad range of prices and
portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michael's Genuine also fea-
tures an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$ $$$$

Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731
This familyowned 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 pre-
pared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited
late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$

Morgans Restaurant
28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678
Housed 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 fnrites that rival
Belgium's best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously
terrific tofu (crisply panko crusted and apricot/soy glazed); even
a "voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich" definitely a "don't ask,
don't tell your cardiologist" item. $$ $$$

NoVe Kitchen & Bar
1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000
At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new
nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian
Causeway), the food is East West. Meaning you can get burgers,
pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi
specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and
Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus,
avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchyfrifned tofu atop
kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00
a.m., it is kid friendly and dogfriendly, too. $$ $$$

Oak Tavern
35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818
With a festively lantern -lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and
stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur
David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously
cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small
plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese
bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down home buttermilk
biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcutene. If available,
don't miss Hawaiian inspired steelhead poke; substitutingthe
salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports
this crudo to heavenly heights. $$ $$$

Orange Cafe + Art
2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070
The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass enclosed cafe are for sale.
And for those who don't 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. $

3004 NW 2nd Ave., 786-360-5200
When longtime favorite Jamaican joint Clive's fell victim to gentnrifi
cation, few expected to find similarly skilled old school Caribbean
American soul food in Wynwood again, especially not at old school
prices. But that's 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 Miami's best.
Surprises include homemade pastries, and $1 ice cream cones in
tropical flavors like soursop. $ $$

3801 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-0201
(See Bnrickell/Downtown listing)

Pride & Joy
2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548
Behind this Wynwood warehouse facade you'll find pure Southern
roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place
to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbecue from pit master
Myron Mixon. Oddly, considering Mixon's many BBQ championships,
the 'cue can be inconsistent. Our favorite choices: St. Louis ribs,
tender without being falling off the bone overcooked, and enjoyably
fattier than baby backs; vinegar doused pulled pork sandwiches,
which, unlike meat plates, come with sides fries, plus slaw to pile
on for added juice and crunch. $$$

1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055
The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesn't 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 pep
peroni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas
also please: diners' choice of starch, with mix and match sauces
and extras. And the price is right, with few entrees topping $20.
The capper: It's open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$

Sakaya Kitchen
Shops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue
This chef driven, fast casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in
Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop). But why quib-
ble about words with so many more intriguing things to wrap your
mouth around? The concept takes on street food favorites from

Biscayne Times

March 2014


all over Asia, housemade daily from quality fresh ingredients.
French Culinary Institute-trained Richard Hales does change his
menu, so we'd 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., 305-755-0122
Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated decor at
this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you
won't 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 snracha, 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 Creations
2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333
At 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 plea
sures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or
poultry); and two dozen dressings, rangingfrom 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 per
fect picnic or plane food. $ $$

Salumeria 104
3451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588
In Italy, salumenas started, like American delicatessens, as shops
selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of
eat in dell/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods.
At this modern Midtown salumenria, the soups-to-salads-to sweets
range of fare is the same. Custom sliced imported cold cuts are
a main focus, especially for those who enjoy taste-testing a plate
pairing Italy's two most famous prosciuttos: Parma and San
Daniele. But homemade pastas are also impressive, as are hard
to find regional entrees like fegato alia Veneziana, which will turn
liver haters into lovers. $$ $$$

Salsa Fiesta
2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245
The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain,
this "urban Mexican grill" serves health-conscious, made-fresh
daily fare similar in concept to some fast casual competitors. But
there are indeed differences here, notably pan Latin options: black
beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchytostones (avail
able as a side or as the base for a uniquely tastytake on normal
nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two for
one beers and free parking. $ $$

S & S Diner
1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291
Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner.
Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, wait
ing for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned

beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes;
homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything
from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the
usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the
daily blackboard specials. $ $$

Shokudo World Resource Cafe
4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782
At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resource's cafe was
better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai
menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinven
tion. 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 Kitchen
645 NW 20th St., 305-482-0238
No chop suey. No kung pao anything, either. In fact, anything on
Soi's menu that sounds like somethingfrom a normal Chinese eat
ery won't be: char sui ribs come with delicate corn pancakes, won
ton 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 it's contemporary Chinese fine dining
fare similar in creativity and quality ingredients to ultra upscale
Hakkasan's, but served by a tiny take-out joint (with a few patio
tables and counter stools) at neighborhood prices. $$

Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
3250 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0353
This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Road's
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 Ballooe's 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. $$ $$$

2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-960-7097
As its fusion name suggests, this artsy indoor/outdoor eatery doesn't
merely serve a mix of Japanese sushi and Latin ceviches but a true
fusion of both, largely owing to signature sauces (many based on
Peru's citusy/creamy acevichado emulsion with Japanese spicing)
that are applied to sushi rolls and ceviche bowls alike. Additionally
there are some popular Peruvian fusion cooked dishes like Chifa
(Peruvian-Chinese) lomo saltado, served traditionally, as an entree, or
creatively in springs rolls). To add to the fun, accompany your meal
with a cocktail from Miami's only pisco bar. $$ $$$

Thea Pizzeria-Cafe
1951 NW 7th Ave., 305-777-3777
Just over the border from artsy Wynwood, this ultra-cool cafe (whose
interior features a 30-foot Italian glass floral mosaic) isn't what you'd
expect to find inside one of the medical/lab buildings in Miami's

sterile "Health District." But the owner is Thea Goldman, former
founding partner of Wynwood's pioneering restolounge Joey's, which
explains both the stylishness and the menu, highlighted by imagine
tive wood oven designer pizzas, plus artisan charcutenrie/cheese
platters, creative salads, and housemade salted caramel gelato. Not
your typical hospital food. Call ahead regarding dinner. Atthis writing,
it's being served Fridays only. $$ $$$

Tony Chan's Water Club
1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888
The decor 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 tradi-
tional courses: crepe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauteed with crisp
veggies, savory soup to finish. $$ $$$

Via Verdi Cucina Rustica
6900 Biscayne Blvd., 786-615-2870
After years of critical acclaim cooking the cuisine of their native
Piedmont at ultra upscale Quattro, on Lincoln Road, twin brother
chefs Nicola and Fabnrizio Carro decided to work for themselves,
hands on renovating the former space of MiMo District pioneer
Uva 69. Cuisine here is similarly authentic, with creative twists.
But there are important differences: emphasis on local, rather
than mostly imported, ingredients; inspiration from all Italian
regions; and best, astonishing affordability. Housemade spinach/
ricotta gnudi baked in an ocean of burrata is a delight, but it's
hard to go wrong here. $$ $$$

Wine Vault Miami
Shops at Midtown Miami
Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000
From a Wine Vault press release: "Over 1300 square feet of pure
decadence." In fact, the soaring, two story space, complete with
glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most
decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-
covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown ups
can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany
the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include
chorizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers
stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy hour wine prices are so low
we'd better not mention them. $$ $$$

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959
The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from world famous
outdoor artists, but it's 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 deCuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken
ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers
with tapenade; plus fingerling potato chorizo hash and other sea
sonal farm to-table veg dishes. $$ $$$

Upper Eastside

5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751
With brick oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years,
it's difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soyka's
55th Street Station complex was mainland Miami's sole source of
open flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the new
bie 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. There's a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$

Balans Biscayne
6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191
It took longer than expected, but this Brit import's third Miami venue
finally opened, and rather quietly which has an upside. It's 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 venue's 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 souffle through
savoryAsian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-gar
nished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$ $$$

Big Fish
620 NE 78th St., 305-373-1770
Longtime locals who remember the uniquely Miamian ambiance of
the first Big Fish, a beloved Miami River holein the-wall restolounge,
will want to visit this rebirth featuring an equally cool waterside setting
on the Little River, plus an original owner and similar traditional Italian
dishes. Our personal fave is spaghetti alia vongole veraci (with tinytrue
Venetian clams, hard to find today even in Venice), but you'll know what
you like on the familiar menu. Best seating: the expansive extensively
(and expensively) rebuilt riverfront deck. $$$ $$$$

Biscayne Diner
8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-9910
At this architecturally mixed-era diner (signage: 1960s Jetsons;
building: 1930s urban gritty), the menu is equally eclectic. Example:
The entree section includes meatloaf, but the other half-dozen
dishes are Italian. Hefty burgers are always terrific. Otherwise, the
chef seems most excited by experimentation, so the blackboard's
Daily Specials are the interesting way to go, whether the item is an
ambitious quail or a fresh baked old fashioned pie. If we could stop
stuffing ourselves silly on the big, fat, breaded onion rings, we could
tell you more. But that's not gonna happen.

Blue Collar
6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366
Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloise's
American Noodle Bar), this working class-themed eatery is helmed
by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allen's 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 puree to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus.

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Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans,
topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Boston's best. $ $$

916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735
This 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, it's even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced back
yard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazil's national
dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats.
But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas like pasteis to
hefty Brazilian entrees, is also appealing and budget priced. $$

B & M Market
219 NE 79th St., 305-757-2889
Don't let the rustic look of this mom-and pop Caribbean market/
eatery, or its ungentrified location, scare you. Walk to the kitchen in
the back of the market, order, and then either eat in (at two tables)
or take-out some of Miami's tastiest, and cheapest, West Indian food.
Celeb chef Michelle Bernstein is a longtime fan of the jerk chicken,
ackee and saltfish, and pigeon peas and rice cooked in coconut
milk. Rotis rule here; the flatbreads come plain or, better yet in curry
chicken, goat, or remarkablyfull flavored vegetarian versions. $

7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282
This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow
and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the
Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Marghernta topped with arugula,
prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesn't 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
entrees (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with
Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $
Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433
Since 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 po'boys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore
crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts cheese
steak and beyond. $ $$

East Side Pizza
731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351
Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly
many Italian-American pizzerias offer entrees like spaghetti and meat
balls, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage
sauce, wid 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. $

5555 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-2899
While owners Max and Cnristian Alvarez's description of their eatery
as "a little Argentinean shack" is as charming as the brothers
themselves, it conveys neither the place's cool warmth nor the
food's exciting elegance. Dishes are authentically Argentine, but
far from standard steakhouse stuff. Chef Cnristian's 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 Argentina's peasant stew locro, but here a refined,
creamy soup. Many more surprises even steaks. $$ $$$

The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions
5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559
At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/
chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous
restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner
snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the
unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative,
from scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes:
flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated
sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern inspired "pig wings" (pork
drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse,
and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz,
include sinful sticky buns. $$ $$$

Garden of Eatin'
136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050
Housed in a yellow buildingthat's nearly invisiblefrom 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 fve 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. $

Jimmy's East Side Diner
7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692
Open for more than 30 years, Jimmy's respects the most important
American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the
place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings
for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan
waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open face frittatas;
and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash,
hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And don't forget traditional diner
entrees like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers,
salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $ $$

La Tour Eiffel
7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014
This cute restaurant/creperne serves three meals, from traditional
French breakfasts of croissants/baguettes and jam, or heftier ones
including pain perdu (real French toast), to dinners featuring a chefs
special $28.90 two-course meal of classics: country pate, Provencal
fish soup, bold boeuf bourggnon, creamy rich poulet a la Normande,
a moules/fnrites that even comes with a glass of muscadet and many
more starter/entree choices. But definitely don't miss the crepes,
served all day in both sweet and savory varieties the latter made cor
rectly, for a change, with heftier buckwheat flour. $$ $$$$
Lo De Lea
7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305 456 3218
In Casa Toscana's former space, this cute, contemporary panrillada
is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol

test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty,
they're meat/fat heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the
grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assort
ment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are
paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwa
teringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling
like you're the cow. $$ $$$

Magnum Lounge
709NE 79th St., 305-757-3368
It's a restaurant. It's a lounge. But it's decidedly not a typical Miami
restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the
outside, on the inside it's like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII
Berlin: bordello red decor, 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 isjust 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 prepare
tions reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu
places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the
steak fnrites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurn
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. $ $$$

6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001
Don't even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef resume, not
to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey
restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood.
Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or
impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most
full entrees 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. $$$ $$$$

Mina's Mediterraneo
749 NE 79th St., 786-391-0300
Unlike most restaurants labeled "Mediterranean," this one, deco
rated with restrained modern elegance, really does have dishes from
countries surrounding all sides of the sea (though not necessarily
from the countries' seaside regions, as boeuf Bourguignon attests).
Our favorites, like owner Yasmine Kotb, whose heritage is Egyptian
via Texas, and her mom, the chef, are those featuring exotic
Eastern/North African tastes with twists. Especially fun: Egypt's
besara, a light fava based hummus; falafel "sliders" in warm pita
with Israeli salad, slaw, and tahini; and an unusual side of grilled
kale with yogurt dressing and hazelnuts. $$

Mi Vida Cafe
7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020
At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw food vegan cafe, culinary
school trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist
produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling
fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock
meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even
confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu:
a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised home-
made seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannel
loni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew
"ricotta." Do check the daily specials, too. $$ $$$

7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999
Like its Bnrickell-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, includingyellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly
everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is invit
ingfor dining and entertainment. $$ $$$

Moshi Moshi
7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404
This offspring of South Beach old timer Moshi Moshi is a cross
between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even
more strikingthan the hip decor is the food's unusually upscale
quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual niginr to over the-top
maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet
savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in
Japan, they're popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-
based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types)
satisfy even the biggest appetites. $ $$$

News Lounge
5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932
Mark Soyka's new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly
neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full fledged eat
ery. 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 cafe's Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with
warm pita. $
Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar
7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022
Don't let this little cafe's 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 Haus
1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002
With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanat
ingfrom a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner
Alex Richter's 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;
savoryyet near greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels,

Biscayne Times March 2014

Biscayne Times

March 2014


a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with
a half-dozen different sauces. $$ $$$
Siam Rice
7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516
You'll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here,
and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regard
ing choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially
good at lunch. But don't overlook somewhat pricier specialties like
a deep-fried yet near greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in
red curry sauce. There's also an unusually extensive list of salads,
some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shnrimp/soba
salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (snracha chiles, fish sauce,
lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $ $$$
5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117
Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking
the Upper Eastside's revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen
veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled
a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal
point, now more food focused. The contemporary comfort food
menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked
salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce,
oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre.
And don't miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$ $$$
Sushi Siam
5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818
On the menu of sushi bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai
and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a
unique lobster maki that's admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but
also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus,
avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and spe-
cial sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen
sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive,
such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$
Sweet Saloon
7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999
At this dessert/snack/cocktail bar, from the owner of Moonchine,
you'll find live and DJ entertainment, too, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00
a.m. assuming you can find the place, that is. It's 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 (infusion jars ofStoli and lemongrass). $$

Oggi's Caffe
1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238
This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory
(supplying numerous high profile restaurants) as well as a neigh
borhood 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. $$ $$$
1624 NE 79th St., 305-397-8777
This exotically decorated restaurant, serving Mediterranean cui-
sine from North Africa and the Middle East, has several unusual
features, including Friday-nighit belly dancing and a hookah
lounge Food menus also feature appealing unusual choices
(za'atar-spiced seared lamb loin carpaccio with chickpea puree,
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 hanrissa sauce, on fresh pita $$-$$$
Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe
1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020
This 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 you've wondered about the much debated difference, here's
where to test the taste. $ $$
Sushi Siam
1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)

Cafe Prima Pasta
414 71st St., 305-867-0106
Who says old dogs can't learn newtricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28
seats), the Cea family's 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 traditional
ists needn't worry. All the old favorites, from the cafe's famed beef
carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian
indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$ $$$$
Lou's Beer Garden
7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879
"Beer garden" conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, leader
hosen, and oompah bands none of which you'll find here. It's
actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotel's pool patio area, a locals'
hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmo
sphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan fried mini-crab
cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese
burgers with Belgian style double-cooked fries; blackened "angry
shrimp" with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course
much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$ $$$

Tamarind Thai
946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222
When an eatery's executive chef is bestselling Thai cookbook
author Vatchann Bhumichitr, you'd 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 who'd
moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neigh
borhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the
chef's latest tome, but with Tamarind's very affordable prices, you
might as well let the man's impeccably trained kitchen staff do the
work for you. $$ $$$


C6te Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012
If onlyevery Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant
like this low priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff:
breakfast croissants, crepe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a
few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style bnrik (buttery phyllo
pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mes
clun 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 cafe's baguette sandwiches. $ $$
Miami Shores Country Club
10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363
Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy
1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not
surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, wth golf course views from
both brand indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some
classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary:
an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled
chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with din-r
ner entrees $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$
9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924
Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beach's original
PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this cafe serves the kind of nostalgic,
medium-thin crusted, oozing with gooey-cheese pizzas reminiscent
of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos' territory, except now
there are options for today's toppings sundnried tomatoes, buffalo
mozzarella, etc. But there's also a full menu of Italian American clas-
sics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas.
Garlic rolls are a must, but we didn't have to tell you that. $ $$

Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.
13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254
When people speak of the West Coast as the USA's quality cof
feehouse pioneer territory, they're thinkingSeattle and then south
through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner
Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip place's 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 don't even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou
frou. All beans are house-roasted. There's solid food, too: brick-oven
pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $ $$
Bagel Bar East
1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022
Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy
inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex New Yorkers
always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer
puffed up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket.
There's also a full menu of authentic Jewish dell specialties, include
ing especially delicious, custom cut not pre-sliced nova or lox.
Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and they'll even improvise
a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian
dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$
Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435
While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one can't actually
buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms
shop. But there's 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 area's few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel:
crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $
Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655
These 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 sweetglazed
mock homelesss) Knrispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high,
but such is the price of fame. $$ $$$
Cane a Sucre
899 NE 125th St.,305-891-0123
From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo dis
tricts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this
charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch
stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually,
creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and
honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted fresh baked
baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads,
sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwater
ingly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $ $$
Captain Jim's Seafood
12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812
This 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 Hanson's own fishing boats, which supply manytop restaurants.
Now there's a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with
booths. Whether it's garlicky scampi, smoked fish dip, grilled yellowtail

lvii SuM~m I*di Sf~hril
Bra Cob Logs iJatem SwiafomcSA
BUam'e 01u i eadus # Duuub & lMw




* Yakitori Sushi

* Tempura Sashimi

* Tataki

* Thai Curry


"Meticulously crafted

for your dining enjoyment"

357 NE27hS.11, vnuaF 38

March 2014 Biscayne Times


March 2014

Biscayne Times

or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or
conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-pripnced. $$
Caminito Way
1960 NE 123rd St., 305-893-8322
Open since 1999, this bakery-cafe is particularly known for its European-r
influenced homemade Argentine pastries. So come early to pick from
the wdest variety of savory empanadas plumplyy stuffed and admirably
delicate no leaden crusts here) or sweet facturas (Argentina's most
popular breakfast items). They sell out fast What some might not know is
that despite its small size, Caminirto's also crafts tasty big food: elaborate
salads; hefty baguette sandwiches, like chonripan sausage wth chimi
churn; pastas; major meat or poultry entrees. For lighter lunches, trytartas
(quiches), also perfect party food. $ $$

Casa Mia Trattoria
1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770
Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway
and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattona 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 lowcarb dieters should take a
break, especiallyfor the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate
fagottini "beggar's purses" stuffed with pears and cheese. $$

15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808
Diners 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 Mexico's most typical
dish: cochinita pibil? Cheen's authentically succulent version of
the pickle-onion topped marinated pork dish is earthly 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 possiblythe
best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$ $$$

Evio's Pizza & Grill
12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699
Family-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 ferns
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), entree-size
salads, burntos or quesadillas, wings, hot or cold subs and succulent
self basted lamb/beef gyros with tzatziki. $

Fish Fish
13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124
Here's what makes this elegantly warm restolounge and seafood market
notjust an irresistible neighborhood draw but a worththe-drrve dining
destination: Both local and cold-water fish and shellfish, including stone
crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nachlas's
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 don't miss chef Oscar Quezada's simple and perfect
preparations, including lightly battered, crispy tempura shrimp; sophisti-
cated fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheapo fish); bracing cevi-
ches; and, for carnivores, shepherd's pie topped with ethereal whipped
potatoes. $$-$$$$
Flip Burger Bar
1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547
Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther
north. One reason this easyto-miss venue is a must not miss for North
Miami locals: The hefty half pounders on fresh brioche buns include a
scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The
Fireman is a jalapeno/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie
variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer battered onion rings, a
top-drawer beer list, budget priced combo specials, conversatiorn-frinendly
acoustics, and a South Beach rarity free parking. $ $$

1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007
Festooned 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) we'd bet on giraffe domination.
Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are
all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$

Happy Sushi & Thai
2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165
Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai
and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But
there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi triggerfishs)

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,
it's a superb lunch. For rawfish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare
(accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$ $$$
Here Comes the Sun
2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711
At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miami's first there's a
full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the place's hearty
soups, large variety of entrees (including fresh fish and chicken as well
as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers wth 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. $$
II Piccolo Caf6
2112 NE 123rd St., 305-893-6538
Talk about a neighborhood institution. The owners of this long-
time Italian eatery remember frequent visits from Miami native
Michelle Bernstein and her parents when the celeb chef was a
kid. The "piccolo" space has since expanded, but the place is still
child friendly, and portions are still prodigious. Most dishes evoke
nostalgia, including our favorite white wine/lemon sauce-drenched
veal piccata with capers and artichokes. There are surprises not
found at old school red sauce joints, too, like lunchtime's surpris-
ingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$
Little Havana
12727 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-9069
In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin
entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners
want a night out, notjust a meal. It's also a good choice for diners
who don't speak Spanish, but don't worry about authenticity. Classic
Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-manrinated 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. $$$
King's Chef
476NE 125th St., 305-895-7878
While authentic Chinese fine dining fare is best eaten fresh from
the wok, Chinese take-out is almost a separate genre with its own
standards prime being how its tantalizing scent fills the inside of
your car. Even basic bargain priced Szechuan beef combination
platters from this humble establishment do that so well, you'll
find yourself takingthe long way home. There are surprises one
wouldn't expect, too, including a wide variety of tasty tofu dishes
- spicy ma po, General Tso- style, honey garlic, many more and
other savory vegetarian treats. $ $$
Mama Jennie's
11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627
For more than 35 years this beloved red-saucejoint has been drawing
students and other starvation budget diners with prodigious portions
of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light tex
tured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other
Italian American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entrees come with
oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad
(mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers)
that's a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notablythe red
leatherette booths, add to Mama's charm. $ $$
Pastry Is Art
12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045
Given owner Jenny Rissone's background as the Eden Roc's
executive pastry chef, it's not surprising that her cakes and other
sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle "lollipops") look as flaw
lessly sophisticated as they taste perfect adult party fare. What
the bakery's name doesn't reveal is that it's also a breakfast and
lunch cafe, with unusual baking oriented fare: a signature sand
which of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on
housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked to order Grand
Marnier souffle. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$
Petit Rouge
12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676
From the mid 1990s (with Neal's Restaurant and later with II
Migliore), local chef Neal Cooper's neighborhood oriented Italian
eateries have been crowd pleasers. While this cute 32 seat charmer
is French, it's no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans
with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frinsee salad with lardons,
poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with
lemon/caper sauce); consomme with black truffles and foie gras,
covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes fntes, and
equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$
Piccolo Pizza
2104 NE 123rd St., 305-893-9550
Pizzas at this spin off from family owned II 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, surprisingfor a
pizzeria, delightfully custardy quiche (Benmoussa is part French).
But it would be unthinkable to miss the pies, especially our favor
ite 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 fin
ger subs, quiche squares, pizza bites, more. $ $$

Rice House of Kabob
14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899
Since 2006, South Beach's 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 eat
ers) 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. $$

Steve's Pizza
12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202
At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper thin designer
pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesn't do the
trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steve's 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 House
12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646
The space is tiny. The menu, which features Thai specialties
but includes sushi plus Japanese appetizers and entrees, is not.
Despite the huge selection of sushi/Thai restaurant standards,
though, don't overlook items harder to find in America, like
"floating noodle" soup, a popular street food from Thailand's boat
based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish
contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-nrich
beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll
(tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish
and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Don't miss sticky rice with mango
for dessert. $

Blue Marlin Fish House
2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822
Located 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, mahl mahl, 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 notthrough the main park entrance. No admission fee. $
Chef Roll's Tuna's Seafood Restaurant
17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630
Known for decades as simply Tuna's, this indoor/outdoor eatery.
combining a casual vibe with some surprisingly sophisticated food,
now has a name recognizingthe culinary refinements introduced by
Rolf Fellhauer, for 28 years executive chef at Continental fine-dining
spot La Paloma Additions to the predominantly seafood menu
include chateaubriand or rack of lamb for two, both carved, with
old-school spectacle, tableside Owner Michael Choido has also
renovated the interior dining room, and added theYellowfin Lounge,
which features an extensive selection of artisan beers $$-$$$
Cholo's Ceviche & Grill
1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338
Don't be misled by the mini mall location, or the relatively minimal
prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside,
the decor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both
preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the
signature Cholo's, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili
sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And don't miss the molded
causes, 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. $ $$
Christine's Roti Shop
16721 NE 6th Ave., 305-770-0434
Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela,
originallyfrom British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial
and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour.
Most popular fillingfor 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. $

Duffy's Sports Grill
Intracoastal Mall
3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124
Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal
Mall, Duffy's, 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 Duffy's different
and better? Location, location, location fronting the Intracoastal
Waterway. There's even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$ $$$

Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY
3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318
In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed
Manhattan and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in
the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland fauxCantonese dishes. After:
lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami
outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but don't
worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empire's Special Duck, cold
sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and you'll be a
happy camper, especially if you're an ex New Yorker. $$

El Gran Inka
3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910
Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a
hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Peru's other expected traditional special
ties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contem
porary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended
are two dishes adapted from recipes by Peru's influential nikkel
(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). $$$ $$$$
Hanna's Gourmet Diner
13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255
When SB and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Dner from retiring orgv
nal owrer Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added "Hanna's" tothe
name, but changed little else about this retrookekng French/American diner,
a north Mmi-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburg
er or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuif bourguignon in red
wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad
with garlic dressing For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus
and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$
Hiro Japanese Restaurant
3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687
One of Miami's first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam
feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and
late hours that make it a perennially popular after hours snack stop. The
sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional
are the nicely pnced yakitorn, skewers of succulently scy-glazed and grilled
meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last
makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$

Hiro's Sushi Express
17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776
Tiny, true, but there's more than just sushi at this mostly take-out
spin off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard
stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi veg futo
maki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente
maki), available a la carte or in value-priced individual and party
combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura,
yakiton skewers, teriyaki, stir fried veggies, and udon noodles.
Another branch is now open in Miami's Upper Eastside. $

1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393
If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with
onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succu
lently spiced hilsa, Bangladesh's sweetfleshed national fish) seem
familiar, it's because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu
Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa.
Their menu's 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. $$ $$$

Julio's Natural Foods Emporium
1602 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-947-4744
Vegetarians and vegans tired of settlingfor the one sad steamed
vegetable entree tacked onto most menus will be in in pork free pig
heaven. Owner Julio Valderrama's 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 isn't cutting-edge, but
unusual spicing keeps things interesting. Especially recommended:
a signature vegand feta packed za'atar flatbread; also slightly sinful
sweet potato with butter and cinnamon. $ $$

Friday ......................$10.75
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INova, Eggs and Onion with Homefries or Grits or Oat waZ. ~"4 hniFoia31
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Biscayne Times

March 2014


Kebab Indian Restaurant
514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309
Since 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 destina
tion 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. $$
Kings County Pizza
18228 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-792-9455
If your feelings about Brooklyn style pizza have been formed by
Domino's flopsy crusted, ketchupy, cheesefoody pies, stop here
to sample a slice of the real thing. Admittedly, the crusts are
not those of the coal fired classics from Brooklyn's legendary
Totonno's or Grimaldi's, but they're similarly medium thin and crisp
- though not like a cracker; you can fold them for neat street eating,
and they taste like honest bread, not cardboard. A variety of top-
pings are available even on slices. There are also whole pies with
varied toppings. The "large" is humongous. $ $$
387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485
Cones 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 piz
zas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There
are even desserts like a flambeed apple Kone a la Normande.
Authentic Belgian fnrites, too. $
Laurenzo's Market Cafe
16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381
It'sjust 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 market's
packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, it's a
handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian
American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few
spoonfuls of Wednesday's 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 Grill
14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800
Like 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 mahl mahl for fish tacos comes from a local
supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low carb
tortillas and many Mexican beers. $
Little Saigon
16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377
This is Miami's oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but it's still
packed most weekend nights. So even the place's biggest negative
- its hole-in the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits
- becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner LilyTao
is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef
noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it
notjust a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese
classics. The menu is humongous. $ $$
The Melting Pot
15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228
For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard
dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are
generallythe only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a
wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entree with meat
or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or
oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue
etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss
all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$
Oishi Thai
14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338
Atthis 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
thetime he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black
cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisa's
"new style sashimi" (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and
sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai inspired creations,
too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling
filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$ $$$$

Panya Thai
520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566
Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, there's no shortage of genuine Thai
food in and around Miami. But Panya's chef/owner, a Bangkok native,
offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere.
Plus he doesn't 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 fierytamarind dip, accom-
panied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stirfried with
eye-opening chill/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili topped
Diamond Duck in tangytamarind sauce. $$ $$$

16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027
From the outside, this strip mall Mexican eatery couldn't 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 decor alone doesn't cheer
you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips,
or the manachi band, or the knockout margantas will. Food ranges
from Tex Mex burritos and a party size fajita platter to authentic
Mexican moles and harder to-find traditional preparations like
albondigas spicy, ultra savory meatballs. $$ $$$
Sang's Chinese Restaurant
1925NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076
Sang's has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese
food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu per
mits 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., 305-654-4008
At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and
meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imita
tions. These are still here, plus there's now a wider choice of dishes,
some featuring real meat. Try the authentic tasting Vietnamese
banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock
meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must not miss drink. The cold,
refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with
signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a
guaranteed giggle. $

Siam Square
54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697
Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes
at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beach's
"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 willingto customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff
is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in
place when the mood strikes. $ $$
Soprano Cafe
3933 NE 163rd St., 855-434-9035
Sicilian native Rocco Soprano, original proprietor of South Beach's
Soprano's, has transformed this Intracoastal Waterway space,
formerly the enoteca Rack's, into an elegant but family friendly res-
taurant featuring classic Italian dishes plus steakhouse fare, all in
prodigious portions. For an ultimate Miamian/Italian fusion experi-
ence, arrive by boat at Soprano's dock, grab a table on the water
view deck, and enjoy a coal oven pizza perhaps the famous
truffled white pizza, or our personal fave secchi: sopressata salami,
zesty tomato sauce, provolone, goat cheese, and fresh fior di latte
mozzarella. $$$

Sushi House
15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002
In terms of decor 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, jalapenos, and cilantro, topped
with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo.
Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like
tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan
sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$ $$$$
Sushi Sake
13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242
Chic Asian accented decor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals,
and late-night hours make this hip hangout notjust a sushi bar
but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impres-
sive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the
shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi

places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis
like a crunch topped Miami Heat are most popular, but it's as
sashimi that the fish's freshness truly shines. $$ $$$
Tania's Table
18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425
A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired looking strip mall makes
this weekday lunch only kosher eatery easyto miss. But the cute
bistro, an extension of chefTania Sigal's 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 custardyy quiches,
grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$
Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin
73 NE 167th St., 305-405-6346
Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff,
spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest looking
vegan (dairy free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes
from breakfast's blueberry packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable
stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat
(and fake fish) wheat gluten items that beat many carnivorous
competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a "Philly cheese
steak" sandwich on the toughest of critics an inflexibly burger crazy
six year old. She cleaned her plate. $$
3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064
After 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 glisteningfresh strips of raw tuna can be had
in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit
forming honey miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma
ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic
stem and beef (mild young shoots flash fried with tender steak
bits), or perhaps just caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili
sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$

Asia Bay Bistro
1007 Kane Concourse, 305-861-2222
As in Japan's most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stun
ning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu
sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-
inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different.
Tryjalapeno-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. $$$
Bay Harbor Bistro
1023 Kane Concourse, 305-866-0404
Though small, this ambitious European/American fusion bistro covers
all the bases, from smoked salmon eggs Florentine at breakfast and
elaborate lunch salads to steak fnrites at dinner, plus tapas. As well as
familiar fare, you'll find atypical creations: caramelized onion and goat
cheese-garnished leg of lamb sandwiches; a layered crab/avocado
tortino; pistachio-crusted salmon. A welcome surprise: The bistro is
also a bakery, so don't overlook the mouthwatenringly buttery crois-
sants, plumply stuffed empanadas, or elegant berry tarts and other
homemade French pastries. $$ $$$

Betto's Ristorante Italiano
1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166
After 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
Surfside's neighborhood favorite Cafe Ragazzi). Best make reserve
tons. Though offthe touristtrack, the place draws hungry hordes for
homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noo
dies with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightlyfloured and sauteed
medallons with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker
mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$
Le Pine
1052 Kane Concourse, 305-861-1059
This upscale Lebanese restaurant serves dishes with the sort of
understated sophistication that makes clear why Beirut was called
the Panris of the East. You'll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites,
but many have refinements that lift them above average: pita
that's housemade, charmingly fluffy when warm from the oven;
falafel incorporating flavorful fava beans with the usual ground
chickpeas. Especially appealing are more uncommon items like
crisp-fried cauliflower with tahini, fateh (a chickpea casserole "iced"
with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/herb-filled sambusak pas
tries. Finish exotically with a hookah. $$ $$$

Open Kitchen
1071 95th St., 305-865-0090
If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef
centered lunchroom/market's PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt in
your mouth pork belly substitutingfor regular bacon) would bea
strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/
owner) and Ines Chattas (ex Icebox Cafe 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-
gazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar stuffed ravioli).
Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefani's famous inter
active cooking class/wine dinners. $$ $$$
The Palm
9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256
It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYC's orgi-
nal 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 a la stone juicy, butter
doused slices on toast, topped with sauteed onions and pimentos.
This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without a la
carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isn't on the menu anymore,
but cooks will prepare it on request $$$$$


Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza
17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625
When people rave about New York pizzas' superiority, they don't
just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn
bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently
produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven like those at
Anthony's, 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 garlic sauteed broccoli
rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$
Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli
19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029
One word: flagels. And no, that's not a typo. Rather these crusty, flat
tened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) arethe ultimate bagel/
soft pretzel hybrid and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli,
which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. typically selling out of flagels
in a couple of hours. Since you're up early anyway, sample elaborately
garnished breakfast specials, including unusually flavorful homemade
corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of
mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to human
kind. $$
18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727
Hard as it is for old time NYC expats to believe, there's evidently
a younger generation that doesn't equate the Jewish deli experi-
ence with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of
fermenting picklejuice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary
place attracts this younger generation with the full range of clas
sics, including manyvarieties of hand sliced smoked fish, but also
healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads
with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather
than hand rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$
Bourbon Steak
19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658
(Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)
At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of
chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steak
house fare isjust where the fare starts. There are also Mina's
ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/
baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable veg
etable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble
a happy meal. But don't neglect the steak flavorful dry aged
Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American "Kobe," swoonworthy grade
A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter poached prime rib, all cooked to
perfection. $$$$$
18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350
It's not surprising that this Florida based "better burger" franchise
is one of America's fastest growing. With decor that's 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,
what's not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or
Kobe dogs, plus "accessories" including hand cut fries, killer crisp-
battered onion rings, freshly made, all natural frozen custard, and
toppings galore. $


(Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays) FRESH MEXICAN GRILL
U R H 0 U E
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2 for 1 Beers, Margaritasdunn:
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and Sangria $2 -1acos::,,,: .... 3201 N Miami Ave., Sub 100 North Miami Beach, Fl. 33181 Miami, H. 33130
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March 2014

Biscayne Times


W Cadillac Ranch
Village at Gulfstream Park
921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031
It's 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
4 hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull.
S Party like it's 1980 at this all American restolounge/sports bar,
1 which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes,
live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast),
S there are burgers, steaks, meal size salads, and classic bar bites.
19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737
SForget thick, dough wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slath
ered with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy
eatery eschews the starch/sugar laden traditional favorites for
l salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and
Contemporary as the restaurant's decor. Asian influenced items,
like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are
d 0i 869 120~ particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations
like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoythem on a light
iai xom^ crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by
refreshing herbal infusions like green lemonade (with mint and
basil). $$



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Fuji Hana
2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080
A 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 accommo
dation to veg only diets. $$ $$$
3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410
At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restaurant,
many comejustfor the slightly pricy butvery generous sushi special
ties. Most makis are cooked, but for rawfish fans the tempura-flake-
topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both
inside and out is a people-pleaser. Don't 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,
trytonjiru, miso soupjazzed up with vegges and pork. $$ $$$
La Montanara
18855 NE 29th Ave., 305-974-0167
A lushly vine-covered walkway leadingto the door and back patio
of this secluded but expansive restaurant serves notice that diners
are in for an exclusive Italian experience llano Glunchi, co-founder
of Caracas's 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, don't miss the signature mascarpone/pro-
sciutto focaccias from the beautifully tiled stone pizza oven Budgeting
diners Explore weekday lunch specials, which include sides $$-$$$$
Mo's Bagels & Deli
2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555
While the term "old school" is used a lotto describe this spacious
(160 seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. Itjust so
evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have
been here forever. Example: Lox and nova aren't pallid, prepack
aged fish, but custom sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are
hand rolled, chewy champions, notthose machine-made puffy
poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive
size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches con
firm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$
Mr. Chef's Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar
18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030
Considering our county's 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 China's southern seacoast
province of Guangdong (Canton). But you'll 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, there's a cold jellyfish starter. Even
timid taste buds can't resist tender fried shrimp balls described this
way: "With crispy adorable fringy outfit." $$ $$$
20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777
Named after Ernest Hemingway's fishing boat, this eatery, helmed
for its first decade by chef Scott Fredel, is now under new ownership.
The menu is a mix of classic dishes (grilled skirt steak with chimichurn
and fries; chicken parm), today's trendy favorites (sliders, tuna tartare),
and pastas including linguine with shrimp, tomato, basil, and garlic in
Alfredo sauce. But executive chef Frank Ferreiro's focus remains fresh
seafood, like pan-seared colossal scallops with sauteed spinach, fried
onions, roasted corn, and champagne butter sauce. $$$
Sicilian Oven
20475 Biscayne Blvd., 305-682-1890
Don't think that square-shaped doughy pizza is the specialty here.
"Oven" is really the operative word, referring to the open kitchen's
impressive-looking, open flame wood burner, and for our money
the place's thin crusted pies are the way to go. Toppings, applied
amply, range from traditional Italian American (like made-in-Wis-
consin Grande mozzarella) to popular (fresh mozz, even balsamic
glaze); crust options include whole grain and gluten free. Other
must haves: arancini (deep-fried rice balls stuffed with mozz and
ground beef) and cervellata sausage with broccoli rabe. $$
Soho Asian Bar & Grill
19004 NE 29th St., 305-466-5656
Do bnringyour pocket flashlight to this kosher restaurant
Considenringthe menu's expansiveness, you'll be doing lots of
reading despite dim, lounge-lizard lighting The stars here are small
plates and over-the-top Asian fusion sushi rolls, like the Korean
short ribs atop a kimchee-garnished maki of pureed avocado, cuke,
scallion, and sweet potato But the menu of tapas and entrees
ranges from Japanese-inspired items to pad Thai, Middle Eastern
kabobs, Chinese-American pepper steak, even all-American grilled
steaks Highlights signature fried cauliflower with chili sauce, and
an appealing house nut bread with three spreads $$-$$$
Sushi Siam
19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)

17315 Collins Ave., 786-923-9305
From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano, Sole resort'sseaside Italian/
ItalianAmerican 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" entrees, some upscaled. (When lobster Francaise is available, why
settle for chicken?) Amond sage butter-sauced butternut squash gnudi
is a best bet And meals end with another best bet: the 'Vinny D Split" a
game enablingtables to win their meals for free. $$$$
Copper Chimney
18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075
Atthis family-owned (and kid friendly), white-tablecloth Indian res-
taurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the food's
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 bikanern 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 (sundnried tomato-stuffed paneer/
potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$
Epicure Gourmet Market & Cafe
17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581
Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view?
Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the
dunes from the panoramic cafe windows of the gourmet market
that replaced the Rascal, butyou know you're on a tropical beach,
not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafe's menu, more global diner
than Jewish dell, includes daily specials ranging from spa-grilled
chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But it's worth
seeking out items that made South Beach's original Epicure famous:
sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky
smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$
The H Restaurant
17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106
This friendly, familyowned bistro is the sort of homeawayfrom-home
found every few blocks in France here Gerard and Kanrin Herrison, plus
chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant butthey're rarelyfound in
South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a
savory/sweet dressed salad of duck confit atop frinsee, pan-seared foie
gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre
blanc, and a satisfying steak/fntes (with peppery cognac cream sauce).
We'd leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$
II Mulino New York
17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191
If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian
American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restau
rant. For starters, diners receive enough freebiefood fried zucchini
coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality
parmigiano, garlic bread that ordering off the menu seems superflu
ous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and
perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a
great take-out dinner...for the next week. $$$$ $$$$$
Mozart Cafe
18110 Collins Ave., 305-974-010
This eatery (which serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner) is
a kosher dairy restaurant, but not the familiar Old World type that
used to proliferate all over New York's Lower Eastside Jewish com-
munity. Decor isn't dell but modern artsy, and the food is not blin
tzes, noodle kugel, etc., but a wide range of non meat items from
pizzas to sushi. Our favorite dishes, though, are Middle Eastern
influenced, specifically Yemenite malawach (paratha type flatbread
sandwiches, savory or sweet), and shaksuka (nicknamed "eggs in
purgatory"; the spicy eggplant version will explain all). $$ $$$
Kitchen 305
16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110
Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite
its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a reno
vated discotheque which is what it was. In fact, it's still as much
lounge as eatery, so it's best to arrive early if you want a relatively
DJ free eating experience. A seductive mango papaya BBQ sauce
makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the
know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced
seasonal seafood specials (all you can-eat stone crabs one night,
lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks
makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$
17875 Collins Ave., 305-918-6816
You can't help feeling optimistic about a tourist town's food scene
when its resort restaurants, which generally walk the middle of
the road, get creative. And it doesn't 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 chef's truffled taleggio and
mushroom pies; meltinglytender braised short ribs; an impeccable
market driven meat and cheese platter. $$$
18250 Collins Ave., 305-974-0273
Restaurant trendsetters, anyone with a back-to-the-land ethic, and
lovers of food history and culture will especially love this rustic-looking
place's focus proteins and produce, house-preserved via curing pick-
ling and smoking And its no novelty act Dishes aren't all preserved,
but rather use preserved items to accent fresh ingredients a Cobb
salad with fresh geens, tomato, and egg plus house-smoked bleu
cheese dressing chicken, and bacon, smoked tomato soup with fresh
basil mousse, smoked short rib Benedict for brunch A variety ofjarred
preserves and pickles are available retail, too $$-$$$
Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill
17630 Collins Ave., 305-682-1243
Sushi may well have been served in Sunny Isles before this longtime
neighborhood favorite opened, but Sumo was the neighborhood's
first sushi bar to double as a popular lounge/hangout as well as
restaurant. Ladies' nights are legend. While Thai and Chinese
dishes are available, as well as purist nigin, few can resist the truly
sumo wrestler-size maki rolls, the more over the-top, the better. Our
bet for biggest crowd pleaser: the spicy Pink Lady (shrimp tempura,
avocado, masago, cilantro, and spicy mayo, topped with rich scallop-
studded "dynamite" sauce. $$ $$$
17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008
Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/
Mediterranean inspired seasonal food atthis hot spot, created by
chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at
Chef Allen's and Mark's South Beach), has been garnering local and
national raves. Don't bother readingthem. Andnriola's dishes speak
for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop fnsee, cannelloni bean,
and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange
sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter;
or a wood oven three-cheese "white" pizza. $$$ $$$$
Werner Staub's Peppermill
350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016
It'll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the
tropic alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the
Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor space's
bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same
unique old school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are
contemporary preparations, you can't resist hard to-find retro
dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached
trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and
for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$

Biscayne Times March 2014

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Biscayne Times

March 2014

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March 2014

Biscayne Times






3 Adjacent street to street warehouses for sale in
the heart of exciting Wynwood totaling 23,434 SFE
These buildings are in excellent condition inside and
out and present a great opportunity for owner/users
and investors that want to capitalize on the opportunity
to invest in one of Miami's most burgeoning arts
neighborhoods. Now leasing.

TONY CHO 1305 571 9991

Rail 71 is a 120,654 SF existing multibay creative flex
warehouse sitting on 3.69 acres of prime industrial
land abutting the FEC. Now leasing.

TONY CHO 1305 571 9991

t ,_

Approved plans for this site. 18 story apt/ condo
building 77 units plus 9000 SF of commercial space.
Waterfront restaurant possible across from major
development of 3400 units. 79 st. is high traffic street
between 1-95 and the beach.

ALFREDO RIASCOS 1305 571 9991

We completed 5 leases in the last month alone. 3550
Biscayne is a 7 story office building built in 1972.
This building is currently being renovated, featuring
an updated exterior and an exquisitely finished lobby.
Spaces available 300 SF + Up.

TONY ARELLANO 1 305 571 9991



Prime signalized Wynwood Corner. Only two spaces
remain, 2650 SF + 1150 SF cafe + outdoor space.
Price upon request. Ducati now open. Phase II coming

TONY CHO 1 305 571 9991

High vaulted ceilings with beautiful wood trusses,
streel level bay doors and is currently divided into two
spaces approximately 3100 SF/each. Building has two
adjacent lots providing ample parking for a myriad of
creative uses such as office/retail/restaurant/gallery +

TONY CHO 1305 571 9991

Prime Design District retail building for lease. Total
SF equals 4,500 with a 500 SF urban green space
located in the back. Landlord will consider adding SF
+ additional floors for qualified credit tenants. Will
consider long term leases. Also available for sale.
Price upon request.

TONY CHO 1305 571 9991

17,963 SF portfolio of three properties located in the
heart of the Wynwood Arts District featuring multiple
roll-up doors, high ceilings, AC, renovated exterior /
interior and a large frontage on N. Miami Avenue.
2049 Miami Ave is currently available for lease and
can be acquired individually.

TONY CHO 305 571 9991

FOR SALE 1 $479,000 FOR SALE I $935,000 FOR SALE 1 $190,000 FOR SALE I $175,000

Beautiful Historic Design District Home. 3/2 Great
corner lot home in Historic Design District neighborhood
offers a newly renovated kitchen, original wood flooring,
1 car garage and a private yard. Ready for a new
owner's personal touches, this home is a diamond in the
rough with the right location.

CESAR DELAFLOR 1305 571 9991

4 bedrooms, 3 new baths, white washed wood
floors, new kitchen with stainless steel appliances,
2 refrigerators & a recently installed roof. This home
features a beautifully landscaped yard, heated salt pool
and outdoor barbecue. Plenty of room for an office.There
are roll down shutters and 2 hurricane impact doors &
new septic, well and sprinklers.

IRENE DAKOTA 1 305 972 8860

Great opportunity in Buenavista. Recently remodeled
kitchen with 4 beds and 2 bathrooms. Great for end
users or investors. Low rent currently at $1,300 per
month and can be increased. Owner motivated I

CESAR DELAFLOR 1 305 571 9991

Income producing duplex in Little River area with
combined income of $1,950 per month. Good
investment with long term tenant. Updated units with
plenty of greenery and parking spaces. Flexible owners
will consider offers.

CESAR DELAFLOR 305 571 9991


Biscayne Times

March 2014