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CONTENTS

COVER STORY
26 Race Wars: Gulfstream Park vs. All Comers
COMMENTARY
12 Feedback: Letters
18 Jack King: Miami Is Deja Vu Ad Infinitum
20 My View: Colonel Dodd Bites Back
OUR SPONSORS
22 BizBuzz: April 2014
COMMUNITY NEWS
42 Two Trailer Parks To Bid Farewell
42 Miami to Beach by Bay Link Again
43 Horse Racing Downtown? No. Slots?
43 Biscayne Park to FPL: Bury It!
NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS
58 Aventura: Vote Yes to Join Israel
60 Miami Shores: How's Your Coontie?
62 North Miami: Big Build on 123rd Street
64 Upper Eastside: See That Street? It's Ours Now
ART & CULTURE
66 Anne Tschida on 0, Miami
68 Melissa Wallen's Galleries + Museums
70 Events Calendar: Big Night, Little Haiti
POLICE REPORTS
72 Derek McCann's Biscayne Crime Beat
PARK PATROL
74 Jim W. Harper: Deering Estate at Cutler
COLUMNISTS
71 Picture Story: Miami, Military Town
76 Your Garden: Yucky Black Stuff
77 NEW THIS ISSUE: Pet Talk
78 Going Green: Oil Drilling in the Glades
79 Kids and the City: My Mini-Van Crisis
80 Vino: California Chardonnays to Love
81 Dish: Fresh Food, Best Brewskis
DINING GUIDE
82 Restaurant Listings: 299 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants


BISCAYNEo


PO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com
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


PUBLISHER & EDITOR
Jim Mullin
jim.mullin@biscaynetimes.com
CONTRIBUTORS
Erik Bojnansky Senior Writer
erik.bojnansky@biscaynetimes.com
Anne Tschida, Arts Editor
anne.tschida@biscaynetimes.com
Jay Beskin, Pamela Robin Brandt,
Crystal Brewe, Terence Cantarella,
Christian Cipriani, Bill Citara,
Janet Goodman, 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


BUSINESS MANAGER
Sal Monterosso
sal.monterosso@biscaynetimes.com
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
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marc.ruehle@biscaynetimes.com
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ART DIRECTOR
Marcy Mock
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ADVERTISING DESIGN
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production@biscaynetimes.com
CIRCULATION
South Florida Distributors
PRINTING
Stuart Web, Inc.
www.stuartweb.com


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CALL 305-756-6200
All articles, photos, and artwork in the Biscayne limes are copyrighted by Biscayne Media, LLC. Any duplication or reprinting
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Commentary: LETTERS


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Don't Want To Say I Told You So, But..
Avra Jain is setting an excellent example for
other developers to follow, as Erik Bojnansky's
story showed ('Rebuilding the Boulevard,"
March 2014). Her undeniable historic preserva-
tion successes have proven wrong the doom-
and-gloom naysayers who railed against the 35-
foot height limit at the Miami City Commission
meeting that approved it on October 22,2009:
"You're voting for the death knell on
Biscayne Boulevard in the historic district
by reducing it to a level which will never
be developed."
"The hardships that will follow are
standing in the way of any real restoration
in that district."
"The MiMo District is not going to survive."
Biscayne Boulevard's MiMo Historic Dis-
trict has done much more than survive- it
is on the verge of thriving. The 35-foot height
limit (which translates to three stories, as
specified by the Miami-Dade County Urban
Design Manual) initiated the long-hoped-for
renaissance along what the street pundits once
called "the boulevard of broken dreams."
Those dreams are coming true, thanks to
Ms. Avra Jain, as well as Commissioner Marc
Sarnoff, Todd Leoni, Dean Lewis, and others.
Elvis Cruz
MAorningside

Funds and Sensibility
We should be grateful for developers like Avra
Jain, who have the funds and the aesthetic sen-
sibility to restore Miami's vintage architecture
and its failing neighborhoods. We need more
of her kind of leadership by example.
That was a great story, too, and great photos.
Which reminds me: Why is it so hard
to find Biscayne Times in Miami Beach?
Wendy Grossman
Miami Beach

Editor's note: We deliver the BT to all
single-family homes on Star, Palm, and
Hibiscus islands, plus all homes and
most condos along the Venetian Islands.
If you don't live there, try La Provence
French Bakery at 433 41st St. during the
first few days of each month.

At Your Service, Dear Reader
Thank you, Biscayne Times, for your
longstanding practice of covering Miami
architecture. This is great civic journal-
ism, a real service to your readers when
you give prominence to articles like the
one on Avra Jain and others who want to
change the cityscape for the better.
William Cardenas
Miami


Allow Me a Few Words About a
Certain Former Elected Official
I'm writing in response to Erik Bojnan-
sky's article "Border Wars" (March 2014),
about the annexation proposals of Bis-
cayne Park and North Miami.
It's true that in his four years on the
Biscayne Park Commission, former
Commissioner Bryan Cooper missed
more meetings than any other commis-
sioner. And it's true that he largely refused
to have regular meetings with the village
manager and other staff between monthly
commission meetings, as all other com-
missioners routinely do.
But it is unimaginable that he somehow
managed to escape knowing that diverting
police from "Biscayne Park West" to the
proposed annexation area was never any-
one's proposal. The plan was to hire extra
police to service the area.
Erik Bojnansky knows that. How is it
Cooper doesn't know it? The matter was
discussed so many times that he must have
been there for at least one explication of it.
By the way, Bojnansky mentions the
difference in police response times between
North Miami and the county. It is 9.5 minutes
and 16 minutes, respectively. Considering
the purpose of Bojnansky's article, he might
have included the average response time of
BP police. Typically, it is 2.5 to 3 minutes,
unless they're in the middle of something
pressing, like an active arrest, in which case it
could be up to five to ten minutes.
Likewise, Cooper now warns prop-
erty owners in the proposed annexation
area against "the code warriors from the
west?" During Cooper's term in office, he
worked hard to undermine BP code, and
the employees charged with enforcing it.
There's no indication that he wouldn't have
tried to dismantle BP code, if he could have.
And never mind that the proposed annexa-
tion area has little in it that could draw the
attention of our code officer. Given its
zoning and purpose, it is quite well kept.
Then (what, there's more?) Cooper
suggests BP should get itself annexed by
Miami Shores. Talk about jumping out of the
frying pan and into the fire. Miami Shores is
much stricter about the codes Cooper battles
than Biscayne Park is. And in the aggregate,
they charge at least as much of Cooper's
hated property tax as we do.
What "services and benefits go up,"
as Cooper imagines it? Police? Ours is
better than theirs. Solid waste? The service
is equal, and theirs costs considerably

Continued on page 14


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014








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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com






Commentary: LETTERS


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Letters
Continued from page 12

more. Recycling? We already use them
for that. Code enforcement? Oh, Cooper
doesn't at all want to go there.
What is Cooper thinking? And where
does he get the idea that anyone wants
Miami Shores to annex Biscayne Park?
As Bojnansky makes clear, Miami Shores
isn't interested. Almost no one in Biscayne
Park is interested. And the reason Miami
Shores isn't interested is that BP would
be the same fiscal drain to them as we are
to ourselves. The fiscal crisis doesn't end
immediately, as Cooper fantasizes. Assum-
ing our being annexed by Miami Shores,
which would never happen, we simply
share our fiscal crisis with them. We fis-
cally dumb them down.
The rest of Bojnansky's article was
reasoned and complete. Audrey Ehrhardt
seems to be changing her mind somewhat
about annexation. Mayor David Coviello
had said he didn't have enough informa-
tion to want to endorse the idea of annexa-
tion. Now, it appears he does.
Our manager, Heidi Shafran, is an advo-
cate. County Commissioner Sally Heyman
practically insists we annex. I myself was
once against the idea, and now I'm for it. It
seems everyone except Bryan Cooper has
evolved his or her thinking on this matter.
The one thing for which Cooper can
congratulate himself is that because of his
obstruction, and the support of two of his
past commission colleagues, our effort to
annex the tract in question will either fail,
or it will be more difficult and expensive
than it would have been last year, when
Cooper, et al., had their heels dug in and
their heads in the sand.
Perhaps it will please Cooper to re-
member that sabotage as his greatest com-
mission accomplishment. As North Miami
Mayor Lucie Tondreau said, "We did the
application first." And she has former Bis-
cayne Park Commissioner Bryan Cooper
and his few allies to thank for it.
FredJonas
Biscayne Park Commissioner

Do We Hear a Hoot?
Just to say, Jay Beskin is a hoot to read.
Even when he has a serious point to
make, he can't resist a good one-liner,
like this: Knock-knock. Who's there?
Candy. Candy who? Candy-date for
school board. Can I have a few words
with you? ("Aventura, Pull Down That
Moat!" March 2014.)


He's really good doing that thing with a
thumb on his nose. I just hope the Aven-
tura City Commission is paying attention.
He could teach them a few things about
good governance.
Oops... I forgot. He already tried that
in his ten years on the commission. How
soon they forget....
Name Withheld by Request
Aventura

Biscayne Bay: Could This Be the End?
Jim W. Harper's story on the bay dredg-
ing ("Sifting for Truth in the Deep
Dredge," March 2014) gave me chills,
and not in a good way.
There's no stopping Panamex ships
coming into PortMiami, but residents had
better sit up and exercise their right to have a
say in what will become of their waterfront
and whether Biscayne Bay lives or dies.
This unprecedented port dredging project
may be finished in two years, but what if we're
reading environmental havoc stories for the
next two decades? People, pay attention!
The author asks a rhetorical question:
Will it require 600 days of dynamiting to
reach a depth of 50 feet? Well, do we even
know what happens if it requires 6 days
or 16? The Army Corps only has to worry
about "protected" species, apparently, and it
seems to be doing a questionable job so far.
Thomas Clarison
Miami

Editor's note: Army Corps of Engineers
Col. Alan M. Dodd responds to Jim W
Harper's column in "My View," page 20,
this issue.

Love Them, Miss Him!
Thank you for another great edition
of the BT with your March issue. You
manage to cover almost everything, from
the insightful and informative "Gaines-
ville Memories" by Jack King (everyone
should take this seriously) to the satirical
and humorous "Biscayne Crime Beat"
compiled by Derek McCann (nobody
should take this seriously).
But I do miss Christian Cipriani!
Joan Dunn
Miami Shores

Correction
Owing to an editing error, two North Miami
apartment buildings mentioned by Olga
Figueroa in her "My View" column ("Trash
Piles, Broken Fences, Rotten Roofs," March
2014) were misidentified. They are located
at NE 125th Street and 13th Avenue.


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014

















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April 2014











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April 2014






Commentary: MIAMI'S KING


They'll Just Wear You


Down

That's the City of Miami's strategy for stifling citizen activists


By Jack King
BT Contributor

ver the years, I've observed that
when the public has dealings
with the City of Miami, it's like
deja vu all over again. And again. And
again. And again.
In the early 1980s, the city wanted to
develop the Coconut Grove waterfront,
but residents wanted a water-dependent
park area. So after months fighting, the
city suggested a study to develop a wa-
terfront master plan.
The city had already been stung by
residents in an earlier attempted scam.
Former Commissioner J.L. Plummer and
former city manager Cesar Odio had
concocted a back-room deal with a group
of developers to build high-rise hotels on
the water where the old Pan Am hangars
are. The residents lost every round, and
it looked like we might see a concrete
waterfront in the Grove after all.
But some resourceful Groveites came
up with a new plan of attack. They got the
Pan Am hangars designated as "historic,"
making it impossible to tear them down.
I was never a fan of the hangars. I
thought they were ugly, but the alterna-
tive multiple 20-story walls of con-
crete was really ugly, and just wrong
for the waterfront. Nobody in the Grove
wanted another Miami Beach. We were
saved once again.
Over the next 20 years, city officials
kept bringing back the master-plan


program and residents kept looking at
them like they were crazy. All the plans
were done by city commission cronies,
and all were roundly rejected. Cost for
several thousand pages of plans with vir-
tually nothing on them? Try $4 million.
Then in 2006, the city again broached
the subject of a waterfront master plan. A
lot of new people in the Grove had joined
the drive to make the waterfront a better
place. So the city seemed to get onboard
with concept of doing the study right,
something that would work for the resi-
dents and not the developers. Certainly a
novel concept in the City of Miami.
The city hired Sasaki & Associates, a
world-renowned design firm that had been
successful in redoing municipal water-
fronts. Dozens of meetings were held and
community input was actually appreciated.
In 2008 the company returned with a
master plan that didn't have everything for
everybody, but one that everybody thought
they could work with. We thought we had
a winner. Commissioners even selected an
implementation committee to work with
the city in order to realize the project.
Alas, 2008 was also a year of
economic collapse. The city took full
advantage of the mess by doing exactly
nothing. Other initiatives got under way,
many of them pet projects for particular
commissioners. Once again the Grove
waterfront was left. The implementation
committee had nothing to implement.
Then in 2013, we heard rumblings
that the city might be ready to go with


The new dock master's building will be much bigger and more expensive
than planned.


the Sasaki plan. The buzz was that the
city had solved its financial problems and
the project was good to go. That was sort
of true. Then, out of nowhere, came the
new dock master's building, but it wasn't
where it was supposed to be in the master
plan. It was also 30 percent larger and
much more expensive than projected.
City officials argued that they had to
move the building site because it was on
a utility easement. Yes, it was, but it was
a city easement. Still, it was clear no one
had bothered to look at utility maps. Plus
changes to master plans are supposed to
be approved by the State of Florida.
Several months after the start of con-
struction on the dock master's building,
the city's planning department scheduled
a meeting with the residents to get their
"input" on the plan. Several hundred of
us showed up for the meeting. The plan-
ners asked us to write down our ques-
tions and concerns. They gathered all
the responses and sent us home, saying
they'd have another meeting to discuss
issues they felt were important.


We returned several weeks later.
Based on our earlier questions, they di-
vided us into groups. Several discussions
broke out, and then the meeting ended. If
we're lucky, we might have another meet-
ing. Or if we're really lucky, we will never
hear from the planning department again.
Sadly, this is how the City of Miami
and its planning department works, and
it's the reason the public never gets what
it wants. Granted, there are varying views
among residents. From the city's point of
view, however, all views are subordinate
to money how much officials want to
spend on parks (no profit margin) and
how much they can save for their devel-
oper buddies. After all, this is Miami.
Several BT readers have asked me about
the proposed Grove Bay project, which
would eliminate Scotty's Landing, the Chart
House, and add a very large parking garage.
It's still in the court system, slowly moving
forward. The challenge to the plan passed
its first test (early dismissal), so stay tuned.

Feedback: letters(ai-biscaynetimes.com


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014

















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Bath 5,349 SF (497 m2) w/ 40' Deeded Dock 2 Car (336 ml) w/ 210 Protected Waterfront I $2,950,000
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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 19






Commentary: MY VIEW






Success, Transparency,


Inclusion

The Army Corps of Engineers responds to dredge concerns


By Col. Alan M. Dodd
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Special to the BT

he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
is working hard to ensure that
PortMiami remains a vital part
of the global marketplace. When com-
pleted, the port will be one of only three
50-foot-deep U.S. Atlantic ports when the
expanded Panama Canal opens in 2015.
This congressionally authorized federal
navigation project will support infrastruc-
ture improvement and generate economic
benefits nationally. Every part of the
project is essential from environmental
monitoring and mitigation to excavation of
rock in the channel and ensuring daily use
of the best safety protocols.
PortMiami is the Corps' first Florida
port expansion project to employ the
highest environmental-protection moni-
toring protocols outside of a designated
National Marine Sanctuary.
Unfortunately, some local media have
misinformed the public regarding the
PortMiami project without the Corps being
given an opportunity to comment. This is
regrettable, as it is misleading to readers
when they are not given the complete story.
While a great many residents and business-
es support the port expansion, we under-
stand some people and organizations do not.
As a federal agency, our duty is to fulfill the
mission as directed by Congress and be ac-
countable to the taxpayers we serve.


To set the record straight, during the
permitting process, we adjusted the proj-
ect's seagrass-mitigation site in Biscayne
Bay, preserving a 100-foot wide corridor
for recreational boaters. In fact, we moved
this worksite in response to Capt. Dan Kip-
nis's recommendation. When requested
to make adjustments to the site pilings for
the February yacht show, the Corps did
not support another change, knowing local
taxpayers would have to bear the substan-
tial costs of this decision.
At that time, we explained to local
officials and the media that this was not a
fiscally responsible decision. Since 2004,
the mitigation site has been in the public
record, with no adverse comments related
to navigational thoroughfare restrictions.
It remains an active construction site.
Contrary to Captain Kipnis's claim,
there are civil and criminal penalties for
injuring or killing manatees and dolphins.
The Corps and its contractors are required
by law to perform the environmental miti-
gation described in our National Environ-
mental Policy Act (NEPA) document and
our Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (FDEP) permit. We fully intend
to fulfill all our requirements and to comply
with the law. There have been no reports
of any marine life deaths or harassment
caused by the dredging. In fact, it was our
contractor who discovered and reported a
dead manatee to authorities last month The
death was later determined to have been
caused by a recreational-boat strike.


Government Cut dredging operations, February 14, 2014.


The Corps is proceeding with the reloca-
tion of all corals greater than 25 centimeters
in diameter, up to 1300 corals between 10
and 25 centimeters, and all acropora coral
colonies outside of the project area. Hybrid
corals, first identified by Coral Morphologic
co-founder ColinFoord, are located on the
rock jetties at the port's entrance and will
not be impacted by the project. Creation of
nine acres of artificial reef is underway.
Onsite divers monitor natural
resources adjacent to the channel for
turbidity and sedimentation effects
during dredging activities. All compli-
ance information is published on FDEP's
public website and environmental agen-
cies participate in monthly progress calls
with both the Corps and our contractor.
Biscayne Times writer Jim W. Harper
asked in his March "Going Green"
column: "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?"
Unfortunately, the writer didn't call
the Corps for a response. There have
been zero days of confined underwa-
ter blasting to date. The contractor is
making great progress excavating rock
without blasting, and we anticipate no
need for blasting until spring 2015.
Our NEPA document, which received
public and agency review by U.S. Fish


& Wildlife Service and National Marine
Fisheries Service, found that blasting
was not likely to adversely affect pro-
tected species in the bay.
This landmark project is a major step
toward the United States entering into the
post-Panamax era of shipping commerce. A
dredging project of this magnitude, in one
of the heaviest-trafficked shipping lanes in
the world, is a complex challenge one we
are meeting with great success, transparency,
and inclusion Modernizing our country's
infrastructure, in an environmentally savvy
way, is essential to our country's sustainment.
In conclusion, I want to reassure the com-
munity that during each step of this project,
we are coordinating with local, state, and
federal officials, and will continue to keep the
public informed and involved. This project is
important to the region and the nation from
both an economic and environmental perspec-
tive, and we are committed to doing it right.
It's my hope that readers will insist
upon balanced and accurate reporting,
and if you have any questions that you
will contact the Corps to get the right
information as to what we are doing.
Please visit our website, www.saj.
usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/
Navigation/NavigationProjects/Miami
HaborDeepeningStudy.aspx, which con-
tains project and contact information.

Feedback:. letters(ibiscaynetimes.com


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014

































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One of the few ways to enjoy the Great ly materials. Additionally, Sal Guerra and 25% discount on all services.
Outdoors during the dog days is doing the his crew restore weather-worn older decks Numerous April advertisers are of-
doggie paddle, in your own backyard pool. and painstakingly maintain newer ones, a fearing opportunities to get out and about
Don't have one? Call Gator Pools & Spa service enthusiastically endorsed by the before the heat hits.
Construction (305-222-2220), to design BT's deckhound publisher: "They just The Downtown Miami Partnership
and build your dream pool with free completed my annual pressure cleaning, (25 SE 2nd Ave.), invites grown-up readers


mentioning this issue's ad. If you already
have a pool, the fully licensed/insured
company also does maintenance, repairs,
and renovations.
For a bikini body matching your
dream pool, check out this month's Miami
Shores Marketplace ad for Vida Nutri-
tion (11098 Biscayne Blvd. #410-430;







WELLNESS


Wei
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Homq
Lost 1471bs in 100 days. Vitan
nd ual results may vary Nutra
bars i


lar, and the rain just rolls right off it."
Here's what does not roll right off your
car: bird poop. For proof, take a look at
this month's ad from Busy Bee Car Wash
(10550 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-5889), fea-
turing a photo of an auto totally decorated
with droppings. After 45 years in business,
you'd expect the Bee to have a solution,

lit
E


CALL U!
'ENTERS 305-3

1wnsIi, aized t
f'zt c4L Th94hAha increase my
(injections or oral) ...
*ethic FDA registered spray (oral)
B-12/Lipotropic injections
.utical protein shakes,
I product line


a celebration of our town's architectural
heritage through self-guided tours of
seven significant buildings, plus compli-
mentary cocktails/wine, tasty appetizers,
and entertainment. Advance tix to the
historical happening, on April 11 from
6:00-9:00 p.m., are $35 for BT readers with
discount promo code BTBUZZ till April

Kane Concourse, Suite 100-
y Harbor Islands, FL 33154
'ww.balharborbouari.com
FOR A FREE CONSULT
17-8841 or 305-397-8

m-~di

a W inue 3D

Diamo


6:00-9:00 p.m. Held at Oak Tavern (35 NE
40th St.) the party features complimentary
hors d'oeuvres, half-price drinks, and DJ
music. Get more info at 305-677-5000.
View pix of past parties on Majestic's
Facebook page. Oh, and should partiers

Continued on page 24






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and Etl Wle enitet I
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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


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.............................. .....
























Introducing 151 AT BISCAYN
just minutes from Aventura Mall, a
the Intracoastal Waterway and the


, a limited collection of spacious two- & tl
ew miles from Bal Harbour Shops and ove
iores of Sunny Isles Beach.


,ee-bedroom condominium residences
looking the Oleta River State Park,


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


WWI


VIA.


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Paramount Bay gorgeous bedroom
$749,000
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 786 247 1185


1 Bedroom next to Paramount Bay
$219,000
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.
Yann Rousseau 786 762 2602


Midtown multifamily building
$500,000
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.
Marie Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539


Paramount Bay, unit 702
$1,590,000
Low floor endless view of Biscayne
Bay, sold for full asking price in 3
weeks. Call us for more options at
Paramount.
Marie Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539


South Beach 1 be/l ba with parking
$275,000
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


Studio, 15th street and Biscayne
$152,000
Completely redone studio with wood floors,
open kitchen with granite countertops, and
a million dollar view. Located at the
entrance of the Venetian causeway, just
minutes to South Beach, and next to the
upcoming megacomplex Resort Worlds.
Currently rented at $1200/month.
William Harbour 786 762 2602


Visit our new Morningside storefront at 5701 Biscayne Boulevard

ww.mTi&2rety.com


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Brokerage & Consulting


Our Sponsors: APRIL 2014


BizBuzz
Continued from page 22

feel like buying a house, Majestic's office
is right next door.
News from Marie-Charlotte Piro and
William Harbour of MC2 Realty (305-
495-6539), for house-hunters wanting to
narrow-focus on Morningside, where these
Realtors themselves reside: the creation
of Morningside Life Realty, a boutique
company dedicated to sales in the lovely
historic gated community. Drop by MLR's
sales gallery (5701 Biscayne Blvd.), which
offers a full array of interactive tools to
find the perfect home.
In Morningside Park (750 NE 55th Ter.),
City of Miami Parks and Recreation
is presenting a family-oriented "Bike &
Paddle Day" on April 27, 10:00 a.m.-3:00
p.m. Roads will be closed to car traffic for
bikers, and/or temporarily trade your bike
for a paddleboard or kayak normally
available for rent free at the event. If the
kids like this intro to water sports, parents
planning ahead can also learn about two
specialty summer camps: Morningside
Park's Camp by the Bay, and Adventure
Biscayne Camp at Miami Rowing Center.
Call 305-705-1834 for more info.
More elaborate fun on the water is
offered this month by Resorts World
Bimini (www.rwbimini.com, 888-930-
8688): three round-trip day cruises to the
nearby Bahamian island aboard Bimini
SuperFast. A "Family Spring Break
Getaway," with cabin, is only $60 for kids
under 12 ($125 for older folks). And for
card-carrying grown-ups, "Spring Beach"
and "VIP Spring Fling" packages are more
oriented toward high-seas hijinks, like
cocktails and casino gambling.
If you're more biker than boater, but
can't afford to buy, check in with Bike
Nerds (9538 NE 2nd Ave., 786-332-3463).
Owners Thomas Korray and Diego Pinzon
expect to add a fleet of affordable rental
bikes, cruisers, and "fixies" this month.
Miami-Dade College will be offering
two exciting upcoming events, the most
ambitious being its acclaimed Writers
Institute (MDC Wolfson Campus, 300
NE 2nd Ave.), May 7-10. Three-day and
four-day workshops (covering fiction,
nonfiction, and poetry), plus lunchtime
readings and manuscript consultations -
in addition to a popular public "Pitch-
0-Rama" event at a different address -
teach participants to not just write better
but to market their work better. For
detailed info/registration: www.flcenter
litarts.com.


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Meanwhile this month, MDC Live
Arts (www.mdclivearts.org) closes its
2013-14 season spectacularly with a show
by African rap wizard Baloji, whose pio-
neering new sound mixes hip-hop's cutting
edge with Congolese rumba and '60s soul.
An unexpected treat: Baloji and his band
will be opening headliner at Wynwood
Life, a brand-new, three-day cultural
street festival, April 25-27. For festival
details, directions, and tix, go to www.
wynwoodlife.com.
A particularly unusual event comes
from new advertiser Hialeah Park Race
Course and Casino (220 NE 4th Ave.,
Hialeah, 305-885-8000): On May 1, the
venue known for generations as the world's
most beautiful racetrack, hosts an his-
toric first: Noche de Combates, a special
edition of the popular ESPN Thursday
Night Fights. For tickets to this world-class
boxing event, whose main card matches
hard-hitting veteran welterweights Ro-
berto Garcia and Victor Cayo, go to www.
hialeahpark.com or www.ticketforce.com.
For more info, there's a boxing hotline:
786-483-7444.
For some road trips ending in fabulous
road food, catch Freddy and Danielle
Kauffman of Proper Sausages (9722 NE
2nd Ave., 786-334-5734) at two special
events this month: On April 6, the pair is
doing sausage/wine pairings for a garden
party at Coconut Grove's Kampong;
on April 25, they'll be showcasing their
artisan sausages at Slow Food's "Snail of
Approval" awards ceremony, at Miami
Beach's Raleigh Hotel.
It's sure a busy road-trip month for stu-
dents at Allison Academy (1881 NE 164th
St., 305-940-3922), and that's the under-
statement of the year. Local trips include
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the
ornate Vizcaya Museum, and a "sloshing
hike" in the Everglades. Middle schoolers
are flying to Washington, D.C., for a four-
day visit. High schoolers will be all over
Europe: Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Budapest.
We sure don't remember school like that.
Our childhood schools also didn't have
award-winning drama programs like that
at Monsignor Edward Pace High School
(15500 NW 32nd Ave., 305-624-8534 ext.
212). See what impeccably trained student
actors can do April 29-May 1 at 7:00 p.m.,
when they present their spring show, the
2008 Tony award-winning Broadway
musical In the Heights. Early tix are $12, at
the door $15.
This year, April holidays include Easter.
Celebrate the Italian way with two tradi-
tional food specialties David Laurenzo is


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014








offering at Laurenzo's Italian Market Kathy and Dr. Carlos Sanchez and their
(16445 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-944-5052): staff can also treat a huge variety of emer-
Colomba di Pasqua ("Easter dove," a bird- agency medical problems on a walk-in
shaped cake symbolizing peace and rec- basis, seven days a week.
onciliation between humankind and God), Take a break. Let's eat.
and giant chocolate Easter eggs wrapped If it's Thursday, it's Pig-Out Night at
in glittery paper, symbolic of spring's Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill (165
regeneration. Italians don't do bunnies. NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120). Learn about
Passover also comes in April this year, the pork special each week via Instagram
and while Jewish readers will probably ( thcbLIutchcilihopi or Facebook (6
be assembling their own Seder plates at thebutchershopmiami).
home on 4/14, we'd suggest, on less strictly If it's Monday, it's "Soyka Italiano"
ceremonial days, celebrating the Jews' time, all day and night at Soyka Restau-
starvation-budget exodus from Egypt with rant (5556 NE 4th Ct., 305-759-3117). The
one of David Cohen's lavish but wallet- brand-new special Italian menu offers
friendly new weekday lunch specials at big portions at prices so small you'll be ,.
Bagels and Company (1 1 ,4 Biscayne able to supplement lunch or dinner with a
Blvd., 305-892-2435). An additional promo bottle of champagne.
through April: Drop your business card in New at Big Fish (620 NE 78th St., 305-
the restaurant's raffle bowl to win a free 373-1770): On Friday and Saturday nights, A tv Iud
breakfast or lunch, live music now accompanies your Italian
We hate to bring up a less festive oc- seafood specialties. D 11SOTf
casion, but: April 15. Done 3 om tLi 'c Just northeast of Big Fish, new ad- a i
Probably not. There's still a last chance, vertiser Mina's Mediterraneo (749 NE
though, to let the experienced mother/son 79th St., 786-391-0300), opened just a few f
team of Olga and Michael Findlin, from months ago, is already raising visibility for
Miami Financial Center (12573 Biscayne the best-kept-secret international "res-
Blvd., 786-329-9950) do them for you. taurant row" scattered along 79th Street. F W W
Price: just $45 for students, single folks, or Ddcor is comfie-chic; food, classics from e . e e e ecial neede
married couples with one W-2; $115 you're many Mediterranean nations with trendy
self-employed, an independent contractor, fusion twists like falafel sliders, is fun.
or a freelancer. Mention the BT for a complimentary glass
Thinking ahead to Mother's Day, May of wine with entries.
11? Again, probably not. But if your gift- There's no better accompaniment to
buying is last minute, you can at least relax complex Thai food than Thailand's own
knowing that Elizabeth Yelin at Roadrun- Singha beer, and no better place to try this
ner Packing & Shipping (9280 NE 2nd super-crisp lager than Siam Rice (7941
Ave., 305-757-4949) carries gift-wrapping Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516), thanks to a
supplies, and can ship your lovely present deal from owner Kanittha Wanjeam: two Al Mt
to mom fast and for discounted rates, bottles for $6, all day, every day. .E .. w k
thanks to a special deal: $10 off DHL or Celebrate the official grand opening of
FedEx shipping (excluding First Over- Great Harvest Bread Company (1817 NE
night) with a $30 minimum. 123rd St., 954-263-9532) with owner/opera-
For sure it's not too early to plan for tor Claude Juneau, on April 11. The North
June weddings. In fact we'd be surprised if Miami bakery/cafk features handmade
the Goldcoast Society Dance Band isn't wholesome bread and sandwiches on same,
already double-booked for every day of the plus homemade pastries and other sweets.
month. The 16-piece group, many veterans Finally, just down the road from Great
of famous 1940s Big Bands, naturally play Harvest, Whole Foods Market (12150
swing and romantic slow-dance songs, but Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-5500) is high-
also do Latin music. Listen at www.gold lighting Ethiopian cuisine, particularly School of North via i
coastbigband.com, then call band director the nation' s distinctive "wats" (stews and
Arnie Perlberg (305-754-6976); maybe he curries). Dishes like Loze Wat, a spiced 695 NE 123 Street
can squeeze in your party, but not spicy chicken and peanut prepara-
If all the above events and prepping tion, have been impossible to find in town
for summer have your blood pressure since Midtown's two Ethiopian restaurants
fluttering, drop in to Medi-Station folded, but they'll be at Whole Foods' hot
Urgent Care Center (9600 NE 2nd Ave., bar all month. 10870 NE 6th Ave.
305 -603 -7650) any Sunday in April from
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., when the facil- N. ,Ii,, di, special coming up at your busi-
ity will be offering free blood pressure ness? Send info to bizbuzz ttbiscaynetimes. 8A
and glucose screenings. Owner/operators com. For BT advertisers only.
April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 25



















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In 2004, Gulfstream replaced its grandstand with a new clubhouse and less seating, a sign that it's not just about horse racing anymore.


On a Saturday in February,
a three-year-old horse
named General a Rod
takes his place on the race-
track at Gulfstream Park in
Hallandale Beach. Betting odds project
him to finish third, behind two strapping
Kentucky thoroughbreds named Com-
missioner and Top Billing.
Blue skies and an ocean breeze favor
the near-capacity crowd, which has come
to watch the day's 12 races. Each race
offers a purse, ranging from $34,500 to
$200,000, to the winning horse's team.
But the race that General a Rod is about
to run, the llth, is the most important. It's
the day's feature race, the Fountain of Youth
Stakes. The purse is $400,000. The winner
will be nominated to run in Gulfstream's
million-dollar Florida Derby on March 29,
which could then earn the winning horse a
spot in the $2 million Kentucky Derby.
Despite General a Rod's lower odds,
he's clearly the horse to watch. Not


because of his seemingly cool confi-
dence or decent record, but because of
the Venezuelan on his back.
From the grandstand crowd to the
throng of rowdy spectators pressed
against the rail, the name Javier Castel-
lano is on everyone's lips.
Castellano, one of the world's leading
jockeys, has already won six of the day's
races, pulling in more than half a million
dollars in purse money. One more win
will tie him with the Gulfstream Park
record for single-day wins, set in 1995.
The starting bell clangs, and 12
horses burst out of the gate. The crowd
erupts, many cheering Castellano's name,
punctuated with shouts of "Ride 'em,
Daddy!" "iDa le!" and "C'mon, baby!"
He quickly moves to the front of the pack
alongside a horse named Wildcat Red
that's seeking revenge for a New Year's
Day loss to him.
Earlier in the day, a Jamaican specta-
tor had suffered a public meltdown after


betting on a horse that lost to Castellano.
He'd grabbed his head, sunk to his knees,
and bellowed, "Castellano!" along with a
string of patois curses. Now he's goading
the jockey on: "Go on, Castellano! G'wan!"
This is horse racing at its finest: high-
stakes, dramatic, emotional.
Similar scenes have played out at
South Florida's three racetracks for
decades. Gulfstream Park, Hialeah Park,
and Calder Race Course have hosted
some of the world's best races and racing
champions. The road to the Kentucky
Derby, it is said, runs through Florida. In
fact, 22 winners of that race got there by
triumphing in South Florida first.
A Deloitte study for the American
Horse Council Foundation in 2005 con-
cluded that there were 500,000 horses in
Florida, more than 60 percent of them
involved in showing and recreation. The
horse industry has a $5.1 billion eco-
nomic impact on the state's economy -
second only to its impacts in California


and Texas and almost half of that
figure comes from racing; 440,000 Flo-
ridians are involved in the horse industry,
either through ownership, providing
services, as employees, and volunteers.
Nonetheless, horse racing is in crisis,
according to a 2011 study commissioned
by the Jockey Club, the nation's most
powerful racing-industry group. Na-
tionwide, track attendance had dropped
30 percent since 2001, and betting fell
37 percent. The study predicted that
the sport could lose about four percent
of its attendance each year until, by
2020, it would have only 64 percent of
what it had in 2010. Across the country,
racetracks have shuttered, been sold to
developers, and replaced by housing
developments and shopping malls.
But Gulfstream Park, the top South
Florida track, is different. While not
unaffected by downward trends in at-
tendance, state records show that the
past two fiscal years saw an average 13


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014















rIo


p


I


The sport's best horses and jockeys frequent Gulfstream, which draws bigger crowds and creates bigger purses.


percent rise in the amount of money
wagered at the track, a $7.2 million
increase. A record 20,382 people turned
out to watch last year's Florida Derby,
surpassing a record set the previous year.
And total wagering that day reached
nearly $25 million, just slightly short of
the record. On a typical weekend, the
track bustles with fans of all ages, both
genders, and many ethnicities.
Instead of scaling back on horse
racing, Gulfstream is expanding it. The
company built 380 new horse stalls last
year and is planning to add thousands
of new seats in a bid to host the Breed-
ers' Cup (the track previously hosted the
prestigious race in 1989, 1992, and 1999).
Also last year, Gulfstream applied for and
won approval to host year-round racing.
The moves constitute the latest in
Gulfstream's decades-long battle with
Hialeah and Calder a battle that has
left the former on life support and the
latter with a diminishing product, even


though regulators approved its own
application for year-round racing at the
same time as Gulfstream's. This battle
has been no less high-stakes, dramatic,
or emotional.
Now, it seems, Gulfstream is looking
beyond its local rivals as industry insid-
ers and supporters lobby state officials
to allow the park to form an unconven-
tional, and controversial, alliance with
one of the world's biggest resort casino
companies. Whether its efforts will
benefit local racing or diminish the sport
further is an uncertain wager.

before basketball, baseball, and
football...before tennis, soccer,
and golf.. .there was horse racing.
The Greeks built their hippodromes,
the Romans had their circuses, and
early evidence of mounted horse and/or
chariot races has been found from the
ancient Near East to China. The Eng-
lish began perfecting the sport after the


Middle Ages and eventually brought it to
the New World.
South Florida got its first horse track
in 1925, when a couple of moneyed
visionaries opened Hialeah Park on a
snake-infested stretch of land along what
was then the eastern edge of the Ever-
glades. The facilities were rebuilt in the
1930s under a new owner and came to be
known as "the world's most beautiful race
course." Renaissance Revival architec-
ture, winding staircases, stone archways
draped in bougainvillea, ornate fountains,
and a resident flock of pink flamingos in
the infield lake created an atmosphere of
tropical regency that still inspires awe.
A second, less opulent track, Tropical
Park Race Track, opened in 1931 at the
current intersection of Bird Road and the
Palmetto Expressway, and hosted Dade
County's first legal race wagering. Prior
to 1931, betting on horses was a crime;
Hialeah had pulled it off by bribing cops
and city officials.


Following the swamp-to-swank script
of early South Florida development, Jack
Horning, the 28-year-old scion of a Pitts-
burgh steel family, opened Gulfstream
in 1939. He built it for about $1.4 million
on a 300-acre slice of wetland straddling
the current Dade-Broward county border,
just east of Biscayne Boulevard. Most of
the property would eventually become a
part of the future Hallandale Beach.
Horning's track stayed open only a few
days. According to a 1939 editorial in the
St. Petersburg Independent, opening day
"brought out a crowd of 14,000 that wagered
$224,287." But the next afternoon, atten-
dance was down to 3500, with wagers total-
ing only $66,000. On Day Three, a Saturday
no less, attendance came in at just 3600 and
$82,000 in wagers. Gulfstream couldn't
compete with Hialeah or Tropical Park.
According to an account by historian
Seth Bramson in his book Hallandale

Continued on page 30


April 2014Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


-9


" .1;


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com









Race Wars
Continued from page 29

Beach, Florida, Horning was unable to
lure fans away from the other tracks and
quickly ran out of operating cash. The
facility reopened in 1944, when one of
the track's creditors, James Donn Sr., a
Scottish florist originally hired to do the
park's landscaping, took ownership and
began working to reestablish it.
This time around, however, the tracks
didn't want head-to-head competition.
Nor did the state, since overlapping race
days would dilute the massive tax rev-
enues each track could produce without
the competition. So in 1947, legislators
passed a bill dividing the racing season in
three 40-day segments early, middle,
and late. The middle dates, from January
to mid-March were the most coveted be-
cause of the influx of tourists to the area.
The state awarded those dates to the track
with the most income the previous year.
That was always Hialeah, since it started
with those lucrative dates to begin with.
"There wasn't really any way to flip
a coin and resolve these disputes other
than the state regulating dates with an
agency or commission," says Miami
historian Paul George.
Finally, in the early 1970s, Gulf-
stream fought to change the law, argu-
ing that it could financially outperform
Hialeah if awarded those middle dates.
And so it could. By then, the tourist and
population centers of Dade County had
shifted east, closer to Gulfstream. The
neighborhood of Hialeah had fallen on
hard times and people no longer wanted
to make the trek west, especially since
the FEC passenger trains that once
dropped fans on Hialeah Park's doorstep
had stopped running.
After suits and countersuits, the Su-
preme Court of Florida gave Gulfstream


Gulfstream's "walking ring," where spectators can inspect the horses up close. Are they nervous? Calm?


a crack at the coveted middle dates in
alternate years.
In 1972, 3M Company chairman Wil-
liam McNight, who'd recently taken over
ownership of Tropical Park, closed it
down. According to a Miami News story
in late 1971: "It is common knowledge
that [McNight] plans to close down
Tropical and switch the dates to the new
Calder Race Course, in which he is the
principal investor." Calder Race Course,
which had opened in 1971, was built in
present-day Miami Gardens, just nine
miles west of Gulfstream. Steven Calder,
who built the track, had a novel idea:


offer summertime racing.
His facility featured a glass-enclosed,
air-conditioned grandstand and a syn-
thetic track (manufactured by McNight's
3M Company) designed to handle tor-
rential summer rain without becoming
dangerously muddy. He obtained the
rights to operate from May to early Janu-
ary, the period when the other two tracks
were closed.
Hialeah and Gulfstream were left to
battle over the winter schedule, pleading
with the legislature each year for the more
desirable middle dates. Lawmakers even-
tually grew tired of the rancorous, often


litigious feuding and, in 1989, deregulated
racing dates altogether, telling the tracks
that the government would no longer
involve itself in their scheduling disputes.
But the two tracks couldn't reach
agreement. Instead, Hialeah tried to
compete by running overlapping dates,
with results that boomeranged against
it. The track was forced to close twice
during the ensuing 11 years owing to
financial hardship, and has still not
regained its footing.
The in-fighting coincided with a
steep decline in track attendance nation-
wide. What was once the most attended


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sport in North America had lost much of
its fan base. Gulfstream, even while en-
joying its new status as South Florida's
most popular track, saw attendance fall
23 percent from 1985 to 1990, according
to a 1991 New York Times report.
The problem? Apparently, a love of
horses and racing wasn't the sport's main
appeal. The draw was the chance to win
money. But newer forms of legalized
gambling were siphoning off those bet-
tors. These included the Florida Lottery,
introduced in 1988; offshore gambling
boats (those "cruises to nowhere");
and most important, the emergence of
Indian-run bingo halls, which would
later become casinos. Other factors, such
as home VCRs, the growth of cable TV,
and new sports franchises, are presumed
to have dealt additional blows.
As a result, the tracks lobbied for
changes they believed would rein-
vigorate the sport. And state legisla-
tors, seeing the potential for greater tax
revenue, began parceling out benefits.
Among them: allowing minors to attend
races (but not bet on them), and Sunday
racing, which was previously banned.
Neither change, however, produced a


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


10


Miami Herald reported in 1992. Instead,
Gulfstream broke a record.
But therein lay a dilemma. The tech-
nology that increased wagering activity
also cut attendance rates since there was
no longer a need to sit in the grandstand.
Without a live audience, the energy and
enthusiasm for the sport would evaporate
and new fans would be hard to find.
"Live racing is important," said Frank
Stronach, Gulfstream's chairman, in a
Herald interview 14 years ago. "If there's
no spectators, football wouldn't be excit-
ing, would it?"
Gulfstream employed other tactics to
entice people to the track: free admission
and parking, improved food services,
concerts, fairs, and new advertising cam-
paigns. In 1996, legislators agreed to let
racetracks offer low-stakes poker games
(with $10 pots). But race attendance rates
remained flat.
ITW and simulcasting numbers,
meanwhile, rose by nearly $6 billion
nationwide between 1988 and 1999. Off-
track betting parlors, which were legal-
ized in New York in 1970, and in other
states during the 1980s and 1990s, also
contributed to wagering increases (OTB


April 2014









Race Wars
Continued from page 31

headed by its founder, Austrian-Canadi-
an businessman, politician, horse breeder,
and billionaire Frank Stronach.
Two years earlier, Calder had been
acquired by a large corporation, too.
Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI), one of the
biggest names in horse racing, bought
the track for $86 million. CDI now owns
four tracks, including its namesake
Churchill Downs Race Track, where the
Kentucky Derby is held.
But while ITW, simulcasting, and
OTB kept the accounting books in the
black, the corporate focus on the bottom
line demanded additional revenue streams.
Thus began the war between goliaths.
In 2002, Gulfstream's parent com-
pany began construction on The Vil-
lage at Gulfstream Park, a $245 million
mixed-use shopping, dining, office, and
entertainment project adjacent to the
track. The 65-year-old grandstand was
demolished two years later and replaced
with a grandstand/clubhouse hybrid
that, tellingly, provided only about a
quarter of the previous seating capacity


Celebrating Cigar, the thoroughbred who retired in 1996 as the leading
money-winner in racing history.


- reflecting the new reality that Gulf-
stream would have to leverage its promi-
nent location to lure visitors with other
attractions.
More important, though, lobbyists for
both tracks began pushing for the state
legislature to legalize slot machines at


their facilities. Several other states had
already legalized slots at racetracks by the
early 2000s. And since, legally, a percent-
age of slots revenue has to be put toward
racing purses, it was argued that out-of-
state "racinos" (tracks with casinos) were
drawing the top horses, trainers, and


jockeys away from South Florida with the
promise of more prize money.
Despite fierce opposition from anti-
gambling groups and the fact that
casino gambling proposals were rejected
by voters three times between 1978 and
1999 the tracks' advocates collected
signatures and petitioned the Florida
Supreme Court for the right to put the
issue to a referendum, and in 2005 they
got their wish. Broward voters approved
slot machines at pari-mutuels (horse
tracks, dog tracks, andjai alai front6ns).
Miami-Dade voters approved them three
years later.
According to annual reports by the
Florida Department of Business Regula-
tion, Gulfstream's slots generated a net
revenue of almost $31 million during the
first fiscal year after their introduction.
That number reached $54 million five
years later, before dropping back to $48
million during fiscal year ending June
30, 2013. Altogether, South Florida's six
pari-mutuels generated $436 million in
slot machine revenue during the same
fiscal year.
The legislature, which mandated a
50 percent tax rate on slot revenues, was


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April 2014









obligated to channel the money into educa-
tion funding. The state also collected a
$3 million annual fee for the slots license.
Miami-Dade and Broward counties gained
8800 casino-related jobs between 2006 and
2010, according to aMiami Herald analy-
sis. Horsemen (owners, breeders, train-
ers, and jockeys), meanwhile, forged an
agreement with Gulfstream that channeled
a minimum of 7.5 percent of slot revenue
into racing purses.
The pari-mutuels used the promise
of more jobs and greater tax revenue to
persuade the legislature to lift some of
the restrictions initially placed on the
new racinos. In 2007, they were granted
longer operating hours, more slot
machines (raising the legal limit from
1500 to 2000), and no-limit poker tables
(abolishing the $10 cap). Two years later,
the 50 percent tax rate on slots was low-
ered to 35 percent, a concession to help
the pari-mutuels compete with popular
Indian-run casinos that don't pay taxes.
Despite the gold rush, horsemen soon
came to view slots as a double-edged
sword. The machines raised funds for
prize money, but the partnerships they
once had with track owners began to





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Calder Race Course, built with an air-conditioned grandstand, has
practically given up on horses.


erode. The corporate owners, they began
to complain, were much more interested
in building the casinos than they were in
horse racing.
Kent Stirling, executive director
of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent
and Protective Association, says that's


ss Surgery:


exactly what happened at Calder Race
Course once its slots and poker casino
opened in 2010. "Everything was fine,"
he said, "until Churchill Downs decided
around 2010 that they didn't really care
about racing except for two days in May,
which would be the Kentucky Oaks and


the Kentucky Derby [two of the nation's
biggest races]. They mainly want to
be a gaming company poker, slots,
Internet betting, whatever. They don't
really care about racing. They made it
very clear, from Bob Evans, who's the
chairman, right on down."
Stirling's statements were buoyed
by a May 2013 New York Times report
noting that "Churchill Downs has trans-
formed itself into a full-blown gambling
company with interests in casinos and
Internet sites. While financial analysts
have applauded the shift its stock has
risen 51 percent in the past five years -
the horse racing world feels abandoned
by Churchill Downs."
A visit to Calder illustrates that shift.

Unlike Gulfstream's owner,
Churchill Downs Inc. has under-
taken no major renovations to the
Calder grandstand and its attached facilities.
In fact the building's general shabbiness, its
linoleum floors, drop-panel ceilings, and in-
stitutional lighting suggest it hasn't received
an update in the past few decades.

Continued on page 34


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Last year Gulfstream built 380 new horse stalls, part of its investment in the expansion of racing.


Race Wars
.........................................................
Continued from page 33

The crowd is also noticeably older and
less upscale than Gulfstream's. More tell-
ing, the sign on the side of the grandstand
identifies it as Calder Casino, not Calder
Race Course. The four-year-old casino,
though, is in a separate, well-kept build-
ing next door, with its own casino sign.
Behind the scenes, Stirling says,
things aren't much better: "If you saw
what they consider dorms [where jockeys
and trainers stay during meets], you
wouldn't want to pay anything for it.
They say, 'Well, Gulfstream charges.'
But that's like a palace charging versus


a rundown tenement house. You've got a
ten-by-ten concrete block, and a bath-
room for every five rooms."
A Calder spokesman didn't respond
to a request for comment by press time.
But problems, apparently, aren't lim-
ited to the Miami Gardens venue. Last
month a Times-Picayune article labeled
Churchill Downs Inc. "an absentee land-
lord" owing to deteriorating track condi-
tions at the New Orleans Fair Grounds,
another of its racinos. That facility
received slot machines in 2007.
Stirling says that Calder's "mis-
treatment of horsemen" created the
groundwork for Gulfstream's next battle
maneuvers against it.


For 20 years, since shortly after the
deregulation of racing calendars back in
1989, Gulfstream had traditionally oper-
ated during the most lucrative months,
from early January through late April,
and left the rest of the year to Calder.
The schedule was a longstanding gentle-
man's agreement to prevent the two
tracks from competing for a limited fan
base and quality horses.
But last year Gulfstream, after the
year-round permit was granted, extended
its schedule by five months into the
summer, overlapping Calder's schedule.
And to fill those months with qual-
ity races, Gulfstream began to poach
Calder's horsemen.


"Gulfstream started saying, 'Well, if
we're going to run year-round, we need
the Calder horsemen, and what better
time to go after them than now, when
they're furious with Calder manage-
ment,'" Stirling explains. "And there
was another enticement. Gulfstream
gave them a $500 bonus every time
they ran. So a lot of the big outfits from
Calder came over to Gulfstream during
the summer, and Gulfstream beat them
pretty badly. If you look at the handle
[the amount of money wagered], they
outdid them three to one."
With both Calder and Gulfstream
operating year-round races, including
Continued on page 36


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Race Wars
Continued from page 34

competing weekend races, it's a sure bet
that a winner will emerge. Hialeah Park,
completely out of the picture, now only
holds quarter-horse races. John Brunetti,
Hialeah's owner, has publicly said that he'd
like to race thoroughbreds again, but not if
he has to compete against Gulfstream and
Calder. (In racing circles, quarter horses
have less cachet than thoroughbreds.)
Last year's head-to-head between
Gulfstream and Calder has already taken
a toll on the latter. Calder's revenues fell
by $28.3 million in 2013, according to
annual reports the corporation released
this past February. On a recent Satur-
day, Calder was offering lower-grade
races with fewer horses per race than
Gulfstream. Attendance was also sparse.
Adding insult to injury, Calder lost of one
of its most famous events to Gulfstream
this year a popular summer series
of six races for two-year-old horses that
Calder hosted for the past 32 years.
Gulfstream representatives have said
that the shift to year-round racing was
an effort to buoy the company's adjacent


At Gulfstream, fans can watch and bet on races at tracks elsewhere in
Florida and around the nation.


shopping, dining, and entertainment
village, which has struggled financially.
When a racing day ends, many fans drift
over to The Village's restaurants and bars,
creating spillover business.
Gulfstream president Tim Ritvo
couldn't be reached for comment by


press time. But in 2012, he told the
Herald: "You don't purchase a village
and build like we're going to build to run
four months out of the year." Year-round
racing, he said, is "an important part of
keeping the entire facility as a year-
round facility."


Current plans call for Gulfstream to
become a full-scale destination resort.
Construction is set to begin this month
on two trackside hotels, 500 condo-
minium units, a new casino building,
a concert hall, movie theater, and an
amusement-style park that will feature
a $30 million, 120-foot-tall bronze-and-
steel statue of the winged horse Pega-
sus. Total construction costs have been
estimated at half a billion dollars.
And while racing fans will likely fre-
quent Gulfstream's new businesses, the
hope is that some of the village and park
customers will be drawn to the horse
track as well.
Many observers believe that Calder,
meanwhile, would like to get out of the
racing business altogether in Florida. Le-
gally, however, the Miami Gardens track
must maintain 80 days of racing per year
in order to keep its casino slots permit.
The law also stipulates that it must offer
live racing if it wants to maintain its
lucrative ITW and simulcast services.
Those requirements could one day be
abolished, however, in a move to decouple

Continued on page 38


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April 2014






























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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com









Race Wars
Continued from page 36

casinos, ITW, and simulcasting from
racing entirely. A bill currently working
its way through the Florida Senate aims
to do that for greyhound tracks.
In mid-March, Phil Combest, presi-
dent of the Florida Horsemen's Benevo-
lent & Protective Association wrote an
opinion piece in the Sun-Sentinel against
the decouplingg" bill, warning that while
the current bill addresses dog tracks only,
it will open the door for action in other
racing areas. "But why would pari-mu-
tuel owners want to decouple?" he wrote.
"Simple. It costs a lot more to run a race-
track than a casino. For big corporate
casino ownership, it's much cheaper just
to operate slot machines and rake in the
profits." Combest predicted a "dramatic
shrinkage of available horse racing days,
purses, and racetracks themselves."
If that scenario plays out, it could
transform Gulfstream's dominance into
a full-blown monopoly as it builds its
resort attractions.
"The Stronach Group, which owns
Gulfstream, will eventually control


The future: Gulfstream needs to attract families and a new generation of
fans to remain financially healthy.


and offer the only thoroughbred racing
in South Florida," predicts William
Hutchinson and Baird Thompson, a
South Florida-based consulting duo who
specialize in the gaming industry.


What would that mean for the sport?
"It's never good when you have a mo-
nopoly, but in this case you have a guy
who actually cares about racing," Kent
Stirling says of the Stronach Group's


chairman, Frank Stronach. "I mean
Stronach is the biggest breeder in the
industry. He probably has more horses
than anybody. He really cares about
racing, so at least you've got somebody
you can talk to who understands racing.
At Churchill Downs, they don't under-
stand racing at all."
Lonny Powell, CEO of the Florida
Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners
Association, says, "We'd like to see a
viable Calder remain. We never took
sides in this dates war. But once they
did start overlapping, it became very
clear that the betting customers and the
horsemen preferred Gulfstream. It's
probably one of the top five brands in
the racing business, in terms of quality,
competitive racing, gaining national
players, and being engaged in the
Florida racing scene. So Gulfstream,
being the dominant track like it is, I
think our industry could absolutely
adjust to that."
Racing advocates insist that legisla-
tors must come up with even more con-
cessions if local racing is to flourish.

Continued on page 40


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April 2014











































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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


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April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com
































Gulfstream railbirds soaking up the f

Race Wars
Continued from page 38

For example, nighttime thoroughbred
racing is illegal in Florida. The restric-
tion was implemented decades ago to
give greyhound tracks an exclusive time
slot that wouldn't compete with the more
popular horses. After-dark horse races,
advocates say, would attract crowds
looking for nighttime entertainment, as
well as fans who simply don't have time
for the track during the day.
Gulfstream's former longtime presi-
dent, Doug Donn (whose grandfather
had purchased and reopened the track
after its disastrous initial four-day run),
told the Herald in 2002 that nighttime
racing is important. But today, Gulf-
stream's vice president of racing, RP.J.
Campo, sounds uncertain about its pros-
pects. "It has to go through legislation,"
he tells the BT "I think it would be a
great addition, but I don't know if that's
anywhere in the near future."
Advocates are also pushing for the
legalization of off-track betting. Unlike
ITW and simulcasting, OTB allows
non-track facilities to show live races and
accept wagers. Instead of the traditional
stand-alone parlors that were popular
in some states in recent decades, OTB
could be redefined to allow race wagering
in sports bars and other entertainment
venues. "Obviously, we'd like people to
come to Gulfstream," Campo says. "But
when you have off-site wagering facilities,
we get a part of that as well."
More controversial is Gulfstream's
partnership with Resorts World Miami,
a division of Malaysia-based Genting


un and sun between races.

Group, which owns a huge swath of
prime downtown Miami real estate
where it hopes to build a casino resort.
The two entities have proposed an ar-
rangement that would allow Genting to
use a permit Gulfstream holds so it can
set up 2000 slot machines near the old
Miami Herald building. In exchange,
Genting would channel a portion of gam-
bling revenues to a nonprofit that funds
racing prizes and care programs for
retired racehorses and disabled jockeys.
Opponents allege the partnership is
a roundabout way for Genting to build
a casino in Miami. State regulators
shot down the proposal last month, but
Genting and Gulfstream are lobbying the
legislature to redefine the law and allow
it. (For more information, see "Here's a
Clever Way to Bring Slots to Miami," by
Erik Bojnansky, page 43, this issue.)
Another goal that industry insiders
are targeting? A commission, a central
governing agency that would, they say,
provide marketing and infrastructure,
and could establish rules related to
scheduling. The National Thoroughbred
Racing Association (NTRA) was formed
in 1998 to fulfill such a role, but it is
argued that it has become a relatively
powerless figurehead organization.
The battle between Gulfstream and
Calder, meanwhile, is like no other.
"You know, people say New York
racing is screwed up. California racing
is a joke. But nobody can compare with
Florida," says horseman Kent Stirling.
"We can screw up anything better than
anybody else. We're number one. It's
beyond belief what goes on in Florida. It's
a real mess. Unfortunately, the horsemen


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014









.do, A R T


A~ AiiiiiiiOOD
6%iNJl ImorFASHION
A CULTURAL STROOT FOSTIVARLI



APRIL 2


Javier castellano, riding Constitution, moves into the lead and wins the
Florida Derby on March 29.


are stuck in the middle. There's nothing
we can do. We basically bring the actors.
The tracks bring the stage. And we're
trying to split between two stages, and of
course, the better actors are going to go to
the fancy stage and the decrepit stage is
going to get what's left over."
ack at Gulfstream, General a Rod
comes tearing around the track,
nostrils flaring, a blur of hooves
kicking up dust. He's at the front of the
pack, noses apart from Wildcat Red.
The two colts have been locked in battle
almost since leaving the starting gate.
The crowd is electrified. A woman
puts her hand to her temple: "Oh, this
hurts my head!"
"Go! Go! Go!" come the shouts.
The drumbeat of hooves is deafening.
Javier Castellano leans deeper into Gen-
eral a Rod's cropped mane as Wildcat
Red and his jockey dig in beside him.
Cheers along the rail crescendo as
the two horses approach, then cross the
finish line together, sending the crowd
into hysterics.
"Who was it?!"... "Who won?!"... "Tell
me Castellano took it!"
It's a photo finish. Several nervous
moments later, the results come in. Wild-
cat Red has beaten General a Rod by a
bob meaning that when he bobbed his
head, his nose crossed the line first.
Curses pepper a new round of
cheering.


Castellano has missed tying Gulf-
stream's record for same-day wins by
just one race, literally by a nose.
No matter, General a Rod's valiant
performance has earned him a spot
alongside Wildcat Red in the $1 million
Florida Derby.
Five weeks later, on March 29, the
two colts are barreling down the stretch
once again, hurtling toward the finish
line, trying to clench that Derby win.
Both have different jockeys this time.
Castellano is there, too, but on a horse
named Constitution.
As the two nemeses fight to outrun
each other, Castellano suddenly bounds
up from third position and moves in
alongside them in the final seconds. The
announcer thunders. The crowd roars.
Castellano crosses the finish line first,
just in front of Wildcat Red.
Here comes the name again from
every direction. "Castellano! Castellano!
Castellano!" It's his fifth win of the day.
In May, Constitution and Wildcat
Red will both run for fame and glory -
and $2 million in the Kentucky Derby.
Along the rail, the winning bettors
celebrate, and losers sulk. Either way,
emotion animates every face.
What a race.
What a day.
What a sport.

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


A Vanishing Breed

Trailer parks are now rare, and two more are about to be sold


By Erik Bojnansky
BT Senior Writer

railer parks are an endangered
species in Miami-Dade County.
In 1970 there were more than 125
of them in the county. Now there are
fewer than 30. Of those, five are located
between 1-95 and Biscayne Boulevard.
Two of those five may soon disap-
pear. One of them, Little Farm Trailer
Park, a 12-acre community within the
village of El Portal at 8500 Biscayne
Blvd., is home to about 1000 people.
Xavier Cossard, senior investment sales
associate from Colliers International,
says the trailer park is for sale, along
with an abandoned supermarket and the
site of a former coin laundry. Asking
price: $15 million.
"We're in serious talks at this point
with several buyers," says Cossard,


whose client, New York-based Madison
Realty, foreclosed on Little Farm last
year. He tells the BT that he's confident
he'll have a contract by early April.
The other mobile home community
is the six-acre Magic City Trailer Park
at 6001 NE 2nd Ave. in Miami's Little
Haiti/Lemon City area. A pending deal
with an affordable-housing builder
fell apart last month, but several other
buyers are interested in Magic City,
says Robert Mayer, one of the trailer
park's owners.
Both trailer parks are several decades
old. They also have their delinquencies.
Magic City owes $53,766 in property
taxes, according to the county tax collec-
tor's web page. Little Farm Trailer Park,
meanwhile, has $6 million in liens at-
tached to its land title for code violations.
Then there are the high levels of arsenic
in Little Farm's groundwater and soil


Little Farm: In 1999, the trailer count soared from 65 to more than 250,
with negative results.


- enough to cause severe health problems
in humans, especially children, should
they ingest it over a prolonged period.
The county's Department of Environmen-
tal Resources Management (DERM) has
been monitoring cleanup activities.
Trailer parks are among the last ex-
amples of affordable housing not subsi-
dized by taxpayers. Kit Rafferty, execu-
tive director of South Florida Voices for


Working Families, says most trailer park
residents are poor immigrants, some of
whom are undocumented. When these
communities are demolished, Rafferty
warns, its residents will have nowhere
to go.
Whatever replaces the old trailer
parks will have a lasting effect on the

Continued on page 44


Riding the Rails Again
Renewed interest and an updated study may breathe fresh life into

Bay Link


By Erik Bojnansky
BT Senior Writer

omeday there may be more trains
running through downtown Miami.
They won't run high above ground,
like the Metrorail or Metromover systems.
Instead they'll glide along street-level tracks.
They'll also head east over Biscayne Bay to
South Beach and its hotels, beaches, night-
clubs, and the convention center.
That's the dream, anyway. Since
1987 there have been proposals to link
Miami and Miami Beach with a light-rail
system. In the early 2000s, that system
was called Bay Link. In 2004, after
years of study, Bay Link was put on the
county's short list of transit projects.
Then federal transit dollars became
scarce, and what little money the county


could get from the feds was instead used
for higher-priority projects, like a heavy-
rail Metrorail extension to the airport.
Bay Link faded away.
Now it's being resurrected, sort of.
Last year the Metropolitan Planning
Organization (MPO), which oversees
transportation projects in Miami-Dade
County, budgeted $325,000 to study the
idea of a Bay Link kind of system all
over again. The goal: provide another
alternative mode of transportation be-
tween Miami and Miami Beach besides
private vehicles or slow-moving buses.
Javier Betancourt, deputy director of
the Downtown Development Authority
(DDA), points out that traffic conges-
tion is horrendous in Miami Beach and
downtown Miami, and that it'll get much
worse unless people can be persuaded to


One option for Bay Link alignment along Biscayne Boulevard.


leave their cars at home.
"[A light rail system is] extraordinari-
ly important for downtown and for the
urban core of Miami in general," Be-
tancourt says. "As we continue to grow
into the future, it's going to be painfully


obvious that getting around by car is not
the only solution."
A special Beach Corridor Transit
Connection Study Policy Executive

Continued on page 48


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comApril 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014













Here's a Clever Way to


Bring Slots to Miami
Hold a horse race in a parking lot, co-host a nonprofit, hire
heavyweight lobbyists


By Erik Bojnansky
BT Senior Writer

hen executives from the
Genting Group announced
their intent to build a gigantic
casino resort in Miami's Omni area three
years ago, they didn't mention anything
about horse racing.
Yet horse racing is the key to the
Malaysian conglomerate's latest scheme
to bring gambling to Miami's Biscayne
Corridor.
No, a racetrack won't replace the
Miami Herald building. Instead, Genting
wants to partner with Gulfstream Park in
Hallandale Beach and two associations
representing thoroughbred racehorse
owners in a venture that could enable
Genting to open a casino with 2000 slot


machines, poker card rooms, and betting
for televised racing events.
Such a casino will be far smaller than
Genting's original plan to build a $3.8
billion resort casino on a 30-acre swath
of territory that includes the old Miami
Herald building, the Omni Mall com-
plex, and the historic Boulevard Shops.
Back in September 2011, Genting sought
to build a 24-hour mega casino called
Resorts World Miami that featured up to
8500 slot machines and Las Vegas-style
table games. Unfortunately for Genting,
the state legislature failed to pass a
casino resort bill in 2012, although
Genting hasn't given up on the idea.
(More on that later.)
Actually, casinos of any size are still
illegal in Miami's downtown area, but
that might change. Two bills are pending


Gulfstream Park ran a couple of horse races across the county line in
hopes that would allow it to transfer gambling rights to the Genting
Group in Miami.


in the state legislature that, if passed
before the legislative session ends May
2, could allow Genting to open a Miami
casino by the end of this year. How large
a casino depends on which bill passes.
Lonny Powell, CEO of the Ocala-
based Florida Thoroughbred Breeders
and Owners Association (FTBOA),
hopes the legislature passes HB 1383,
the house bill that would permit the


smaller version. His organization is one
of two groups partnering with Genting
and Gulfstream to set up a 2000-slot
casino. Some of the proceeds, Powell
says, would help the state's sizable thor-
oughbred horse-breeding industry, fund
programs for injured jockeys, bankroll a
charity that pairs retired racehorses with

Continued on page 46


Power Outrage
Ahead of the storm season, FPL prepares to rush concrete pylons
into Biscayne Park


By Mark Sell
BT Contributor

Do you live in Biscayne Park and
care about concrete Florida
Power & Light poles going up
on your street? Did you miss the April 1
village commission meeting? Then you'd
better attend the planning and zoning
board meeting, set for April 7 at 6:30
p.m. at the Ed Burke Recreation Center,
11400 NE 9th Ct.
FPL intends to ask the planning board
at the meeting for a permit for work it is
already in the midst of performing: the
installation of 25 concrete pylons, or utility
poles, in Biscayne Park. The work would
be completed by the end of May, just in
time for the onset of the storm season,
which officially gets under way June 1.


Some in the placid village of 3000
are apoplectic. Vice Mayor Barbara
Watts calls the pylons "monstrosities"
that will diminish property values in
a village with some of the highest tax
rates in South Florida ($9.70 per $1000
assessed valuation; state limit: $10).
FPL calls the pylons, which are sunk
12 feet into the ground, necessary storm
protection that will minimize power loss to
the North Miami Police Department and cus-
tomers in North Miami and Biscayne Park.
If you drive up NE 6th or 8th avenues,
you can see how the pylons look. They
are between 38 and 43 feet tall, with base
circumferences ranging from 64 to 100
inches. (The existing wooden poles are 38
feet tall and 40 inches in circumference.)
Ground zero which would be leafy,
wooded NE 119th Street is slated to


Old wooden pole and new concrete pylon along Griffing Boulevard.


bear the brunt of the installation work.
It already has two concrete poles and
an "anchor" pole (shorter and squatter)
just west ofNE 8th Avenue. These are
among the pylons installed in the last
storm-hardening project in 2011 .1 0oi in
hardening" is the fitting or retrofitting of
infrastructure to improve power delivery


during extreme weather conditions).
FPL just put in two pylons on Griff-
ing Boulevard near NE 121st Street with-
out a permit, right in front of planning
board member Carl Bickel's house. The
utility promptly apologized, calling it an
Continued on page 50........................................................
Continued on page 50


April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com






Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


Trailer Parks
Continued from page 42

neighborhoods surrounding them. "I
think it all depends on who buys the
property and what his vision is," says
Tony Cho, president of Metrol Proper-
ties. "If you just put up strip malls or
shopping centers, I'm not sure there'll
be a positive effect. But if you do a
combination of uses, it could be inter-
esting and beneficial."
Little Farm is already zoned for
50,000 square feet of retail buildings and
low-rise apartments. But during a plan-
ning charrette held last year in El Portal (a
256-acre municipality consisting mainly
of single-family homes), village residents
who lived outside of Little Farm shared
their aspirations for a post-mobile home
park era when the 200 or so flimsy
trailers and the narrow winding roads
are replaced with a town center design -
tree-lined streets, two-story to eight-story
buildings, recreational areas, restaurants,
retail, and mixed-income housing. The
suggestions proposed at the charrette
haven't been enacted into law, but they
left a lasting impression.


Today Little Farm is down to about 200 trailers and is much safer, but it's about to be sold.


"After this most recent charrette, we
now have a real idea of what kind of
things the village is looking for," says El
Portal Councilman Adam Old.


Little Farm has had a long history. It
may have started out as a chicken farm in
the 1930s, which explains both the name
and the arsenic in the soil. (Arsenic was


once used as a pesticide and herbicide.)
By 1944 the property was listed in the

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


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014









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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com






Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


Slots to Miami
Continued from page 43

caring humans and organizations, and
enhance purse prizes.
"We're aiming to get all this done
now," Powell says. "I think this deal
is unprecedented in terms of racino
deals [combined racetrack and casino],
unprecedented"
The Genting Group and the com-
pany's main lobbyist in Tallahassee,
Brian Ballard, didn't return phone calls
from the BT, but if news stories pub-
lished in local media are accurate, the
casino would be set up within the former
600,000-square-foot Omni International
Mall. (Three 60-story towers, a bay walk,
restaurants, shops, and underground
parking are planned for the site where
the Herald building, or at least what's
left of it, now stands.)
Even with just 2000 slot machines,
the Omni casino would be among the
largest in South Florida. Although small-
er than the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel
& Casino, which claims to have 2600
slots, the Omni casino would surpass the
"over 1900" slots at Miccosukee Resort


Genting's original vision for the former Miami Herald site: Undulating
towers and the planet's biggest casino.


& Gaming and dwarf the slot inventory
of legal gambling businesses like Miami
Jai-Alai (1000 slots) and Magic City
Casino (800 slots). Gulfstream Park only
claims to have 850 slot machines.
John Kindt, a professor of business
and public policy at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says a


downtown casino with 2000 slots will
rake in hundreds of millions of dollars
annually. Kindt, a fierce opponent of
gambling who has studied casinos since
the early 1990s, says each slot machine
would earn at least $300,000 a year.
But a windfall for the casino owners
will come at a cost to the downtown area,


Kindt argues. The more money slot ma-
chines take from an area, the less money
its people have to spend on other things
- like entertainment, food, appliances,
and rent. That'll soon translate to closed
businesses and lost jobs. "Slot machines
aren't generating anything [for the com-
munity]," Kindt asserts. "They're taking
money away from people."
Frank Nero, a local business consul-
tant who served 17 years as CEO of the
Beacon Council, says an Omni casino
could kill Miami's resurgence. "Slot
machines aren't targeting high-rollers
from Asia," says Nero, now president
of Beacon Global Advisors, counter-
ing Genting's early claims that Resorts
World Miami would attract rich "whales"
from Asia. "These slot machines are
targeting the elderly, the poor, and the
gambling-addicted."
It isn't just anti-casino activists who
are against such an expansion. Current
racino operators like John J. Brunetti Sr.,
owner of Hialeah Park Race Track, are
opposed to Genting's plans as well. "I
think we have enough gaming locations

Continued on page 51


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April 2014






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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


Bay Link
Continued from page 42

Committee (PEC), consisting of Miami
Mayor Tomhs Regalado, Miami Beach
Mayor Philip Levine, Miami-Dade
County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and
county Commissioners Xavier Suarez
and Bruno Barreiro, is scheduled to meet
April 2 at 3:00 p.m. at the Stephen P.
Clark Center to discuss next steps.
But don't expect to see groundbreak-
ing ceremonies any time soon. Myrna
Valdez, senior project manager at Gan-
nett Fleming, the consulting engineering
firm hired by the county, says even if the
Beach Corridor Study is completed in
June 2014, it'll take another five years to
do an environmental impact study, gather
public input, and apply for the needed
funding from the federal government.
Beach Mayor Levine is hopeful a
light-rail connection or some other rapid-
transit system will be implemented at a
much faster pace. "Stay tuned on that,"
Levine suggests. "You never know what
might happen to speed up the process."
But Valdez warns that the county is
just taking its first step in determining


A new MacArthur bridge would be required, with the trains continuing
along Government Cut.


whether a light-rail connection is even
a good idea. "It's feasible," says Valdez.
"Technologically, you can do it. The big
decisions are: How are you going to
build it? Can we afford it? How do you


pay for it? How do we operate it?"
Finding the money to build a light-
rail system will be the first priority,
declares Miami Mayor Regalado. "As
you know, there is zero budget," he


cautions. "It may look very pretty on
paper, but if you don't have the funding,
it won't happen."
Light rail isn't cheap. The original
Bay Link was estimated to cost $482.7
million in 2004. Adjusted for inflation,
that figure swells to $773.6 million in
2013 dollars, according to a recent report
prepared for the MPO. The original Bay
Link also would have cost $15.3 million
a year to operate, the report added.
To cut costs, a separate committee,
consisting of planners from the county,
Miami, the DDA, and Miami Beach, is
trying to create a scaled-down version
of Bay Link. "This is going to be a much
smaller system than what had been
designed ten years ago," says Betancourt,
who serves with this board of planners,
known as the Beach Corridor Technical
Steering Committee.
How much would the new, more
modest version of Bay Link cost? As
of deadline, that's still being worked
out. Early cost estimates for six pos-
sible routes three in Miami Beach
and three in Miami were inaccurate,

Continued on page 52


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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


FPL
Continued from page 43

accident. Both Griffing Boulevard and
NE 6th Avenue are considered Biscayne
Park signature streets.
So when the planning and zoning
board hears FPL make its case and
request a permit, will this whole installa-
tion thing be a faith accompli?
Perhaps.
Here's the rough plan, subject to change:
three poles at the northwest end of Griffing
Boulevard; 13 poles (about one per lot) on
119th Street between NE 6th and NE 8th
avenues; six poles along NE 6th Avenue
between 118th and 121st streets; and one on
NE 7th Avenue just south of 119th Street.
Biscayne Park is the last piece of
FPL's puzzle as it works to install 93
pylons in Biscayne Park and North
Miami, where roughly 70 are up already
as power feeders for the North Miami
Police Department and 2200 customers
between 118th and 133rd streets. This
is part of the $500 million, three-year
program launched last May to bolster
storm protection in the 35 Florida coun-
ties FPL serves, with priority going
to first responders, such as police, fire


Map shows FPL's proposed new "hardening" project in Biscayne Park.


departments, and hospitals, and nearby
customers getting the benefits.
Thanks to a controversial 2010, fran-
chise agreement hundreds petitioned
against it Biscayne Park has handed
over to FPL the rights to easements
for the delivery of electrical service
for the next 30 years. In exchange, the
village receives about $120,000 annu-
ally in "franchise fees" from FPL, but
these "fees" are actually paid by resi-
dents in their electric bills. The $120,000


constitutes about four percent of the
village's $2.33 million yearly budget.
After Hurricane Wilma in October
2005, many residents of Miami Shores
and Biscayne Park lost power for two or
even three weeks when wooden utility
poles toppled like matchsticks. In places
with underground utilities Weston, for
instance power was out for as little
as three hours. Top-clocked gusts at the
time were 123 mph in Key Biscayne and
110 mph in Palm Beach County. The


concrete pylons are designed to with-
stand 145 mph winds.
Soon after Wilma, FPL launched a
program to improve electrical service
and shorten outages from the next big
storm, resulting in big-time push-
back in 2006 from Miami Shores and
Biscayne Park to plans for installing
85-foot, 138-kilovolt megaliths through
residential streets in both villages. FPL

Continued on page 55


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014









Slots to Miami
Continued from page 46

in the state," says Brunetti, whose
pari-mutuel has 882 slot machines. "I
don't think we have to turn Florida into
Nevada."
Kindt agrees that Florida's existing
gambling institutions should be wary
of Genting's intentions. "It's going to
be huge competition," Kindt says of
Genting's downtown casino. "It's going
to be the 500-pound gorilla."
Genting hasn't given up on its mega
resort casino either. Neither have other
out-of-state casino operators like Las
Vegas Sands and Caesars Entertainment,
which are still lobbying Tallahassee for
the right to build gigantic casinos.
If passed, a new casino resort bill
called SB 7052, which was drafted
by the Florida Senate Committee on
Gaming, would enable gaming compa-
nies to compete for the right to build
two $2 billion resort casinos one
in Miami-Dade and one in Broward -
with 24-hour gambling and games such
as blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. A
proposed five-member Gaming Control
Commission, appointed by the governor,


The thoroughbred association's
Lonny Powell: "This deal is
unprecedented in terms of racino
deals, unprecedented."

would pick the top applicants for Miami-
Dade and Broward.
But SB 7052 won't move forward
until after Gov. Rick Scott negotiates a
new gaming compact with the Florida
Seminoles. Scott hopes to double the
amount Florida receives from the Semi-
noles in a new compact, according to a
recent News Service of Florida article.


Under the current deal, which was
* signed in 2010 and expires in 2015, Flor-
ida receives at least $233 million a year
from the Seminoles. In exchange, the
tribe has the right to operate Vegas-style
slot machines and high-stakes poker in
its casinos (including the Seminole Hard
Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood)
and the tribe retains exclusive rights to
"banked" card games such as blackjack
and baccarat. (Horse tracks, dog tracks,
and jai alai businesses in Miami-Dade
and Broward can have up to 2000 slot
machines but are restricted to poker in
their card rooms and can be open for
just 18 hours on weekdays.) Under the
current deal, the Seminoles can cut their
payments if new slot machines open in
Miami-Dade or Broward.
So Genting went to plan B: This plan
meant partnering with a nonprofit that
funds adoption programs for retired
thoroughbred horses, one that happens
to have a transferable gaming permit,
and persuading the state's Department
of Business and Professional Regulation
to allow the partnership to operate a
smaller, 2000-slot casino.
In 2011 the state legislature created a
law that allowed racinos to donate their


quarter-horse racing permits to a non-
profit group partnered with the FTOBA
for "limited thoroughbred racing." That
nonprofit can then transfer the permit's
gaming rights to another location in the
same county.
Gulfstream just happened to have
two permits: one for thoroughbred racing
(used since 1944) and one for quarter-
horse racing (issued in 1982).
Soon after the law's passage, Gulf-
stream's owner, the Stronach Group,
a Canadian company that owns four
other horseracing tracks in the United
States, teamed up with the FTBOA and
the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and
Protective Association, to form a charity
called Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred
After-Care Program.
In July and December of 2013, the
charity ran races on a makeshift track
within Gulfstream Park. The track
(apparently created expressly for this
purpose) was located at the southern
end of Gulfstream's property, which is
mainly parking lots. That portion of the
property actually lies within Aventura's
city limits.

Continued on page 54


April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


Bay Link
Continued from page 48

according to Wilson Fernandez, the
transportation system manager for the
MPO. A revised set of numbers will be
presented at the April 2 meeting.
Even the smaller version of Bay
Link calls for the construction of a new
bridge across Biscayne Bay. That bridge,
under current proposals, would then be
linked to the south side of the MacArthur
Causeway and wide enough to carry two
sets of tracks one for a westbound
train, the other for an eastbound train.
The new version of Bay Link won't
have overhanging wires, nor will it share
a lane with the rest of traffic. Instead, un-
derground utilities will power trains that
travel along tracks on a raised section
of the street that's physically separated
from the rest of the roadway.
The dedicated train corridors will
separate the future light-rail service
from most traffic tie-ups. It'll also leave
fewer lanes for vehicular traffic. Some
streets in Miami could be taken over
entirely by light rail. Should the MPO
pick the "direct connection"' option for


One of several possibilities for Bay Link on the Beach's Washington
Avenue.


Miami, eastbound NE 2nd Street will be
converted into a two-lane highway for
streetcars. If the MPO picks the "inde-
pendent line" option, then westbound NE
6th Street becomes a train corridor.


Betancourt says the reduced lanes will
be worth it by encouraging people to use
alternative transportation besides automo-
biles. "Miami and Miami Beach currently
have the best transit system in the state of


Florida," he notes. "We have the Me-
trorail, Metromover, buses, car-sharing
programs, and bike-sharing programs -
but we need to expand that for there to be
a real alternative to the car.
"Bay Link just makes a ton of sense,"
Betancourt continues. "Downtown and
South Beach are the two top destinations
and employment centers in Miami-Dade
County, and we need to connect them."
Not everyone shares that view.
During an MPO meeting held on Janu-
ary 28, a few county commissioners
preferred a light-rail system that con-
nected Miami Beach to the mainland via
the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Under that
scenario, the light rail would go past
Midtown Miami and the Design District,
and continue west toward the airport.
Most elected officials at the meeting
wanted to focus on a parallel MacArthur
bridge and leave Julia Tuttle to a rail
project in the future.
"I said that the City of Miami's posi-
tion is that we would not support a Bay
Link through Julia Tuttle," Mayor Re-
galado says. "The whole reason [for this]

Continued on page 57


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April 2014









Trailer Parks
Continued from page 44

Miami City Directory as a trailer park.
For much of its existence, Little Farm
was a well-kept community mostly popu-
lated by part-time Canadian citizens.
That changed in 1996, when Sarika Olah
bought the park for $4 million and, three
years later, accepted hundreds of mobile
homes evicted from Nelson's Trailer
Park at 12055 Biscayne Blvd. in North
Miami. (That property is now occupied
by a Home Depot.) A community of 65
trailers swelled to more than 250, caus-
ing septic tanks to periodically overflow,
even to this day.
By 2006, Biscayne Park LLC, headed
by Teresa Cardenas, was Little Farm's new
landlord. Its top propriety: sell the property
to Walmart. When that didn't happen,
Biscayne Park LLC missed payments on
its $8 million mortgage. In 2009, Madison
Realty sued for its money. In response,
Biscayne Park LLC declared bankruptcy
but, at the same time, sued to retain some
ownership. The park, meanwhile, devolved
into a dangerous area where domestic
violence, burglary, assault, and arson were


Magic City Trailer Park: The community dates from 1898, when Dr. John
DuPuis moved to Lemon City.


fairly common. (For more on Little Farm's
history, see "From Lovely to Lousy to
Lost," April 2010.)
Those who live inside and outside of
the park say the area has become much


safer. Village officials credit Madison
Realty for the improved conditions. For
example, since last summer, Madison
demolished 53 derelict trailers that had
often served as a base of operations for


drug addicts and criminals, says village
manager Jason Walker. And Mayor
Daisy Black notes, "We've created a
great partnership with the new owners."
In spite of the environmental issues,
Cossard says the current owner is getting
offers for Little Farm's parcels that far
exceed the county's assessed value of $5
million. "There are two main appeals
about this property," he explains. "It's
on Biscayne Boulevard, and it's 15.5
contiguous acres. Property that's 15 and
a half acres anywhere on a primary cor-
ridor in Miami has very strong appeal."
The history of Magic City Trailer Park
goes back even farther. It starts in 1898,
when Dr. John DuPuis moved to Lemon
City, a settlement that remained outside of
Miami's city limits until the 1920s.
He bought 2000 acres and created a
dairy farm that's no longer in existence;
the two-story DuPuis Medical Building
(built in 1902, it still stands at 6041 NE
2nd Ave.); and a tourist court with cabins
for visitors to enjoy Florida nature. The
tourist court, founded in the 1920s, even-
tually evolved into a trailer park. (The

Continued on page 56


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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


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Slots to Miami
Continued from page 51

The races were brief, but enough for
Marc Dunbar, Gulfstream's lobbyist, to
argue that the nonprofit should be able to
transfer its gaming rights 15 miles south
for Genting's Miami operation. This
past April 8, the Florida Department of
Business and Professional Regulation
officially declared that the permit was re-
stricted to Broward County and rejected
the request.
Enter Plan C: inserting language
into any pending gaming legislation
that would make the transfer legal. Here,
Genting and Gulfstream found a willing
ally in the form of Florida State Rep.
Robert "Rob" Schench, a 38-year-old
Republican from Spring Hill who chairs
the House Select Committee on Gaming.
Schench amended the pending HB
1383, which also seeks to create a gover-
nor-appointed gaming commission, to
allow nonprofit permits for "wagering"
and "other gaming" to be moved across
county lines. In a likely nod to ongoing
negotiations with the Seminoles, the bill
states that the permit transfer cannot
have a "net negative impact on state
revenues, including those generated
under gaming compacts." The permit
transfer also has to be approved by the
gaming commission.
Unlike SB 7052, the house version
has moved forward. On April 19, the
House Select Committee recommended
its approval.
As of press deadline, HB 1383
doesn't specifically allow pari-mutuels to
lease slot machines to another location.
Matt Bryan, FTBOA's lobbyist, main-
tains that the nonprofit permit carries


with it the right to have up to 2000 slots.
But Steve Geller, a Broward lobbyist,
pro-casino advocate, and former state
legislator, says current state law indi-
cates otherwise. "The way I read the
statutes, slot machines can only operate
at the actual facility where they have the
pari-mutuel," Geller says.
In other words, Genting might be able
to open a card room and televised sports
betting on its holdings using the nonprofit's
permit, but not slot machines. "You can
make several million dollars off of card
rooms and pari-mutuel wagering," Geller
says. But the profit margin for a casino
without slots, he admits, won't be any-
where near as high as a casino with slots.
That could be a problem for Genting
Group, a rapidly expanding global
gaming empire that already has casinos
in Malaysia, Great Britain (40-plus in that
country alone), the Philippines, Singapore,
the Bahamas, and New York. Besides
Miami, Genting has plans to open casinos
in Las Vegas, Korea, and Japan.
The publicly traded corporation has
taken some hits. Genting reported an 81
percent drop in profits in the last quarter
of 2013, partly because of lower profits at
its Singapore casino, known as Resorts
World Sentosa, and "due to the start-up
of leisure and hospitality interests in the
United States," according to The Malay-
sian Insider.
To raise cash, Genting Hong Kong
Ltd., a subsidiary of the Genting Group,
is selling its shares of Miami-based
Norwegian Cruise Lines, according to
Malaysian business news outlets.
Frank Nero is sure the Genting
Group is under pressure to build a casino

Continued on page 57


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014

































NE 119th Street: More concrete pylo

FPL
Continued from page 50

eventually fobbed the things off onto
NW 7th Avenue and 135th Street in
North Miami.
Superstorm Sandy's devastation
up the coast in 2012 prompted FPL, in
May 2013, to launch the $500 million
storm-hardening plan in the 35 counties,
following up on a 2011 storm-hardening
project that resulted in some concrete
poles along NE 119th Street and NE 8th
Avenue, among other places.
FPL has been in such a hurry to get
things done that it jumped the gun before
obtaining a permit for the two poles
within Biscayne Park village limits. One
result, all comments from the company
begin with the following apology: "The
company apologizes for the miscommu-
nication regarding the two poles that were
set in the City of Biscayne Park ahead
of schedule," says FPL spokesman Bill
Orlove. "Once we recognized the error,
we immediately stopped the work in
Biscayne Park, and will seek the permit
April 7."
Mayor David Coviello, a partner in
the land-use department of the law firm
Shutts & Bowen, is concerned about
the aesthetics, the concrete material,
and potential harmful effects on prop-
erty values, but knows that the vil-
lage's powers are limited. "I need more
information," he says, "but I don't like
the appearance of the poles, and it will
have a negative effect on the aesthetics
and property values of the village. We're


ns will be added to these from 2011.

working very hard to improve the vil-
lage's property values and aesthetics."
Vice Mayor Watts, a Florida Inter-
national University art history professor
who lives on NE 118th Street, is espe-
cially irate. "I'm very distressed by this,
as it seems to be a done deal," she tells
the BT. "No one I've talked to wants the
poles. FPL is rapacious. These poles will
ruin Biscayne Park. They want to put
them on our most expensive streets. I'm
willing to picket and lie down in front of
a bulldozer."
She wants FPL to stop further work
until it provides a cost assessment for
putting the utilities underground.
The village has little leverage against
FPL, and while the franchise agreement
is a big part of that, it's not the whole
story. Not only does the utility have
broad power over its easements, but NE
6th Avenue is a state road and Griffing
Boulevard is a county road. NE 119th
Street is a municipal road.
Watts, not one to give up, recently
circulated a flyer to friends and neigh-
bors, acting as a private citizen: "Sixth
Avenue is already marred by FPL excres-
cences, thick wires, and long buckets
hanging from poles on the west side of
the street; and we are to accept the addi-
tion of concrete pylons?"
So on April 7, as of this writing, the
vote to issue permits goes to the plan-
ning and zoning board: Gage Hartung
(chair), Carl Bickel, Elizabeth Hornbuck-
le, Andrew Olis, and Doug Tannehill.

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BISCAYNE


O AiSiiNirI i I t0575-6II


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR


DuPuis descendant Robert Mayer: "We're trying to find someone who
will do something positive for the community."


Trailer Parks
.........................................................
Continued from page 53

original six cabins were moved in 2009
to Magic City Farm, owned by Tamara
Hendershot at 281 NE 84th St.)
Unlike Little Farm, Magic City Trail-
er Park never changed hands. It's still
owned by the descendants of DuPuis.
The residents tend to be long-timers,
too. "We've got some people in the park
who've lived here for 50 years," says
Robert Mayer, DuPuis's great-grandson.
Today several families live in 40
ancient trailers inside Magic City Trailer
Park, an area that residents describe as
quiet, safe, and affordable. But Mayer
says his family can't afford to keep it as
a trailer park any longer. They nearly
sold the park, but the potential buyer, At-
lantic-Pacific, couldn't get the tax dollars
it needed to build an affordable-housing
project for the elderly. "They still select
projects using lottery balls," Mayer sighs.
"They got some really bad lottery balls."
Peter Ehrlich, who has been redevel-
oping warehouses next door to Magic
City for more than a decade, is relieved.
An affordable-housing project, he be-
lieves, would discourage investors at a
time when developers are looking for new
places to build along the Biscayne Corri-
dor. But Ehrlich doesn't want the property
to remain as a trailer park, either.
"Lemon City neighbors have requested
that a new buyer build small mixed-use
loft and warehouse units," Ehrlich writes
in an e-mail to the BT. "Lemon City
and Little River property owners also
recommend mixed use and mixed income
residential for the site. There is a huge
demand for attractive, small, loft/ware-
house spaces."


Ehrlich is hopeful this could happen.
He's heard rumors that an alternative buyer
is ready to purchase the property, which has
an estimated market value of $2.4 million,
according to the county property appraiser.
Mayer, though, would only confirm that
Magic City has received a lot of interest.
"We're trying to find someone who will
do something positive for the community,"
Mayer says. He'd also like to see the cur-
rent residents relocated to affordable hous-
ing. But Mayer says his fiduciary responsi-
bility to the family trust is his top priority:
"I have to get the most money I can for the
property from a responsible developer."
The family trust doesn't just own
the land, but virtually all of the trailers
in Magic City, as well. At Little Farm,
however, many of the residents own the
trailers they live in, although they rent
spots for around $400 per month. One
retired Haitian laborer tells the BT he
paid $3000 for the trailer he lives in with
his wife and three adult children.
When it comes to trailers, owner-
ship affords little protection, especially
if the trailer can't be moved to another
property, says Rafferty of South Florida
Voices for Working Families. After
giving proper notice, the new landlord
can simply demolish the trailers.
El Portal Mayor Daisy Black is
hopeful that any future project will
include affordable housing for at least
some of Little Farm's residents. At the
same time, Black says, between the
septic overflows, the arsenic, and the
trailers' generally poor physical condi-
tions, the quality of life at Little Farm
is dismal. "The people who live there,"
she says, "they deserve better."

Feedback: letters tbiscaynetimes.com


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


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April 2014









Slots to Miami
Continued from page 54

in Miami. After all, the company did
spend $500 million buying land and
buildings near Biscayne Bay; untold
millions in design, construction, and
lobbyist fees; and at least $3.5 million
in campaign contributions since 2011.
According to state campaign reports,
Genting entities have so far spent close
to $1.5 million on state candidates,
political parties, political action commit-
tees, and electioneering organizations for
just the upcoming 2014 state elections.
Although Genting denies it, some Mi-
amians and Bahamians believe the com-
pany bought Bimini Bay Resort in the
Bahamas, as well as the Bimini Superfast
vessel that ferries passengers between
the PortMiami and Bimini, with the in-
tention of establishing a firmer foothold
for a casino in Miami. (See "Cruising for
Fun and Profit," October 2013.)
"Genting has a lot at stake here," Nero
says. "They paid a large amount of
money for land near downtown Miami,
and now they want to see some return on
their investment."
A future gaming commission, as
envisioned by both SB 7052 andHB 1138,


Bay Link
Continued from page 52

is to provide more mobility in downtown
Miami." Besides, he adds, commuters can
use the city's trolley bus system to travel
from Midtown to downtown Miami.
Beach Mayor Levine, however, would
be open to tracks on Julia Tuttle if potential
riders desired it. "It needs to be studied fur-
ther," says Levine, who was absent during
the January meeting. "Like any business
deal, let us understand where the customers
are on this and fill the product around it."
Levine says it might even be pos-
sible to build a continuous loop between
Miami and Miami Beach utilizing both
the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle cause-
ways. "Who knows? It could end up
becoming a complete circle," he offers.
While he prefers light rail, Levine says
he could be persuaded to support another
mode of transportation, such as bus rapid
transit, where buses travel along exclusive
lanes. Supporters of the bus rapid transit
point out that such a system could be set
up much faster and more cheaply.
Betancourt counters that light rail
trains travel much faster than even


could interpret state law differently and
grant Genting's request for slots. John
Sowinski, an Orlando political consultant
affiliated with NoCasinos.org, says leav-
ing casino oversight to a gaming commis-
sion would virtually ensure that gambling
interests take over the state's politics and
economy. Eventually, he predicts, the
commission will be packed with individu-
als beholden to the gambling industry:
"We fear a situation where the legislature
cedes authority to a new administrative
and strong gaming commission that be-
comes more powerful over time."
But the folks who really should be
afraid, Sowinski believes, are those
with a stake in Miami's downtown area.
"There will be a giant sucking sound of
money coming out of local businesses,"
he forecasts. "You have a spectacular
renaissance going on in downtown right
now, built around an arts center, sports,
a lot of different things that are going
on. You have a lot of cafes, bars, and
restaurants. A lot of that around [the
casino] will suffer. Some would go out of
business. Gambling is a parasitic indus-
try. It's not an industry that adds value. It
extracts value."

Feedback:. letters@tbiscaynetimes.com


rapid-transit buses. Another benefit to
light rail, he adds, is that it encourages
investment in properties along or near
it. Unlike bus routes that can be altered
with "a stroke of a pen," rail lines are
permanent amenities. "Investment en-
courages investment," he says.
Frank Del Vecchio, a Miami Beach
activist and a longtime critic of Bay Link,
believes the county would be better off
investing in improved bus technology. A
county report from ten years ago revealed
that a light-rail connection between South
Beach and downtown Miami would have
no effect on traffic congestion because it
was too limited in its geographic reach
and purpose, Del Vecchio points out.
Del Vecchio is also sure that the light-
rail system won't get beyond the study
phase. The county, he insists, will never
be able to obtain the needed dollars to ac-
tually build it. "It's a pipe dream," he says.
Betancourt is more optimistic. He be-
lieves the studies will enable the county to
obtain the grant money it needs to make a
new Bay Link a reality. "You don't build a
house without hiring an architect," he says.

Feedback:. letters tbiscaynetimes.com


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Neighborhood Corr


UUiiiiiibbiiuiirb oPUdi\

Softly, Carry Big Sticks
If county politicians get to declare war, then Aventura can secede


BT Contributor
ast month we got news that the
Miami-Dade County Commission
had voted to censure the govern-
ment of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
That government has been doing
really bad things and deserves to be
severely reprimanded. It is a model of
corrupt and unresponsive government
designed to achieve self-aggrandizement
rather than the good of its citizens. It
is high-handed and mean-spirited, and
needs to be replaced at the earliest op-
portunity. It is government on the people,
to the people, against the people.
But enough about the Miami-Dade
County Commission.




j H-!f'


^H


Just kidding.
Let's not talk about Venezuela, about
which we generally know only what the
newspapers print, which probably bears
scant resemblance to the truth. For the sake
of argument, we'll accept the premise that
Maduro, like his mentor Hugo Chavez, is a
user and abuser, and a prime candidate for
good riddance.
We don't wish upon him the route of
early retirement taken by Chavez, but
perhaps something closer to the accom-
modations we graciously afforded Manuel
Noriega in a Florida correctional facility.
What does make us wonder is this:
Why the heck should a county commis-
sion think its opinions have the heft of
U.S. foreign policy, and then glorify




IN .


them to the point of apotheosis through going through paperwork. Behind hii
legislative clarion? honor guard at attention, with bayone
If the late humorist Art Buchwald were pointing skyward.


_-u :t II h _ill ,:,


I-I i,- I i-,i| ill-_ >


a great state of agitation. "Your excel-
lency!" he exclaims, "there is devastat-
ing news from across the sea!"
"A naval attack?" asks Maduro. "Has
Godzilla risen from the depths of the
sea? Have the Colombian drug cartels
stopped paying their transport fees?"
"Worse, your excellency! Much
worse! The Miami-Dade County






1:_, : :l ,- : : l I'o _I c h r_-:
I-.l ., |:I- I _:t ,i : I -it-

II': it ,, iij I- it i _- .


N


IF


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


A


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014









Commission has declared war upon us!"
"How many tanks have they? Could
they use unconventional warfare? Should
we distribute gas masks to the families
of party members?"
"Your excellency, they've no need of
tanks. They have Commissioner Jose
'Pepe' Diaz!"
Well, it's a safe prediction that we
don't need to worry much about Maduro's
response. The kleptocrats in Caracas aren't
losing sleep over the disapproving clucks of
our commissioners. And while Putin may
have placed sanctions on John McCain, I
haven't heard yet that any of the Venezuelan-
owned Citgo gas stations in Miami-Dade are
about to be shut down any time soon
Which in turn raises a number of ques-
tions to ask our noble commissioners. Why
bother? Who cares what you think? Was
this even in your job description? Why
don't you turn your attention to problems
you actually know something about, prob-
lems you can actually do something about,
problems that you are actually supposed to
be working on for your constituents?
In the novel The Mouse That Roared by
the late Leonard Wibberley, the tiny duchy
of Grand Fenwick has a national economy


based on bottling and exporting wine -
and two political parties, the Dilutionists
and the Anti-Dilutionists, who argue about
whether to water down their main export.
When the duchy's economy is threat-
ened by cheaper U.S. knockoffs, Grand
Fenwick declares war on the United States
and, through a series of absurdly seren-
dipitous mishaps, actually "wins" with an
invasion of 20 men armed with longbows.
Suddenly Grand Fenwick has captured
the most powerful bomb on the planet and
finds itself at the center of world affairs.
Ironically, as we now see, the mice
who roar the loudest are in the largest
countries. A lot of folks who no doubt
grew up dreaming they'd one day be
president or secretary of state had to
settle for being dogcatcher in Dogpatch
or some other post considerably less
prestigious and less powerful. But that
doesn't deter such fearless fantasists
from inflating their self-importance. "I
have been elected," they're thinking.
"The People have spoken my name!"
On second thought, perhaps this
recent action by the county commission
is a local version of the Crimean vote to
join the Russian Federation. Maybe, in


fact, this is the wave of the future. Every
municipality will get to assert its global
political posture and align itself with any
sovereign country of its choosing.
As a Chicago native, I recall the effect
on the city in early 1980s, when the Polish
Solidarity labor movement, under the
leadership ofLech Walesa, began to chal-
lenge Communist Party and Soviet control
of national affairs. At that time, it was
possible for Solidarity's supporters here
in the United States, many of whom had
emigrated from Poland, to ship currency
and commodities back to the home country
without government censorship. Suddenly,
the post offices in the Polish areas of Chi-
cago, from Avondale on the North Side to
Roseland on the South Side, had lines that
stretched for blocks. Hundreds of people
were camped out, each shipping a larger
carton than the next to Polish addresses.
Imagine this scenario instead: What if
these various neighborhoods had been al-
lowed to secede from the United States and
join Poland? That would have been much
more dramatic and exciting, no? This trend
could spread around the world so that
we'd have countries within countries, and
with governments structured more like


multinational corporations.
I can see the future now the next
big election in Aventura will have to
determine if we are joining Israel or stay-
ing put as U.S. citizens. Heated debates
take place at street corners as we all wait
patiently for our turns in the voting booth.
Finally the results come in ... and the
Israeli contingent is disappointed. The
voters decided to stay put, and exit polls
reveal why: Israel's taxes are too high.
As we all troop into the campaign
headquarters for the victory celebration,
we see the red, white, and blue balloons
everywhere. There's a festive atmosphere,
although we cannot help but shed a tear
when they play the "Star Spangled Banner."
It was touch-and-go there for a while,
we remind one another, but in the end,
sanity prevailed. We step over to the bar
to mix a drink with a little flair but not
too much oomph. Then we hear a roar
from the crowd around the television
screen in the far corner.
The results from Hialeah are in:
They've decided to become the Cuban
government-in-exile!

Feedback:. letters@tbiscaynetimes.corn


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Neighborhood Correspondents: MIAMI SHORES


Ground Cover from the

Days of Dinosaurs
Why obsess over grass when you've got coontie?


By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor
apparently, I've been told, the
neighbors are after my coontie.
I know how that sounds in
your head, because that's how it sounds
in my head, too. But the coontie, it turns
out, is a herbaceous fernlike plant with
feathery leaves that unfold from a stalk
that can grow from one to four feet high.
A couple of months ago, some neighbors
wanted to take samples, and graft it, or
root it in water, or collect its seeds, or
however else you make new coontie
from old coontie.
And when I say "old" coontie, I mean
really old. The University of Florida's


Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (IFAS), which is part of the
Environmental Horticulture Depart-
ment, calls the coontie (Zamia pumila
in botanical trade lingo) a "living fossil."
According to the IFAS web site (edis.
ifas.ufl.edu/mg347), "These primitive
plants were a dominant form of plant life
during the dinosaur age."
In fact, the Calusa Indians and then
the Seminoles used to turn the roots of
these plants into an edible form of starch,
leaching the toxins from it first. Then
they'd make a kind of bread with it. The
word coontiee" is actually derived from
the Seminole words conti hateka, which
mean "white root" or "white bread."
The starch was also known as Florida


Coontie: So old it was around when dinos ruled.


arrowroot. So apparently the first South
Floridians were cheating on their paleo
diet just like their modern counterparts.
In addition, the web page notes, this
cycad (a palmlike, cone-bearing plant)
is an "unusual Florida native." Experts
argue over whether there's one species
(Zamiafloridana) or up to four ecotypes
that vary slightly in leaf shape and grow-
ing region. But either way, the coontie is


on the Florida Commercially Exploited
Plant List.
In other words, the coontie is endan-
gered. The variety doesn't grow well
naturally any longer because it takes five
years from seed, and its single long un-
derground stem is easily damaged. Over
the years, too many overly enthusiastic
nursery workers have gathered it to use
for landscaping purposes. So if you're


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April 2014









lucky enough, or observant enough, to
discover native coontie growing in the
wild that'd be west of the turnpike if
you're confused about where "the wild"
actually is you'd better leave it there,
or you'll face repercussions if you get
caught picking, uprooting, or making
them into food in any way.
Thus, the neighbors who are looking
for it. They insist that I, and other Miami
Shores denizens, have a fertile amount of
it growing in our yards, mostly unbe-
knownst to us. I'd agree with them there;
I don't know half of the odd plants I have
sprouting up here and there.
The one thing I am positive of,
though, is what we don't have growing.
That's grass.
Lately, my yard has looked a little bit
like my husband's head a lot less full
of individual strands and spears than it
was a decade ago. It's one of those things
you don't necessarily notice until you
see some "before" images and realize
that the "after" you've been staring at
recently is kind of, well, barren.
We've been digging out pictures
of my son for his bar-mitzvah video
montage, and in all the ones where he


was little, our grass was visibly plush,
with the only dirt patches immediately
surrounding our mango trees. Mean-
while, the recent pictures of him taken at
our house show how those circles have
expanded, the way the ones under my
eyes do before spring break, to consume
the whole property.
The mango (avocado and sapodilla
and live oak) trees are tough to date ex-
actly, but were at least 75 years old when
we moved in, and were large to begin
with. Now it seems as though those
mango (and avocado and sapodilla and
live oak) trees have gotten even bigger.
And as the canopies have broadened,
the grass has suffered a dearth of light.
Combine that problem with the natural
salinity and sand content of our soil, and
a full lawn is probably a pipe dream.
Yet groomed lawns are things that
residents of Miami Shores are required
to keep, and I know just by driving
around the various neighborhoods that
we're not the only ones to suffer from
brown patches and bare spots. After all,
these trees, of similar height, canopy,
and age, are all over the Shores. At one
point in the past, many of them were part


of the same commercial plantation. As
much welcome shade as they supply, and
fruit as they produce, there's the down-
side: a pummeled property.
Then again, why obsess over grass
when you've got coontie? The lesson
here is, skip the first and save the second.
Granted, you probably shouldn't go
as far as planting staked rows of heir-
loom tomatoes in your front yard. But
short of laying down imported sod -
which is easily ruined by cars parking on
your swale after it's installed, or garbage
trucks gripping it with machinery -
there are ways of assuring that your yard
is native and verdant, and meets the
bylaws of Miami Shores.
Indeed, ground cover is the real
reason today why coontie plants are in
such demand for homeowners. They
grow easily in soil that has good drain-
age. They can thrive equally in full
shade or full sun. They can withstand
drought conditions and tolerate salt. And
they attract the rare atala butterfly. Mass
planting of coontie plants (which have
to be bought in nurseries) to replace a
lost lawn may be expensive at first. But
you'll be repaid in painted wings.


Other native plants work equally well
when grouped together by species or with
each other for ground cover. Frogfruit is a
creeping ground cover, and also appeals to
butterflies. Jasmine minima and pepero-
mia are both excellent shade plants, lush
and dark green, and perfect for planting
around edges and rims. Some of these
groundcover plants can even be walked
on and mowed, including the perennial
peanut, which feeds any rabbits that might
happen to be around, and the sunshine
mimosa, which produces pink flowers,
closes its leaves when touched, and is par-
ticularly recommended for swales.
If you're unsure exactly what native
plants to lay down or where to buy them,
consult with the Miami-Dade Chap-
ter of the Florida Native Plant Society.
The members are knowledgeable, the
lectures are free, and the website (dade.
fnpschapters.org) offers valuable infor-
mation. Then do like we're doing and
scout around in your own backyard. You
just might have the components for a
gorgeous lawn already on your property
and don't even know it.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.corn


April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


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Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMI


Privacy Concerns vs.


Developer Returns
On NE 123rd Street, high-density project riles low-lying neighbors


By Mark Sell
BT Contributor
Leasing signs are up for ground-
floor retail spaces in the proposed
Causeway Village at 1850 NE
123rd St. The site is now a 4.24-acre
vacant lot just behind the Walgreens and
across 123rd Street from L.A. Fitness.
You're looking at what may become a
75-foot, seven-story, high-density/mixed-
use structure, as approved by 4-0 North
Miami Planning Commission on July 2,
2013. Nothing new since then, but we're
getting to that. (Hint: delay, delay, delay.)
At last word, we'll see 15,000 square
feet of retail, 190 apartments, and 400-
plus parking spaces tastefully concealed
in the rear. The plan is for upscale ac-
coutrements, fitness center, and pool at


market rates for 750-SF one bedrooms
and 1000-SF two-bedrooms. Rough trans-
lation: maybe $1000 per month to start.
"There is a great demand for this, and
it's a positive addition to the community
in providing new quality residences with
lots of amenities," says Laura Tauber,
who is a principal, with her husband
Irwin, in Taubco, the developer.
As for views, to the east and south-
east, you have the King Apartments,
a warren of older buildings in dull
tangerine with jalousie windows in the
back, owned by Shlomo Chelminsky and
family. They've got a passel of other re-
gally named, if occasionally uninviting,
King apartments along NE 6th Avenue,
including the Gold King apartments at
13285 NE 6th Ave., which gained recent
notoriety for its collapsed roof.


Causeway Village: 15,000 square feet of retail, 190 apartments, 400-plus
parking spaces.


Remember Shlomo? He's the guy who
cooperated with state investigators regard-
ing former Mayor Andre Pierre's nephew
(and campaign manager) Ricardo Brutus,
who was videotaped accepting $3500 from
Chelminsky for promising that an item
would be pulled from the city agenda. Still
pending, and we're not holding our breath.
Taubco also developed the com-
pleted Causeway Square (which houses
jam-packed L.A. Fitness), with a height


of 100 feet (four incredibly tall stories);
Keystone Plaza, on the northeast corner
of 135th and Biscayne; and Biscayne
Commons at 146th and Biscayne, which
has been anchored by Publix since 2004;
Arena Shops, with Total Wine; and much
more along the Biscayne Corridor.
After the planning commission ap-
proved Causeway Village last July, the
item was scheduled to go before the North
Miami City Commission August 27.


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VILLAGE OF EL PORTAL
NOTICE OF PROPOSED ORDINANCE


Please take notice that on April 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., or as soon
thereafter as may be reached on the agenda, in the Village Hall of El
Portal, located at 500 Northeast 87th Street, El Portal, Florida, the
proposed ordinance with title stated below will be considered for
enactment by the Mayor and Village Council of the Village of El Portal.

The proposed ordinance may be inspected by the public at the Village
Hall, online and interested parties may appear at the meeting and be
heard in respect to the proposed ordinance, the title of which is as
follows:


Ordinance No. 2014-001


AMEND SEC. 5-18 5-22 & 5-23


AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND \VILLAGE COUNCIL
OF THE VILLAGE OF EL PORTAL, FLORIDA, AMENDING
SECTIONS 5-18, 5-22, AND 5-23 OF THE CODE OF THE
VILLAGE OF EL PORTAL TO RAISE THE MINIMUM
DOLLAR AMOUNTS FOR PROJECTS REQUIRING COUNCIL
PERMISSION, AND TO ALLOW ASPHALT SHINGLES
WITHOUT A VARIANCE ON ADDITIONS AND REPAIRS;
PROVIDING FOR CODIFICATION, REPEALER,
SEVERABILITY AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.


March 26, 2014


Carolina Montealegre
Interim Village Clerk


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014









n got postponed, have to move some;
tponed. It was your health and sani
Itched from the "These people ne,
October com- Dresback adds, refer
ly, at the March polluted the canal. I
,the city an- off at all hours, and
irkshop on the torcycles. When thel


U 1 ot-L t UIlllI..OOIUI. ll-lllt.,I .
d then this workshop was canceled.
after three interview postponements
ing to a family emergency, Laura
iber got back to the BT, on deadline,
say she wants to schedule a workshop
on at a community center.)
The Keystone Point homeowners as-
;iation, less than pleased with the proj-
, voted on March 20 to keep the site
commercial no residential component.
Why are Keystone Point residents res-
e and vexed? Ask Bill Dresback, whose


Water and street looming over his yarc
A. Fitness is bad enough. I wanted to
ire in peace, and now it seems you




. ? 5<.


yard from Causeway Village."
Money is another issue. Taubco pu
chased the Causeway Village property
million in 2005, amid a Taubco pre-re(
buying spree. The property today has
estimated market value of $2.6 million
That's good for the Taubers' taw


the straitjacket quite yet.
Last fall the completed Causeway
Square averted foreclosure on a $53 milli(




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loan, modified in 2008, from Wells Fargo
Bank. (That lawsuit, filed in 2011, was the
fifth filed against Tauber and his properties.)
After countersuing and then settling with
Wells Fargo, Taubco retains control of the
property as leases again proceed apace.
In the spring of 2011, Taubco sold its
Biscayne Harbour Shops in Aventum, at
181st Street and Biscayne Boulevard, for $14
million, this to avert foreclosure brought
by MUNB Holdings, an affiliate of Bank
of New York's Mellon Corp. Taubco had
bought the site for $14.3 million in 2006.
That foreclosure suit, filed in Octo-
ber 2010, for more than $16.1 million in
mortgages, included Causeway Village,
which Tauber evidently carved away.
The current status of Causeway Village
financing was not clear at deadline.
MUNB had filed two previous fore-
closure suits, in February 2010, against
Taubco for commercial and multifamily
projects in Bay Harbor Islands.
In October 2009, Irwin Tauber filed
for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy to
avoid foreclosure on the 328,254-square-
foot Vero Fashion Outlets Mall just west
of 1-95 on SR 60. He'd purchased the mall
for $38.2 million in the fall of 2007, just
















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in time for the recession; it had a $32 mil-
lion mortgage and an $8 million personal
guarantee from Tauber.
Tauber made a play for control of the
mammoth 184-acre Biscayne Landing
site but was beaten out in 2012 by Oleta
Partners, led by Michael Swerdlow and
New York developer Richard LeFrak,
Miami's newest real estate bigfoot.
Heartburn? Sure. Yet the Tauber and
family will eat, and the lenders, by their
accounts, have been paid as scheduled.
The family owns one of the most mas-
sive residential compounds among the 33
home sites in Indian Creek Village, a bil-
lionaire refuge right across the Shepard
Broad Causeway. Its 86 denizens live
in houses that sell in the $40 million to
$50 million range. There, Don Shula is
a piker.
As bankruptcy lawyers and loan-
workout specialists have earned their
keep with Taubco and so many other de-
velopers, the Taubers have switched to a
conservative tack. For Causeway Village,
there seems to be just one way out of the
woods. Can you say density?

Feedback: letters@ biscaynetimes.com














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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


A


-4 74M1 46






Neighborhood Correspondents: UPPER EASTSIDE




A Good Walk Spoiled
The City of Miami turns over public streets to a private school


By Ken Jett
BT Contributor

f you're like me, you occasionally
walk through your neighborhood.
But if you live near Cushman School,
you may be stopped during your next
stroll. The city commission approved a
resolution to close NE 60th Street west
of Biscayne Boulevard, and most of
NE 5th Court two streets that dogleg
through the Cushman campus. No more
public access.
Having purchased all but four parcels
near it, the private school has been
collecting properties as if they were
Monopoly pieces. As a friend of the
community, Cushman offers scholar-
ships, but with tuition costs ranging
from $17,000 to $32,000 per year, even
half-tuition scholarships would leave this
private institution beyond the grasp of


most families in our area.
The closing of NE 60th Street was
another dumbfounding incident that
causes me to wonder if I'm an alien in
Miami. What am I missing? According
to city code, a street can only be closed
if doing so serves public benefit.
Cushman's initial argument for
requesting the street closure was that it
would improve emergency vehicle access.
Of course, when fire rescue informed the
school that gating a street doesn't improve
access, Cushman changed its argument.
Street closure, it was now said, would
enhance the safety of children. As the
resolution before the city commission
noted, it would help "to improve safety and
security for school operations and to better
facilitate and control student drop-off."
Well, who in their right minds would
be against the safety of children, or pup-
pies, or parks for that matter?


-~ A-
NE 60th Street: Cushman School can now control vehicular and
pedestrian access.


Public and private schools rou-
tinely maintain the safety of children
on campuses that are bisected by public
streets. Children attending this private
institution are no more special than other
children, are they? In fact, keeping chil-
dren safe while they're running across
the parking lot at Chuck E. Cheese is no
different; both are private issues.
Cushman's attorney used the usual di-
versionary tactics to sway the commission


to vote in favor of the street closures:
The public wouldn't have to maintain the
street anymore, the street goes to nowhere,
those who live on the street, by their ab-
sence at the hearing, are in favor; and it's
a reversion right to reclaim the easement
when no longer needed.
The MIMO Biscayne Association
and Palm Grove Neighborhood Associa-
tion, both private organizations, were
financially rewarded for their support


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014








as part of settlement agreements. The
Cushman School pledged payment of
$10,000 and $20,000, respectively. Cush-
man also promised that the streets could
not be built upon, that unity of parcel
titles could not occur, and that presched-
uled historic tours could still gain access.
An additional $5000 was given to the
Little Haiti Optimist Club. I hope they
aren't optimistic about city leaders doing
the right thing. Any guesses as to how
their name was thrown into the hat?
Despite public opposition (including
mine) and an inability to see a public ben-
efit worthy enough to close the street as a
public thoroughfare, Commissioner Keon
Hardemon said he would support the
closure proposal. Cushman School now
controls vehicular and pedestrian access.
The plan will gate the street but allow
pedestrian access to remain open, but
private. Cushman will be able to refuse
entry to any pedestrian its security guard
deems a risk. I expected Commissioner
Hardemon, a man of color, to understand
that this means profiling will occur on
the basis of how pedestrians look.
In addition to the issues of privatiz-
ing a public street for private benefit, and


trading payment for support, several dis-
turbing process issues and relationship
concerns were evident at the meeting.
Commission chairman Wifredo Gort did
a great job of holding opponents to their
two minutes. But he failed at managing
Cushman's lawyer after the conclusion of
the public-hearing portion of the agenda.
Typically, commission items are
introduced by the city's planning depart-
ment. Then the applicant or applicant's
representative (e.g., a lawyer or lobbyist)
will make his or her case. There appears
to be no defined time limit on these pre-
sentations. At their conclusion, the floor
is opened for public input, which is then
followed by rebuttal from the applicant if
applicable. Finally, the public hearing is
closed, but the applicant (or representa-
tive) will often remain at the podium in
order to answer questions posed by com-
mission members and should only
speak in response to questions.
But after Ben Fernandez, the attorney
for Cushman School Inc., answered
questions, he then continued to carry
out unsolicited conversations with the
commissioners and city attorney. Gort,
to his credit, insisted that any questions


or comments to the city attorney be put
through him. Yet he did little to curtail
Fernandez from speaking during what is
normally a deliberation period in which
only commissioners may speak.
As of late, lawyers and other lobbyists
have been allowed to cajole, twist, and
direct the commissioners well after the
public-hearing portion has been closed.
They go far beyond responding to ques-
tions to manipulate the decision-making
process. This is a complete rejection of
any semblance of fairness during what is
supposed to be a "quasi-judicial process."
To this add a comment on the public
record by Bob Powers, president of the
Palm Grove Neighborhood Associa-
tion. Powers noted that at the behest of
Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, he worked
on the issue two years ago with attorney
Jay Solowsky. But Ben Fernandez was
in the commission chambers, not Jay
Solowsky. (Fernandez is not a member of
Solowsky's firm either.)
What's more, Sarnoff serves as "of
counsel" with Solowsky's law firm. But
no mention was made of this at the meet-
ing. What about conflicts of interest or
disclosed connection?


There's an unwritten rule at Miami
City Hall that ownership of an agenda
item belongs to the commissioner in
whose district the item resides. That
"rule" determines which commissioner
makes a motion to approve or deny. The
others tend to vote with that commis-
sioner, and they expect the same defer-
ence when an issue is on their turf.
It has gotten to the point that some
commissioners refuse to meet with
individuals not residing in their little
fiefdoms. If Sarnoff had recused himself,
one wonders how it might have affected
Commissioner Hardemon's action.
Planning Department director Fran-
cisco Garcia summed up things well by
saying that the preferred status of land
is private ownership. Apparently, this
commission doesn't believe that city
government should act as a public stew-
ard and protect public land. Not having
to maintain a public street counts as a
public benefit good enough reason to
hand it over to a private entity that will
soon be profiling pedestrians who dare
to walk by.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


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April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com









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April 2014
























0, Miami's mission is to bring poetry to the streets, and to have some
fun with it. ____ __


Wynwood bar Gramps will host poets
reading their works about booze, written
on cocktail napkins (the compositions
will be complied into a zine). In a related
event, there will be a "LitCrawl," a night
of pub-hopping in South Beach that will
"test your Bukowskian pretentious."
How about sessions involving the
dying art of handwriting, where people
will be encouraged to hand-write
poems from a book, which will be sent
to random people in Miami-Dade? Or
"Road Sage," which features points along
Biscayne Boulevard where motorists
stuck in traffic can read snippets of
poetry from the likes of Pablo Neruda
scrawled on windows.
These are just a few of the numer-
ous events taking place during a unique,
homegrown festival has already gar-
nered attention across the U.S. Cun-
ningham says that now when he contacts
poets to come for a 0, Miami visit, they
immediately recognize it.
Last year, 0, Miami collaborated with
public radio's WLRN on a campaign
titled "That's So Miami," a promotional
series meant to encourage people to write
I A -1 f L


The man and mind behind 0,
Miami: P. Scott Cunningham.

short poems that shouted Miami while
also advertising the nascent festival.
While Cunningham says it was a
huge success, it was also intentionally
a surface campaign. This year, and
in years to come, he says, he wants 0,
Miami to build a deeper base with an
established poetry community.
So for this April's poetry contest,
co-hosted with WLRN, the theme is


0, MIAMI 2014 HIGHLIGHTS

Events
Picnic in the Park/Poets Laureate in the Park (April 5)
The Edgewater Poetry & Athletics Club (April 1-30)
Poet-in-Residence at Gramp's Bar (April 1-30)
Pin-Up Poetry at ArtCenter/South Florida (April 1-30; reading April 13)
A Funeral Procession for Juan Gelman (TBD)
The Last Ride of Jose Marti (TBD)
Under the Influence, with Cathy Bowman (April 2)
Stephanie Strickland, Denise Duhamel, Julie Marie Wade (April 7)
Poetry and Race, with Jaswinder Bolina (April 10)
Cuban, Cuban-American, Spanish, and Chicano poetry readings:
Various dates
Poetry Karaoke, with Annick Adey-Babinski (April 12)
Speaktacular: Ashley M. Jones and Darius Daughtry (April 17)
Zine Fair (April 19)
LitCrawl Miami (April 26)
Forager Book Release (April 29)

Projects
The Poetry Lottery (April 1-30)
#ThislsWhere (April 1-30)
Living with Poetry (April 1-30)
Fire Dreams: Matt Roberts and Terri Witek (April 1-30)
People Poetry with Quinn Smith (April 1-30)
This is Just to Say: Elena Errazuriz (April 1-30)
Poetry Spoke Cards: Elsbeth Pancrazi and Brett Fletcher Lauer
(April 1-30)
Bite into Poetry: Willa Kaufman and Elizabeth Jacobs (April 1-30)
Road Sage: P. Scott Cunningham (April 1-30)
Anonymous Letters: Christina Pettersson (April 1-30)


"ThislsWhere." Cunningham says it's "a
little more subtle, more imaginary," but
concerning places people care about that
still are evocative of Miami or the Miami
experience. "I want to get past the basic
'that's so Miami' to more of a reflection


on how unique and diverse this place is."

For details, locations, and times go to
www.omiami.org.

Feedback: letters(ibiscaynetimes.com


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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


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April 2014







Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS


WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK &
DESIGN DISTRICT ART+ DESIGN
NIGHT
SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2014

GALLERIES
ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY
2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
786-286-7355
www.albertolinerogallery.com
Through June 30:
"El tiempo y el espacio en la escultura de Jimenez
Deredia" by Jimenez Deredia
ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ FINE ARTS
2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
305-438-0220
vwww.alejand ravon hartz.net
Through April 5:
"Drawing on Memory" by Sam Winston
"In Circle" by Marcolina Dipierro
ART NOUVEAU GALLERY
348 NW 29th St., Miami
305-573-4661
ww.artnouveaumiami.com
Through April 23:
"City Skins" by Paul Amundarain
BAKEHOUSE ART COMPLEX
561 NW 32nd St., Miami
305-576-2828
www.bacfl.org
April 11 through May 4:
"SOS Venezuela" by Edwin Villasmil and Elba Martinez
Reception April 11,7 to 10 p.m.
BAS FISHER INVITATIONAL
122 NE 11th St., Miami
DWNTWN ArtHouse
www.basfisherinvitational.com
April 4 through May 31:
"The Fortress" by Ana Mendez
Reception April 4, 6 to 10 p.m.
BLACK SQUARE GALLERY
2248 NW 1st PI., Miami
786-999-9735
vwww.blacksquaregallery.com
Through May 5:
"Paper Work" with Joana Bruessow Fischer, Jorge
Chirinos Sanchez, Kyu-Hak Lee, Pablo Lehmann,
and Tony Vazquez
BRIDGE RED STUDIOS / PROJECT SPACE
12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami
305-978-4856
vsww. bridge redst udios.com
April 27 through June 15:
"Mi-No" with various artists
Reception April 27, 6 to 9 p.m.
BUTTER GALLERY
2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami
305-303-6254
vwww.buttergallery.com
Through May 3:
"On the Other Hand" by Antonia Wright
CAROL JAZZAR CONTEMPORARY ART
158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores


WIo


305-490-6906
ww.cjazzart.com
Through April 20:
"Say Yes" by Chris Fennell
CURATOR'S VOICE ART
PROJECTS
299 NW 25th St., Miami
305-502-5624
ww.curatorsvoice.com
April 19 through May 17:
"Oblique" with various artists
DAVID CASTILLO
GALLERY
2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami t
305-573-8110
vvww.davidcastillogallery.
com
Call gallery for exhibition
information
DIANA LOWENSTEIN
FINE ARTS
2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami
305-576-1804
www.dlfinearts.com
Through April 4:
"The Rhythm of Materiality"
by Uisuk Byeon
"The Visitors" by Charlotte
Squire
April 12 through June 7:
"Your Forest for My Trees"
by Michael Scoggins and h.
Alex Gingrow
DIMENSIONS VARIABLE
100 NE 11th St., Miami
DWNTWN ArtHouse
305-607-5527
www.dimensionsvariable.net
Through April 12:
"Fathoms" with Adrienne
Rose Gionta, Andrew
Horton, ARG + Yasmin
Collaborative, Gardner Cole
Miller, Ivan Santiago, Joe
Locke, Kristin O'Neill, Nick
Gilmore, Yasmin Khalaf Antonia Wright
DINA MITRANI GALLERY and Butter Gall
2620 NW2nd Ave., Miami
786-486-7248
vwww.dinamitranigallery.com
April 10 through May 30:
"Towards the Sky Again, 1997-2011" by Colleen Plumb
Reception April 10, 7 to 10 p.m.
DOT FIFTYONE GALLERY
187 NW 27th St., Miami
305-573-9994
www.dotfiftyone.com
Through April 30:
"Haussmannization" by Jorge Mifio, Eduardo Capilla,
and Leopoldo Maler
EMERSON DORSCH
151 NW 24th St., Miami
305-576-1278
www.emersondorsch.com
Through April 19:
"Noonday" by Jenny Brillhart
"Oceania" by Oliver Dorfer


r '


r"11


:, Be, digital C-print, 2013, at Spinello Pr
lery.


FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY
2247 NW 1st PI., Miami
305-448-8976
ww.snitzer.com
Through April 15:
"Selected Works" with Alice Aycock, Ida Ekblad, Luis
Gispert, Ridley Howard, Alexander Kroll, Maria-
Martinez Cafias, Eric Palgon, and Jon Pylypchuk
GALLERY DIET
174 NW 23rd St., Miami
305-571-2288
vwww.gallerydiet.com
April 3 through May 16:
"2014" by Bhakti Baxter
Reception April 3, 6 to 9 p.m.
GUCCIVUITTON
8375 NE 2nd Ave., Miami


1


www.guccivuitton.net
Call gallery for exhibition information
JUAN RUIZ GALLERY
301 NW 28th St., Miami
786-310-7490
ww.juanruizgallery.com
Through April 19:
"Afterimage" by Martin C. Herbst
KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY
46 NW 36th St., Miami
305-209-0278
vvwww.kavachnina.com
Through April 12:
"In the Era of the Soul" by Angela Lergo
Through May 2:
"Pravda Pravda" by Corina Michelena
and Nina Block
KELLEY ROY GALLERY
151 NW 24th St., Miami
305-447-3888
vwww.kelleyroygallery.com
April 17 through June 7:
Red Wolf
P Reception April 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY
2300 N Miami Ave., Miami
786-431-1506
www.galerieleliamordoch .com
Through April 30:
"A Line in Motion" by James Chedburn
LOCUST PROJECTS
3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami
305-576-8570
vwww.locustprojects.org
Through April 12:
"Inholdings" by Christy Gast
"A Fabricated Field" by Felice Grodin
MICHAEL JON GALLERY
122 NE 11th St., Miami
305-521-8520
www.michaeljongallery.com
Through April 26:
"Equivalent Simulation" by John Opera
ojects MINDY SOLOMON GALLERY
172 NW 24th St., Miami
786-953-6917
vwww.mindysolomon .com
Through May 3:
"Earth Bound" by Josh DeWeese, David Peters, and
Marc Lambrechts, with Tara Wilson, Scott Parady,
Ted Adler, and Tim Rowan
O.ASCANIO GALLERY
2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
305-571-9036
www.oascaniogallery.com
Through April 5:
"New Forms" by Nanin
PAN AMERICAN ART PROJECTS
2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
305-573-2400
ww.panamericanart.com
Through April 19:
"Made in Miami" with various artists
April 24 through June 7:
Edouard DuvaI-Carrie











h/NOW OPEN

Selected Objects,
Furniture and Gifts
from around the
World


Biscay a 5t tee tain 52NE4t Times su.itye 7AeMiami AL317ww~einhprila2014


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April 2014


qq*41







Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS


PRIMARY PROJECTS
151 NE 7th St., Miami
www.primaryprojectspace.com
info@primaryflight.com
April 18 through May 31:
"The Castle Dismal" by Christina Pettersson
Reception April 18, 6 to 10 p.m.

SPINELLO PROJECTS
2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami
786-271-4223
www.spinelloprojects.com
Through May 3:
'You Make Me Sick: I Love You" by Antonia Wright

TUB GALLERY
171 NW 23rd St., Miami
305-573-0610
www.tubgallerymiami.com
Through April 8:
"Concrete Footprints" by Flor Mayoral
April 10 through May 5:
"Reaction/Diffusion" by Peter Stephens
Reception April 10, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI GALLERY
2750 NW 3rd Ave., Ste 4, Miami
305-284-3161
www.as.miami.edu/art
April 8 through 25:
"Master of Fine Arts Exhibition" by Carolyn Kay Chema
Reception April 12, 2 to 9 p.m.

WYNWOOD WALLS
NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets
305-573-0658
www.thewynwoodwalls.com
Ongoing:
'Wynwood Walls" with various artists

ZADOK GALLERY
2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami
305-438-3737
www.zadokgallery.com
Through April 30:
"Fiction of the Fabricated Image" by Seon Ghi Bahk
"Stolen from the Met" by Pavel Acosta

MUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITS

ARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA
800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
305-674-8278
www.artcentersf.org
Through April 30:
"Pin Up Pop Up Poetry" with various artists

ARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA PROJECT 924
924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
305-674-8278
www.artcentersf.org
April 30 through June 15:
"Radio Miami" with various artists, curated by Rosell
Meseguer and Glexis Novoa

BASS MUSEUM OF ART
2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
305-673-7530
www.bassmuseum.org
Through July 20:
"Vanitas: Fashion and Art" with various artists
April 11 through August 10:
"Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works" by El Anatsui


Ana Mendez, AERIE, photograph, 2014, at Bas Fisher
Invitational.


CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation)
1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami
305-455-3380
www.cifo.org
Call gallery for exhibition
information

DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY
ART SPACE
23 NE 41st St., Miami
305-576-6112
www.delacruzcollection.org
Ongoing:
"Looking at Process: Works from the Collection of
Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz" with various artists
Through April 12:
"Infinite Source" by Cristina
Lei Rodriguez

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FROST
ART MUSEUM
10975 SW 17th St., Miami
305-348-2890
thefrost.fiu.edu
Through April 20:
"Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize
Photographs" with various artists
April 2 through June 22:
"OurAmerica: The Latino Presence in American Art"
with various artists
April 23 through August 3:
"Sustenazo (Lament II)" by
Monika Weiss

LOWE ART MUSEUM, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables
305-284-3535
www.lowemuseum.org
Through April 27:
"The Art of Panama" with various artists
April 12 through June 1:
Lise Drost


MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART +
DESIGN
Freedom Tower
600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
305-237-7700
www.mdcmoad.org
Through April 27:
"Beyond the Rails: Notes on Trains, Travel, and
Society" with various artists
Through July 12:
"The Influencers I: Prominent Works from the MDC
Permanent Art Collection" with various artists
Through May 4: "A Narrative of An Artist Exploring
Capitalism" by Tatiana Vahan

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
770 NE 125th St., North Miami
305-893-6211
www.mocanomi.org
Through April 16:
"Video Container: Museum as Method" with
Bernadette Corporation, Loretta Fahrenholz, Harun
Farocki, Andrea Fraser, Dan Graham, General Idea,
William E. Jones, Maha Maamoun, Danny McDonald,
and Seth Price
April 18 through July 6:
"Flat Rock" by Virginia Overton
"A Fantastic Journey" by Wangechi Mutu

PEREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI
1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
305-375-3000
www.pamm.org
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 August 31:


Melissa's Pick
Local experimental choreographer and dancer
Ana Mendez will premiere a sculptural instal-
lation, "The Fortress," at Bas Fisher Invita-
tional preceding her work with the Miami Light
Project's "Here & Now" festival. Mendez, who
is principally known for her entrancing, ritual-
istic performances and involvement with local
artist collective Psychic Youth, presents her
first foray into sculpture meant to evoke a world
where humans and nature are inextricably bound.
Mendez is also scheduled to host and perform
during BFI's next Weird Miami bus tour, which
showcases some of Miami's greatest offbeat at-
tractions, on April 13. Tickets can be purchased
on the gallery's website. Melissa Wallen


"Imagined Landscapes" by Edouard Duval-Carrie
Through September 28:
Monika Sosnowska
April 18 through August 17: "Caribbean: Crossroads
of the World" with various artists

THE MARGULIES COLLECTION
591 NW 27th St., Miami
305-576-1051
www.margulieswarehouse.com
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

THE RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION
95 NW 29th St., Miami
305-573-6090
http://rfc.museum
Through August 1: "28 Chinese: 28 Contemporary
Chinese Artists at the Rubell Family Collection" with
various artists

THE WOLFSONIAN FlU
1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
305-535-2622
www.wolfsonian.org
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
art@biscaynetimes.com


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Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR


Miami Riverday Returns
Strange to remember that the Miami River, and Lummus Park on its
banks, were once considered somewhat exotic urban destinations that
only the adventurous explored. The entire area now called the Lummus
Park Historic District (250 NW River Dr.) is right in the middle of the
newly developing urban core, which is why Miami Riverday 2014,
taking place Saturday, April 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., should
be on everyone's itinerary. No longer off the beaten path, the event in-
cludes historic tours and re-enactments, boat rides, children's activities,
kayak races, and music from our hometown faves Spam Allstars and
Suenalo. Extra feature: it's all free; www.miamirivercommission.org.


It's Like ... Springtime in Paris
The French cabaret chanteuse Floanne
kicks off Tigertail Productions' monthlong
celebration of French culture, the Florida/
France, or FLA-FRA, Festival begins
Friday, April 11. A little bit opera, a
little bit performance art, and a lot of flair,
Floanne comes to Miami-Dade County
Auditorium On. Stage Black Box The-
ater (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami) at 8:00
p.m. She's followed during the series by
Haitian-Frenchjazz singer Cecile McLorin
Salvant; contemporary dancer Myriam
Gourfink and her electronic soundtrack;
and former Merce Cunningham and
Opera de Lyon ballet dancer Cedrick
Andrieux. For a complete schedule and
prices, go to www.tigertail.org.

A Beneficial Brew
The craft-beer tasting event VeritageMiami
spreads out from Coral Gables this year for
an evening at Wynwood Walls (2550 NW
2nd Ave., Miami) from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00
p.m. on Wednesday, April 9. The ben-
efit for the United Way of Miami-Dade
involves much more than beer, however,
including food samplings from 30 res-
taurants in the neighborhood and wine
tasting; tickets cost $55; attire is listed
as business casual, www.veritagemiami.
com/events/craft-beer-tasting.


Don Quixote for the Young at Heart
The story of Don Quixote and his squire
Sancho Panza is one of the great tales
of adventure and chivalry. When told as
ballet, it also includes fabulous costumes,
gypsies, and bullfighters. At least, that
will be the case when Miami City Ballet
presents a version tailored for children
during Free Family Fest Day, featuring
excerpts from Don Quixote at the Arsht
Center for the Performing Arts (1300
Biscayne Blvd., Miami) on Saturday,
April 12, starting at 2:00 p.m. There will
be a chance to chat with the dancers after
the show; www.arshtcenter.org.

Get Out and Smell the
Botanicals and Tropicals ...
The national Cultural Landscape Founda-
tion, whose aim is to raise awareness of
the di c i\'it and interconnectedness of our
shared designed landscape heritage," brings
its popular touring event to South Florida
for the first time with What's Out There
Weekend Miami, a two-day event from Sat-
urday April 12, to Sunday, April 13. An
amazing array of tours at 28 sites is offered,
from the Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead
to the Kampong House and Gardens in
Coral Gables and the Spanish Monastery in
North Miami Beach, all the way up to the
Morikami Gardens in Palm Beach The tours,


which "reveal anecdotes and stories about
city shaping, landscape architecture, and
design history, arefree, but you must register,
and there is a limit of four tours per person.
To sign up and see all the destinations, go to:
tclf.org/event/wotw-miami.

Big Night in Little Haiti Turns Three
It was three years ago this month that we saw
the launch of Big Night in Little Haiti; since
then the party has only grown. Centered
around the Little Haiti Cultural Center (212
NE 59th Terr., Miami) every third Friday of
the month, a live concert takes place in the
courtyard, art and craft studios open their
doors, vendors show up, and it morphs into
one of the most popular, family-friendly
nights in Miami. For the anniversary event
Friday, April 18, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00
p.m., the featured band will be the famed
traditional Haitian processional troupe Dja-
Rara, which rose to prominence after the
election of Jean Bertrand Aristide and has
become the heartbeat of Haitian culture in
New York. Big Night continues to be free;
BigNightLittleHaiti.com.

A Call-Up for Bay Cleanup Day
Miami is not known for great urban
planning or leafy streets and parks. But
we are known for our brilliantly azure
waters, including those of Biscayne Bay
- so let's keep it that way. For the 32nd


Honored Photographer Heads Back to
School
Photojournalist Carl Juste is one of Miami's true cultural
ambassadors. Born in Haiti and raised in Miami's Little
Haiti, Juste has pointed his camera at the wonderful and
the disturbing, from great musicians to the ravages of
the earthquake in his homeland, mostly working for the
Miami Herald and winning numerous awards, including
the Pulitzer Prize. A retrospective of his work, Through
the Lens, runs through April 30 at Juste's alma mater,
Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep School (4949
NE 2nd Ave., Miami), as part of its "60th Anniversary
Alumni Artist" series. For details call 305-751-8367.


World Music at the Bandshell
"The Sound of the World Right Now"
is a perfect title for the 12th Trans-
Atlantic Festival, produced by the
Rhythm Foundation and which every
year features the best examples of
music on the world scene. Taking
place in the refurbished outdoor North
Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave.,
Miami Beach) one of the best
places to listen and dance to music -
the fest will kick off on Friday, April
4, at 6:00 p.m., with bands from Chile,
Colombia, and Miami. On Saturday,
April 5, the evening includes groups
from Jamaica and Miami, and is head-
lined by Bombino, from Niger. Tickets
cost $23 in advance, $28 at the door;
TransAtlanticFestival.com.


year, Miami-Dade County is organizing
Baynanza Biscayne Bay Cleanup Day
on Saturday, April 26, from 9:00 a.m. till
noon. There are 23 cleanup locations, and
registration is recommended, along with
closed-toe shoes, hats, and sunscreen. The
bay needs you: www.miamidade.gov/envi-
ronment/baynanza.asp.

Kayak Under the Moon Over Miami
Some things about living here are
impossibly romantic. Like the fact
that you can paddle around in calm,
warm, shallow waters just off the coast
in a kayak and watch the sunset and
moonrise, in a mangrove setting at
Bear Cut Preserve with the lights from
downtown glinting off the sea. Weath-
er permitting, that's exactly what will
happen Saturday, April 19, from 6:00
p.m. to 8:30 p.m. during the Sunset
and Moonlight Kayak Adventure,
part of the Miami-Dade County Eco-
Adventure program. Push off from the
Crandon Park Marina (4000 Crandon
Blvd.) for $40. Best to bring some mos-
quito repellent; www.miamidade.gov/
ecoadventures/home.asp.

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


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014






Columnists: PICTURE STORY








On Parade During


World War II
A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami


By Paul S. George
Special to the BT
greater Miami in World War II
was, like few other areas of
the country, on a total wartime
footing. Miami's mild weather, plenti-
ful waters, and flat terrain made it ideal
as a training ground for hundreds of
thousands of members of America's
armed forces.
The Army Air Force took control
of hundreds of hotels and apartment
houses on Miami Beach, using them to
house and train soldiers, while employ-
ing the nearby beach for basic training.


America's Navy, along with the allied
navies of the Soviet Union and China,
took over the City of Miami's waterfront.
A "Donald Duck" Navy, the affection-
ate term for the Submarine Chaser Train-
ing School, occupied a portion of the Port
of Miami. The Army Air Force Transport
Command took control of Pan American
Field (the city's municipal airport), as well
as a new air facility in Homestead.
The Pan American Airways seaplane
base at Dinner Key became a naval air
station. A reconnaissance blimp station
at Richmond Field, the site of today's
ZooMiami, included the world's largest
wooden hangar to house three blimps.


Miami's civilian population did its
share for the war cause, too, engaging in
scrap-iron drives, purchasing War Bonds,
and bringing men and women in uniform
into their homes for holiday dinners.
Each Saturday from the war's begin-
ning until its end in 1945, members of
the armed forces paraded along Flagler
Street from the courthouse to Bayfront
Park, five blocks away, to promote
War Bond sales. Residents and visitors
alike flocked to these demonstrations of
patriotism.


This photograph captures uniformed
women marching east in the 200 block of
E. Flagler Street in 1942. The towering
Alfred I. DuPont building, headquarters for
the U.S. Navy's Gulf Sea Frontier, which
monitored the movement of German sub-
marines, looms in the background.

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

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


Plus classes on publishing.
manuscript consultations, and
the chance to pitch your Idea to
agents and editors.

More details at
thecenteratmdc.org 1305.2373023


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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com






Columnists: POLICE REPORTS


Biscayne Crime Beat
Compiled by Derek McCann


Your MBA Won't Help You Much
Here
3800 Block of NE Miami Court
Project manager came to his building
one morning and noticed the air wasn't
blowing. Mr. Fix-It may have thought
there was an issue with the air-condi-
tioning units and he was the one to solve
the problem. He went up to the roof and
found the units were missing compres-
sors and motors. Thieves had entered the
roof by ladder, as it was left at the scene.
Not easily fixable, and no leads in this
case. Maybe he can build a moat and add
some alligators. But that would require
an engineering degree.


Taking the Fun Out of Your
Private Moments
400 Block NE 74th Street
Your bathroom is where you "take care
of business." It's also where you can
take a delightful shower and emerge
refreshed. Unfortunately, it can be
the preferred point of entry for Miami
crooks. This perpetrator gained access
by breaking the bathroom window, then
entered the empty home, stealing many
items. Returning owner was dismayed to
realize his things were stolen maybe
it disturbed him even more that his bath-
room time will never be the same due to
that vulnerable window.


Dramatic Entry for a
Score
7800 NE 2nd Avenue
Oceans 11 and its sequels may
have influenced these thugs. They
actually broke through a side wall
to gain access to a cash drawer.
The cash drawer contained $150,
which doesn't seem in congru-
ence with the effort needed to
get it, but let it serve as a stark
reminder to Miami denizens that
wall breaking may be the next big
thing. If the guy in the next apart-
ment is banging, it may not be
because of that bad disco music
you're playing he may want the
stereo system, and will get it.

No More Bike Pooling
400 Block ofNE 29th Street
Don't think anyone wants to see two
people on one bike cruising down Mi-
ami's busy streets: one person's enough,


though motorists do their best not to hit
them as they stray into oncoming traffic.
A person was riding the handlebars of a
bike with a friend (so the report says) and
jumped off when he saw an open garage
on NE 29th Street. Did he think there was
a garage sale? Since no one was in at-
tendance, he took it upon himself to take


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April 2014








a bike. He now has his own ride. There's
video of the incident, but at least the crim-
inal will be riding safer in the future. We
believe this is the most important thing.

Then Again...
7200 Block oJ i .i ..: I Boulevard
If we let that last burglary slide for the
sake of safety, we must be prepared for
faster getaways, alas. At this business, an
employee locked up in the wee hours of the
morning. When the owner arrived the next
day, the business had been compromised
and many items taken. The perpetrator
rode off so fast on his bicycle that cameras
couldn't get an adequate view. Could it be
the man from the garage? Maybe safety
is overrated. If you're driving and see a
biking enthusiast on Biscayne riding really
fast, carrying items, maybe you could...
well, we can't suggest anything illegal, so
we leave it to you.

Time for the Great Wall of Palm
Grove
500 Block ofNE 77th Street
The neighboring properties are gated,
which must be an eyesore for this home-
owner who wants to live in a cage in


beautiful Miami? Unfortunately, his aes-
thetic preference brings risks. A stranger
attacked him in his home one morning
as he came running from one of the
rooms. The stranger beat him, causing
intense lacerations even pulled out
a knife. The owner ran out of the home,
and a witness assisted him. The attacker
casually walked away, heading down 5th
Avenue. He'd gained entry through an
unlocked front door, as other people live
at the house. It's high time to build that
gate, or at least lock the damn door.

Vying for Worst Job in Miami
1600 Block oJ i': .i.c..- Boulevard
Could Miami's worst job be tow-truck
driver, collections (again), process
server? It may be the person who cleans
your room. Hotel guest claims money
was stolen from his room safe while
he left with his wife for lunch; only the
housekeeper entered that room, so hotel
security and police questioned her. This
happens quite often in "Crime Beat."
We have a hunch that people want their
insurance claims paid, so they blame an
easy target, the housekeeper. No arrests
have been made due to total lack of


evidence. It's bad enough people don't
tip well; now they want to send the
kindly cleaner to jail. Scrub your own
nasty toilet.

Let Them Honk!
NE 26th Street and NE 5th Avenue
Victim was conducting surveys at this
intersection using expensive camera equip-
ment. A white pickup drove up behind her;
driver refused to go around her, honk-
ing the horn. The victim had left her car
behind the equipment so she kindly moved
her car to the side, letting the pickup pass.
He did, but in the back of the truck, a man
jumped out, and took all the equipment,
and then the pair drove off. She couldn't
get an adequate description of the driver.
So be smart, Miamians, and stay less cour-
teous. Don't move for anyone.

Like '70s New York, There May
Be an Uprising
2600 Block of South Bayshore Drive
Taxi drivers don't have it easy, as any fan
of Martin Scorsese will tell you. This
driver picked up a fare in North Miami
and drove his passenger to the destina-
tion. The passenger then bolted, leaving a


$64 fare. Maybe $64 is the problem here,
and running away was a protest against
the powers that be. To avoid this, cab-
bies should shun the weirdness of North
Miami forever. Those living in that area
should just take the No. 3 bus for a couple
of bucks. Then again, the culprit got a
free ride. We hope the Mohawk phase is
not coming for that cabbie, because it will
then be too late.

Kindness of Strangers?
5 NE 79th St.
The victim is familiar with a neighborhood
man he only knows as Dreds, who said he
was hungry. So the victim lent Dreds his
bicycle and EBT card. Dreds left to grab
some food and never returned. This
happened past midnight, so perhaps one
needs to take that into account: if you
lend out something, do it during business
hours and preferably not at the Exxon gas
station on NE 79th Street. And don't give
your ride away under any circumstances. If
you're receiving food stamps, you should
know at this challenging time in your life,
you are not a lender.

Feedback:. letters@tbiscaynetimes.com


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Columnists: PARK PATROL


Culture, Naturally

The Deering Estate arts festival has an environmental bent


By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor
e places you'll go, the nature
ou'll see,
The portal backwards into
history,
You'll have a good time, your verses
will rhyme,
Around the Deering Estate at Cutler.
Poetry is just one of the arts that you
can practice at this poetic location in
southern Miami-Dade County. Upstairs
in the Richmond Cottage is a wooden
table and strips of paper where visitors
are encouraged to write poems about
their experience on the estate.
The estate turns up the cultural watt-
age this April 11-13 during the Deering
Estate Festival of the Arts. Nearly 200
visiting artists in music, theater, visual
arts, and other genres will join artists-
in-residence to interpret the natural
environment.
Considering that all art derives
from nature, this theme has particular
resonance at the Deering Estate, whose
natural surroundings are much more
significant than its human construc-
tions. The buildings occupy 15 acres, but
endangered habitats sprawl across some


440 acres. This balance conforms to my
general bias for what a park should be: 5
percent human, 95 percent natural.
The park's endangered habitats
include mangrove and pine forests; it
harbors one of the planet's few remain-
ing large tracts of pine rocklands. Daily
tours at 12:30 p.m. offer a glimpse of
exceptional natural history.
The former estate of Charles Deering
can be considered the suburban counter-
part to Vizcaya, the central Miami oasis
built by Charles's brother, James, and
which also sits on Biscayne Bay. Which
brother built it better? James took the
honors of ostentation, but Charles won
the honor of preserving irreplaceable
natural beauty.
The Deering Estate's most stunning
views are from the main house looking
toward Biscayne Bay. Two lines of palm
trees create perspective lines that draw
your eye into the watery distance, and in
between is a keyhole-shaped boat basin.
The setting conjures misty memories of
an era awash in romantic boat rides. But
who has time for romance? In 2007 this
location served as the starting point for
the reality show Amazing Race.
The estate was built in the early 20th
Century, given to the State of Florida in


Park Rating


16701 SW 72nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33157
.305-235-1668
a Hours: 10:00 am.-5:00 p.m.
Picnic tables: Yes
S Barbecues: No
oPicnic pavilions: Yes
5Tennis courts: No
Athletic fields: No
SW 168th St Night lighting: No
Swimming pool: No
Playground: No
Admission: $12/adult $7/child


The estate's Stone House (1921), with the original Richmond Cottage in
the background, housed Deering's


Sprawling across 444 acres, the
Deering Estate offers many trails
that pass through varied habitats.

1985, and soon thereafter was listed in
the National Register of Historic Places.
The Deering Estate Foundation was
created in 1989, but just a few years later,
in 1992, Category 5 Hurricane Andrew
plowed through with catastrophic
damage to the park, which didn't reopen
until 1999.
The past two decades of relative
calm have allowed the estate's natural
and cultural heritage to flourish. Annual
visitations exceed 60,000, and daily visi-
tations of Girl Scouts and nature lovers
keeps the staff busy. The visitors center
features a recently renovated theater, and
much of the arts and appreciation are
centered near the estate's main entrance.
As you walk the pathway beneath
giant Poinciana trees, notice the mango
patch to your left and the massive black
olive ahead. The entrance path leads to
the lovely three-story Stone House, built
in 1921. Gray stones cover the bottom
half of its facade, and they fade into
Mediterranean yellow paint that gives
way to a roof of Spanish tiles. While


clearly European in inspiration, the airy
home feels comfortable in Florida's heat.
It housed Deering's collection of Old
Masters paintings.
Downstairs is a wine cellar, while
upper floors feature historical photo-
graphs and bathrooms with original fix-
tures (not for public use). Walk outside to
the covered southern porch, and look up:
the ceiling is decorated in a mosaic of
native shells and corals.
The Richmond Cottage next door,
built in 1896, is similar in size but more
rustic in concept, with a beautiful wrap-
around porch and glossy wood floors.
Behind the cottage are smaller structures
that house artists-in-residence.
Yet these handsome structures pale
alongside the estate's archaeology. Dating
back 10,000 years, human impacts have
been discovered alongside fossils of wooly
mammoth and saber-toothed cats. In ad-
dition to the Cutler Fossil Site, the Cutler
Burial Mound tells the story of human
habitation 2000 years ago. These fragile
and rare sites are covered for protection,
but some artifacts remain on display. Join a
tour to see the burial mound.
In addition to weekday tours, a
number of 12:30 p.m. weekend tours
allow visitors into the area's most inter-
esting and sensitive habitats. You can
also self-guide with kayaks and bicycles.
Located far from the Biscayne Cor-
ridor and charging an entrance fee of $12
per adult, the Deering Estate demands
making a day of it. Want to visit for free?
Check out the availability of a visi-
tor's pass from the Miami-Dade Public
Library System.
For this year's arts festival, whose
theme is "In Deep," events on Friday
evening and after 3:30 p.m. Saturday
are free of charge. Review the schedule
at www.deeringestate.org. The festival
uses the phrase "eco and environmen-
tal art" to describe how artists must


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014























The views of Biscayne Bay are breath- The Deering family made sure the state and
taking and soothing at the same time county would protect the estate's natural
perfect for a picnic, environment.


Shown here is one of the planet's few remaining large
tracts of subtropical pine rocklands.


address an increasingly dire issue.
"This festival brings together artists
of varying art-making practices that raise
awareness about environmental issues and
man's impact in his environment," accord-
ing to the estate's website. "Some works
are created with alternative materials, such
as dirt, plastics, and discarded objects,
while other works inspire action and activ-
ism through poetry and performance."


With all the lovely vistas and cultural
energy flowing around the Deering Estate,
the behind-the-scenes operation may the
last thing on visitors' minds, but it does
offer an interesting model of how major
parks can function as public-private enter-
prises. Many entities are involved, but the
most essential are the state, which owns the
property, and the county, which operates it.
The foundation runs the membership wing


and scours other essential funding sources.
My request for improvement? Recy-
cling bins. Although almost no county
park currently offers recycling, I expect
more from a place with such high stan-
dards and community support.
Thankfully, this support began before
Hurricane Andrew, because it's conceiv-
able that a flattened nature preserve could
have turned into yet another housing


development by the bay. Instead, one
man's former home reminds us of what
Florida looks like, naturally.

The art within nature is nature 's art
Surely these limbs could never fall apart
Yet winds of change and atmosphere alone
Could obliterate what used to be home.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.corn


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Columnists: YOUR GARDEN


You Can Love Your


Lichen!
This master of symbiosis is harmless to your trees


By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor

One of the most common land-
scape queries I receive is how to
get rid of the "black stuff" all
over someone's plants or patio furniture.
This "black stuff," of course, is not to
be confused with the "brown stain" on
someone's sidewalk. The brown stain is
usually from tannic acid leaching from
the leaves and flowers of certain species
of trees, and is especially obvious once
the leaves lying on concrete get wet from
sprinklers or rain.
The "black stuff" is more correctly
called "sooty mold" and is a symptom
of a greater problem. I tell these folks to
look up. Check out what is growing di-
rectly above that black, powdery fungus.
The accompanying photo provides
a good example of sooty mold. A black,
powdery fungus is growing on top of a
bed of a really great landscape brome-
liad, Neoregelia mcwilliamsii. The center
of the plant changes color in this case,
a bright red when flowering begins.
When I tell people to look up, I'm
telling them to find the source and cause
of the sooty mold. The sugary honey-
dew secreted by insects that feed on the
sap of plants is what causes the mold to
grow in the first place. Aphids, soft-scale
insects, and whiteflies are a few of the
insect families that imbibe plant juices
and produce honeydew.


On the left side of the photo is a palm
trunk. This belongs to an alexander palm
that is about 20 feet tall. I've been watch-
ing this palm grow for more than a decade.
Almost every time it produces a flower
spike (an inflorescence) and then fruits,
soft-scale insects colonize the branches of
the spike and begin to produce honeydew,
and the resulting sooty mold suddenly ap-
pears below on the bromeliads. Sometimes
I've even seen ants crawling around and
over the scale insects.
When there is a plant or insect issue,
I try to distinguish between the symp-
toms and the underlying cause. Too often
people want to treat what they immedi-
ately see. But when we look at the bigger
picture, there's usually more to the
situation than meets the eye. The sooty
mold, for example, only harms the plants
by blocking out sunlight.
The issue here is mainly cosmetic.
The mold will eventually break down
and go away, but the underlying cause
of the sooty mold will still be there. The
insects on the plant above are causing
the sooty mold, and in this case, they are
on the new, succulent, nitrogen-rich, and
very nutritious growth, the inflorescence.
On palms that typically have these
problems, I cut off the inflorescence just
as it begins to grow. If there's no food for
the insects, there'll be no insects.
I also know that certain species of ants
"farnfm" the insects that extract juices from
plants. The ants use the honeydew for food


Sooty mold growing on a bed of bromeliads.


as the insects exude it, and they also protect
the insects from predators. Whenever I find
honeydew-producing insects that are being
protected by ants, I sprinkle some ant bait
around the base of the plant. This is often
enough to control the insect problem and
allow insect predators access to the soft scale.
I know this alexander palm is grow-
ing in a dry location, on a slope, and only
gets moisture when it rains. Water stress
can cause the foliage to begin the meta-
bolic activity that leads to wilting. Some-
times the water stress is very subtle; we
don't notice it, but insects do because
the chemistry inside the plant begins to
change and often this change leads to a
more nutritious meal for the insects. You
can see this when your lawn dries out -
chinch bugs will often follow in exactly
the location that had previously dried out.
High-nitrogen fertilizer also creates
a more nutritious plant for insects. Too
much fertilization can cause insect prob-
lems, thereby creating a never-ending
cycle of spraying and fertilizing.
I look at mosquito infestations the
same way. Some people see a couple of


mosquitoes and immediately want to
spray. That method won't solve the prob-
lem; they're just treating the symptom.
Where are the mosquitoes coming
from in the first place? There are about
75 species of mosquito here in South
Florida, and they bite at different times
of the day and breed in different bodies
of water, from salt marshes to tree cavi-
ties. Look up, and down, and empty all
standing bodies of water in your neigh-
borhood. That will get rid of a significant
percentage of mosquitoes.
Now, getting back to the sooty mold,
look up and try to see the bigger picture.
Think about this method the next time
you have an insect problem in your yard.

Jeff Shimonski is an ISA-certified
municipal arborist, retired director
of horticulture at Parrot Jungle and
Jungle Island, and principal of Tropi-
cal Designs of Florida. Contact him at
jeff@tropicaldesigns, com.


Feedback: letters(atbiscaynetimes.com


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April 2014






%fl TIM Columnists: P
ISSUE'





Yes, Your Dc


Horse Sens(
It's up to you to get into his zone

By Janet Goodman
BT Contributor

ucky for me, Biscayne Times contin-
ues its long tradition of publishing a
column about pets with the addition
of my new "Pet Talk." Dipping into person-
al experience as a professional dog trainer
for 27 years, I hope to bring to these pages
behavior insight, useful training advice, and
interesting stories about all types of pets.
Preparing for this month's issue, I
considered a sea of column-name sug-
gestions. Some were too gimmicky,
some too scholarly, and some conjured
up unpleasant images. Landing on "Pet
Talk" and getting a feel for the place, I


g Lacks





dogs housebroken, scrubbed the turtles'
plastic paradises, and flushed our belly-
up fish down the commode. I had my
chores, too, but they were fun ones, like
brushing coats, doling out treats, and
taking walks. If there was ever a pet
mess, Mom was the cleaner-upper by de-
fault. Looking back, I mostly remember
the good stuff- the warm and snuggly,
stress-free pet moments.
Roles are reversed, though, when we
start our own families. Now it's up to
us to handle the tougher jobs. What dog
owner hasn't come home to an unpleas-
ant surprise at least once? But if that hap-
pens a lot, we probably need some help,
and we need to start thinking like a dog.


dog has his ears down, has lowered his
posture, and looks very guilty, except
that he's only responding to the big voice
that's bellowing forth.
He's not making the connection that
the act of getting into the garbage bin is
causing us to yell, because the destruction
happened hours earlier while we were
away at work. The bad behavior was him
getting into the trash can, and we missed it.
Prevention works well to curb certain
unwanted behaviors, and trash raiding
is one of them. Cans with lids keep out


trap. ScatMat manufactures a horseshoe-
shaped product that fits around the base
of a garbage can and gives a low-level
zap when your pet gets too close and
steps on it.
If zapping sounds too extreme, create
a no-approach zone with large, crumpled
sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Secured to the floor with tape in an arc
around the perimeter of the kitchen can,
this moat of tin will discourage entry.
Remember what's going on in the
dog's head while yelling at him long
A_-A+l ^ ^^ - A- --'). TT-1- ,,*^ ,.-


Talking about nets has always been doL's head: nut a small can under the kitchen sink thinking I don't vet it -because we


r me. Even as a shy youngster, The missus came home today. One with a childproof lock on t
always manage to yak about step inside the door and she started yell- I've even seen dog owners
ters: goldfish, turtles, Betsy the ing hysterically. She kept pointing at the kitchen trash in the garage
lerri the Poodle, Robby the horse, garbage on thefloor. I don't get it. bathroom wastebasket is h
dhood pets everybody's had Hey, we're human, right? Who from view in the shower st
r wished they had. I imagine wouldn't flip out at the sight of a trail of "Out of sight, out of mind"
ill all be resurrected here at one soggy coffee grinds winding through If this works, then the prot
Another, slipping into storylines; the living room, dotting the carpeted There will always be a
They'll make you think of yours, staircase, and coming to a stop in the age of dogs that try their h
Helped set the foundation for a bedroom closet? While we're venting into that garbage again, ev
Love of animals and the never- about slimy wads of cellophane and secured lid. Extra measure
learning curve. I admit: This old hamburger meat packaging in a million when needed. A used soda
i be taught new tricks, pieces, and unidentifiable goo left on the with several pennies inside(


didn't catch him in the act. Through
training, through immediate correction
the things are a whole lot clearer.
len What should be going through his
ub. head is this: Nosing ;h,. iui the garbaS
ra. can means ,i,,. hii unpleasant is
'ed. going to happen RIGHT NOW.
ent-
Ye Janet Goodman is a Miami Shores-bas,
dog trainer, animal-talent wrangler, ar,
ken principal of Good Dog Bad Dog Inc.
I Contact her at info@ gooddogbaddogmiai
iced com.
me-
ly Feedback:. letters@biscaynetimes.com


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com






Columnists: GOING GREEN


Add the Everglades to


the Endangered List
Oil drilling and seismic testing will imperil our preserves and
wetlands


By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

oday's bad idea that's becom-
ing a reality? Oil drilling in the
Everglades.
There are no objections from the
Florida Department of Environmental
Protection. Nor from the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In fact, here is the latter's response to
a request for consultation from the FDEP:
"We have reviewed drilling permit appli-
cation number 1353. We do not have any
comments on this application."
Really? Who's running this state? The
answer appears to be: Big Business.
The Texas-based Dan A. Hughes Com-
pany has permits to drill in open fields
adjacent to the Florida Panther National
Wildlife Refuge near Naples. Other per-
mits extend into areas that border southern
Broward County. While not technically in
Everglades National Park, these areas are
highly connected and sensitive wetlands.
Does oil extraction activity (and the
resulting waste) belong here? The answer
was a resounding no from an overflowing
crowd at a hearing in Naples on March 11.
The Environmental Protection Agency
convened the unusual hearing to discuss
the permit of a Class II wastewater injec-
tion well for an approved drilling site, and
many in the crowd (including myself)
spoke passionately against the expansion


of oil drilling in South Florida.
Oil has been drilled, in low volume, in
Southwest Florida and the Panhandle for
decades; but it appears to be shifting into
high gear based on a slew of exploratory
permits approved by the FDEP No permit
requests have been denied.
Some environmental groups have chal-
lenged this rubberstamping, but not until
the EPA hearing did the masses get in-
volved. Leading the charge are two young
organizations. Matt Schwartz of the Fort
Lauderdale-based South Florida Wildlands
Association, formed in 2010, joined forces
with Preserve Our Paradise, a coalition
created specifically for this cause.
Schwartz got the ball rolling with a legal
challenge to the Hughes Company, and
after a subsequent hearing in Fort Myers in
February, the EPA stepped in to mediate.
The official aim of the March meeting was
to "inform the public regarding the EPA per-
mitting process, provide information concern-
ing the construction and operating require-
ments for Class II injection wells, and answer
related questions." But the public nature of this
meeting implied something else.
Has FDEP been falling down on the
job? Is the Florida panther in danger? If
so, the EPA has the authority to deny the
permit, and speaker after public speaker
urged that action.
Although the official comment period
was set to close at the end of the March 11
meeting, regional EPA administrator Fred


McManus announced at the meeting's con-
clusion that the hearing would be extended
until March 31.
It was the right thing to do. Upset
people were demanding to be heard. It felt
as if many years of pent-up frustration
coalesced at the Golden Gate Estates com-
munity center.
As a Native American elder spoke, I
heard people weeping. Great-grandfathers
were followed by college students, who
were followed by business owners, who
were followed by residents whose houses
are within a thousand feet of a proposed
well. Over and over they demanded that
someone apply the brakes.
Big Oil can pay lobbyists and lawyers
to speak on its behalf, but the residents
must rely on themselves.
The fight will only get bigger. The min-
eral company Collier Resources, which
permitted 115,000 acres to the Hughes
Company, owns more than 800,000 acres
of mineral rights in Southwest Florida.
It has issued leases covering more than
337,000 acres to two other out-of-state
companies that want to conduct seismic
testing in the region.
Such rights allow them to obtain
permits and drill almost anywhere. Spe-
cifically, this includes areas inside the
Florida Panther Wildlife Refuge, Picayune
Strand State Forest, Fakahatchee Strand
Preserve State Park, Corkscrew Regional
Ecosystem Watershed, and the Audubon


Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The biggest
area at risk includes 234,510 acres inside
the Big Cypress National Preserve.
These areas are crucial habitat for the
highly endangered Florida panther. Only
about 150 of the big cats are known to be
alive, and the predator requires huge open
territories for survival and protection.
The Big Cypress National Preserve is
located immediately north of Everglades
National Park and contains equally stunning
habitat. Strangely, this preserve is the home of
Florida's first oil well, which is still operating.
When those early wells were permitted,
we didn't know any better. Now that we do,
it seems both criminal and insane.
Before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,
political debate was leaning toward open-
ing Florida's shoreline to drilling. After the
spill, a federal ban was extended to 2017.
Sadly, early exploration has already begun
again along Florida's Atlantic coast.
How soon we forget. Well, coming soon
to a theater near you: hydraulic fracturing.
Californians are fighting for a statewide
cracking ban. Will Floridians do the same?
The Sunshine State and orange juice
capital needs to ask itself a serious ques-
tion before its switches to black juice: Is
the juice worth the squeeze?

Send your tips and clever ideas to:
goinggreen@ biscaynetimes.com.

Feedback: letters(ibiscaynetimes.com


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m






Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY


On the Lookout for a


New Mom-Van

It takes a trusty steed to master Miami roads


By Crystal Brewe
BT Contributor

I own a mom-van. I'm a driving cliche
and I like it. My mom-van is blinged
out with leather seats, GPS, and a
serious sound system; and my two kids
love the fact that they can sit far away
from each other. It drives like a dream
and is as safe as it gets on Miami roads,
surrounded by Miami drivers.
I travel precisely 6.75 minutes to
work every day in my minivan, but be-
tween our frequent out-of-town visitors,
Girl Scouting, road trips, and playdates,
our swagger wagon makes sense.
I wasn't swayed into this decision
because of the automaker's ads featuring
AC/DC and a hipster dad rapping about
his cul-de-sac. No, I was minivan before
minivan was cool. Ultimately, we pur-
chased the minivan because, since adoles-
cence, I've been dubbed a bad driver.
Growing up, I was frequently told
that I was uncoordinated. If I went to
a roller-skating party, my mom would
grow anxious. One time I was invited to
a "Let's bike-ride to pizza party!" and
my mom was apoplectic. I'll never forget
overhearing her conversation with the
party host mom: "Well, I think we're
going to skip this one. Little Crissy isn't
good on a bike."


I begrudgingly accepted the scarlet
letter that designates "ungraceful girl," but
I tried everything to shake it. Ten years of
classical dance and musical theater train-
ing, high school cheerleading and diving,
and even the good old-fashioned etiquette
classes required for every pageant girl.
(Yes, I was a "pageant girl." That, however,
is an entirely different column.) In the end,
I think it was more a matter of my mom's
constant worry for my safety rather than
the fact that I was actually uncoordinated.
After a couple of standard car acci-
dents in high school, that designation for
my lack of coordination transferred to
my driving ability. I mean, I was new at
it but nonetheless my parents christened
me with the "bad driver" label. Maybe I
am a bad driver. I'm still not sure about
this or my purported lack of coordina-
tion, to be honest. However, I haven't
had a car accident or ticket in more than
ten years (knock wood).
There is probably some armchair
psychology I can wax on about regarding
the manifest destiny we inevitably create
for our children with such designations,
but I was talking about minivans. While
my minivan is slick, I drive it because it
is reliable, and it makes all the people in
my life feel safe.
About a month ago, though, I was
traveling to Fort Lauderdale for a meeting.


Adele was blaring, and I was feeling the
A/C through my hair and coasting at a
comfortable 65 mph in the fast lane when
my trusty steed suddenly lost all power.
I was shot through with adrenaline and
acted quickly: Turn on hazards, engage
biceps to steer (with no power steering)
toward swale, wave politely to the mean
people honking at you, and thank the
gods that the kids aren't in the car.
The Silver Bullet was towed to our
very honest and very reliable mechan-
ics at King Automotive. These guys
have been fixing cars since the dawn of
man, and even they were stumped by
my Stalled Stallion. After three days of
poking, prodding, jumping, and push-
ing, they threw up their hands, said it
seemed to be electrical, and had it towed
to Brickell Honda.
Our journey of reviving my ten-year-
old Odyssey was epic. And while I don't
think it was made more difficult because
I'm female, I certainly don't think it
helped matters. Is it so wrong to just
want my safe minivan to function appro-
priately? I mean, it's a Honda Odyssey at
a Honda service department, it shouldn't
be a Mensa riddle.


It took three weeks, $3200, several
"wrong or defunct" parts, and many
conflicting stories. At one point, we even
heard, "We've never seen this before."
When my loyal People Mover was re-
turned to me, I had a feeling of loathing
I'd never experienced toward a car. All
of her flaws were more vivid: the nick in
the bumper, the scratches on the dash-
board, the coffee stains on the carpet. I
had a sense of mistrust, too. Would the
airbags deploy on this unreliable crap-
mobile in the case of an accident? The
obvious question of "what's next to go?"
was taunting me as I took the keys from
the mechanic.
My Hotsy is no longer hot, and it is
no longer protecting me or my family
from my alleged questionable driving.
So this is where we bid adieu, my
four-doored lover. We shared some
laughs and you will always be in my
heart, but we must move on. With
Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" (yes,
Dolly, not Whitney) playing softly in the
background, I will begin my search for a
new Brewe-mobile.

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Bring your own cup and we will fill it
with whatever makes you happy!

This month, celebrate an
Earth Day Tea Time
April 25
4-6pmr in the courtyard
(check our events page for details)


645 N[ 9th street
305.458.5783
Iodgirlexchange.com


hot tea and other assorted snacks


Loud Girl Ex change


April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


L


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


0






Columnists: VINO


California Chardonnay, Off the


Steroids at Last
Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less


By Bill Citara
BT Contributor
o better understand the arc of Cali-
fornia Chardonnay, it helps to think
of professional body builders.
Take your average guy. He's in pretty
good shape but he wants more. Wants to
get big. Huge, even. Muscles as big as
truck tires. Layers and layers and layers.
So he starts working out. Constantly.
Maniacally. But that's not enough. So
he starts juicing. Steroids, blood doping,
human growth hormone, whatever. And
he gets big. Really big.
But it starts getting weird. He looks
like a freak. His muscles are like blocks
of cement; he has the grace and agility
of a beached whale. His body is covered
with pimples and rashes. His nuts shrivel
up, but he grows a Dolly Parton chest.
His moods swing from depression to
homicidal rage.
That does it. He goes off the juice,
starts eating and working out like a
normal person. Even takes time to smell
the organic, fair-trade coffee. And slowly
he returns to looking and feeling like
your average guy.
That's more or less the story of
California Chardonnay. When it started
gaining mass popularity in the 1970s
and 1980s, it exhibited modest levels of
alcohol, a touch of oak, ripe California
fruit, with enough acidity to keep it
balanced. Then it got super popular, and


winemakers, realizing nothing succeeds
like excess, got all steroidal with it, bump-
ing up sugars, alcohol, and oak until the
typical California Chardonnay tasted like
a bite of ripe papaya chased with a hand-
ful of toothpicks and a shot of vodka.
Thankfully, those days are gone. You
can still find examples of that big, bold,
fruity style of California Chardonnay,
but they're no longer so overstuffed that
they resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger
in a glass. In fact, Chardonnays made
without ever seeing an oak stave, typi-
cally wines outside our budget bracket,
are now becoming affordable.
The 2012 River Road Un-Oaked
Chardonnay, for example. I could tell
you all about its crisp, refreshing aromas
of ripe peaches and pears, oranges and
herbs. Its sterling varietal character,
flavors of peaches and citrus. Its subtle
acid backbone; its ability to play well
with everything from roasted chicken
to grilled salmon. Or I could just say,
run out and buy a case, pour it for your
friends, and dare them to guess it's only
12 bucks a bottle.
If you want to buy a case of Char-
donnay but just can't do without the
oak, check out the 2011 Chateau St.
Jean Sonoma County. Aromas and
flavors of tropical fruit, creamy vanilla,
and soft Meyer lemon are seamlessly
integrated into a luscious, full-bodied,
well-balanced whole. It's also a wine that
goes well with a variety of foods and is


equally pleasurable sipping on a
balmy evening.
Everything about the St. Jean
could just as easily be said for
the 2012 California Chardon-
nay from Bogle, a relatively
under-the-radar winery consis-
tently making wines that drink far The
better than their price tags might and
suggest. This wine has much the the
same tropical fruit, vanilla, and (147
Meyer lemon flavor profile as the $11.
St. Jean, and though it's rich and Mui
full-bodied, it's so well structured the
it sits very lightly on the palate. If & SF
you have any money left over, pick 944-
up a case of this one, too. con,
I almost passed on writing Pub
about the 2012 Quail Creek 2171
California Chardonnay, despite 3433
its positively saintly price. Out of 15) (
the bottle it was oddly disjointed, and
like its flavors and aromas were 892-
standing around in a room but
not talking to each other. After
30 minutes, though, it started to come
together, and turned out not at all bad for
$6 (sale price through April 15).
Now for the big boys. Fans of old-
style Chardonnays (with, admittedly, a
bit more restraint) will like the 2012
Eden Ridge Mendocino County and
the 2012 Muirwood Arroyo Seco. The
Eden Ridge clocks in at 14.4 percent
alcohol, which does come off a bit hot
on the finish. But before you get there,


CHATEAU UJj ""


excellent River Road Chardonnay
big boy Eden Ridge are available at
North Miami Beach Total Wine & More
50 Biscayne Blvd., 305-354-3270) for
99 each. The Chateau St. Jean and
wood Chardonnays can be found at
North Miami Beach ABC Fine Wine
)irits (16355 Biscayne Blvd., 305-
6525) for $8.99 and $10.99. Get the
;istently good Bogle for $9.99 at
lix (14641 Biscayne Blvd., 305-354-
I; and 1776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-
I), and the remarkably cheap (till April
3uail Creek at both the North Miami
Aventura Whole Foods Markets (305-
5500, 305-682-4400).
it delivers a mouthful of vanilla, ripe
mango, and poached pear with a texture
so creamy you could almost whip it into
soft peaks.
The Muirwood is a bit lower in al-
cohol but ramps up the vanilla-tropical-
creamy factor by being aged on the lees
(the yeasts left over from the fermenta-
tion process). It's big in the glass, but it's
no Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Feedback: letters(ibiscaynetimes.com


I Order Your Postcards Today! 305.999.0245


Jewelry. Clothing Home Accessories. Books. Gifts


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014






Columnists: DISH


Farm Fresh, Home


Brewed, Cheek-by-Jowl


Food news we know you can use

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

t's a mixed-up month in Miami
restaurant world, highlighted by
the openings of several high-profile
places that were supposed to open at the
start of tourism high season: logical. In-
stead they have opened just when all the
tourists are departing: illogical, but great
for us locals, who get the first bites.

OPENINGS
Replacing Asian spot Cafe Sambal at the
Mandarin Oriental, much-anticipated
contemporary Peruvian eatery
La Mar by Gaston Acurio (500
Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358), sched-
uled to open in December, finally did in
mid-March and it was well worth the
wait. The beautifully renovated bayfront,
indoor/outdoor space is stunning, and the
menu matches: strongly seafood-centered,
but incorporating delectable meat and
vegetarian choices. Classic Latin and
Asian fusion ceviches/tiraditos, grilled
anticuchos, causes, and other Peruvian
specialities are upgraded to ultimate form
in sophistication, ingredients, and inspira-
tion. (A common causa: mashed potatoes
layered with chicken salad. An Acurio
model: crabmeat, beet causa, quail eggs,
avocado, fried kale, huancaina sauce,
more. That's what we're talking' about.)
During an even longer-delayed opening,
since September, Porcao Farm to Grill
(901 S. Miami Ave. #101, 855-767-2261)


was described as a "modem steakhouse."
Well, that's akin to describing the Taj
Mahal as a summer cottage. There are
indeed impressive cuts of in-house-aged
beef. But these seem almost dwarfed by
exec chef Jeff O'Neill's rolling raw bar and
farm-to-table veggie/salad carts, "pass-
around platters" of unique light bites like
Serrano ham-wrapped grouper cheeks,
an eclectic "$5 & $Dime" snack menu
ranging from lobster rolls to risotto tots,
and entrees like grilled bass with foie gras
dumplings. The place isn't related to Mi-
ami's long-famous/now defunct Brazilian
beef pig-out palace, Porcao.
In the space formerly occupied by
Lester's, Mmmm (2519 NW 2nd Ave.,
786-703-3409) opened in near-record
time, little more than a month after
renovations began. See this month's BT
Dining Guide new additions for details.
From Matt "Kush" Kuscher and David
Rodriguez, the self-described "beer geeks"
behind Coconut Grove's favorite beer/
burger joint, LoKal, Kush Wynwood
(2003 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-4500)
offers a similar selection of tap and bot-
tled craft brewskis (some, like Denmark's
19 percent mead Viking Blod, nearly as
hefty as solid food), plus truly solid food
that's locals-oriented and homemade
from locally sourced ingredients: Cuban-
inspired frita burgers with potato sticks
and guava jelly; Florida alligator bites;
other fun farm/swamp-to-table fare.
A final wow: Now within spitting
distance or more accurately, drooling


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distance of each other are Michelle
Bernstein' s MiMo District pioneer Mi-
chy's; recently opened indie Via Verde
Cucina Rustica (helmed by twin bro chef/
owners Nicola and Fabrizio Carro, from
Lincoln Road's famed Quattro); and
brand-new Taperia Raca (7010 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-751-8756), whose menu of
Spanish tapas-with-twists comes from
much-admired chef Giorgio Rapicavoli
and business partner Alex Casanova, of
Coral Gables's Eating House, plus lesser-
known but equally inventive Ryan Harri-
son, former executive chef at Sunny Isles
Beach's Preservation (which centered on
Harrison's housemade preserves, pickles,
and smoked meats and produce). When it
comes to culinary excitement, that's a city
block that could gentrify a whole city.

CLOSINGS
Not surprisingly Preservation (18250
Collins Ave., 305-974-0273), strongly
rooted in chef Ryan Harrison's very
personal concept, couldn't survive his de-
parture to Taperia Raca. But the space has
not so much folded as transitioned into
SIB Tavern. Behind the business's trans-
formation, according to Harrison, was the
break-up of his personal relationship with
Preservation/SIB owner Nicole Richaud,
which, Harrison feels, was largely the


result of his 24/7 passion for cooking a
plus for great cuisine, but not great rela-
tionships. SIB's vibe is more sports bar,
and menus are more focused on comfort
food favorites (BBQ ribs, wings, NY strip
steak) albeit with Preservation-like reflec-
tions (duck confit with waffles).
Midtown Miami's Machiya, a hybrid
ramen/modern Japanese small plates
lounge, has folded in its former loca-
tion, that is. Though the closing, over a
month ago, went unnoticed by media, the
BT was tipped off by reader Nina Levine,
who also asked if we knew where the chef
might resurface. Answer: at Machiya, ac-
cording to general manager Juan Angulo,
who says Machiya's team, including chef/
owner Pitak "Koko" Hermkhunthod, is
scouting for "a new space that's cozier,
chopped down in size; our lease was too
high because of how large the old space
is. And we'd like a location with more
pedestrian traffic, like Mary Brickell Vil-
lage has." Actual current top contenders:
"South Beach, Coconut Grove, and South
Miami." Roadtrip!

Hungry for more food news? See
"BizBuzz," page 22. Send me your tips and
alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.com.

Feedback: letters(ibiscaynetimes.com


Enjoy wholesome, handmade bread, sandwiches &

sweets from your locally owned neighborhood bakery!

GRAND OPENING APRIL 11TH

1817 NE 123rd Street, North Miami, FL
www.northmiamifl.greatharvestbread.com


April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com































Restaurant Listings NEWTHIS MONTH
^ ^ 1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111


The Biscayne Corridor's most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 299.


Restaurant listings for the BT Dining Guide are
written by Pamela Robin Brandt (restaurants@
biscaynetimes.com). 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
$$= $20
$$$=$30
$$$$= $40
$$$$$= $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 frins6e/fennel salad. Favorites like flatbreads and sliders plus a
classy setting make this a striking business-lunch option. $$$ $$$$

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


Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated
global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on
the dog friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which
comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lob-
ster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items,
and a cocktail is one of Miami's more relaxing experiences. $$ $$$
Bali Caf6
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 construct
tion workers. This cute, exotically decorated cafe has survived and
thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the
friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try some-
thing 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 by far. $

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. $$
Bento Sushi & Chinese
801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904
Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which special
izes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese
and Thai-inspired dishes ofthe mix-and-match, pick your protein then
preparation sort) has been mostly an insider's secret deliveryjoint for
Brickell residents. But it's actually a pleasant place to relax outside,
enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso
soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections,
plus two mini-entrees (the nigi assortment sushi and lacy battered tem-
pura especially recommended). Bubbletea, too! $$ $$$
Biscayne Tavern
146 Biscayne Blvd., 305-307-8300
From restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, this contemporary tavern seems
tailor made for a newly urbanized neighborhood, inviting residents to
hangfrom breakfast to late-night snack time, over updated comfort
food that's globally inspired while adhering to the local/organic
mantra. Among expected casual favorites (solid American burgers;
Asianesque pork belly sliders) highlights are items that chef Will
Biscoe stamps with his own unique, unpretentiously inventive touches,
from small plates (housemade potato chips with blue cheese fondue)
to large (a long bone short rib "chop" with truffle popover; South
Florida bouillabaisse). More than 30 craft beers accompany. $$ $$$
Blue Martini
900 S. Miami Ave. #250, 305-981-2583
With a 41 martini menu (plus exotic lighting, late hours, dance floor,
and live music most nights), this wildly popular place is more lounge
than restaurant. Nonetheless food offerings are surprisingly ambi-
tious, including substantial items like sliced steak with horseradish
sauce, as well as shareable light bites parmesan topped spinach/
artichoke dip, served hot with toasted pita; shrimp and blue crab
dip (yes: crab, not faux "krab"); a seductive puff pastry wrapped
and honey-drizzled baked brie. Come at happy hour (4:00-8:00 p.m.
daily) for bargain drink/snack specials, and lots of locals. $$
Bonding
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


BRICKELL / DOWNTOWN

Toscana Divino
900 S. Miami Ave., 305-571-2767
When an upscale restaurant remains perennially packed
during a recession, you figure they're offering something way
beyond the usual generic Italian fare. While familiar favorites
(Caprese salad, etc.) are available, the changing menu is
highlighted by harder to find Tuscan specialties, albeit luxe
versions: pappa al pomodoro, tomato/bread peasant soup
elevated by an organic poached egg and finocchiona (a
regional fennel salami); an authentic tasting "fiorentina" por
terhouse, with smoked potato puree plus more traditional veg
gies. A budget conscious boon: changing three-course lunches
and early bird dinners. $$$ $$$$$

MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICT

Mmmm
2519 NW 2nd Ave., 786-703-3409
On the same strip as Wynwood Kitchen & Bar and Joey's,
this more casual alt culture cafe is a sandwich/soup/salad
spot with a difference chef Alan McLennan, whose men
tors include Michelin 3 star chefs Michel Guerard and Fredy
Giradet. The elite French training is reflected in Mmmm's
signature items: tartines, open face sandwiches on crusty
toasted sourdough indistinguishable from Paris's famed
Poilane bread, except made in Miami. Among the perfectly
balanced toppings are an especially tasty tuna and artichoke
with olive mayo, or daily specials like crab/avocado. Wine, too,
and locally made tropical ice creams from Azucar. $$

Moloko
3201 N. Miami Ave. #104, 305-572-9336
Though self subtitled "The Art of Crepe and Coffee," this cool
cafe, in the Shops at Midtown Miami, offers much more. Also
on the free-wheeling menu are unusual items like a rein
vented Hawaiian loco moco rice plate (typically topped with a
hamburger patty, fried egg, and brown gravy, here featuring
protein of choice, eggs any style, and spinach cream sauce).
The coffee, local Panther, and plumply stuffed sweet or savory
crepes are indeed art forms, but you'll find changing exhibits
by local artists, too. Special happenings include live music
and kids eat free evenings. $ $$

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 shrimp/pork/mushroom/
waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$
Bon Fromage
500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632
Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese
and wine cafe/shop is like a pint size version of Midtown Miami's
Cheese Course, right down to being officially self service. But it is
staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their
best to double as servers for eat in diners. The cheese (plus char
cutene) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette
sandwiches features numerous high quality, imported favorites,
but don't miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin
bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesn't melt but tanta
lizingly softens when heated. $$
Brasileiro
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 restaurant 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


KC Healthy Cooking
11900 Biscayne Blvd. #103, 786-502-4193
Hidden inside an office building across from Home Depot, this
familyfriendly spot has no fancyfeatures such as a sign
outside. But walk through the corporate lobby and you'll find
truly heartfelt, health conscious, homemade dishes, some
surprisingly sophisticated. There's no red meat on the globally
influenced menu, but there are poultry and fish, along with
many vegetarian or vegan choices: organic pumpkin soup,
zingy Thai curried veggie soup, an elegantly layered, molded
tuna/avocado/quinoa "cupcake," a real Bundt cake vegan
(no dairy) but remarkably tasty. $$




Rizio's Peruvian Cuisine
15975 Biscayne Blvd., 305-945-5111
Peruvian eateries featuring ceviches and classic cooked dish
es are plentiful in Miami; those adding "NovoAndean" fine-
dining fare to the mix? Not so much. Since 2000, evolutionary
chefs in Peru have been using sophisticated European tech
niques to revive humble native Andean ingredients like qui-
noa. Since late 2012, this secret spot has been, too, thanks
to former Lima restaurateur Cesar Valverde, a traditionalist,
and his chef son Maurncio, a Miami Culinary Institute trained
innovator. Even traditional tiraditos have delightful elegance.
But don't neglect Novo inventions like "trigottos," risottos
substituting trigo (wheat) for rice. $$$




Buffalo Wild Wings
18721 Biscayne Blvd., 305-962-9995
Like all locations of this renowned national sports bar/grill
chain originated in 1982, when two fans of Buffalo style
chicken wings couldn't find any in Ohio Aventura's "B-Dubs"
features an astonishing array of HD TVs (64), beers, and,
naturally, wings: almost two dozen sauce and dry rub choices,
from a chili spiked buttery original flavor to Asian, Caribbean,
Italian, and beyond. Additionally, there's a full menu of burg
ers, salads, flatbreads, and other All American classics. An
outdoor patio and WiFi tablets loaded with games contribute
considerably to kid friendliness. $$


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 smoothie-swilling
model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic "green
gourmet" menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological con
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 adultflavors
and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choosejust one category, we'd
sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $ $$
Burger & Beer Joint
900S. Miami Ave. #130, 305-523-2244
While not quite Miami's first hip hangout featuring high quality
burgers, the original South Beach B&B certainly goosed the
gourmet burger craze in a major way. This Brickell branch has
all the familiar favorites, including the ten pound Mother Burger
- really more good gimmick than good. Otherwise B&B, which
still consistently makes "Top 10" lists, features a huge selec
tion of basics in addition to beef (bison, turkey, chicken, veggie,
seafoods); nicely balanced topping combos; and enough suc
culent sides (tempura battered pickles, fried green beans, mini
corn dogs) to make a meal that's totally burger free. $$ $$$
Seasalt and Pepper
422 NW N. River Dr., 305-440-4200
Unlike older Miami River market/restaurants like Garcia's, run by
fishing families, this stylishly retro/modern industrial converted ware-
house (once Howard Hughes's plane hangar) has an owner who ran
South Beach's hottest 1990s nightspots, so expect celebrity sightings
with your seafood. What's unexpected: a blessedly untrendy menu,
with simply but skillfully prepared wood-oven cooked fish and clay pot,
shellfish casseroles. Standouts include luxuriant lobster thermador, as
rich as it is pricey; flavorful heads-on jumbo prawns, prepared classic
ltalian-style (as are many dishes here); even one low budget boon:
impescablyfresh PEI mussels in herb sauce. $$$ $$$$$
Caf6 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


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



























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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014








5& Italiano

SMonday Specials for Lunch and Dinner
\ In Addition To Our Full Menu
Zuppa5
KMinestrone
Cold Gaszpa~cho

Insalata 5
._ _.- -Greens & chopped tomato salad

MAIN DISHES
Spaghetti 10
With your choice of Pomodoro Carbornara Ao Alfredo Turkey meatballs

Eggplant Parmigiana 10
Topped with smoked mozzarella & marnara sauce

Meat Lasagna 10
With marnara sauce

Pizza 10
Margherita-mozzarella cheese & tomato sauce
Pepperoni
Capicciosa-tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, basil

Chicken Parmesan Sandwich 10
Marnara sauce & melted mozzarella on baguette & fries

DESSERT
Homemade Cannoli 5

VINO
White Wine-Santa Marina Pinot Grigio 6/20
Red Wine-Remole Toscana Rosso 6/20

Soyka Restaurant Biscayne Boulevard & 55th Street 305.759.3117
Apri 201 Bisayn Tims ww.Bicayn~ime-co


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com








Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS



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 ofthis eatery as a relocation (in the same downtown plaza) and
reinvention of their former "best kept secret" spot Martini 28. Most
dramatJc 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 nribeye, 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. $$$$$

Cipriani
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
famousfolks since 1931), this glamorous indoor/outdoor riverfront loca-
tion in Icon has two absolutely must not miss menu items, both invented
at Harry's and reproduced here to perfection: beef carpaccio (drizzled
artfully with streaks of creamyrich mustard vinaigrette, not mere olive oil)
and the Bellini (a cocktail of prosecco, not champagne, and fresh white
peach juice). Venetian-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 pubfeel, and hours extendingfrom
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 flash marinated raw
seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish
in citrus-spiked chill/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes
like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp,
mussels, and calaman) are also fun, as well as surprisingly afford
able. $$

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-driven dishes. Especially strong
are seafood preparations, whether sauced with a refined choron or
lustily garnished with Provencal accompaniments like tender sea scal
lops with chickpea panisse. $$$ $$$$

D-Dog House
50 SWO 10th 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
notjust food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can
web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house
specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally
inspired toppings. To accompany, hand cut fries are a must. And
have a cocktail. 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 Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a plat
ter of Kobe mini burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price
includes an appetizer no low rent crapola, either, but treats like
Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mush
room sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are
on the glam rooftop patio. $$$

Doraku
900 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-4633
Happy hour comes twice daily (after work and lunch) at this second
location of a popular South Beach sushi, pan Asian, small plates resto
lounge, 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 rare-
ly found in Americanized sushi bars, like the Geisha Roll's astringent
shiso leaf, beautifully balancing spicy tuna, 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 spotAcqua, Edge
offers a more kick back casual welcomingvibe. 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 updat
ed classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with
artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish 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 irn-house, including a deliriously rich
(but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental
implants. They're in for a wild ride. $$

Fado Irish Pub
900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972
Unlike most Miami "Irish" pubs, which serve mostlyAmerican bar
food, rarelyforaying past fish and chips or shepherd's pie, Fado
(pronounced "f'doe") has a menu reflectingthe 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 nristorante, 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 fettuccmine 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 (includingtofu).
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
identical 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. ObviouslySpain'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
401 Biscayne 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 overlooking Miamarnna is a superior food choice. Expect
nothing cutting edge,justtasty, 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, mahl, 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-tminged 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 perhapsjust 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, wth 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 wth 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 bak
ery'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 diners 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 charcuterne 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. Additionallythe 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 frntes, plus a crunchy crusted baguette. Your only
choice is how you like your steak precision cooked. A la 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. $

Lippi
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 Philippefood an extensive menu of
mostly shareable small plates (a concept Philippe Ruiz pioneered
at Palmed'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. Try to make room for
Iowa fritters (mouthwatering fried corn puffs with remoulade dip),
too. To accompany: changing craft beers. $ $$

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 Brittanyto downtown).
And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too,
including just 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
Onginallyfrom 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 ranging from
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 vegges 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 res
taurants are. In the tastefullytoned-down but still glam space formerly
housingAndu, this second location of Lima's popular Mi Propnriedad
Prrvada specializes in familiar flavors presented with seriously
upscaled preparations, plating, and prices. But many ceviches, tiradi
tos, 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 Tuesdays, when
all you-can eat costs the same as a trio. $$$ $$$$$

My Ceviche
250 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 tiny take-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. $$

Naoe
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 niginr. Few
eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$
neMesis Urban Bistro
1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911
Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe
in standard sound bites. Butthey often are the attention grabbing
people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. That's our
prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, wherethe kitchen is helmed
by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu
of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination
with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signa-
tures includeSouth African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinolich
pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and
maple granules. $$$-$$$

Novecento
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. $$ $$$


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com










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Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS




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, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump
crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian style grouper
ceviche. The daily changing, 15 20 specimen seafood selection
includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot
fish, amberjack. But even flown in fish (and the raw bar's cold
water oysters) are ultra fresh. $$$$
OTC
1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612
Over the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food
"slider" experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out
quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system
encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hang
ing out, just without the fuss of formal dining out or the expense.
Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient driven dishes cover today's
favorite food groups (various mac and-cheeses, variously topped/
seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrump-
tiously lardon laden frisee/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh
peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$
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 sushvgo-round? Happily, this sushlboat spot
avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness,
low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and
more as theyfloat by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe)
in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet sauced mango/guava/crab roll,
and a festivelyfrosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$
Pasha's
1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116
The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the
same healthy Middle Eastern fastfood is served at several newer out
lets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pasha's was
a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which
it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range
from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy
walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas
to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $ $$
Pega Grill
15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666
From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North
Beach's Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less
ethnic kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full flavored
Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped
with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in
fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the
taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone
or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$
Perfecto Gastro
1450 Brickell Ave., 305-372-0620
This transplant from Barcelona features decor that mixes rustic and
urban, plus modern music and traditional tapas (the Spanish, not global,
kind). Must have: imported 5Jjamon Iberico de Bellota from acorn fed
pata negra pigs lusciously marbled, tender yet toothsome, the ultimate
in cured hams. But other tapas like the salmorejo en vaso (a creamy,
pumped Andalusian variation on gazpacho), papatas braves (crisp-fried
potatoes with spicyaioli), fuet (Catalan salami, similarto French saucisson
sec), and crispy prawns are pretty perfect, too. $$ $$$$
Perricone's
15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449
Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this mar
ket/cafe was one of the Brickell area's first gentrified amenities. At
lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinner's strong suit is the pasta list,
rangingfrom Grandma Jennie's old fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi
purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sunday's $15.95
brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles,
smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our
town's most civilized all you-can-eat deals. $$
Pieducks
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. $$


Pizzarium
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. Butthe
familiar squares and Pizzarium'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. $
Porketta
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 deli-style pork
roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with
broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or
in three mini-sandwiches, convenient for samplingthe place's three
sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $ $$
Prelude
Adrienne Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722
Though the opening of Barton G.'s elegant performing arts center
eatery did feature a live giraffe, the food's actually more grown up
than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three
courses on the menu (meaningthree entries if you want) for $39.
Highlights include silky, tarragon inflected corn/bacon chowder,
beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and
shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over the-top playhouse des
serts, one with a luscious creme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$
Raja's Indian Cuisine
33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551
Despite its small size and decor best described as "none," this
place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely
found in Miami's basically north Indian restaurants. The steam
tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the
custom made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory
fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and
chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$
The River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915
This casually cool jewel is a full service seafood spot, as evidenced
by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled veg
tables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to
please meat and potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and
cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing them
selves 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 thoughtful wine list and
numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$
Rosa Mexicano
900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001
www.rosamexicano.com
This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience
that's haute in everything but price. Few entrees top $20. The
decor is both date-worthy and family friendly festive but not
kitschy. And nonsophisticates needn't fear; there is nothing scary
about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn
tortillas, topped with yellow and habanero-pepper cream sauce), or
Rosa's signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few
pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$
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


lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity
aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher priced
barbecue outfits. $ $$
Stanzione 87
87 SW 8th St., 305-606-7370
Though Neopolitan style pizza isn't the rarity it was here a decade
ago, this is Miami's only pizzeria certified authentic by Italy's
Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This means following strin
gent rules regarding oven (wood fired), baking time (90 seconds
maximum, here closer to 50), tomatoes (imported San Marzano),
olive oil (extra virgin), even flour (tipo 00, for bubbly light crusts).
Toppings do exceed the three original choices served in 19th cen
tury Naples, but pies like the Limone (fresh mozzarella, pecorino,
lemons, arugula, EVOO) prove some rules should be broken. $$
Sumi Yakitori
21 SW 11th St., 786-360-5570
If your definition of yakitori 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. $$$
Sushi Maki
1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779
Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many
familiar favorites on this Brickell branch's menu. Butthe must haves
are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eatery's
tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: "sushi tacos" (fried
gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili garlic
sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash marinated Asian/Latin
tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also
irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$ $$$
SuViche
49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097
This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each
nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean
touches. Cooked entrees, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de
gallina (walnut garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream
sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos
(those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge
exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you
encountered a tempura battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki
topped with Peru's traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese
sauce? $$
Temaris
1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-836-2747
In Japan, temaris are ornamented hand balls, used since the Seventh
Century for sport and as good luck folk art objects. Atthis Japanese/
Latin hot spot, temaris are reinterpreted, both playfully and artfully, as
beautiful, bite-size sushi balls (each about half the size of normal nigi
ri): 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 ofAl 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. $$$ $$$$$
Trapiche Room
1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656
With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of
them housing high profile db Bistro, it's not surprisingthat this
small, second floor restaurant is something of a "best kept secret."
But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasn't Daniel Boulud's
fame, but she does have classic European type technical skills,
combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately
old fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century
fine-dining fare. Both decor and service, similarly, are swelegant,
not stuffy, and the room's intimacy makes it a romantic spot for
special occasions. $$$$
Tre Italian Bistro
270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303
"Bistro" actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the
owners of downtown old timer La Loggia, but "restolounge" sounds
too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood "bistrolounge." The food is
mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciut
to-and fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either
as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with
orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato sauced meatballs with
ri'gawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$ $$$
Truluck's Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse
777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035
Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power lunch/
dinner settiJng, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you
stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when
seafood items like crab-cake "sliders" are half price. Most impressive,
though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Truluck's own fisheries, and way
less expensive than Joe's) and other seafood that during several visits,
never tasted less than impeccablyfresh, plus that greatest of Miami
restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$ $$$$
Tuyo
415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200
Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike
the cafe downstairs, isn't student-run. Rather it's designed to showcase
school ideals including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine.
The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by "New World
Cuisine" inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former proteges
Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch
chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind
reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burst
ingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$
Verde Restaurant & Bar
1103 Biscayne Blvd., 305-375-8282
Located in the Perez Art Museum Miami, this indoor/outdoor bay
front bistro, a project of restaurateur Stephen Starr, serves elegant,
ecofriendlyfareto match PAMM's green certification. (Museum
admission not required.) Seafood crudos shine: hamachi "sashimi"
slices flash marinated in a subtle citrus/ponzu emulsion and enliv
ened byjalapenio relish; a sprout topped, smoothly sauced tuna
tartare with lemon and horseradish flavors substituting for cliched
sesame. Light pizzas topped with near paper thin zucchini slices,
goat cheese, roasted garlic EVOO, and squash blossoms virtually
define farm to-table. And doughnuts with Cuban coffee dip are the
definitively local dessert. $$ $$$
Wolfgang's Steakhouse
315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-487-7130
Proprietor Wolfgang Zweiner worked for decades at Brooklyn's
legendary Peter Luger's before opening the first of his own much
praised, old school steakhouses in 2003, which explains the qual
ity of the USDA prime-grade steaks here dry aged on premises
for bold, beefy flavor and tender but toothsome texture. Prices
are prodigious but so are portions. The 32 ounce porterhouse
for two easilyfeeds three or four folks curious to taste the differ
ence. Plentiful sides include a bacon starter favored by those who
love Canadian bacon over pork belly. Personally, just the simple,
superb steaks leave us happy as clams. $$$$$
Wok Town
119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993
Judgingfrom the takeout window, the minimalist decor (with com-
munal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the
menu, this Asian fast food eatery, owned byShai Ben Ami (a Miss
Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those
airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom cooked by Chinese
chefs, starters (like soy/garlic coated edamame), salads, and have-
it your way stir fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold,


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Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS



fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with
sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$

Zuma
270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277
This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San
Pellegrino'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 way through
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 restau
rants 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 impres
sive: 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. $ $$

Basani's
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
saucejoints that were our favored 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. $$

Bengal
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
nationallythemed 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. $$

Blackbrick
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
duringtravels 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 inventJve 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, every day, with prices so low that you can drop
in anytime for authentic nrillettes (a rustic pate) with a crusty baguette,
steak with from scratch frintes, 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
training 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 fastfood 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. $$ $$$

Cafeina
297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792
This elegantly comfortable multi- room 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 very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly
jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At oneSouth Beach
Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed itthe best she'd
ever had. Our own prime pick: melt in-your mouth ginger sea bass anti
cuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$

Catch Grill & Bar
1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414
A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the
PerformingArts, 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. $$$ $$$$

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 expan
srve, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard that's suddenly
looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destJination and
comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex Emeril's) has
designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/


crunchycrusted pizza topped with duck confit wild mushrooms, port
wine syrup, and subtlytruffled bechamel; crispy calaman (rings and legs)
with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartarthat is refreshingly
free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full barto boot $$ $$$$

The Cheese Course
3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681
Not so much a restaurant as an artJsanal 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, vegges, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$

Crumb on Parchment
3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444
Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium,
invisible from the street), Michelle Bernstein's bakery/cafe packs
'ea in, partly due to 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 spicyAsian 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 tiny fourth restaurant in Michael Schwartz's bur
geoning empire, evokingfeelings of dining in a century-old millionaire's
hunting lodge in miniature. Many dishes are similarlyfun fantasies
of 1920s Florida fine dining, pairingyesteryear's rustic proteins
(including wild game) and vegges with preparations that are ultv
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 signature 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 somethingto
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 Amarillo 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 N 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 partyfare: pork-studded pasteles,
similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough,
or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $

Egg& Dart
029 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 fresh
water 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 gatherings of
friends who enjoy sharing. $$$

Enriquetas Sandwich Shop
186 NE 29th St., 305-573-4681
This Cuban breakfast/lunch old-timer actually serves more than sand
wiches (including mammoth daily specials )- and since reopening after
a fire, does so in a cleanly renovated interior. But many hardcorefans
never get pastthe 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 with 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 wMil, however, feel transport
ed to Spain's gourmet capital, San Sebastian, after sampling ambassador
Alan Hughes's cunning pintxos (complexly layered Basquestyletapas).
From a self-serve bar, choose from a changing selection of skewered
stacks; brie, homemade figjam, and tmzzles of silkyjamon Serrano; roast
tomato, goat cheese, and anchovies on buttery garlic toast; many more.
Small plates, todie-for desserts like floating 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 newtwo-story restaurant/lounge. Butthe real star is Michelin-
starred chefSteven Rojas, who combines French technique and person
al creativity for dishes like Idiazabal cheese churros wMth 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 pillowylight
roast pork stuffed buns, and possibly the world's best BLT, feature
ingAsian 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; home-
made everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside,
custardy inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature
snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra thin-crusted pizzas range
from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a
subtly flavorful fruity, notfunky Alpine cheese), and other unique
toppings. Roundingthings 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 sauce
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
nigin, makis, and party platters, plus small plates like edamame,
seaweed, etc.) and comparable preparation speed, too, but with
ingredient quality and freshness that's more upscale. Prices are
actually considerably cheaper than those of market makis that


No Substitutions No Sharing Dine-In ONLY


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April 2014



























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Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS



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, not just
on weekends. But don't ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality
sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta 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
Across the tracks from Midtown Miami, this hidden-by-hedges spot
features a patio with authentically festive ambiance and food byAlexia
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; sesamesprinkled
manouri 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 heavenlyGreek cheese grits.$ $$$

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

Lagniappe
3425 NE 2nd. Ave., 305-576-0108
In New Orleans, "lagniappe" means "a little extra," likethe 13th doughnut in a
baker's dozen. And that's whatyou get at this combination wine and cheese
bar/backyard BBQ/entertainment venue. Choose artisan cheeses and
charcuteriefrom the fridges, hand them over when you pay (vary 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 gill. Relax in the comfie mismatched furniture, over extensive wine/
beer choices and laidback live 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 fastfood meaning
nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh.
Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi
for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade
daily. Niceties include lowcarb 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 chili 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 pinion and pepita crusted
salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or


customizable tacos average $5 $8. Also available: big breakfasts
and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted
wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $

Mandolin Aegean 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 diners feast
on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal
of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamytzatziki yogurt dip,
smoky eggplant puree, and airy tarama 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" nei
their 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 tra
ditional Italian American kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarello's
famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced
personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly
definitive: lunchtime's "piadenas," saladlike seasonal/regional ingredi
ent combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails
feature ingredients from za'atar to salmon roe. $$$ $$$$

Mercato
4141 NE 2nd Ave., 786-332-3772
Adjacentto Dena Marino's hot hangout MC Kitchen, the contemporary
Italian chefs artisanal market and breakfast/lunch cafe is for diners
wanting a quicker (but notfastfood) 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 pastries, breads, cookies, and fresh-baked
quiches, plus salads and a dailychanging 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
graffitistyle 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 chili de arbol slaw, toasted
peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche
and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde a reminder
that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$ $$$

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550
An instant smash hit thistruly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from
chef Michael Schwartz offers dowrn-toearth 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 celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort
food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with parn-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. $$-$$$$
Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731
This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for
morethan 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hangout
for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and
drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the wayto go. Depending on
the day, fish, churrasco, or roastturkey with all the trimmings are all pre-
pared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited
late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $ $$

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 fries that rival Belgium's best; mouthwatering
maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-rusted and
apricot/soy-glazed); even a "voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich" defF
nitely a don'tt 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, crunchyfried 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 charcuterie. If available, don't miss Hawaiian inspired
steelhead poke; substituting the 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. $

Palatino
3004 NW 2nd Ave., 786-360-5200
When longtime favorite Jamaican joint Clive's fell victim to gentrification,
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. $ $$

Pasha's
3801 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-0201
(See Brickell/Downtown listing)

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 superthin;
there'sjust enough chewy thickness to emphasizeyou're eating honest
bread, not a cracker. Toppings: High-quality (fresh for di latte, not corm-
mercial mozzarella ; intensely flavorful 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. $$

Pride & Joy
2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548
Behind this Wynwood warehouse facade you'll find pure Southern road-
house, 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 inconsis-
tent Our favorite choices: St Louis ribs, tender without being fallingoff the
bone overcooked, and enjoyablyfattier than baby backs; vinegar-doused
pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides
fries, plus slawto pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$

Primo's
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 addi
tion to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with
toppings rangingfrom classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be
draw enough. But pastas also please: diners' choice of starch, with mix
and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right with few entrees top-
ping $20. The capper: It's open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$
R House
2727 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-0240
A strikingly stylish restaurant that's part art gallery could be preten
tious, in a still largely ungentrified area of cutting-edge artsyyet still
working-class Wynwood. But modular movable walls to accommodate
changing installations, and its own name make it clear the art com-
ponent is a serious working gallery. Hardworking chef/owner Rocco
Carulli demonstrates a locals orientation with a menu highlighted by
skillfully crafted, hearty entrees (Brazilian seafood moqueta stew, cof
fee/chili rubbed short ribs, sweet pea falafel) available in affordable
half portions: small plates of big food for starving artists. $$ $$$

Sakaya Kitchen
Shops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue
305-576-8096
This chef driven, fast casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in


7T ik T I ale 1-U I [


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
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
Saketakes a back seatto sushi and sophisticated decor atthis
small but sleek restolounge. Amongthe 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 stan
dard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially
recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and
panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$ $$$

Salad 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, ranging from classic (Thousand
Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut,
cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place
creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes per
fect picnic or plane food. $-$$

Salumeria 104
3451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588
In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops
selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat in
deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this
modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of
fare is the same. Custom sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus,
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 simi
lar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed
differences here, notably parn-Latin options: black beans as well as red;
thin, delightfully crunchytostones (available as a side or as the base for
a uniquelytasty take 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 atthis classic diner. Open
since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waitingfor 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 everythingfrom 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. $ $$
Shokudo World Resource Cafe
4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782
At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resource's cafe was better
known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu.
But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The
indoor/outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan
Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand
through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light
housemade momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/Nepalese steamed
dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions.
Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$ $$$

Soi Chinese 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 something from a normal Chinese eatery won't
be: char sui ribs come with delicate corn pancakes, wonton soup is
kafir lime broth with a mushroom/truffle-butter-stuffed ravioli, lo mein
is housemade noodles with pork belly and sous vide 63-degree egg.
Basically it's contemporary Chinese fine diningfare 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

1.1 m I W.H U


TEL: 305-754-8002 www.schnitzelhausmiami.com R I D-IN DEIVERY"' TAKE-OUT OUTDOOR SEATG

1085 N.E. 79th Street / Causeway, Miami, FL 33138 WW .sumosushibar.Com "(Delivery charge Callfor delivery area)


I


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com








Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS



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 Ballooee'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. $$ $$$

SuViche
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
acemchado 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 fu n,
accompanyyour 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 imagna
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. At this 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, ingredi-
ents; inspiration from all Italian regions; and best, astonishing affordable
ity. 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. $$ $$$

WY nwood Kitchen & Bar
250 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 byShepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists
makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As
for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/
Mediterranean inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly
of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken
ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers
with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chonrizo hash and other sea
sonal farm to table veg dishes. $$ $$$

Upper Eastside


Andiamo
5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751
With brick oven pizzerias popping up all over town the pastfew 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 Bnrickell. 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. $$ $$$


charcuterne boards. The boutique wine selection focuses on unusual
(sometimes virtually unknown, and unavailable elsewhere in town)
Mediterranean varietals from family owned vineyards. $$

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 hole-in-the-wall restolounge,
wIl wantto visitthis 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 tiny true
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.
Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans,
topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Boston's best. $ $$

Boteco
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. $$


U & M Mar et
BarMeli 219 NE 79th St., 305-757-2889
725 NE 79th St., 305-754-5558 Don't let the rustic look of this mom-and pop Caribbean market/
Just east of Liza Meli's defunct Ouzo's Taverna, her similarly eatery, or its ungentnrified location, scare you. Walk to the kitchen in
rustic festive tapas and wine bar/market has an extensive, mostly the back of the market, order, and then either eat in (at two tables)
small plates menu including all of Ouzo's Greatest Greek Hits ortake-out some of Miami's tastiest, and cheapest, West Indian food.
(refreshingly light and lemony taramosalata carp roe spread, amaz Celeb chef Michelle Bernstein is a longtime fan of the jerk chicken,
ingly succulent grilled fresh sardines, her mom's lemon cake, more), ackee and saltfish, and pigeon peas and rice cooked in coconut
plus more broadly Mediterranean creations like an Italian inspired milk. Rotis rule here; the flatbreads come plain or, better yet in curry
grana padano flan, uniquely topped crostini and flatbreads, cheese/ chicken, goat, or remarkablyfull flavored vegetarian versions. $


DeVita's
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), BaltJmore 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 EastSide also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage
sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices,
including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies,
available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and
Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best
seatingfor eating is atthe sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $

Fiorito
5555 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-2899
While owners Max and Cristian 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 Cristian'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 sau
sage 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. $$ $$$


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


93


April 2014







Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS


Garden of Eatin'
136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050
Housed in a yellow building that's nearly invisible from the street, the
Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings
of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with
salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat in lunchers), are
served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian
blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu
featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $
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 frinttatas; and a full range of sides: bis-
cuits 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. $ $$
La Tour Eiffel
7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014
This cute restaurant/creperie serves three meals, from traditional
French breakfasts of croissants/baguettes and jam, or heftier ones
including pain perdu (real French toast), to dinners featuring a chefs
special $28.90 two-course meal of classics: country pate, Provencal
fish soup, bold boeuf bourguignon, creamy rich poulet a la Normande,
a moules/fnrtes that even comes with a glass of muscadet, and many
more starter/entree choices. But definitely don't miss the crepes,
served all day in both sweet and savory varieties the latter made cor
rectly, for a change, with heftier buckwheat flour. $$ $$$$
Lo De Lea
7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305 456-3218
In Casa Toscana's former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is
proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in
the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, they're
meat/fatheavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also
used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including
bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein
of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank
steak), and walk out without feeling like you're the cow. $$ $$$
Magnum Lounge
709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368
It's a restaurant. It's a lounge. But it's decidedly not a typical Miami
restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbiddingfrom the outside,
on the inside it's like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-
red decor, romantically dim lighting, showtune live piano bar entertain
ment and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served
with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is
just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$
Metro Organic Bistro
7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756
Big changes have cometo Karma the car wash, the first being a sepa-
rate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an
all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and


enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on
grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-
fed skirt steak with organic chimichurrn 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. $ $$$
Michy's
6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001
Don't even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef resume, not
to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey
restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood.
Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or
impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most
full entrees also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices),
the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen.
Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$ $$$$
Mina's Mediterraneo
749 NE 79th St., 786-391-0300
Unlike most restaurants labeled "Mediterranean," this one, deco
rated with restrained modern elegance, really does have dishes from
countries surrounding all sides of the sea (though not necessarily
from the countries' seaside regions, as boeuf Bourguignon attests).
Our favorites, like owner Yasmine Kotb, whose heritage is Egyptian
via-Texas, and her mom, the chef, are those featuring exotic
Eastern/North African tastes with twists. Especially fun: Egypt's
besara, a light fava based hummus; falafel "sliders" in warm pita
with Israeli salad, slaw, and tahini; and an unusual side of grilled
kale with yogurt dressing and hazelnuts. $$
Mi Vida Cafe
7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020
Atthis indoor/outdoorvegetarian and rawfood vegan cafe, culinaryschooh
trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces punst produce-oriented
dishesthatare easyto understand, like sparklingfresh salads and smooth-
ies, pus more technique-ntensve mock meat or cheese items, based on
soy proteins, thatsatisfy even confirmed camivores. Partcularly impressive
on the regular menu: a superiorSloppy Joe made with mushroom confit.
braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and
cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew
ricottata" Do check the daily specials, too. $$ $$$
Moonchine
7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999
Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendlyAsian bistro serves
fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are
also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/
West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura,
tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity
with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly
everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is invit
ingfor dining and entertainment. $$ $$$
Moshi Moshi
7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404
This offspring of South Beach oldtimer Moshi Moshi is a cross
between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even
more striking than 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; rarelyfound 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. $ $$$
News Lounge
5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932
Mark Soyka's new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly
neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full fledged eatery.
Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like
an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art
galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recom-
mended are fat minviburgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and
mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is
the original cafe's Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $
Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar
7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022
Don't let this little cafe's easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its
informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian,
as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full flavored pastas, and
homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit topped des
sert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the
housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses truly milk elevated to roy
alty will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian
staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$ $$$
Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus
1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002
With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanate
ing from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner
Alex Richter's one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly
uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes
housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork
bauernwurst spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup;
savory yet near greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels,
a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with
a half-dozen different sauces. $$ $$$
Siam Rice
7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516
You'll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and pric-
es for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of pro-
ten, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But don't
overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near greaseless
boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. There's also an unusu-
ally extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a
grilled shrimp/soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (srnracha chiles,
fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $ $$$
Soyka
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 sushvbar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and
Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lob-
ster maki that's admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounc
es of crispfried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko
(flng fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with
a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green
curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$
Sweet Saloon
7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999
At this dessert/snack/cocktail bar, from the owner of Moonchine,
you'll find live and DJ entertainment, too, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00
a.m. assuming you can find the place, that is. It's above the
pan Asian eatery, up a hidden back staircase. Asian savory snacks
include dumplings, edamame, krab rangoons, satays. Desserts
range from homey American (NY cheesecake, mini cupcakes) to
continental (strawberries melba, housemade Belgian waffles, a
shareable chocolate fondue/fruit platter). Actually, some cocktails
double as desserts (a Godiva dark chocolate martini) or Asian
savories (infusion jars of Stoli and lemongrass). $$

NIORT BAY1-#_VI LjILAGE=


Oggi's Caffe
166 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238
This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supply-
ing numerous high profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery.
And the wMde range of budgetfriendly, homemade pastas, made daily,
remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range
from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster
sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed
spaghettini, with sea scallops, shrtakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$
Paprika
1624 NE 79th St., 305-397-877
This exotically decorated restaurant serving Mediterranean cusinefrom
North Africa and the Middle East has several unusual features, including
Friday-night bellydancingand a hookah lounge Food menus alsofeature
appealing unusual choices (za'atar-spiced seared lamb loin carpaccio
with chickpea puree, stuffed boureka puff pastries, mussels in creamy
saffron sauce) alongwith familiar hummus, kabobs, more Lunchtime
sandwich standout merguez (intensely spiced lamb sausage) with tzatziki,
hummus, salad, and fiery hanssa 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


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


r759a'TU











few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brilk (buttery phyllo
pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mea
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. $ $$
Miami Shores Country Club
10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363
Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy
1939 club are now open to the public -always, lunch and dinner. Not
surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from
both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food -some
classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary:
an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish sandied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled
chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with din
ner entrees $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$
PizzaFiore
9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924
Owned by Arceub Abderrahim, who opened South Beach's original
PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this cafe serves the kind of nostalgic,
mediurrvthin 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 -sundried 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. $ $$


NORTH M~/"IIL IAM.I vII

Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.
13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254
When people speak of the West Coast as the USA's quality coffeehouse
pioneer territory, they're thin king Seattle -and then south through coastal
California. North to Alaska? Net so much. But owner Michael Gasser did
indeed open this hip place's parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years
of travelingthreugh 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 freu freu. All beans are house roasted. There's
solid food, too: bdick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$
Bagel Bar East
1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022
Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside,
the bagels here are the sort homesick ex New Yorkers always moan
are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy
bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. There's also a full menu of
authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, customs
cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve
two, and they'll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss,
coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$
Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435
While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one can't actually


buy a gu n here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms
shop. But there's a let of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full
range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana
welnuLt pancakes especially popular. But what's most i important is that this
is one of the area's few sou roes of the real, New York-style water bagel:
crunchy outside, chal lengingly chewy inside. $
Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655
These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two d ini ng areas,
since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also
share a BBQ/burger master. Top Chef contender Howie Wleinberg,
whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting'cue ranging from the
expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items
like hot-smoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingredients
such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of
the infamous Luther: a sweet glazed mock (holeless) Krispry Kreme donut.
Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$
Cane i 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. $-$$
Captain Jim's Seafood
12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812
This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when
eat in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish
counter, owingto the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt.
Jim Hanson's own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants.
Now there's a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with
booths. Whether it's garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail
or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or
conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$
Caminito Way
1960 N E 123rd St., 305-893-8322
Open since 1999, this balkery-cffi is particularly known for its European-
influenced homemade Argentine pastries. So come earlyto pick from
the widest variety of savory empanadas (plu mply stuffed and admirably
delicate -no leaden crusts here) or sweet factures (Argentina's most
popular breakfast items). They sell out fast. What some might not know is
that despite its small size, Caminito's also crafts tasty big food: elaborate
salads; hefty baguette sandwiches, like choripan sausage with chimp
churri; pastas; major meat or poultry entrees. For lighter lunches, try tartas
(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 trattoria seems to attract
mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars


after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings
are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well.
Housemade pastas are good enough that low carb dieters shoulId take a
break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet delicate
fagottin i -"beggar's pu rses" stuffed with pea rs and cheese. $$
Ch~en-huyae
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808
Di ners ca n get so me Tex Mex d dishes h ere, if th ey m ust. But thea
specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on
burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexico's most typical
dish: cochinita pilbil? Ch~en's authentically succulent version of
the pickle-onion topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic
from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltinglytender from
slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/
chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the
best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$
Evio's Pizza & Grill
12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699
Family owned and operated, this indoor/outdoor pizzeria is also
family friendly, right down to the size of its NY style pies (sold whole
or by the slice), which range from large to roughly the diameter of
a ferris wheel. And toppings, ranging from meat lovers to veggie-
loaded, are applied with awe-inspiring abundance. Since tastes do
vary, the menu also includes a cornucopia of other crowd pleaser:
burgers (including turkey with a unique mustard-spiked cranberry
sauce), entr~eesize salads, burritos or quesadillas, wings, hot or cold
subs and succulent self basted lamb/beef gyros with tzatzilki. $
Fish Fish
13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124
Here's what makes this elegantly warm restalaunge and seafood market
nat just an irresistible neighborhood draw but a warth-the-drive dining
destination: Both local and celd~veter fish and shellfish, including stone
crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nechlas's
own Florida Keys plant, that are always fresh, never frozen (except some
shrimp). For home cooks, the market offers all delivered-daily catches
on the menu. But don't miss chef Oscar Quezada's si mple and perfect
preparations, include ing lightly battered, crispy tempu ra sh rimp; saph istv
acted fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheap fish); bracing cevir
cheap; and, for carnivores, shepherd's pie topped with ethereal whipped
potatoes. $$-$$$$
Flip Burger Bar
1699 NE 1_23rd St., 305-741-3547
Casual chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther
north. One reason this eaey to-misa venue is a must-not miss for North
Miami locals: The hefty half pounders on fresh brioche buns include a
scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The
Fireman is a jala perio/chipatle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie
variations. Other draws are hand cut fries, beer battered onion rings, a
top drawer beer list, budget priced combo specials, conversatior-friendly
acoustics, and a South Beach rarity free parking. $$$
Giraffas
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,


April 2014


Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS


like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chariza, a
gargantuan crispy chicbarrea strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans,
rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials includingtwa meal in-
bowl chicken soups, ajiace, and sancecha. 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)


N ORT BEACH No]=

Caf6 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 Balon 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. $$$ $$$$
Lou's Beer Garden
7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879
"Beer garden" conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen,
and oompah bands -none of which you'll find here. It's actually a hip hide
away in the New Hotel's paoopatio area, a locals' hangout with interesting
eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended:
delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade
sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Balga style double cooked fries;
blackened "angry shrimp" with sweet/saur sauce; fried fresh sardines.
And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$ $$$
Tamarind Thai
946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222
When an eatery's executive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author
Vatcharin Bhumichitr, you'd expect major media hype, fancySouth
Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumnichitr joined
forces with Day Longaomboon (an old Thai school pal who'd moved to
Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place.
Some standout dishes here are featured in the chef's latest tome, but
with Tamarind's very affordable prices, you might as well let the man's
impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$




C6te Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012
If only every 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


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com




























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Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS


30year-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 graffe dominatJon. Overstuffed grilled
sandwiches, salads, even tasty vegge options are all here, too. The
cheese bread is a must. $$
Happy Sushi & Thai
2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165
Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai
and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there
are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi triggerfishs) with sea
soned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet "Japanese
home cooking" treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except with
out pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, it's a superb
lunch. For raw fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied
by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$ $$$
Here Comes the Sun
2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711
At this friendly natural foods establishment one of Miami's first there's a
full stock of vratmins and nutrintJonal supplements. But the place's hearty
soups, large variety of entrees (including fresh fish and chicken as well
asvegetanan selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret "sun
sauce" (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily
specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under tern-buck early-bird
dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen
yogurt fresh juices, and smoothies completethe menu. $-$$
II Piccolo Cafe
2112 NE 123rd St., 305-893-6538
Talk about a neighborhood institution. The owners of this longtJme
Italian eatery remember frequent visits from Miami native Michelle
Bernstein and her parents when the celeb chef was a kid. The "pic-
colo" space has since expanded, butthe 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 notfound at old school red-saucejoints,
too, like lunchtJme's surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$
Little Havana
12727 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-9069
In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin
entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners
want a night out, not just a meal. It's also a good choice for diners
who don't speak Spanish, but don't worry about authenticity. Classic
Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped
with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the
plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce
seem universal crowd pleasers. $$$
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 stan
dards 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 taking the 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. $ $$
Mama Jennie's
11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627
For more than 35 years this beloved red saucejoint has been drawing
students and other starvation budget diners with prodigious portions
of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet lighttex
tured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other
Italian-American belly busters. All pasta or meat entrees come with
oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad
(mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers)
that's a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red
leatherette booths, add to Mama's charm. $ $$
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 surprisingthat her cakes and other sweet treats (like
creamy one-bite truffle "lollipops") look as flawlessly sophisticated as they
taste perfectadult partyfare. Whatthe bakery's name doesn't reveal
is that it's also a breakfast and lunch cafe, with unusual bakingoriented
fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and
pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order
Grand Marnier souffle. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$
Petit Rouge
12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676
From the mid 1990s (with Neal's Restaurant and later with II Migiore),
local chef Neal Cooper's neighborhood-onented Italian eateries have been
crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, it's no excep-
tion, avoiding pretense and winningfans with both classic and nouvelle
bistro fare: fnsee salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette;
truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomme with black
truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pom
mes fritres, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$
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, surpnrisingfor 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 tJill 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. Amongthe 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. $
NORTH M./"IAML IV.IL I IBEACH:


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 Rolfs 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 bythe mini mall location, orthe 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. $ $$
Christine's Roti Shop
16721 NE 6th Ave., 305-770-0434
Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela,
originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial
and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour.
Most popular filling for the flatbread is probablyjerk chicken, bone-in
pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and
more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which
to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they
transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $
Duffy's Sports Grill
Intracoastal Mall
3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124
Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal
Mall, Duffy's, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official
sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion
TVs and an equally mega size menu of accessibly Americanized,
globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato
skins, crab Rangoon, coconut crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger
sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented
Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffy's different
and better? Location, location, location fronting the Intracoastal
Waterway. There's even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$ $$$
Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY
3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318
In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed
Manhattan and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in
the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland fauxCantonese dishes. After:
lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami
outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but don't
worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empire's Special Duck, cold
sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and you'll be a
happy camper, especially if you're an ex New Yorker. $$
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). $$$ $$$$
Hanna's Gourmet Diner
13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255
When SB and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring orgv
nal owner JearnPierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added "Hanna's" tothe
name, but changed little else about this retrolookng French/American diner,
a north MamFDade institutJon since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburg
er or garlicky escargots, mea tloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red
wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad
with garlic dressing For oysters Rockefeller/tunamelt couples from Venus
and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$
Hiro Japanese 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 yakiton, skewers of succulently soyglazed and grilled


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014








Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS




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 vegfuto
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,
yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir fried veggies, and udon noodles.
Another branch is now open in Miami's Upper Eastside. $

Heelsha
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
(succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladesh's sweet fleshed national fish)
seem familiar, it's because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her hus-
band 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. $$ $$$

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
Ifyourfeelings about Brooklyn-style pizza have been formed by
Domino's flopsycrusted, ketchupy, cheesefoody pies, stop here to
sample a slice of the real thing. Admittedly, the crusts are notthose 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 theytaste like honest
bread, not cardboard. Avariety of toppings are available even on
slices. There are also whole pies with varied toppings. The "large" is
humongous. $ $$

KoneFood
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 ver
sion, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros
to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon
(slow roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine,
healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambeed
apple Kone a la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, 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
www.limefreshmexicangrill.com
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 mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local
supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low carb
tortillas and many Mexican beers. $

Little 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 stan
dard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this
chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experi
ence. 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
At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which
clearly reflectthe young chef's fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well
as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated
black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu
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 fiery tamarind dip, accom
panied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir fried with
eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili topped
Diamond Duck in tang/ tamarind sauce. $$ $$$

Paquito's
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 mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges
from Tex Mex burritos and a party size fajita platter to authentic
Mexican moles and harder to find traditional preparations like
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 imitations.
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 mid
night), 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 pre-
sented, 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, former
ly the enoteca Rack's, into an elegant but family friendly restaurant
featuring classic Italian dishes plus steakhouse fare, all in prodigious
portions. For an ultimate Miamian/Italian fusion experience, arrive
by boat at 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, pro
volone, goat cheese, and fresh for 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 not just 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, notfrozen (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. Butthe cute
bistro, an extension of chef Tania 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 inflex
ibly burger crazy six year old. She cleaned her plate. $$

Yakko-San
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 glistening fresh strips of raw tuna can be had
in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit
forming honey miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma
ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic
stem and beef (mild young shoots flash fried with tender steak
bits), or perhapsjust caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili
sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$


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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com








Dining Guide: RESTAURANTS




'Y- H"AJO -: :I- AN

Asia Bay Bistro
1007 Kane Concourse, 305-861-2222
As in Japan's most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning
at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though thevoluminous menu sports
all thefamiliar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small
plates wll 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
shnrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare
with a mx-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are
universal crowd pleasers. $$$
Bay Harbor Bistro
1023 Kane Concourse, 305-866-0404
Though small, this ambitious European/American fusion bistro covers
all the bases, from smoked salmon eggs Florentine at breakfast and
elaborate lunch salads to steak fntes at dinner, plus tapas. As well as
familiar fare, you'll find atypical creations: caramelized onion and goat
cheese-garnished leg of lamb sandwiches; a layered crab/avocado
tortino; pistachio-crusted salmon. A welcome surprise: The bistro is
also a bakery, so don't overlook the mouthwatenringly buttery croissants,
plumply stuffed empanadas, or elegant berrytarts and other home-
made French pastries. $$ $$$
Betto's Ristorante Italiano
1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166
After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled,
renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year
Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/effusively charming host of
Surfside's neighborhood favorite Cafe Ragazzi). Best make reserve
tions. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for
homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noo-
dies with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauteed
medallions with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker
mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$
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
Parish of the East You'll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites, but many
have refinements that liftthem above average: pita that's housemade,
charminglyfluffy when warm from the oven; falafel incorporatingflavor
ful fava beans with the usual ground chickpeas. Especially appealing
are more uncommon items like crisp-fried cauliflower wth tahini, fateh
(a chickpea casserole "iced" with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/
herb-filled sambusak pastries. 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 substituting for regular bacon) would be a
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


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from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato
glazed shortnribs 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 original
Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out
to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our
perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak 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. $$$$$


AV_, UA / HALANDA


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. $$
Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli
19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029
One word: flagels. And no, that's not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened
specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft
pretzel hybnd and a specialty at this busting Jewish bakery/deli, which,
since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. typically selling out of flagels in a couple
of hours. Since you're up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished
breakfast specials, including unusuallyflavorful homemade corned beef
hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every
other delectable dell specialty known to humankind. $$

BagelWorks
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 dell experience
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 classics, including
many varieties of hand-sliced smoked fish, but also healthy options,
most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein
add ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand rolled, are
freshly baked all day. $$
Bourbon Steak
19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658
(Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)
At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of
chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steak
house fare isjust where the fare starts. There are also Mina's inge-
nious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby
vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/sea-
food starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal.
But don't neglect the steak flavorful dry aged Angus, 100-percent
Wagyu American "Kobe," swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe,
and butter poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$

BurgerFi
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 futunristically 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 fastfood 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. $
Cadillac Ranch
Village at Gulfstream Park
921Silks 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
hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull.
Party like it's 1980 at this all American restolounge/sports bar,
which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live
rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there
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Fresko
19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737
Forget thick, dough wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slathered
with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy eatery
eschews the starch/sugar laden traditional tfavorites for salads,
smoothies, and similar healthyfare as casual, clean, and contempo
rary as the restaurant's decor. Asian influenced items, like wakame-
topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appeal
ing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon
and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza.
To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infusions
like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$
Fuji Hana
2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080
A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some
appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy CrunchyTuna Roll, an
inside-outtuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and
served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a
longtime favorite. But vegetarians for whom seafood based condb
ments can make Asian foods a minefield might want to add the place
to their "worth a special drive" list, thanks to chefs' winning ways with
tofu and all-around accommodation to vegonly diets. $$-$$$
Kampai
3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410
Atthis longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restaurant,
many comejust for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi special
ties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw fish fans the tempura flake-
topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both
inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Don't neglect Thai specialties,
though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild,
medium, hot, and authentic "Thai hot"). And for a bargain light lunch,
try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with vegges and pork. $$ $$$
La Montanara
18855 NE 29th Ave., 305-974-0167
A lushly vine-covered walkway leadingto the door and back patio
of this secluded but expansive restaurant serves notice that diners
are in for an exclusive Italian experience llarino Glunchi, co-founder
of Caracas's famed original La Montanara, has brought much of
the menu to this second location, including housemade pastas and
creative carpaccieos like a delicate crudo version of vitello tonnato
Whatever else you order, don't miss the signature mascarpone/
prosciutto focaccias from the beautifully tiled stone pizza oven
Budgetingdiners Explore weekday lunch specials, which include
sides $$-$$$$
Mo's Bagels & Deli
2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555
While the term "old school" is used a lot to describe this spacious
(160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. Itjust so
evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have
been here forever. Example: Lox and nova aren't pallid, prepack
aged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are
hand rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy
poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive
size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches con
firm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$
Mr. Chefs 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." $$ $$$
Pilar
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 chimichurrn
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. $$$
Sicilian Oven
20475 Biscayne Blvd., 305-682-1890
Don'tthink that square-shaped doughy pizza is the specialty here. "Oven"
is really the operative word, referring to the open kitchen's impressive-
looking, open-flame wood- burner, and for our money the place's thin-crust
ed pies are the wayto go. Toppings, applied amply, range from traditional
Italian American (like made-in-Wisconsin Grande mozzarella) to popular
(fresh mozz, even balsamic gaze); crust options include whole grain and
gluten-free. Other must-haves: arancini (deep-fried rice balls stuffed with
mozz and ground beef) and cervellata sausage with broccoli rabe. $$
Soho Asian Bar & Grill
19004 NE 29th St., 305-466-5656
Do bnringyour pocket flashlight to this kosher restaurant
Considering the 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)





Alba
17315 Collins Ave., 786-923-9305
From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano, Sole resort's seaside Italian/
Italian American eatery has an irreverent retro Rat Pack vibe and a menu
featuring "naked ravioli" from the Gnudi Bar, fresh seafood, homemade
pastas, classic and contemporary pizzas, and old school "red sauce
joint" entrees, some upscaled. (When lobster Francaise is available, why


settle for chicken?) Almond-sage butter-sauced butternut squash gnudi
is a best bet. And meals end wth another best bet: the "Vinny DSplit," a
game enablingtables to wn their meals for free. $$$$
Copper Chimney
18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075
At this family-owned (and kid friendly), white-tablecloth Indian res
taurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the food's
elegant presentation plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly
dancing on weekends, and, amongfamiliar North Indian fare, dishes
blending contemporarytouches with traditional tastes. Especially
enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikanen chaat (fried
gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys;
anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak
paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundnried tomato-stuffed paneer/
potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$
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, but you 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. $$$
The H Restaurant
17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106
This friendly, familyowned bistro is the sort of homeawayfrom-home
found everyfew blocks in France here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus
chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant butthey're rarelyfound in
South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a
savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frinsee, pan-seared foie
gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre
blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce).
We'd leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$ $$$$
II Mulino New York
17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191
If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian American
place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For
starters, diners receive enough freebiefood fried zucchini coins,
salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigia-
no, garlic bread that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But
mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly
tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great
take-out dinner...for the next week. $$$$ $$$$$
Mozart Cafe
18110 Collins Ave., 305-974-010
This eatery (which serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner) is
a kosher dairy restaurant, but not the familiar Old World type that
used to proliferate all over New York's Lower Eastside Jewish com
munity. Decor isn't dell but modern artsy, and the food is not blin-
tzes, noodle kugel, etc., but a wide range of non meat items from
pizzas to sushi. Our favorite dishes, though, are Middle Eastern
influenced, specifically Yemenite malawach (paratha type flatbread
sandwiches, savory or sweet), and shaksuka (nicknamed "eggs in
purgatory"; the spicy eggplant version will explain all). $$ $$$
Kitchen 305
16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110
Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite
its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a reno-
vated discotheque which is what it was. In fact, it's still as much
lounge as eatery, so it's best to arrive early if you want a relatively
DJ free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce
makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the
know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced
seasonal seafood specials (all you can-eat stone crabs one night,
lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks
makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$
Piazzetta
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. $$$
Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill
17630 Collins Ave., 305-682-1243
Sushi may well have been served in Sunny Isles before this longtime
neighborhood favorite opened, but Sumo was the neighborhood's
first sushi bar to double as a popular lounge/hangout as well as
restaurant. Ladies' nights are legend. While Thai and Chinese
dishes are available, as well as purist nigin, few can resist the truly
sumo wrestler-size maki rolls, the more over the-top, the better. Our
bet for biggest crowd pleaser: the spicy Pink Lady (shrimp tempura,
avocado, masago, cilantro, and spicy mayo, topped with rich scallop-
studded "dynamite" sauce. $$ $$$
Timo
17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008
Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/
Mediterranean inspired seasonal food atthis hot spot, created by
chef/owner Tim Andnriola (at the time best known for his stints at
Chef Allen's and Mark's South Beach), has been garnering local and
national raves. Don't bother reading them. Andnriola's dishes speak
for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop fnsee, cannelloni bean,
and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange
sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter;
or a wood oven three-cheese "white" pizza. $$$ $$$$
Werner Staub's Peppermill
350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016
It'll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the
tropic alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the
Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor space's
bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same
unique old school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are
contemporary preparations, you can't resist hard to-find retro
dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached
trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and
for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2014


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com








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April 2014 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



































































CALL US for all your real estate needsl
Passionate about the Biscayne Corridor
neighborhoods- lived here and sold the area for
over 16 yrs! Buying or Selling, we give you
exceptional individualized service to get you
desired results. In the know about all on and
off-market properties. Some of our most recent
sales:










MARCY KAPLAN & LORI BRANDT
gimmesheiter@metro1properties.com


P ROCKMEiR BUSINElSS JOURNAL
l, .r... RUE To2011 &Mu CONTACT US TODAY IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BUY, SELL OR LEASE WITHIN THE URBAN CORE. metrotlcom


PROPERTIES


OMNI / EDGEWATER: 1950 NW 1 AVE
FOR SALE 1 $10.9 M

Rare Full City Block Development Opportunity (2.49
acres). Recently appraised for $15 M1 Owner is
relocating and willing to sell at a steep discount. 4%/
co-broker commission. Phased development, also great
for land-banking for future appreciation.


TONY CHOIi
info@ metrol1cre~com


BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 5555 BISCAYN E BLVD MIAMI SHORES : 515NE93ST MIAMI SHORES : 117NE91 STREET
FOR LEASEI1 $32 PSF MG FOR SALE 1 $935,000 FOR SALE 1 $449,000


New offices in MiMo, now for lease. Full Floor Plans
available from 6,000 SF to 18,000 SF for the entire
building. Located just minutes from 1-95, 55th Station,
The Design District, Midtown and Wynwood. Buidilng is
expected to be delivered on 04 2014.


TONY ARELLANOI
info@metrolcre.com


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
idakota@metrol properties.com


Absolutely charming 2-story historic Mia Shores geml
First time on market in over 26 yrs. 3 BD/1.5BA +
garage. Nearly 2000 SF with almost 10,000 SF yard.
Kitchen + baths ready for your updates. Wood floors,
fireplace, + original architectural features. Brand new
highest quality impact windows and doors. Mia Shores
amenities and A+ schools.

MARCY KAPLAN & LORI BRAN DT1 786 543 5755
gimmeshelter@metrol properties.corn


WVYNWOOD: 164 NW 20 ST WYNWOOD: 2047-2105 IN M IAM I AVE BU ENA VISTA: 37 NW 52 ST BU ENA VISTA: 150 NW 51 ST
FOR SALE 1 $4.25 M FOR SALE 1 $7.5 M FOR SALE 1 $249,000 FOR SALE I1$190,000


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.


Multi tenant flex industrial income property located in
the up and coming Wynwood Neighborhood in Miami.
This building is currently comprised of approximately 12
suites ranging from 800-2,400 SE


3 separate units on a 7,200 sq. ft. lot. Main house is a 3/2
plus a 1/1 and studio. Highly desirable neighborhood
with lots of potential. Motivated owner.


Great opportunity in Buena Vista. 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


TONY ARELLANOI::
info@metrolcre.com


TONY CHO I
info@ metrol1cre.com


CESAR DELAFLOR i1305 571 9991
info@metrol properties.com


CESAR DELAFLOR i1305 571 9991
info@metrol properties.com


LEMON CITY: 6130 INE 4 CT
FOR SALE 1iS1.7 M

New construction. Over 7000 sq ft of warehouse with
500 sq ft of Office. Clean work room with mezzanine.
Gated parking.This warehouse is on a great corner.
Building has impact windows and doors



I REN E DAKOTA I :, - %
idakota@metrol properties~com


M IMO: 6230 BISCAYN E BLVD BU ENA VISTA: 78 NW 47 TER
FOR LEASE 1 $55 PSF N NN OFFICE + RETAI L FOR SALE 1 $223,000


Stephan's Plaza features new offices plus retail with
high visibility in the attractive neighborhood of MiMo.
Proudly featuring Starbucks as anchor tenant, this
historic gem is located just minutes from 1-95, 55th
Station, The Design District, Midtown and Wynwood.
This project is expected to be complete by 04 2014.

TONY ARELLANO
info@metrol cre.com


Great potential from this single family home, a few
steps from the Design District. Currently used as a 2/1
plus efficiency. Potential of $2,200 per month income.
Currently only occupied by owner.



CESAR DELAFLOR i1305 571 9991
info@metrol properties.com


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2014


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