Title: Biscayne times
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00024
 Material Information
Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Publication Date: December 2008
Copyright Date: 2009
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Dade -- Biscayne Boulevard Corridor
Coordinates: 25.831647 x -80.182343 ( Place of Publication )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099644
Volume ID: VID00024
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Serving the communities along tht B. .
Vista, Design District, Downtown, Fd J-'c
North Miami, Oakland Grove I '*1

Miami Art Machine
By Anne Tschida

Art Basel Miami Beach could be a
bit of a bust this year. By many
accounts, even the once mighty
markets for modem and contemporary
art have fallen victim to the crashing
world economies. It will likely cast a
pall over segments of our glamorous
annual bash.

But that's a measure of art markets. It
has nothing to do with art makers. The
quality of work on display at this seventh
installment of the aesthetic extravaganza
will include some of the most inspired
- and inspiring to be found any-
where on the planet. And if, during the
first week of December, Art Basel is the

center of the art universe, one of its most
radiant celestial bodies is homegrown, a
local institution that has had an impact
far out of proportion to its size: Miami's
New World School of the Arts (NWSA),
in particular its visual arts program.
To get a sense of New World's influ-
ence, consider the inaugural "Alumni Art

Auction and Exhibition," opening
December 4 and showcasing 23 artists
who graduated with either a high school
diploma or a BFA from the school's col-
lege program. A glance at some of the
Art Machine
Continued from page 4

Art & Culture

Our brief and
eccentric guide to
Art Basel week. ,
Page 38 ,,-

Community News
The Boulevard
Theater flips
from boys
to girls.
Page 29

Our Correspondents
An amazing
night that
had hopes
soaring high.
Page 47

Dining Guide
More restaurant h
listings than
Plus wines!
Page 51

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008




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Saturday Night Live
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'Within three miles of the Adrienne
Arsht Center there are more than 650
Z places to eat." dine Magazine
Z Read the complete article at
1=1 arshtcenter.org.

With more than 2,700 spaces
available, parking is plentiful at
every performance.
Valet parking also available.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008



Jim Mullin
Andrew Leins
Erin Polla
Victor Barrenchea, Pamela Robin Brandt,
Terence Cantarella, Bill Citara, Wendy
Doscher-Smith, Kathy Glasgow, Jim W.
Harper, Lisa Hartman, Jen Karetnick, Jack
King, Derek McCann, Frank Rollason,
Silvia Ros, Jeff Shimonski
Marc Ruehle
Wilmer Ametin
Marcy Mock
Image Tech Studios
The Biscayne Times welcomes proposals
for articles and press releases. Submitted
material may be edited for length, clarity, and
content. All submitted material becomes the
property of The Biscayne Times. Please be
sure to include your name, address and tele-
phone number in all correspondence.
All articles, photos, and artwork in the
Biscayne Times are copyrighted by Biscayne
Media, LLC. Any duplication or reprinting with-
out authorized written consent from the pub-
lisher is prohibited.
The Biscayne Times is published the first
week of each month. We are hand delivered
to all the homes along both sides of Biscayne
Boulevard from downtown and the Venetian
Islands to Arch Creek.
The neighborhoods we serve include: Arch
Creek East, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle
Meade, Buena Vista, Davis Harbor, Design
District, Edgewater, El Portal, Keystone Point,
Magnolia Park, Miami Shores, Morningside,
North Miami, Oakland Grove, Omni, Palm
Grove, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Wynwood,
and Venetian Islands. In addition we are dis-
tributed to select businesses in Buena Vista
West, Little River Business District, Design
District and Wynwood.


Best Bear Ever
I've read much on the housing markets
since 2004, everything from St. Louis
Federal Reserve releases to Florida
Todayand the International Herald
Tribune. And yes, the blogs, of course.
But Rebecca Wakefield's article "Bear
Market Meets Biscayne Corridor"
(November 2008) was the best I have
ever seen on the market in South Florida.
Steve Muir
Tequesta, Florida

From Birth of a
Nation to COPS
This letter is in response to the articles
of Kathy Glasgow, the neighborhood
correspondent for Liberty City -
which, interestingly, is not served by
this news paper and therefore not read
by its residents. This situation may actu-
ally may be good for its publisher, who
otherwise might have many angry peo-
ple banging on Biscayne Times's doors.
I too am angry, but I have decided to
use my pen instead of my knuckles.
In covering our area, Ms. Glasgow
has decided to take the low road of
cheap journalism. She consistently uses
her articles to assault the character and

image of the area and its residents,
which of course are mostly of
African/Ethiopian descent.
Unfortunately Ms. Glasgow is not
alone, nor is this a recent phenomenon
in the history of American media.
In 1915 the film Birth of a Nation,
which had the dubious honor of being
the first motion picture to be screened in
the White House, depicted black men as
rapists of white women, and generally
dangerous to society. In one of the
scenes, members of the KKK ride into a
town on horseback to "save" its white
residents from an unruly mob of
Negroes. They lynch one and chase the
rest out of the town.
White Americans flocked to see the
film and it became a blockbuster. The
NAACP tried to stop the New York City
premiere, but President Woodrow
Wilson's ringing endorsement gave the
film much credibility.
In 1989 the television show COPS hit
the airwaves>. Known as "the original
reality show," it put camera crews in
police cars all over the U.S. Of course,
the majority of suspects shown are
black and Hispanic. Filmmaker Michael
Moore introspectively addresses the
media's portrayal of black people in his
film Bowling for Columbine. Here are

excerpts from two of his interviews:
1) Dick Hurlin, former producer of COPS
DH: "If you look up 'liberal' in the
dictionary, I'm sure my picture is in
there somewhere.... Anger does well,
hate does well, violence does well, try-
ing to be better than you were last year
does less well."
MM: "Less well in the ratings?"
DH: "Oh, yeah!!"
2) Arthur Busch, county prosecutor,
Flint, Michigan
"Quite frankly, the black community
has become entertainment for the rest of
the community, the entertainment being
that the crime of the day...gets to be the
front story and that becomes the percep-
tion of an entire community, which could
not be further from the truth, in my opin-
A large photograph of an angry,
screaming black man graces Ms.
Glasgow's November column, titled
"Hearing Is Believing." Here are some
"I woke up again to shouting voices.
'Then you ass ih the fuck outta here -
I ain't take no threat muhfucka -'"
"It seemed our crackhead neighbors
were angry with one of the dope boys

Continued on page 6


M iam i A rt M machine ........................................ ..... ..............

F eedb ack ........................................................ ...........................4
M iam i's K ing .............................................................. ............10
W ord on the Street ........................................ ................... 12

B izB uzz ......................................................... .................. . 8
A advertiser D directory ...................................... ...........................8

Jen Karetnick: Bring Back Taste of the Shores...........................20
Kathy Glasgow: Entering the Promised Land ....................... 22
Frank Rollason: The Boulevard and the Crystal Ball .................24
Wendy Doscher-Smith: In the Land of No Sun..........................26

What If They Built a Skatepark and........................... ...........28
Coppertone Girl Finds a Home at Last! ...................................28
The Vagabond Market's Shaky Start..........................................29

Gender Bender: Naked Ladies Spotted at Boulevard Theater......29
How You Voted: A Peek at the Precincts ....................................30
Two Decades of the News Caf ................................................. 30

Biscayne Crim e Beat........................................ ................... 36

O ff the Basel Path........................................ .................... 38
A rt L listings .................................................. .................. . 41
C culture B riefs .............................................................. ...........43

Sm all Park w ith a Big Heart................................... ..............46

Harper's Environment: Two Wheels Are Better Than Four .........35
Kids and the City: Spoiled Rotten and Loving It........................45
Your Garden: The Big Chill ......................................48
Pawsitively Pets: Quiet Dog, Good Dog.....................................49

Restaurant Listings ........................................ ............. .....51
W ine: Red W hite & You.................................. ........ ............ 52

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


8101 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 102, Miami Fl 33138
Tel 305 751 1511 Fax 305 751 1512
www. beau l i v i n g. co m

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



December 2008


Continued from page 4

on the street."
"A diminutive middle-age woman was
pacing the median on NW 79th Street,
singing to convince herself she was
happy, or happily singing because she
was high or crazy."
It seems incredulous to Ms. Glasgow
that someone could actually be happy in
Liberty City! Here she is in a previous
issue ("Cuba's Open Doors," October
2008), describing people in Cuba, who I
strongly suspect are also black, which
shows that her techniques are not limited
to us in Liberty City:
"We peeked into a little shack where
two massive, hard-looking women in
dirty Spandex were mired in a beyond-
repair sofa."
Many of her articles are filled with
similar ranting. She and Biscayne Times
should be ashamed to write and print
such cheap shots at our image. So I ask
publisher and editor Jim Mullin to please
stop printing this stuff. It's not cool.
And Kathy, baby, you've got to chill
out. I've been reading your stuff from
the beginning. Just because you could
not afford to buy a home in nice white
Morningside, don't take out your anger
on us.
Yes, Liberty City has its issues, but I
am an architect who has lived in and
explored many neighborhoods all over
Miami-Dade County and I feel most
comfortable and happy here. So relax,
Kathy, and instead of writing this pes-
simistic rhetoric, smoke a spliff, go out-
side with some garden tools, beautify
your property, and be an example to your
neighbors. That's what I did. So can you!
Najeeb Campbell
Liberty City

Terminal Decline: Off
Target, On Point
Just wanted to thank you for Jen
Karetnick's column on the Miami Shores
Country Club ("A Country Club in
Terminal Decline," October 2008).
However, I'm afraid she went after and
offended the wrong members. The older
group is the "active" group. The ones who
should be ashamed are those of us who
are younger and don't make the effort to
support our club on a regular basis.
You guys gave me the wake-up call I
I must stop taking for granted a club
that this 42-year-old tennis member has
been a part of since my early 30s. A club
that has always been nothing but cordial
and welcoming on every occasion. A club
that is completely unpretentious. And I
for one think the food is quite a deal for
the money and good. Plus the staff is
always friendly and accommodating.
Sure, we're not LaGorce, and never
claimed to be. But it's a nice club.
Maybe a little dated here or there, but
that's fine by me. I love it. And anyone
who's never walked in just to check out
the bar after a round of golf is missing
out. It's beautiful and unique and the
largest bar I've ever seen.
Every resident in the surrounding
community really should stop by and
take a look sometime. I urge you to
come by with a member. Watch the sun-
set, have a cocktail, and spoof on the
golfers hitting on the driving range. Just
kidding! See? We do have a sense of
I just came from there. Had a buffet
lunch for I think $8.95 or something like
that. Don't know many places you can
eat for that anymore, and with a table-
cloth no less.
As for the "older" clientele, I was
ashamed and offended for them. I may

no longer be a spring chicken, but I'm
certainly far from old. I hope to God
when I'm the age of the "active" mem-
bers of our club that I can still get out on
the tennis court or hit the links. Shoot,
I'm exhausted after nine holes at age 42,
much less trying for 18 once in awhile.
And I sure hope I look as good.
I saw a lovely group of women golfers
there today, and every one of them
looked fit as a fiddle, having a leisurely
lunch and catching up. Yes, they were
older than I, and they were friendly -
not that it's their job to make little me
feel welcome. (I certainly don't go out of
my way to make the rounds and say hello
to everyone, but I didn't know that was a
prerequisite for joining a country club.)
I've probably been a member for about
ten years now, give or take, and I'll bet I
haven't eaten there more than 20 times.
That's crazy. Who's snubbing the club in
that scenario? Me. And I'm sure there
are many other "semi-young" members
out there doing the same. I hope they
join me in making a conscious effort to
be more visible.
You pissed me off, Biscayne Times.
For a paper that supposedly supports our
community and should be embracing
local businesses in these crucial times,
you tried to stick a fork in us in an
issue in which we advertised, no less!
What kind of business sense is that?
Well, we're not dead yet. And don't you
forget it.
If you ever choose to do a fairer piece,
I hope you'll introduce yourselves when
you're there and get an interview or two.
Those older members, and even we
younger ones, have a good story or two.
You might even find you like us, appre-
ciate our little piece of the community -
golf and tennis, that is and maybe
even find a fondness for our carpet. In
fact I think it's kinda cool. Sorry Jen

Karetnick didn't, because she and the BT
are missing out.
Melinda Jester

Who's That Behind Those
Foster Grants?
After three years of being a newcomer
to this great Biscayne Corridor, I had to
take a few minutes to give you some
To me, the Biscayne Times has been a
free and steady source of community
news, providing me with a multilayered
road map to this community. The well-
balanced list of articles and topics
included in each edition, plus the level of
commitment and awareness shown by its
writers, gives a newcomer like me an
unparalleled head start.
I can only imagine a very bright future
for an information tool like Biscayne
Times. Perhaps your future is so bright
that you should all be wearing sunglasses!
Vicente Pimienta

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Missing From Mapping
In our effort to compile a compre-
hensive list of every single business
on Biscayne Boulevard between 14th
and 87th streets ("The Boulevard Is
Back!" October 2008), we inadver-
tently left out two. Jenny's Flowers is
located at 6807 Biscayne Blvd., and
Nails Etc. is at 5084 Biscayne Blvd.
Anyone else? We hope not. But let
us know.

November 2008

10900 Biscayne Boulevard 305.899.1955

Open Now until December

21st, 8:30AM


Delivery and Set-Up Available!
We also sell Tree Stands, Prolong, Removal Bags

& Fresh Wreaths! We do Flocking

N iL

(White Sprayed Trees)


December 2008 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com






December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


BizBuzz: December 2008

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

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

Ah, the holidays! Time of glorious

excess, including excess pounds.
For those who don't want their
New Year's resolution list to start (once
again) with "Lose that
Christmas/Chanukah 20," Shuichi Take
Fitness Company is waiving member-
ship fees for anyone who hires a one-on-
one fitness professional. The offer is
good until the grand opening of
Shuichi's main club in Midtown Miami
on December 17. Additionally, for new-
bie exercisers seeking just a regular
membership, initiation fees are 50-per-
cent off until the opening event. (By the
way, Mr. Take's name is pronounced
sue-ee-she tah-kay.)
Speaking of the holidays, a new "Prism
Alignment System," based on Bluetooth
technology, has Gabe Cortez at Plaza
Tire & Auto (an award-winning full
service shop, not just a tire joint) as
excited as an eight year-old who just
found a shiny bike under the tree. One
difference: This high-tech toy is really a
gift for customers. "Alignment always
used to be mechanical, so mistakes read-
ing the gauges were possible. This is so

accurate!" the picky, double-checking
Cortez enthuses. "And it takes 45 minutes
to do what used to take two hours.
Actually, we could probably do it in half
an hour, but we don't want to be that fast."
Supplementing their popular Taste of
Greece dinner menus (served Sunday
through Thursday), Ariston restaurant
now offers three prix fixe lunch menus
for $9.95, $12.95, and $14.95 (about half
the ticket of the already bargain-priced
multicourse dinners). And now there's no
need to worry about the eatery's reduced
summer hours. As of November 18,
Thanasis Barlos's popular
Greek/Mediterranean place is open for
lunch and dinner daily.
In France, Christmas Eve dinner
means oysters, preferably the Rolls
Royce of bivalves: brilliantly briny
Belon flats, from France's Brittany
region. For Miamians seeking to cele-
brate the same way, the River Oyster
Bar's David Bracha announces the
arrival of Belons farm-raised in Maine,
but with the same distinctive delicate
texture and intensely crisp, lemony bite.
For celebrating with a German accent,
Alex Richter's Royal Bavarian
Schnitzel Haus offers a roast-goose
menu with all the trimmings on

Christmas Eve, the restaurant's most
popular annual event (now in its 14th
year). Additionally, there's a traditional
central European St. Nikolaus party on
December 6, plus gluhwein (hot spiced
wine) and free Advent calendars, filled
with chocolates, all month long.
At Sushi Square, a suppertime sushi
spot with French flair (and a lunchtime
secret identity as Simplee Salad), the
stylish but small interior space is about
to be supplemented by an outdoor garden
patio. According to co-owners/brothers
Julien and Yann Durosini, the official
opening party is scheduled for December
20, but the garden will actually be open
for Art Basel week.
During December only, Arco Glass
and Mirror is offering customers a five-
percent discount on their full range of
products. These include storm shutters
plus impact-resistant windows and doors,
for practical spirits looking ahead to next
hurricane season. But those caught up in
the more light-hearted spirit of this sea-
son will find custom-cut coffee table
tops, sexy shower enclosures, art glass
mirrors (etched with their designs or
your own), and other fun stuff.
To match that decorated spruce, how
about some spruced-up d6cor? Interior

designer Ana Cristina Correia of Casca
Doce Studios reports that new acces-
sories and furniture hand-selected at
this past fall's High Point Market in
North Carolina (with more than 2000
exhibitors from 110 countries, the
largest furnishings industry trade show
in the world) is now in. The fair is
known for its concentration of high-end,
one-of-a-kind showrooms, ensuring, as
Correia says, "the most updated style
there is."
Getting the post-midnight munchies in
the Midtown area is no joke, but the
chain food that's been our only recourse
sure is. Now there's an alternative.
Though hip little "art resto" Moriano,
which serves up homemade food with
creative attitude, has been open only
about a month, co-owners Jorge Di
Cataldo and Vanessa Suhr (an Argentine-
trained chef) have decided to expand
their 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. daily meal
hours to 1:00 a.m., starting in December.
"And we're planning on going to 3:00
a.m. in the near future," adds Di Cataldo.
"At least on weekends." Joy!

Something special coming up at your
business? Send info to bizbuzz@bis-
caynetimes.com. For BT advertisers only.


n Florida International
Adrienne Arsht Center Auto Body Experts 305-919-5700
305-949-6722 2921 NW 7th Ave. Page 35
Page 3 786-301-2000
Page 33 JLP Education Services
Buena Vista East Historic 305-537-2682
Home Tour Europa Car Wash and CafePage 443
6075 Biscayne Blvd. Page 44
305-801-8994 305-754-2357
Page 19 Page 37
TotalBank New
Church of Christ, Karma Car Wash & Cafe wwwtotalbank.com
Scientist 4 7010 Biscayne Blvd. Page 2
305-373-1645 305-759-1392
Page 23 Page 27 I

I.D. Art Supply
2695 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 41
600 NE 72nd Terrace
Page 41
Puzzlement Gallery 4M
81 NW 24th St.
Page 39
Shops at Midtown
3401 N. Miami Ave.
Page 11

St. Martha's Church
9301 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 42

Miami Parking Authority
Page 33
Plaza Tire & Auto
qnn0 3 NF 2nd Ave



Ascot Teak
12951 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 22

305-573-3878 Beau Living
Page32 8101 Biscayne Blvd. #102
,m, Page 5
SEO's Jewelry Casca Doce
305-7222889 6815 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 34 305-757-6001
Dasani Jewels S Page 32
36 NE 1st St.
Seybold Building #114 Chantik Imports 4=
305-374-7746 7287 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 20 954-559-2804

Christopher Columbus
Day Care E3
537 NE 70th St.
Page 45

Page 41

Kevin Burns Christmas
Trees E
10900 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 7

The Loft Sofas
2450 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 42

Planet Lighting
5120 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 34

Teak Only E1
8300 Biscayne Blvd.

Nails Etc.
5084 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 37
Salon Gilbert
3430 N. Miami Ave.
Page 34
Shuichi Take
3301 NE 1st Ave., 7th floor

305-895-8665 Page 73
Page 27 Studio FitVibe
r | 3470 East Coast Ave. #109
Bay Oaks Home for the Aged Page 47
435 NE 34th St.
305-573-4337, =,l
Page22 AAA Miami Locksmith
3531 NE 2nd Ave.
Dental Options 116 NE 1st Ave.
11645 Biscayne Blvd. #204 305-576-9320
305-892-2960 Page 37

Page 36

7120 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 17

Holistic Healing
1590 NE 162nd St. #400
Page 26

M Power Project
9301 NE 6th Ave.
Page 6

Arco Glass &Windows
617 NE 125th St.
Page 36
Avery Glass & Mirror
813 NE 125th St.
Page 42
Barnett Tree Service
Page 47
Dart Services
Page 24

Don Bailey Carpets Biscayne Pet House
8300 Biscayne Blvd. 10789 Biscayne Blvd.
305-757-1543 305-895-6164
Page 10 Page 50
Guarantee Floridian Junior's Pet Grooming
305-758-1811 2500 Biscayne Blvd.
Page25 305-571-1818
Page 49
Karnak Blinds
305-469-8162 Rio Pet Spa
305 162 18170 W Dixie Hwy.
Page 36 305-935-5551
Page 49
Re: Design Studio P 9
Architecture & Interiors Smiling Pets
305-778-1019 305-754-0844
Paae 44 Page 48

Sheds and Things
Page 47

Steven K. Baird
Attorney at Law
Page 20
The Nabors Group
Page 24

Douglas Elliman
1691 Michigan Ave. #210
Page 9
Ruben Matz
Page 21
Miami Spaces
Page 26

_Turnberry International
4 Paws Only 305-632-1588
1071 NE 79th St. Page 15

Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 65

Bar-B-Que Beach EM
12599 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 61

Blue Marlin Fish House
2500 NE 163rd St.
Page 62

Boutique Kitchen
6815 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 57

Buena Vista Bistro
4582 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 63

Casa Toscana
7001 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 67

Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St.
13105 W. Dixie Hwy.

Page 50 1 U7. Page 67
Adam's Veterinary Clinic 940 71st St. City Barbecue Place
672 NE 79th St. Miami Beach 1901 NE 163rd St.
305-757-7309 305-864-9848 305-354-4747
Page 50 Page 60 Page 64

Cote Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 62
Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 64
Dunkin' Donuts
5128 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 65
Le Cafe
7295 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 57
Laurenzo's Italian Market
16385 W. Dixie Hwy.
Page 68
Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St. 9th floor
Page 58
Moriano S3
3221 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 59
News Cafe 4I
800 Ocean Dr.
Miami Beach
Page 53 & 55
Pizza Fiore
2905 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 66

Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus
1085 NE 79th St.
Page 66
River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave.
Page 56
Salad Creations 4G
2001 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 63
Sheba Ethiopian
4029 N. Miami Ave.
Page 61
Simplee Salad
7244 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 57
Soyka To Go
5556 NE 4th Ct.
Page 54
UVA 69
6900 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 57
Upper Eastside Green
Market at Legion Park
Page 12
Vagabond Market
7301 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 31

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


The Election Fog Begins to Lift

SFrom president to city commission, the view still isn't clear

By Jack King
BT Contributor
To say that I've been a political
junkie all my life would be quite
an understatement, but spending
the past two years enmeshed in the race
for president, along with all the other
political dramas, has taken its toll on me.
Quite frankly, I'm glad it's over. It could
have been worse had my team had lost.
But then again, you should be careful
what you wish for. The country has more
serious problems than we've seen in
many years, and the solutions will not be
easy or quick. Can Barack Obama turn
the country around? I hope so, and I
hope the country will give him the time
and the support needed to make it hap-
pen. This is not politics. This is country.
But speaking of politics, I like many
others was deeply disappointed and
mad with the Republicans' selection of
Sarah Palin for the vice president's
slot. I know political motives are
always in play and that vice presidents
seldom make it to the White House,
but this year was different. John
McCain is 72 years old. He would
have been the oldest man ever elected
president. Palin is completely incom-
petent, other than her impersonation of
Tina Fey, and had no business being
that close to the presidency. She even
made Dan Quayle look good.
Closer to home, the three amigos -
Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen were reelected
with better margins than I'd anticipat-
ed. That's the good news for them. The
bad news is that they'll be going back
to Washington as the minority party,

which doesn't bode well for our neigh-
borhood. The three amigos did little for
us when they were in the majority.
Now they'll have zero chance of help-
ing South Florida.
I think you'll see a new Cuba policy,
and that is long overdue, thanks in no
small part to the three amigos. Over the
past 30 years, millions of dollars have
been spent and thousands of hours frit-
tered away to make sure Fidel Castro
doesn't win whatever he is supposed to
win. That fact that he lasted 50 years has
so infuriated the anti-Castro forces in
Miami that they'll do anything to make

The three clowns Joe Sanchez.
Gonzalez. and Michelle Spence-Jon
are fomenting some palace intrigL
make sure they stay in control

sure he looks bad and they look good -
no matter how many Cubans suffer, both
here and on the island.
With any luck, this will be the three
amigos' last term in Congress. In light of
Democratic Party dominance in
Washington and demographic shifts
down here, I don't think the three amigos
will run again in 2010. What we need is
a new group of young Hispanics from
both parties to put this nightmare to rest
for once and for all. South Florida
deserves better.
Last month's ballot at the county
level included a number of initiatives
designed to give county Mayor Carlos
Alvarez a real job. Most passed, but
some didn't. I'm curious as to how that

will play out. Actually, the county has
been trying to straighten out this mess
since 1954, when we adopted the cur-
rent government structure based on a
weak mayor. It's still a mess. Anybody
got some ideas?
Another ballot initiative that went
down in flames was a proposal to con-
solidate all the fire-rescue services under
a county umbrella. Of course, when it
was first proposed, the big cities with
fire departments cried foul. As a result,
they were removed from the deal. These
kinds of battles have been going on for
decades county and city governments
fighting over responsibility for
services. Over the years, it's
Angel become so bastardized that
es I'm not sure any of it works.
ie to The odd thing is that con-
I. solidating the fire and rescue
services really does make
sense. Miami-Dade County
doesn't have very many fires
because the area is young and most
buildings have been constructed with
good fire-suppression equipment and
nonflammable materials. The fire depart-
ments essentially have put themselves
out of business because they have been
so good. However, they still want their
own little fiefdoms and will do most
anything to protect them. Plus they have
lots of friends in high places, like former
fire fighters Carlos Gimenez (Miami-
Dade commissioner) and Luis Garcia
(state representative).
The outcome of the presidential race
may very well change the local political
landscape. Obama's victory was due in
no small part to Hispanic support, some
of which was found right here in Miami.



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And almost immediately, Miami Mayor
Manny Diaz's name was bandied about
for a position in the Obama administra-
tion. I'm not sure if the leaks came from
the Obama team or Diaz's press office.
Whatever, Diaz is in his last year and
cannot run for re-election, but even if he
could, he'd be unelectable.
So why not make a move to
Washington? He has a Hispanic name, is
the mayor of a Hispanic city, and has
been fooling most of the people most of
the time with his vague programs and
even vaguer accomplishments.
But if he takes a Washington job, he'll
leave the mayoral slot open, maybe for
city commissioners to fill. They might
select a new mayor for the remaining 12
months of Diaz's term. This is where the
scheming begins. The city charter is
unclear about exactly who selects a new
mayor if the incumbent resigns, so city
attorneys are poring over all that.
Meanwhile, the three clowns on the city
commission Joe Sanchez, Angel
Gonzalez, and Michelle Spence-Jones -
are fomenting some palace intrigue to
make sure they stay in control.
It goes like this: Diaz resigns and
heads to Washington. The commission
appoints Joe Sanchez mayor. Sanchez,
with the approval of Gonzalez and
Spence-Jones, then selects his own suc-
cessor as city commissioner.
Commission approval is guaranteed.
There is a bit of fuzzy math here, but
that's never bothered the commission.
All they have to do is count to three.
Three votes controls all.
Happy holidays!

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008




Monumental Sculpture Exhibit

December 4 28, 2008

Children's Art Parties
Join us at Midtown Miami's fountain to paint.

Saturday, December 13,
Saturday, December 20,
Saturday, December 27,

11 am:
11 am:
11 am:


Paint a miniature flower pot and take home your own to watch it grow.
Create your own replica of the Garden Butterfly sculpture.
Choose and point your own Britto replica plus take home an activity book
to continue your artistic skills at home.

the Shops at

3401 N Miami Ave Miami, FL www.ShopMidtownMiami.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


December 2008





Now that a new

Mariana Rivieri
Sales Manager
Design District
Hopefully the economy
will get better. Not only
that, but hopefully the
cost of health insurance
will be less and it will be
available for most people.
I hope a lot of the things
Bush messed up will be
fixed. We've always had a
white president and now
it's different. It'll change
the perception the world
has of us. Politics has
become more exciting.
Young people are getting
more involved. We all
want to work together to
make this country better.

president has been elected, what do you think the next four years have in store for this country?
SCompiled by Victor Barrenechea BT Contributor

Sarah Freidin
Wax Technician
Upper Eastside
I really don't think that
much is going to change.
I think there is too much
responsibility on
[Obama's] shoulders and
he's going to disappoint a
lot of people. The whole
infrastructure of our econ-
omy is crumbling. In
order for it to get fixed it
has to collapse complete-
ly, and I think that's going
to happen soon. I like
Obama, but he's got his
work cut out for him.

tlays ilaz
Police Officer
Little Haiti
I think we're going to con-
tinue the same trajectory of
economic disarray proba-
bly until the end of
[Obama's] first term,
because the gears that are
in motion are too big for
him to stop. I think we're
going to see improved
international relations. The
status of the United States
as the moral compass for
the world is going to be
restored. I do think we're
going to see a dramatic
reassessment of values
across the board domestical.

Victoria Martinez
North Miami
I'm scared. I think white
supremacists are going to
do something to [Obama].
They're going to kill him.
I'm afraid for his safety
and the safety of this
country. If he gets killed,
there would be civil war,
white versus black. It
could be very ugly. I hope
it doesn't happen. I think
he's going to have the
hardest term any president
can ever have. He's not
experienced, but I hope
he'll be well-advised.

Janessa tarcia
Business Owner
Design District
Hopefully our economy
will get better. As a busi-
ness owner, I've had a
loss of sales. I had to get a
second job because my
business wasn't doing
very well. I sell clothing,
but in the current econom-
ic situation, people can't
afford to spend money on
luxuries. I voted for
Obama, and I think he can
change things.







W'ARKET comPrnV '

VENDOR INFO: 3as 775.2166
Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

Melina Grinberg
North Miami
I think things are going
to improve. The econo-
my will get better. I
think [Obama] is going
to help the middle class.
Hopefully, he'll end the
war. I'm not a citizen
but I was hoping he'd
win. He had very differ-
ent ideas than Bush did.
I think the next four
years are going to be
good hopefully.




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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Visual arts dean Maggy Cuesta
was amazed at the response to the
Student Felipe Lagos with full-time faculty member Aramis O'Reilly. alumni auction.

E St it lI 5N

Student Bianca Bandera in a NWSA painting class.

Art Machine
Continued from page 1
names behind the donated work reveals
NWSA's singular contribution to the
contemporary art scene: Hernan Bas,
Loriel Beltran, Natalia Benedetti, COOP-
ER, John Espinosa, Naomi Fisher, Adler
Guerrier, Jiae Hwang, Joshua Levine,
Michael Loveland, Bert Rodriguez, and
Jen Stark are but a few. They are among
the graduates who have won national

attention through prestigious awards,
museum shows, and acceptance into cel-
ebrated exhibitions such as the Whitney
Biennial, sponsored by New York's
Whitney Museum of American Art.
And those are just the students. The
instructors, many of them respected
artists themselves, have also played a
significant part. In the relatively short
time the conservatory has been in exis-
tence (1987), and with its relatively

modest funding, the students, grads, and
teachers have shaped Miami in consid-
erable ways. Its magnet high school
program is unique in the nation, and
both the high school and college pro-
grams get rave reviews for innovation
and creativity. (See sidebar, page 18.)
NWSA has developed its own voice
and reputation as it coalesced around the
remarkable trajectory of Miami's local
arts scene; the school has helped give the

community a sense of self-worth. Today
artists can be born, raised, schooled, and
become successful in Miami some-
thing inconceivable little more than a
decade ago.
That was about the time that photog-
rapher Naomi Fisher and painter Hernan
Bas were graduating from the high
school program, which has a vigorous

Continued on page 16

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

I l-1 ~ i p I'"


Art Machine
Continued from page 14
vetting process requiring prospective
students to provide a portfolio and to be
reviewed. "Being able to concentrate on
art at such a young age was a great
opportunity," recalls Fisher. "Sometimes
I joke that people of my generation who
came through Miami's magnet-school
program were like the Russian gym-
nasts of art."
The students attend classes in down-
town Miami buildings, without anything
resembling a normal "campus," but with
intimate interaction with teachers and
real-world tools and training.
Remembers sculptor COOPER, who
goes by a single name and was also a
1990s high school grad: "The program
covered all technical aspects of art-mak-
ing, and quickly reinforced those prac-
tices with theory and concept." The artist
echoes Fisher when he says, "To be
exposed to that material at that young of
an age really opened up a lot of possibil-
ities for my work, [as well as] the access
to working artists as teachers."
Tom Wyroba has been teaching draw-
ing, painting, and design to NWSA high
schoolers for 21 years. "How do they
[the students] keep doing it?" he laughs
when commenting on the high quality of
their work. "Now, these students set the
standards with their technique and skill.
Each year the colleges keep recruiting
these kids more and more." He points to
the phenomenal success of Hernan Bas
- Miami-bor, New World-educated -
as helping to raise the reputation of
Miami. Bas was part of the 2004
Whitney Biennial, and will have a solo
show in February at the Brooklyn
Museum of Art a first for any Miami
artist, NWSA alum or otherwise.
At the turn of the millennium, several

p --- i
Gallery owner and teacher Fred
Snitzer: "There are many more
options here in town to keep
[artists] here, or bring them back."

of New World's working-artist teachers,
along with students, participatSed in a
seminal exhibition for Miami's burgeon-
ing art scene. The "demolition show" at
the Espirito Santo bank in downtown
Miami featured site-specific art on nine
floors. The show would last only four
days, before wrecking balls knocked
down the old building. Adjunct instruc-
tors Carol Brown and Karen Rifas,
established artists and still with the
school, produced spectacular works that
expressly fit with the theme. A young
student, Bhakti Baxter, popped up on a
couple of floors as well. He would later
be associated with the alternative gallery
The House and with another group of
successful New World grads.
The whole impermanent adventure at
Espirito Santo was curated by Fred
Snitzer, a leading Miami gallerist and

{Alumni Overview}
Some of the New World alumni who have appeared with frequency in Miami -
and further afield in the school's short history.
Bhakti Baxter Naomi Fisher Tao Rey
Loriel Beltran Adler Guerrier Bert Rodriguez
Natalia Benedetti Jacin Giordano Raymond Saa
Tim Buwalda Jiae Hwang Evelyn Serrano
Leyden Rodriguez- :
Leyden Rodriguez- Joshua Levine Jen Stark
Alejandro Contreras Michael Loveland Alex Sweet
Alejandro Contreras
COOPER Christopher Miro Tasha and
Ivan Toth Depena Lee Materazzi Monica (TM Sisters)
John Espinosa Martin Oppel Michael Vasquez

also a teacher at New World. By the time
Art Basel Miami Beach tested these
shores in 2002, Snitzer was on the selec-
tion committee for that highly competi-
tive fair, and was on his way to repre-
senting many of the New World artists.
A Miami scene was emerging, and New
World was playing a central role.
Not surprisingly, former dean of visual
arts Louise Romeo is proud of both the
program and the product. "The students'
intense training has equipped them to
take challenges and create work that is
truly on the cutting edge," says the
Italian-bor, founding member of the
faculty. "In many ways, they are the pio-
neers who have brought attention to
Miami as an art Mecca. Their contribu-
tions have significantly helped to create
a serious art culture in South Florida for
the very first time."
The combination of international
attention from Art Basel, the growth of
the gallery hub in Wynwood, and the
continued development of other art
schools (including at Florida
International University and University
of Miami) has formed a fairly solid base
for Miami, according to most. Says
Snitzer, who represents Bas, Fisher, and
COOPER among others: "The students
haven't changed much, but the climate
has. Now there are many more options


*4 *

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Michael Loveland: Blow Up Bad

here in town than before to keep them
here, or bring them back."
Some former students who have
returned to Miami from prestigious
schools are also now teaching in adjunct
roles at their alma mater, artists such as
Michael Loveland and Ivan Toth
Depena. According to Tom Wyroba,
those graduates bring with them valuable

Continued on page 18

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

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December 2008


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' ;

Lee Materazzi: Hose.

Art Machine
Continued from page 16

insights: "Those coming back as
adjuncts, they know the contemporary
art scene, the progressive new stuff."
That, in turn, informs a whole new gen-
eration of students.
But with the success of the school and
of the emerging art scene comes some
potential pitfalls. One concern: Are
young students overexposed? This year,
for instance, a "Wynwood Student
Exhibition" will take place during covet-
ed Art Basel time. Is there too much
pressure on youthful artists to sell
instead of grow their work?
Says former dean Romeo: "Yes, our
students have received a great deal of
attention, and the question is a very
provocative one. Do I have concerns
about their getting overexposed too
soon? Yes. But," she continues, "the
trend today seems to be the discovery of
the young, cutting-edge artists. I hope
that we at NWSA are training all of our
students in the arts and in !;, so they
understand how to handle 'instant suc-
cess' if they are the chosen ones."
Among the chosen ones is Adler
Guerrier, a BFA graduate who was one of
two NWSA alumni in this year's Whitney
Biennial (the other was Bert Rodriguez).
Guerrier thinks the prominence of New
World graduates can overshadow talented
locals coming out of other university pro-
grams. But he also believes the synergy
in Miami that has grown over the past
decade is good for everyone involved in
the arts. "There's so much that can be
squeezed out of this time," he says.

Jen Stark: Primary Invert Blue.

For all that Miami is now offering,
however, both Guerrier and Fred Snitzer
say that students still need to leave town,
at least temporarily, to experience other
art worlds and learn from them.
Guerrier, Snitzer, and almost everyone
else familiar with NWSA marvel at what
teachers and students alike have been
able to achieve with relatively little fund-
ing. "Remember, when people talk about
and compare art schools, they forget we
can be talking about private versus pub-
lic schools," observes Guerrier. "That's a
huge difference."
In fact, Snitzer points out, it's the
biggest drawback to continued suc-
cess. "It needs money that's all that
it is," he says about building up the
faculty (who are paid very little),
improving the facilities, buying new
equipment, and perhaps one day
adding a graduate program.
Snitzer is the curator of the alumni
auction, which he says has been a lot of
work for no money, but it makes a great
statement about the success of the school.
Jen Stark, a high-school grad (class of
2001), is one of the latest hot artists in
town, and someone who has donated to
the auction. She is as effusive about
NWSA as others are about her bright,
colorful artworks. "Both the magnet art
and academic classes at New World are
some of the best in the country," she
asserts. "The art classes made me 100
percent a better artist; the teachers were
awesome; it was my first choice for
high school. I'm glad I didn't go any-
where else."
Current visual arts dean Maggy Cuesta
is thrilled that Stark and so many of her

Bhakti Baxter: Untitled: Wall Mural.

fellow students didn't go anywhere else,
either. She says she was amazed at the
response she got when they first con-
ceived of the alumni auction. "There
was so much interest from the former
students," she recalls. "They all said,
'Anything you want, Maggy!'" Next
year she hopes for a repeat, with a dif-
ferent crop of alumni. That may be the
most persuasive evidence of the
school's success.

The Alumni Art Auction will be held
Thursday, December 4, 8:00-10:00 p.m.,
New World Gallery, 25 NE 2nd St.,
Miami. For more information call 305-
237-3597 or visit nwsa.mdc.edu.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

{School Overview}
New World School of the Arts has
a unique history locally and
nationally. The original school was
called the Performing and Visual Arts
Center, which began as a high-school
magnet program. According to former
dean of the visual arts program at the
school, Louise Romeo: "The students
took their academic classes in their
home school and then were bused
into the Miami-Dade Community
College [MDCC] campuses in the
afternoons for their art classes. The
program came together as NWSA in
1987 at the downtown campus of
MDCC, and after the first year, a col-
lege program came into existence."
Now it is an educational partner-
ship of Miami-Dade County Public
Schools, Miami-Dade College, and
the University of Florida. It is a
magnet public high school for the
arts and a four-year arts college
offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts and
Bachelor of Music through the
University of Florida.
Students must audition or provide
a portfolio and be reviewed for
admission, a rigorous process and
one that sets it apart. So do the small
class sizes. On average, both high
school and college classes have
between 9 and 12 students. This year
there are 165 students in the college
visual arts program, 135 in the high
school division.
Another highlight: Students in
both high school and college have
been taught by artists who are active
and respected, such as Carol Brown,
Maria Martinez-Canas, Westen
Charles, Trisha Brookbank, Ivan
Toth Depena, Michael Loveland,
Karen Rifas, and Wendy Wischer, to
name a few.
Areas of concentration include
drawing, painting, photography, print-
making, graphic design, sculpture,
and electronic intermedia.
Through various collaborations,
students work with local museums
and exhibit spaces, and the college
produces an annual BFA exhibition.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

SThe Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood
Association invites you to join us
for our annual open house, featuring
new works by local artists.
Enjoy our lovely and historic homes
from the 1920s through the 1950s.

*Self-guided tours with Map (Free)
*Trolley tour packages ($5)
'Trolley Tour with VIP access ($10)
i Hospitality tent (Free Entry)
SChildren's Fun Zone (Free Entry)
*Proceeds to Benefit BVEHNA

Tour tickets available at information booth,
corner of 41st Street and NE 1st Avenue

Artists wishing l display work please call 305-801-8994


Two FOal rTOur
-I t Q


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Bring Back Taste of the Shores

A revived Village food festival? Yes!

By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor

Iwas waiting for the bathroom to free
up in a house on Grand Concourse,
where I was celebrating the birthday
of an extended family member, when I
noticed a plaque on the wall. "Taste of
the Shores," it read, "sponsored by the
Miami Shores Fine Arts Commission."
The event, which had taken place on
April 17, 1994, had been co-chaired by
my husband's relatives, Laura and Mike
Finkelstein, our birthday hosts. The day,
which featured a street festival along the
Concourse with music, games for kids,
arts and crafts, an auction, and of course
lots of food, benefited the Children's
Genetic Disease foundation.
I was immediately intrigued, and not
just because of my vocation (in addition
to this column, I work as the restaurant
critic for Miami Modern Luxury as well
as a food writer for a handful of maga-
zines regionally and nationally). The

plaque also commemorated all the
restaurants and markets that had taken
part, and I was curious to see who'd
been around in the Shores back then.
Though I was working as a critic for
Miami New Times in 1994, I'm fairly
sure Miami Shores wasn't on my radar

as a gastronomic hot spot with a review-
worthy establishment within its environs
- let alone an entire culinary festival
devoted to it.
What surprised me was that only two
of the seven participating vendors -
Norberto's Meat Market & Deli and

Miami Shores Country Club were
Shores businesses. The others were invit-
ed from outside the Village. (As it turns
out, the Taste of the Shores a model
for later events like Taste of the Grove
- had been operating annually for about
eight years. Mike Finkelstein later told
me it was eventually taken over by the
Village and folded into what became
Unity Day.
Certainly we'd face a similar dearth of
participants, and resort to the same
stretching-of-the-boundaries solution, if
we were to resurrect Taste of the Shores
for 2009. The Village proper only has a
few food-related ventures currently oper-
ating. We'd have to enlist help from
restaurants, markets, and chefs unrelated
to the Shores just to fill in the gaps.
Or would we?
If you look at it statistically, we've grown
hundreds of percent in the culinary depart-
ment. In addition to the well-established

Continued on page 21



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December 2008


Continued from page 20
Village Caf6, C6te Gourmet on NE 2nd
Avenue, which makes possibly the best
omelets I have ever had in Miami, has just
extended its hours and is now open for
three squares daily. With the addition of
Flower Bar, which serves tea; Starbucks;
Iron Sushi; and what the hell, Subway,
we've got six spots already filled.
Check out Sixth Avenue, the other
only main street in town, and there's
Pizza Point and Sopranos (no longer Che
Sopranos after the owner was tragically
killed). And if you want to push the
point, no doubt we could get Publix to
help out; they already have a lot of prac-
tice cooking hotdogs in the foyer of the
store. So that makes nine.
Get various church groups cooking congre-
gation favorites, and the number doubles, at
the very least. Then there is Barry University
and the three secondary schools that might
want to be involved. I know Miami Country
Day is putting a together cookbook they'd
want to promote. With all that, a Taste of the
Shores is looking quite feasible.
In addition, Miami Shores is home to
some of the area's best chefs. Dewey

LoSasso, chef-owner of my neighbor-
hood fave North One 10, and wife Dale
LoSasso, general manager of the newly
opened Gotham Steak in the spectacular-
ly refurbished Fontainebleau, reside in
the Village. So do married chefs Frank
Randazzo and Andrea Curto-Randazzo,
who are proprietors of the cozy Talula on
South Beach (which you really should
visit if you haven't been lately for
Andrea's risottos and Frank's steaks), and
the catering company Creative Tastes.
And Johnny Vinczencz, who operates
the phenomenally successful Johnny V
in Fort Lauderdale and the recently
opened Smith and Jones, lives just
around the corner from me not that he
ever invites me over for his famous bar-
becue. As for Michelle Bernstein of
Michy's and the forthcoming Sra.
Martinez in the Design District, she lives
in the Upper Eastside, but she's an alum
of Miami Country Day School. David
Bracha, chef-owner of the River Oyster
Bar, and his family live in Buena Vista
East, and he and his wife send their two
children to Miami Shores schools.
If we were to stretch the boundaries a
bit, as in times past, then I'd call on Red

Light's Kris Wessel, whose clientele is
drawn largely from the Village (and who
refers to himself a "Shorecrest rat"), and
also Michael D'Andrea, chef-proprietor
of Macaluso's, who also is an Upper
Eastsider. What could be better than two
booths side by side, one offering
N'awlins barbecued shrimp, the other
Staten Island-style meatballs?
While these chefs and others I don't
know about haven't located their
restaurants in Miami Shores, they have
an investment in the local community. To
that end, many of those I've mentioned
have already agreed to participate should
a revitalization of Taste of the Shores
come to pass. Mike and Laura Finkelstein
have also promised to jump in and help.
As a means to an end, then, for this
metaphoric festival, I'd want for moneys
raised to remain in the Shores. Not that
I'm against soliciting funds for disease-
research foundations; as the spouse of a
cancer survivor, quite the opposite. But
these chefs and restaurants get
approached on an almost daily basis to
contribute time, energy, and talent to
causes that are, however noble and wor-
thy, less than personal to them. There's no

harm in participating for once in a project
that would indirectly benefit themselves.
What would come of such theoretical
funds? Therein would no doubt lie many
delicious arguments. I'd love to use some of
the money to develop a community organic
garden, where those of us who don't have
enough of a backyard can grow vegetables
and supplement diets stripped down by the
economy. Or we could find a plot of vacant
land (there are some) and plant a living
museum to memorialize the pineapple and
mango plantation beginnings of Miami
Shores, of which there are still vital rem-
nants (at least of the mangos). This could
even be an educational opportunity open to
the public, something along the lines of the
county's Fruit and Spice Park, giving the
community not only a point of pride but a
site for future festivals of all kinds.
I know, I'm dreaming big. But in this
case, it's a dream that started as a small
one in someone else's head, and made it
into the real world. So why not dream it
as large as possible, and share it with
you? Then, one day, it might become a
reality again.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Entering the Promised Land Along NW 22nd Avenue

On one amazing night, the hopes of millions were soaring
nommono -pe

By Kathy Glasgow
BT Contributor
On November 4, I1 watched the
election returns in Coral Gables
with some Obama campaign
workers. Then later that amazing night
- it seemed epochs later I drove
home to Liberty City. I have no idea
what time it really was; maybe midnight
or one o'clock.
I took NW 22nd Avenue north, through
Little Havana, over the river, on into
Allapattah. Past the bakery with the big
revolving camel outside, the 24-hour gas
station all quiet and dimly lit. The sky
was clear, the moon waxing almost half.
Also in those very heavens on that very
date, a long-heralded planetary alignment
clicked: Saturn and Uranus moved into
opposition, a marker of earthly transfor-
mation last seen in the mid-1960s. "The
world is being reshaped before our very
eyes," astrologer Jeff Jawer wrote of the
configuration, on his StarIQ Website.

NW 36th Street was almost deserted as
I crossed, and then under the SR-112
overpass into Brownsville, up into
Liberty City. For the first time ever, I felt
surprising glimmers of affection for
these proudly patched-up, long-suffering
surroundings. The garishly painted mar-

kets, always with someone hanging out-
side; the auto repair and salvage lots; the
trashed vacant lots and boarded-up, graf-
fiti-scarred buildings that once were
hopeful businesses.
There's the Caleb Center on the corner
of 54th Street, where my husband and I

got our marriage license six years ago
and where, six days earlier, I had waited
among hundreds to vote early. To the
southeast stands Jessie Trice's pioneering
Economic Opportunity Family Health
Center, and across the street the beautiful
red dirt of the baseball diamond at
Partners Park.
North past the African Heritage
Cultural Arts Center at NW 62nd Street,
shops, eateries (a small square building
advertising SOUL FOOD has a big Jesus
painted on the facade of one side of the
front door and an Obama sign taking up
the other side), and so many great and
small churches Hosannah, Mt. Zion,
New Canaan, New Jerusalem, New
Hope, Prophecy, Bright Star.
New hope: After leading the children of
Israel out of slavery in Egypt and enduring
a generation-long exile in the Sinai wilder-
ness, Moses died without ever crossing the
Jordan River into the Promised Land.

Continued on page 23



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December 2008

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Promised Land
Continued from page 22
Instead God chose Moses's lieutenant
Joshua to fight his way in, to take Canaan
with miraculous military victories over its
idolatrous inhabitants.
Those universal, eternal Bible stories
were as influential and foundational to
my white fundamentalist Christian
upbringing as they have been to
America's civil rights movement.
Melodramatic as it does sound, that
night, to me and millions more, was the
crossing of the Jordan and the fulfillment
of prophecy. The Joshua generation now
girds itself for new battles. Even when
the Israelites did enter their promised
land, they still had to establish them-
selves, still had more powers to fight.
Maybe Jesse Jackson was thinking along
those lines too, and maybe that's why
Liberty City looked suddenly different to
me in the darkness, steadfast in a way it
hadn't before. I swear it did.
Unfortunately, the appearance of our
little house had not improved by the
time I got home and burst into tears
upon greeting my elated husband. But I
couldn't share my promised-land

epiphany with him, a black Cuban who
had spent his whole life learning nothing
about the Bible or Martin Luther King
or any of the great African-American
figures in U.S. history.
Because of our distinct races, cul-
tures, and backgrounds, my husband
and I experienced the 2008 election
from vastly different perspectives, some
of which were really hard to share with
the other. He, Luis, neither a U.S. citi-
zen nor English speaker, was forced to
absorb huge amounts of political "infor-
mation" from Cuban talk radio. Every
day he took note of the subtle and overt
racial disparagements, the labeling of
Obama as a communist, destroyer of
small businesses, and Castro-enabler.
Almost all of Luis's white Cuban
friends and co-workers feel a deep ani-
mus for Obama and believe even the
most outlandish lies about him and
about African-Americans and
Democrats in general.
My husband, well accustomed to the
pervasive Cuban brand of racism, took
the radio rants with a grain of salt, and
even went so far as to volunteer at Obama
headquarters in Hialeah. He put up yard

signs and telephoned friends and strangers
on behalf of the senator from Illinois. He
and his good friend Cristobal spent hours
discussing every twist and turn of the
campaign and the debates. Even if they
were short on historical knowledge, even
if they paid little attention to complex
issues such as Obama's difficulties with
Jeremiah Wright and Jesse Jackson, (even
though they couldn't vote!) they were on
emotional tenterhooks waiting to witness
the advent of the first black President of
the United States.
Luis and Cristobal, members of both
of America's two largest minority groups
(and Hispanics are the fastest-growing),
represent most of what xenophobes and
racists in the U.S. have been warning
about for a while now: the subsumption
of the once-dominant Anglo/Aryan
Protestant majority by a darker, more
heterogeneous society that no longer fol-
lows its founding principles.
Before the election, it was common to
hear white voters express their fears that
if Obama were victorious, black people
would feel they could exact "vengeance"
on white people. Ex-Ku Klux Klan wiz-
ard and politician David Duke predicted

that an Obama victory would be a clari-
on call for whites to finally unite and
"fight for our heritage."
As we are learning, however,
vengeance is working the other way.
Organizations that monitor hate crimes,
notably the Southern Poverty Law
Center, have reported post-election
increases in violent and nonviolent
racially motivated crimes against
people of color, including unspeakable
things like Obama lynchings in effigy.
Another American tradition my husband
barely appreciates. He's been yelled at
on the street because of his Obama
bumper stickers nothing serious, but I
still get nervous sometimes.
As for the white Christian heritage I'm
supposed to be defending, don't Duke and
his clan recognize what our heritage is?
The Israelites (among other enslaved peo-
ple) built the great pyramids of Egypt; the
African-Americans built the great struc-
tures and industries of the United States
and fought in its wars. White men sowed
the wind centuries ago. We'll be reaping
the whirlwind for a long time.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Lorenzo Rodriguez, a
member of The Christian
Science Board of
Lectureship, lives in Miami
and is fluent in English and

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December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


By Frank Rollaso
BT Contributor

ith the e
the corn
L- 1^ -

The Boulevard and the Crystal Ball

Here 's what 2009 could have in store for the Upper Eastside
n .. side of the Boulevard b
Street and the city limil
nu Street. Now, if one per
nd of 2008 just around idence would visit a re
er, I thought it would & twice a month -just t

SV ube goou to get a jump on 200 L
and speculate about what's in store for
our neck of the woods from three differ-
ent levels of government.
Federal Government Unless you've
been in coma, you're aware we have a
new president-elect by the name of
Barack Obama and that change is in the
wind. Change not just on the national
level, but change around the world
regarding how our country is perceived
as both a military power and unofficial
leader of the free world.
From a local perspective, the Upper
Eastside is a microcosm of our nation as
a whole, and certainly a much more
diverse community than most in this land
of the free and home and the brave.
Regardless of your political beliefs or
party affiliation, Obama is our leader for

the next four years. Most people I speak
with are optimistic. I say go with the
flow and hope for the best.
Certainly there are more tough times
ahead on the political front, the military
front, and closer to home, on the eco-
nomic front. Speaking locally, I reiterate
my position that as go the small business-
es along our stretch of Biscayne
Boulevard, so go our neighborhoods. Just

think back a few short months, before the
MiMo Historic District designation,
before the Boulevard rebuilding project
got under way, and before more upscale
shops and restaurants began relocating to
our part of town. It was a different world.
Times are tough for all of those
Boulevard businesses, and they need our
help. A little math reveals that we have
in excess of 2000 residences on either

betweenn NE 36th
ts at NE 87th
son from each res-
staurant or shop
wice a month -
.i- + .- .... .1 .....^

I WllpIt a pOsitlVe lll1pic tLli a WOUUl IIha
on these small businesses enduring very
difficult times. I know many of you have
your favorite haunts on the Boulevard,
but I urge you to spread out a little and
hit a place or two you haven't tried. You
may be pleasantly surprised.
State Government The way I see it,
our state legislature still has two major
mandates to address from last year:
Lowering property taxes and lowering
property insurance rates. Remember our
new governor's press conference right
after being elected? He held up a rock and
boasted that both these rates would "drop
like a rock" during his first year in office.
The actual result is more like an old
helium party balloon, slowly drifting to

Continued on page 25


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December 2008


Crystal Ball
Continued from page 24
the ground but lifting ever so slightly
with the lightest breeze. We need to keep
the pressure on our legislators to concen-
trate on the people's business address-
ing our concerns with legislation that
results in meaningful relief.
On the subject of property taxes, keep
in mind that a runoff election will take
place Tuesday, December 16, for our
first-ever elected county property
appraiser. (Miami-Dade is the only coun-
ty in the state where the appraiser is
appointed.) Hopefully there will be
another candidate forum in our commu-
nity before the election. Also keep in
mind that our local city commissioners
have a tremendous impact on our proper-
ty taxes in that they set the millage, or
tax rate, for our municipality. So even if
the assessed values are lowered, our
local elected officials set the rate, which
is why your property value can go down
but your taxes can still go up!
In addition to political issues, the
Upper Eastside is dealing with the state
Department of Transportation on several
important projects. The years-long

reconstruction of Biscayne Boulevard
should be wrapping up during 2009, with
the landscaping elements finally in place.
Once completed, this should greatly
enhance the look of the Boulevard from
36th Street all the way up to the work
already finished in Miami Shores.
Another FDOT project will look at
traffic-calming on NE 82nd Street as it
cuts through Shorecrest. Much was
promised by our District 2 city commis-
sioner to help slow the traffic along this
"race track," yet little has been achieved
over the past two years that would give a
reprieve to residents whose homes front
this main artery. This project can and
should be the first step in returning 82nd
Street to the Shorecrest community as a
neighborhood road.
City of Miami Government Several
issues affecting the Upper Eastside are
on the front burner of our local officials,
notably our District 2 commissioner.
First there is the special ordinance that
would allow commercial properties of at
least 15,000 square feet within the MiMo
District to operate farmers markets on
Saturday and Sundays. As you surely
know, the Upper Eastside Green Market,

which was a huge success at its debut
this past January at Legion Park, is back
for the season and does not require this
ordinance to continue operating.
The historic Vagabond Motel property,
owned by cousins Eric Silverman and
Octavio Hidalgo, is the first to explore
the new opportunity and has already
operated several weekends under a spe-
cial permit, testing the waters on a tem-
porary basis until the ordinance receives
final approval. Upper Eastside residents
need to evaluate the merits of such enter-
prises, because ultimately it is the mar-
ketplace itself that will determine the
success or failure of such ventures. I
encourage everyone to visit the
Vagabond and make a determination
whether the products and prices make
sense for your pocketbook.
The next big undertaking for business-
es along the Boulevard is the formation
of a Business Improvement Committee,
which, if successful, could ultimately
lead to a Business Improvement District.
Property owners within such a district,
which tentatively matches the boundaries
of the MiMo Historic District, would
have to vote in favor of its creation.

Once in place, the district would impose
a tax on its property owners for improve-
ments not funded from any other source.
This concept is being proposed by our
District 2 commissioner as it has some
support in the Coconut Grove business
district. The commissioner is offering a
city grant of $100,000 to get the ball
rolling, and several local business and
property owners are answering the call to
spearhead the initiative. Commercial
property owners in the Grove are in the
midst voting as I pen this column, and I
am hearing that, with the economy in
such dire straits, the vote will probably
be very close. We'll have to wait to see
how they fare, and pay attention to how
this plays out in the Upper Eastside.
And finally we have our beloved
Coppertone Girl's unveiling and dedica-
tion at 7300 Biscayne Blvd., scheduled
for December 2. The restoration and
installation of this historic sign should
give a boost to the MiMo District, luring
more visitors, who will spend at least
some of their hard-earned money in our
local shops and restaurants.

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In the Land of No Sun
It s gray, it's cold, it's miserable so how about some ice cream! -

By Wendy Doscher-Smith
BT Contributor
The behavior of the winter sun in
upstate New York is like a fish out
of water. When it appears, it makes
quick, darting movements, as if gasping
for air. And now that I've abandoned
Biscayne Park for Binghamton, New York
(a.k.a. Merciless, Frozen Tundra), I see
things in a different light. Or lack thereof.
I now understand why my friend who
moved to Miami Beach from Albany,
after growing up in Ohio, used to marvel
at the presence of shadows. The sun is
required for shadows to form.
And all those times my husband used
to get antsy to go outside on gorgeous
Miami "winter" days? I get it now. He
was just suffering from residual Sun
I understand why, when traveling to
London, I would see locals sprawling out
in bikinis on beach towels on what I con-
sidered a gray day. But, yeah, if you tried

really hard and squinted, you might see
some yellowish rays.
The saying "Don't know what you got,
till it's gone" comes to mind. It is easy to
take the sun for granted in Miami. It is
shining often and helps ensure a certain
level of psychological well-being.


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Folks up here don't know the sun like
I, a true Miamian, know it. Ignorance
can lead to fear. Sadly, some mock the
sun. They don't need the sun.
Thus this is a place for vampires. If
you are not one, you best get a grasp on
time management. This concept was

' never one of my strengths. However,
' when faced with the prospect of having
exactly eight hours of "light" during the
E day (most of which is arguably not really
f light, as Miamians would consider it, but
a sort of lighter shade of gray than
Blackk, I am a quick study.
The sun is up by 7:00 a.m. and begins
Sto set by 3:45 p.m. That's some chutzpa!
It's nervy and confusing. The times all
jumble together and become one. Five o'
clock feels much more like 8:00 p.m.
Eight o'clock feels like 11:00 p.m.
Eleven o'clock feels like you just
deplaned at MIA from the red eye back
from Barcelona.
If you doubt that a lack of vitamin D
has a significant impact on one's mind,
just look to the movies. Granted, in The
\/ ....... Jack Nicholson may not have
been such a bad boy if demonic twin
girls hadn't written "red rum" all over
his hotel walls in blood. But those

Continued on page 27

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December 2008


No Sun
Continued from page 26
matching little freaks would not have
materialized if Mr. Sun had zapped them.
More proof? You needn't go any further
than the latest Republican vice presiden-
tial candidate to understand what lack of
light does (or doesn't do) to one's brain.
Sun-Deprived Jacks are all around me.
Take the right-front-tooth-missing Ice
Cream Nazi.
To my delight, the Binghamton area
specializes in mom-and-pop ice cream
joints. To my not-so-much delight, most
of them shut down at the end of autumn.
This rendered me temporarily panicked
until I saw the place just down the street
from my home with the "Open All Year"
sign. My jubilance was short-lived.
Seinfeld had his Soup Nazi, and
Binghamton, it turns out, has its Ice
Cream Nazi. Jeremy and I stopped in
one night shortly after September 1,
when most of the frosty treat vendors
call it quits. I should have known some-
thing wasn't quite right.
The first mistake we (read: Jeremy)
made was questioning the Ice Cream
Nazi. (I can typically spot a psycho a

million miles away and tread according-
ly.) I had warned Jeremy to be extra nice
to the Ice Cream Man (he wasn't known
as Nazi just yet) because we might need
him in the dead of winter you know,
in case a Nor'easter of epic proportions
blew through and we had to have our
rum raisin. I knew already, before setting
foot in the shop, that I could rely on the
Ice Cream Man.

The sun is up by 7:00 a.m. and
to set by 3:45 p.m. Five o' clock 1
more like 8:00 p.m. Eight o'clo
like 11:00 p.m.

Alas, here is what happened:
Jeremy: So, how much will it be for
two cones?
The Ice Cream Nazi pats down a
greasy hair strand and gives us a price
exceeding $8.
Jeremy: Whoa! Isn't that a little high for
two cones?
Ice Cream Nazi: High? You think that's
high, do ya? Do you know what the
taxes are here? Do you know what it

takes to make an honest living? Do you
know how much milk is these days?
(I am looking for a way to crawl into the
hot fudge vat and disappear.)
Jeremy: Well, I'm just saying -
Ice Cream Nazi (baring his remaining
teeth): Well, I'm just saying that it costs
me a lot!
Jeremy: Okay. Do you take credit cards?
Ice Cream Nazi: For over $10 worth.
Jeremy: What?!
Ice Cream Nazi: What
I begins What?!! Do you know
feels much how much they charge
ck feels to run those machines?
Do you know how
much they take from
every sale?!
Jeremy: Okay, I am not doubting you,
I'm just saying that people might not
always need $10 worth of ice cream.
Ice Cream Nazi: Well, you don't have to
get ice cream here.
(By now I'm cradling my head.)
Jeremy (looking down at all the flavors):
Who makes all this?
(And now I'm groaning softly.)
Ice Cream Nazi: What do you mean? I do!!
Jeremy: You make all these flavors

yourself, every day?
Ice Cream Nazi: Of course I do!
We leave with our cones and I hiss at
Jeremy that he blew it and now we'll
never be able to get anything but store-
bought pints.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. We
decide to give the Ice Cream Nazi anoth-
er try. This time we take Jeremy's cousin
along. I'm wearing my Pepto-Bismol
pink, 80-percent goose-down Michelin
Man jacket. (This jacket and I have been
inseparable since it arrived in its recycla-
ble L.L. Bean box a month ago.)
Ice Cream Nazi: Argh! You warm
Me: What? It's freezing out there.
Ice Cream Nazi (shaking his greasy
head): Eh! It's always the women who
are cold!
Me: What are you talking about? It's 30
degrees out there!
Ice Cream Nazi: Whoa! She's sen-si-tive!
I am willing to bet the Ice Cream Nazi
is a true towny. Surly and Sun-Deprived.
And now I gotta run. A monster bass
just broke the water's surface.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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The Kids Will Be Grinding for Air in the Funbox

By Erik Bojnansky
Special to BT
Miami is a skateboarding Mecca,
according to Tito Porrata, proj-
ect manager for Team Pain, a
central Florida company that specializes
in building skate parks. Funny thing is,
there aren't any public skate parks in the
City of Miami.
That may soon change.
Last month Miami's Community
Redevelopment Agency earmarked a
million dollars to create a 54,000-square
foot facility called Biscayne Skate Park
at 150 NE 19th St. The park will feature
slopes and valleys of varying degrees of
difficulty, as well as "street plazas" that
mimic real-world plazas.
"Is the word 'cool' still in the vernacular?
Is that something people say?" asked
Commissioner Marc Sarnoffwhen the park
was unveiled at the November 3 CRA meet-
ing. "This is a pretty cool project." Samoff,
whose District 2 encompasses the proposed
skate park, says the project would "reinvig-
orate" the area. "It is arguably dead," he
says, joking about the park's proximity to
the historic Miami City Cemetery.

Meaning a public ska8board park is finally coming to Miam
Lara De
Souza, spokes-
woman for

Department of
Parks and
notes that the
city has long had
an interest in
creating a skate
park near down-
town. "We've
been seeking for
three years to
find the money
to enable us to

t i J ILaw

Team Pain's skate park in Winter Springs, Florida.

build a facility
where we can bring the teens into a safe
environment, dedicated to their skate-
board interests," she says. "One only has
to go to the Brickell area on a Saturday
afternoon and see the groups of teens who
are using staircases and ramps as their
playground to realize what a huge need
there is to provide a park such as this in
the area."
Enter the Omni Redevelopment
District, which has a budget of $26

million in property taxes available for
projects like Biscayne Skate Park. The
CRA will be footing the majority of the
project's bill, which is estimated to total
$1.14 million. The parks department
plans to begin the bidding process in
February, with an eye toward opening
the park by April 2010. Once open for
business, skateboarders will pay a nomi-
nal fee to use the park, though the
amount hasn't been determined.


S One benefit of a skate park is that
2 young skateboarders would have another
I. place to try their skills besides public
property, especially public parks. And
Then there is the tendency for teenage
I~ skateboarders to get hit by cars. The
Sparks department cites a 2001 study in
the British Journal of Sports Medicine
which states that "the more serious
[skateboarding] injuries resulting in hos-
pitalization typically involve a crash with
a motor vehicle." Therefore "skateboard-
ing should be restricted to supervised
skateboard parks," the journal reports.
Skateboarding also happens to be one
of the fastest-growing sports in the
nation. "The sport is ranked sixth in the
U.S. in terms both of number of partici-
pants and popularity," according to the
parks department. "One in every ten
teenager owns a skateboard."
Miami-Dade County is already a
popular Florida destination for skate-
boarders, says Porrata of Team Pain.
"The larger cities tend to have a lot of
street elements," he says, meaning side-
walks, stairs, guard rails, benches,

Continued on page 31

Home At Last!

The Coppertone Girl is back on the Boulevard, and all lit up

By Margaret Griffis
Special to BT

Couple weeks ago, motorists
traveling south on Biscayne
Boulevard noticed workmen
attaching a group of vaguely familiar,
bright-yellow letters to a white building
at the corer of 73rd Street. They might
not have immediately worked out the
significance of the letters that defiantly
proclaimed "RTONE" to the world, but
in the following days when the
"COPPE" part of the message was
added, followed by a pair of chubby lit-
tle legs it became clear that the
Coppertone Girl was coming home to the
Last year, when members of the MiMo
Biscayne Association learned that a vin-
tage Coppertone sign would be removed
from its Flagler Street location, they
began a difficult campaign to refurbish

the sign and install it elsewhere in time
for its 50th anniversary. Their exhaustive
efforts have paid off, and on December 2
the sign will be illuminated during a cer-
emony at its new home in the MiMo
Historic District.
Anyone who spent time in downtown
Miami will recognize the sign instantly.
It was perched for more than 30 years at
the Parkleigh Building on Biscayne
Boulevard near the Freedom Tower. At
that time, the full sign was about seven
stories of beautifully gaudy, neon glory.
It was built in 1959 to introduce a new
ad campaign for the Miami-bor tanning
product, and featured a little girl who
would eventually become one of
America's favorite icons.
The Parkleigh's razing in the early
1990s forced the sign's relocation to the
Concord Building, just across the street
from the county courthouse on Flagler
Street. By that time, all that was left was


S11 ;fi" =." 11,
Not quite there, but by the time
you read this, she'll have herself

a three-story-tall girl, her dog, and a
Smattering of letters, but she was still
Considered historically important and
given to Dade Heritage Trust for safe-
% keeping. She flew that coop only last
ca May, when the Trust deeded the sign to
the MiMo Biscayne Association to facili-
tate her next journey.
Needless to say, such a daunting task
often gets filed for a snowy day in
Miami, but diligence and perhaps more
than a bit of luck helped secure the sign's
continued existence. This past October,
Miami's Historic and Environmental
Preservation Board approved the sign's
designation as a local historic landmark.
The designation may not sound like
much, but it makes the girl exempt from
the many laws that could keep her off
. any building in the city.
In the weeks that followed, a number
of people worked hard to make sure
Continued on page 31

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008



Don't Mess with My MiMo

So says one Boulevard preservationist to one Boulevard property owner

By Terence Cantarella
BT Contributor

The only constant, they say, is
change. And although the adage
applies to nearly everything in
life, one group of people make it their
business to prevent change: historic
preservationists. Recently, in the MiMo
Historic District along Biscayne
Boulevard, one such preservationist has
been unusually active. Her name is Teri
D'Amico is outraged over what she
considers to be the desecration of the
area's most prominent structure the
Vagabond Motel. Her ire is directed at
Eric Silverman, owner of the MiMo gem
located at 7301 Biscayne Blvd.
Silverman, whose efforts to turn his
property into a marketplace and retail
venue were chronicled by BT in "Big
Man on the Boulevard" (September
2008), kicked off the first phase of a
multi-stage redevelopment plan on
November 1, with the opening of an
indoor farmers market in the Vagabond's
former lobby, and a vintage store in what
used to be a large guest room. Several
outdoor vendors set up shop under white
tents in front of the motel, selling books,
clothing, handmade jewelry, and other
vintage and miscellaneous items.
While the market is becoming increas-
ingly popular with local residents,
D'Amico, a member of the nonprofit

The controversial sign: Did it cover or did it replace?

MiMo Biscayne Association, which pro-
motes and protects the historic district
and its architecture, believes
Silverman's venture sets a terrible prece-
dent for other historic buildings in the
MiMo District. She showed up at the
Vagabond Market on opening day,
armed with a camera, and later sent pic-
tures and a letter of complaint to neigh-
boring homeowner associations, local
activists, and city officials.
Her foremost objection centered on
Silverman having removed some of the
original, backlit letters from the motel's
highly recognizable sign. Letters spelling
out the word "Motel" were covered by a

canvas banner with the word "Market."
"One of the most important things in
the MiMo District is signage," D'Amico
asserts. "According to the rules of his-
toric preservation, you can cover some-
thing up but you can't remove it. Eric is
demonstrating his lack of respect for the
process of preservation. He needs to fol-
low the proper procedures. He doesn't
have a 'Certificate of Appropriateness'
from the Historic Preservation Board for
his new signage. He skipped that process
entirely, and he's in violation."
City of Miami code enforcement offi-
cials initially confirmed her allegation.
But when BT visited the motel,

Silverman protested that he'd been cited
in error. The canvas banner he placed
over the word "Motel" was stretched so
tightly across the sign, and was painted
in such a way, that the code enforcement
officer who issued the citation didn't
realize it was canvas. She believed that
new electrical letters had been installed.
Two days after the notice of violation,
the city's historic preservation officer,
Ellen Uguccioni, wrote a letter to code
enforcement on Silverman's behalf,
explaining that the Vagabond's current
signage is only temporary and that a
formal Certificate of Appropriateness is
not necessary. She asked that the cita-
tion be canceled.
Silverman applied for the certificate
anyway, and was approved the same day.
"Believe me," he says, "if I could get the
[motel] sign fixed quickly, it would be
the first thing I do. It's completely rotted
on the inside and most of the electrical is
faulty." He's having a new sign fabricat-
ed, at a cost of $14,000, which will be a
replica of the original. "As soon as the
Historic Preservation Board approves it,"
he says, "the new sign will go up."
D'Amico argues that Silverman violat-
ed other preservation rules as well. One
example: recently installed silver air-
conditioning ducts that jut out of a win-
dow along the side of the motel. In addi-
tion, she points to the words "Farmers

Continued on page 33

Gender Bender: Here Come the Naked Ladies

If at first you don't succeed with guys, try again with gals

By Erik Bojnansky
Special to BT

After reopening this past August as
At The Boulevard, a gay club
featuring talented DJs and buff
male dancers, the old Boulevard Theater
has been transformed once again. Now it
is Club Madonna II. Leroy Griffith, who
owns the historic theater at 7770
Biscayne Blvd., touts the new incarna-
tion. "It is going to be an adult night-
club," he says. "It will have a nice
atmosphere, a restaurant, free parking,
the right prices."

One positive bit of news resulting
from the change, especially in this miser-
able economy, is that Club Madonna II is
hiring dancers of the female persuasion.
One newspaper advertisement practically
shouts it out: "Large upscale club. Bottle
service. Private Suites. Flexible Hours.
NO HOUSE FEES. Great Income
Potential. Fun Place to Work. Great
Management Team. Safe Place to Work."
This isn't the first time, or even the
fourth time, the theater has flipped for-
mats. Since Griffith took over the venue
in 1970, it has bounced from being a
burlesque show to an adult theater house

Madonna II: "Large upscale club.
Great income potential. Fun place
to work!"

to a female strip club to a male strip club
and back again. Griffith has even tried a
kind of skin-trade buffet: gay, straight,
live bodies, and movies simultaneously.
In recent years, the impresario saw an
opportunity to attract the Upper
Eastside's substantial gay community. So
why didn't the gay theme work? Griffith
jokes that the BT frightened away local
residents who read "Edifice Complex,"
an August 2008 cover story. "It's a tough
area," Griffith quips. "We didn't get the
word out."

Continued on page 32

December 2008Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


From South Beach to the Boulevard in Two Quick Decades
As the News Cafi turns 20, Mark Soyka looks forward to his own 120th

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor
Here is something restaurateur
Mark Soyka wants you to know:
"I am not a visionary." That will
certainly surprise a lot of people. For
instance, there's the City of Miami
Beach, which presented Soyka the key to
the city in 1998, the tenth anniversary of
his News Caf6 in South Beach. This
month the famed 24-hour Ocean Drive
hangout, whose early cosmopolitan
clientele epitomized SoBe's rebirth, cele-
brates its 20 birthday.
When Soyka opened the News, how-
ever, it was an urbane oasis in a not-yet-
gentrified area of closed hotels, drug
dealers, and aging residents in rockers.
On our side of the bay, there's Soyka's
pioneering 55th Street Station. A mixed-
use complex (anchored by Soyka restau-
rant, plus Soyka's newer eateries,
Andiamo and the News Lounge), it has
been universally credited with spear-
heading the turnaround of the Biscayne
Corridor's Upper Eastside from the

hooker strip it ..
was when the
Station opened in .
1999 to one of
our town's most .
exciting restau-
rant rows.
Not a vision- .
ary? Hmmm.
Be that as it
may, his company
headquarters at
55th Street
Station makes
instantly clear
that Soyka is an I Soyka on the Boule
Did It My Way It should never be
kind ofindividu- wall people. Here y
alist. How many
business offices contain a 1958 Bentley
and a 1969 Mercedes? Not to mention,
among a massive collection of other vin-
tage items, a spooky mannequin wearing
a satin roller rink jacket (memento of the
disco roller-skating rink, Manhattan's
first, that Soyka opened in the late 1970s).

vard: "It will never be South Beach.
South Beach. Over there, it's wall-to-
ou can't have that."

The office is really a very eclectic
design museum, which is fitting, since
the start of Soyka's varied career path,
after leaving his native Tel Aviv at age
20, was a stint at the New York School
of Interior Design. He still designs his
own restaurants' interiors, right down to

," the News Lounge's men's room, decorat-
Sed with automobile-themed artwork.
Biscayne Times: I'm wondering about
the cars.
Mark Soyka: I'm a car nut. I used to
own many, 15 over the years. Actually
Soyka restaurant was a warehouse for
them. I bought it many years ago with no
intention of opening a restaurant, until I
started diluting my collection. Then I had
the empty building and when I thought
of what to do with it. I only do one
thing. I open a place to eat. I never think
of anything else.
So you didn't think of revitalizing the
neighborhood, even though you did?
No. Absolutely not. I never said, I'm
gonna open this here because there's
nothing around. Craig Robins in the
Design District, my old friend Tony
Goldman in Wynwood they're real
estate guys who look for an area where
they can buy 30 buildings and convert an
entire community. I'm not a visionary on
that level.

Continued on page 34

A Peek at the Precincts

By Rob Jordan
Special to BT

In the days since Barack Obama's
monumental election victory, an
intriguing pattern has emerged from
voter data in California. That state's
black voters, who turned out for Obama
en masse, opted not to support another
progressive cause gay marriage.
Political analysts say the black vote was
decisive in the passage of Proposition 8
a state constitutional amendment that
restricts marriage to union between a
man and a woman.
In Florida, the passage of constitu-
tional Amendment 2, which is identica
to Proposition 8 except that is also nul-
lifies the legal validity of domestic par
nerships (gay or straight), has received
less scrutiny. But a sampling of county
elections-department data from more
than 20 voting precincts along the
Biscayne Corridor paints a surprising
picture: In our part of the state, the

Here's how you voted for president and on the gay-marriage ban
wealthy are not necessarily tax-averse education about how, when, and why
conservatives, and minority voters '. it's crucial to vote. Yet the single lowest
aren't automatic liberals, especially turnout among our sample pool was
when cultural heritage comes to bear on -I precinct 156, in the heart of Miami
sensitive issues like marriage and sexu- Shores, where only 52 percent of regis-
al preference. tered voters showed up.
The November 4 election was historic Unsurprisingly, black neighborhoods
on multiple counts beyond the obvious such as Little Haiti and parts of North
storyline the election of the first Miami voted overwhelmingly for
black president. Voter turnout in the Obama, by margins as high as 954-37,
sampled Biscayne Corridor areas aver- 1629-244, and 781-32. Areas with a mix
aged close to 70 percent, the highest in ... 1 of people and incomes, such as El
decades, and overwhelmingly those Portal, and wealthy, predominantly
votes went to Obama. white areas like Belle Meade and
Residents of the affluent Venetian -- Morningside also went for Obama by
Islands as well as Star, Hibiscus, and wide margins (1067-128 and 889-234,
S Palm Islands voted in droves, with respectively). Yet hand-in-hand for
about 80 percent of registered voters I Obama as they might have been, resi-
t- making their voices heard. a dents of Little Haiti were the only ones
Comparatively poor areas such as Little '_ along the Biscayne Corridor who voted
Haiti (precincts 506, 514, 515, 517, and to ban gay marriage, while the Upper
519) had some of the lowest turnout i' Eastside generally gave Amendment 2 a
percentages, about 61 percent. For this resounding no.
there are the obvious explanations, "
among them a lack of awareness and ". --- Continued on page 32

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Sk8board Park
Continued from page 28
newspaper boxes, statues, and other
forms of street furniture.
But actual skate parks are rare in
Miami-Dade. Currently only the South
Dade municipality of Palmetto Bay has a
public skate park, which opened in 2006.
Homestead has plans to build one.
There are a few private indoor parks
like M.I.A. Skate Park in Doral, a
12,550-square foot facility in a ware-
house. Although the lack of public skate
parks helped make M.I.A. popular,
owner Chris Williams would love to see
a public park open in the Omni area. For
one thing, a skate park could help sales

at his Miami Beach skateboard store. For
another, a park can only help bolster the
sport, he says. "Our park might be a lit-
tle more challenging for kids anyway,"
Williams points out. "Having more
places to skate, let them get better. And
then go to M.IA. to try [their skills]."
Porrata says he's received many
calls from Miami skateboarders who
want Team Pain to build a skate park
somewhere in South Florida. Among
those who gave Team Pain a call is
Miami's parks department. "They
asked us to give them an idea on
cost," he says.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Continued from page 28

everything was set before the rapidly
approaching lighting ceremony.
Attorneys Barbara Gimenez and Mark L.
Rivlin worked pro bono on the contracts
needed to install the sign, and the City of
Miami did its part by rushing through
the permit approvals. Meanwhile, Alec
Blotnik at Tropical Signs in Hialeah was
repairing the sign under the direction of
Jerry Bengis, whose father built it in
1958 and installed it on the Parkleigh.
Unfortunately the sign had some
extensive damage. In particular the girl's
face went missing during a hurricane.
The electrical workings hidden inside the
cases were also in bad shape, so she's
been given a new face as well as energy-
saving LED lights, which replaced the
broken neon.
The Schering-Plough Corporation,
which owns the Coppertone brand,
helped out by contributing $88,600 for
the sign's removal, restoration, and rein-
stallation. Brent Saunders, president of
the Consumer Healthcare division, says
that "Schering-Plough is pleased to sup-
port this important preservation effort,"
adding that "the Coppertone Girl and
dog image is part of American culture
past, present, and future." He and other
company executives are expected to
attend the lighting ceremony.
A couple of issues remain to be
resolved, though. First is this year's
$1200 insurance bill, needed just in case
the city's biggest baby topples over and
sits on a car or two. The MiMo Biscayne
Association would like someone to step
forward and cover that. Also the associa-
tion hopes that further donations will pay
for routine maintenance, repairs to the

sign, and the electric bills.
With the final touches on the restoration
completed, the sign was carefully attached
to its new home on a building owned by
Hye Realty. Debbie Ohanian, who is the
principal at Hye, is thrilled by her new
neighbor. Her years in the fashion industry
have given her a slightly different angle
on the Coppertone Girl. Ohanian calls her
"Miami's first supermodel," and says she
is "thrilled to give her a home."
This all begs a question: Why trouble
ourselves for an "'oul.lricd" corporate
logo? Heck, she doesn't even look like
the kid that is on the bottle these days.
Perhaps it's best to ask the girl's model,
Cheri Brand. It was Brand's mom, Joyce
Ballantyne, who illustrated the icon 50
years ago, so Brand is very attached to
her iconic twin. Deeply moved by the
attention the sign is still getting, Brand
says, "I want to commend the efforts of
the historic preservation people and the
citizens of Miami, who are looking to
preserve that home feeling in their com-
munity. Miami has a certain tone to it,
and [the Coppertone sign] certainly has
been part of the culture there. I'm hon-
ored to be the thing they're preserving.
Miami people have always been awe-
some and very protective of the
Americana aspect of it, and definitely
have been speaking up for years, saying,
'No, no, you're not taking that away
from us.'"
Now, when was the last time you
heard an out-of-towner calling Miamians
"awesome"? Enjoy it while you can by
attending the formal lighting ceremony
on December 2 or by simply basking in
the sign's light as you drive past it dur-
ing its 50th year in Miami.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

hIdocutdoo or vundonr lways wdonml
Cal 301S73M.47 or 305U6.6215

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atI -a

December 2008

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Continued from page 29

But will naked ladies work? "I think
Madonna II will be busy," Griffith ven-
tures. "Adult clubs are doing business
everywhere I go." By that he means the
clientele drawn to his South Beach oper-
ation (the original Club Madonna), and
other adult clubs like Gold Rush in
Miami's downtown entertainment district
and Solid Gold in North Miami Beach.
Bob Flanders, a veteran Upper
Eastside activist and wry observer of

Continued from page 30
Keystone Point, the wealthy, gated
North Miami community that one might
expect to harbor some conservative sen-
timent, not only gave Obama a convinc-
ing two-to-one victory, its residents also
voted against Amendment 2 by a count
of 638-486.
Whatever ultimately shook party lines
this November the Iraq war, the hous-
ing crash, the stock plunge, Dick
Cheney's tight-lipped opposition to gay
unions in spite of his lesbian daughter -

Griffith's various business plans, can't
resist his own quip. "I guess donkeys
will be next," he says. Flanders adds that
Griffith made a clear-headed marketing
decision when he opted for naked
women instead of g-stringed men.
"There are 95 percent more heterosexu-
als than gay people," he notes. "And 50
percent of that 95 percent are men."
Flanders also says that Griffith will
need to draw customers from outside the
Upper Eastside if a strip club is going to
work. "The people who populate the
Upper Eastside are people who had their

the real numbers surprised even veteran
pollsters. This year's votes were for
issues, not parties.
Consider the exclusive islands of Star,
Hibiscus, Palm, and the Venetians. Not
only did Obama win by roughly two-to-
one, the gay marriage ban was handily
voted down, by three-to-one at Venetian
Islands precincts.
In black neighborhoods like Little
Haiti that approved Amendment 2, many
voters apparently didn't feel strongly
enough (or were too confused by the bal-
lot language) to vote either way. In one

fun on the Beach and have gone on with
their lives," he says, referring to South
Beach. "They are settling down."
Eventually, Flanders believes, Griffith
will recognize that "it'll be more valu-
able to sell it than to have some adult
type business. The Boulevard doesn't
send out the [seedy] message anymore.
It's not the same message the area had
10 or 15 years ago. I mean, Balans is
about to open here."
Griffith insists that his Boulevard
operation is quite profitable and will
only do better as the Biscayne Corridor

Little Haiti precinct, nearly a third of the
ballots were turned in with the amend-
ment left blank. Indifference to the issue,
tight victories, and unexpected rejections
of a gay-marriage ban are interesting
considering how strongly many
Caribbean nations condemn homosexual-
ity. Perhaps not all cultural baggage
makes the journey after all.
This being Miami, surprises and oddi-
ties didn't stop on Election Day. In
precinct 158 (Shorecrest), 348 voters
went to the polls, according to county
elections records. The precinct, however,

prospers. "It helps that the area's
streets are open and that new restau-
rants [are arriving]."
Another added bonus, according to
Griffith, is that Club Madonna II will be
able to serve full liquor, as it has for
years. Club Madonna on South Beach,
meanwhile, is restricted to nonalcoholic
beverages because the City of Miami
Beach refuses to allow liquor with nude
entertainment. Griffith is contemplating
a lawsuit to overturn the law.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

only has 332 registered voters. Doubly
odd, 4 of the 348 who supposedly voted
didn't bother to mark their choice for
president, while 23 didn't vote on
Amendment 2, according to records.
Poor administration or fraud notwith-
standing, this year's "surprises" thank-
fully didn't affect any outcomes. This
year, we can say we did it to ourselves.

Former BT editor Christian Cipriani
contributed to this report.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


You mm.c ~ [si lodhnswit i.C9jo oe ntdy

Bisiturn ww.icyeieeo -D ecembeg 2008 Interiors 3005 NE 2nd Ave. CENN
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December 2008

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J "", ;;.


Continued from page 29
Market" and "Transit Boutique" (a cloth-
ing store operated by Silverman's wife)
painted onto the facade of the building.
"Painting a sign directly onto a historic
building is improper," she contends. "He
would never have been approved by the
Historic Preservation Board to do that."
Silverman counters that the board did
approve the signage as a temporary meas-
ure: "They approved the color, size, font,
everything. It's a mock-up of the real sign
I'm planning to install. The letters are
going to be metal and lit in the back."
D'Amico doesn't buy it: "As I said
before, he's already clearly demonstrat-
ed his lack of respect for the preserva-
tion process."
This past September, the city's Planning
Advisory Board approved the creation of
a special "Market District" along
Biscayne Boulevard, from 51st Street to
77th Street, which, if passed by the city
commission on December 11, will allow
Silverman and a few other qualifying
property owners, to permanently operate
outdoor markets on Saturdays and
Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Silverman runs his current market under a
temporary special-events permit.
From the outset, D'Amico, who shares
credit for coining the term "MiMo," was
less than enthusiastic about the idea of
an outdoor market at the Vagabond. She
felt it would provide Silverman with a
convenient way to generate income from
his property without actually restoring it,
and she feared that an outdoor market
would morph into a kind of low-rent
bazaar. In her view, the market has
already morphed. "It's a flea market,"
she says derisively. "It's a hodgepodge
of things they're selling."
The proposed Market District ordinance
specifically defines what can be sold, not
all early vendors were aware of the
restrictions. Ellen Wedner, who recently
stepped down as Silverman's special-
events manager to concentrate on her vin-
tage store at the motel (Vagabond
Vintage), says only one vendor violated
those restrictions on opening day. "I was
the first one to tell vendors who brought
[prohibited] things that they had to leave,"
she says. "I'm trying to very careful. But I
think Teri has a lot of nerve walking
around taking pictures. People told me

she was standing on the corer, screaming
at people: 'You're parking illegally!'"
D'Amico insists she doesn't have any-
thing against Silverman or his market
concept. "A marketplace is a phenome-
nal use for that building," she says, "but
the [new ordinance] is going to allow
him to set up tents around the perimeter
of the building, which will obscure it. So
when someone drives down from the
Smithsonian in D.C. to see this incredi-
ble building that is on the National
Register of Historic Places, they'll say,
'Where's the historic building? All I see
are tents selling junk.'"
"It's so frustrating," Silverman says with
exasperation. "Teri thinks I'm trashing the
neighborhood. It's such negative energy.
I'm working 16-hour days, seven days a
week, to make this place vibrant, and these
people bust my chops for nothing."
D'Amico, who is both applauded for
her preservation work and unpopular for
her assertive tactics, wants preservation
standards strictly upheld so the
Vagabond can remain a viable symbol of
the MiMo District she worked so hard to
create. At the same time, Silverman, who
is alternately referred to as a clever

visionary and an impetuous bulldozer
(depending on who is talking), hopes one
day to see a return on his multimillion-
dollar investment. Both sides are clearly
wary of each other.
"If Teri succeeds in putting Eric out of
business," says Wedner, "what will be
left but a shell? I'm not sure what would
be achieved. It's bad for all of us if the
Vagabond goes dark."
But MiMo architecture is D'Amico's
passion. She played a key role in identi-
fying, promoting, and preserving MiMo
structures along the Boulevard. It is, in a
sense, her legacy. "I will always, until
the day I die, be promoting this neigh-
borhood," she says. "I'm just asking Eric
to follow the rules. That's it."
"I am trying to follow the rules," coun-
ters Silverman. "I always go to the preser-
vation board first. And the amount of pos-
itive feedback we've gotten from locals
has been heart-warming. People thank us.
So do I listen to the 300 people who are
positive or to the handful who are not?
And who's done more than I've done?
Show me one person on the Boulevard."

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Continued from page 30
The vision for me is: Is this the right
place for a restaurant? Absolutely. I live
here with my wife and kids, in
Morningside, since the early 1990s, so I
know it cannot be scary. People are not
comfortable driving in and parking just
anywhere. But if I have 200 parking
spaces and good food and a great look,
people will come.
I did know that I would open a restau-
rant, not another cafe. A restaurant is a
destination. For a caf6 coffeecake/
people-watching you need the whole
area to be a destination, like South
Beach. There are no people on the side-
walks walking by over here.
There weren't many in SoBe in 1988,
when you opened the News Cafe. As you
said, it was still a depressed area.
Weren't you taking a chance?
Not really. If you look to my past, I'm
an only child who grew up in Israel. I
lived through the independence war and
the English barbed wires. I grew up kind
of semi on the streets. I wasn't a person
who was going to have academic
achievement. I didn't like school much. I

worked for whatever I achieved, and I
developed a self-confidence in what I
could do, but I didn't really have any
idea what I wanted to do. So I tried little
things you take a newspaper route or
whatever, small things.
And that's what I did in South Beach.
With a partner, I opened a little ice
cream/croissant store. It was not like it is
now. The bar was the only thing there.
We didn't have a kitchen. We didn't
cook for four years. We sliced bread and
put cold cuts in. And it just grew and
grew and we grew with it. So it's not
like I opened a huge thing and took a
tremendous chance. It was a different
time and place, and didn't take much
money to open a sweet little cafe.
What of the future? Many people
have been saying that with so many of
SoBe's creative pioneers opening
places over here now, the Biscayne
Corridor is the new South Beach. Do
you see similarities?
Absolutely wrong. It will never be
South Beach. It should never be South
Beach. Over there, it's wall-to-wall peo-
ple. Here you can't have that. With all
due respect, because Biscayne

Boulevard is looking much cleaner and
nicer and I do not oppose the MiMo
thing, I never saw the reality of thou-
sands of people walking up and down
the Boulevard. U.S. 1 it's a main
vehicular thoroughfare between Key
West and Canada. Cars zoom up and
down. You'll probably stand 20 minutes
to cross the street.
What we are doing is creating little
pockets of interest. Back before 1-95,
people who came to Miami Beach drove
on U.S. 1, and every so often there
would be a cute little historic district
with a few boutiques, some motels. And
they would stop. So I think in some way
we are simply taking, in this portion of
Biscayne, a similar character to what
was. People will be able to drive the last
three or four exits to the beach on U.S.
1. and enjoy the pockets we are creating
here and there.
Do you think there s a chance that with
so many arts-oriented developers, we 'll
do it right over here, rather than force
out the creative artists, clubs, and indie
restaurants with ridiculous rents?
I think so. It's not possible to deny
economic reality, but there isn't that

much here that can be. The artistic part
of what we do will probably stay, and
dominate in many areas.
I do think it was a major mistake not
allowing Kubik [the condominium
project just north of Andiamo] to hap-
pen because of the fear, by a very
small group, that Biscayne was going
to become a high-rise corridor. That
will never happen. But if there were
one or two pockets where there was
such an architecturally beautiful build-
ing where there was a bank, dry clean-
ers, a great gourmet supermarket -
they would shine their light down and
wake up five blocks south of it and
five blocks north of it.
Sounds almost...visionary. And your
own future, any projects?
I don't have major aspirations to open
new restaurants. Maybe I'll add a sec-
ond floor here, a few lofts, play with
design. Maybe in six months or a few
years the neighborhood will be such that
it will make sense to open the News
Lounge for breakfast. I intend to live to
be 120. Who knows?

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December 2008


Two Wheels Are Better Than Four

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor
The end is near! The end is near
because people around the world
are following the consumption
patterns of the U.S. The end is near
because the almighty automobile is con-
quering the world. Don't be fooled by
sour economic news. Car sales world-
wide are heading for a record this year,
according to a recent, terrifying special
report in The Economist. The difference
is that purchasing has shifted from the
West to the East. If everyone in China
acquires a car, this planet is toast.
Speaking of China, this column is sup-
posed to be about riding bicycles. I'm just
slightly distracted by the prediction of 3
billion cars by 2050, although the current
number, 700 million, is disconcerting, too.
Bikes. In Miami. Are you crazy?
Here in Miami, bikes should be outlawed.
They are dangerous obstacles for irate driv-
ers trying to get to work in the morning, and
they are practically invisible at night.
Children could be hit by them! These two-
wheeled pests are a menace on our streets.
Friends don't let friends ride bikes.
That is the car-crazed logic in Miami.
In other parts of the world, bikes and
pedestrians rule the road and cars have to
get out of the way. The people are
healthier and the air is cleaner. In Miami,
we call that communism. Regardless, the
bicycle is a viable solution for local,
individual transportation that also helps
save the planet and save your health.
Bikes are even better alternatives than
scooters, which I previously advocated
in this column. With bikes, the human
body is the only source of emissions.

Bicycle culture in Miami? Don't laugh, it's happening
!3 .A i ii

Pedal Power: Mayor Manny Diaz
Miami on November 9.

Besides sweating, people have other
mental blocks against biking around town.
Number one would be the danger factor,
which is impossible to eliminate where
bikes and cars share the road. But 30-year-
old cyclist-around-town Pedro Di Nezio
says Miami is much safer than Buenos
Aries, where the streets are treacherous,
although his Omni neighborhood is no
picnic. "We really need bike paths, of
course, especially on Biscayne Boulevard.
From Omni to the Julia Tuttle, cars go like
crazy," says Di Nezio. He regrets that
recently upgraded parts of the Boulevard
did not add bike paths. "It was a crime."
(It could be a crime now, because a new
Florida regulation requires paths for all
new or reconstructed state roads.)
Statistically bicyclists in Miami-Dade
County experience few traffic accidents
in comparison to motorcyclists and
pedestrians, according to the Florida
Department of Highway Safety and
Motor Vehicles. In 2006 the 347 traffic-
related fatalities in Miami-Dade County

la a a na l
leads the pack at the inaugural Bike

included 8 cyclists, 61 motorcyclists, and
90 pedestrians. So for safety's sake, stop
walking or driving and hop on a bike.
Like Di Nezio, local blogger Daniel
Perez owns a car but chooses to bike
daily. He believes that flat, warm Miami
is optimal for cycling. "Having been to
Europe a couple of times, especially on
my visits to Amsterdam, I was familiar
and in love with the idea of the bike as a
primary means of transportation," says
Perez. "After bemoaning the fact that
Miami was a place that could have such
a great bike scene but didn't, my wife
and I both decided to be the change we
wanted to see. Riding our bikes has
made us connect more with the city, with
our surroundings, and made us feel good
about doing our little part toward the
conservation of our environment."
In our hemisphere, the epicenter of
bicycle culture is BogotA, Colombia,
where former mayor Enrique Pefialosa put
parks and cycling at the foreground of
development. Entire suburbs were created

with narrow bike paths instead of wide
streets. And every Sunday this city and
others in Colombia transform into Bike-
opolises. Known as Ciclovia, the weekly
event shuts down the streets and hands
them over to bikers. BogotA closes more
than 70 miles of roads and counts well
over a million participants every Sunday.
By comparison, the "Bike Miami"
event in downtown on Sunday,
November 9, drew 2000 participants.
Miami Mayor Manny Diaz has strapped
on his bike helmet and made a point to
support initiatives like Bike Miami,
which closed streets to traffic in down-
town for a few hours. With enough sup-
port, this event could become a regular
occurrence. In fact, a second Bike Miami
Sunday is scheduled for December 14.
"Bike Miami was a fantastic event that
made a huge statement about the com-
mitment of Mayor Manny Diaz and the
City of Miami toward making this won-
derful city a better place for cyclists of
all stripes," says Perez.
Biking once a week, or even once a
month, would be a step in the right direc-
tion. Choosing to bike daily instead of
driving is a major lifestyle decision, but it
would go a long way toward achieving a
carbon-neutral existence. Imagine those 3
billion cars melting into 3 billion bikes. It
could happen if we put a priority on
health and balance instead of convenience
and consumption. We have some lessons
to learn from our neighbors in BogotA.

For details about the Bike Miami event
on December 14, see page page 44 or
visit www.bike-maimi.com.


Please join us for The South Florida Coast:

New Horizons in Science and the Humanities
Thanks to a grant from the Florida Humanities Council, Florida International University
Biscayne Bay Campus and the College of Arts and Sciences present a Lecture series to focus
attention on some of our state's most vexing environmental concerns. Lectures will take
place at the Kovens Conference Center on the Biscayne Bay Campus at 7:00 PM as follows:

S October 16 An Alligator Eating Its Own Tail: Florida in the 21st Century
A lecture by author/environmentalist Alan Farago.
November 13 Spirituality Goes Green: Scientific and Spiritual Approaches to Global Warming
A panel discussion on personal values and environmental awareness.
December 4 A reading by poets Robert Wrigley and Campbell McGrath
F Explore the connection between nature, community, and a sense of place.

back: letters@biscaynetimes.com



r 1rlia' nlties
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December 2008


Hostile Takeover
800 Block ofNE 86th Street
Two men knocked on a homeowner's
door and asked if her air conditioner was
for sale. She assured him it was not and
wondered how they had come by this
incorrect information. The men left, but a
few minutes later the homeowner heard a
loud noise emanating from outside her
home. The two men had forcibly removed
the air conditioner and placed it in a wait-
ing vehicle. It's a bear market: Sell!

Am I My Brother's
Police were called when the victim
arrived home and saw that his laptop and
all of his brother's belongings were
missing. The brother could not be found,
so he became the prime suspect. The
slippery brother did call a week later and
admitted he'd sold the Apple laptop for
$400. (He could have gotten a better deal

Biscayne Crime Beat
SCompiled by Derek McCann

for an iBook G4.) He added that he was
not returning to Miami. The brother's
new area code indicated he was in the
cold of northern Connecticut. Charges
were dropped because there is no hope
of an arrest unless, of course, the
brother comes down for the holidays and

an arrest can be made after the awkward
Christmas dinner.

Fixing a Hole
2500 Block ofN. Miami Avenue
This suspect was clearly observed by
several people scaling a 12-foot fence at

a towing yard. He was not looking for
his car. Soon he grabbed some jumper
cables lying on the ground. Then he
made a hole in the fence and wormed his
way out. The cables belonged to one of
the tow trucks, and needless to say, he
did not have permission to access them.
He was arrested on the spot and the
cables were returned to the tow truck
operator. Police towed the thief to jail.
No word if he ever got that much-needed
jump start.

Pastor Victimized by
Thirsty Tech Nerd
100 Block ofNE 73rd Street
The location had been locked as usual,
but upon returning, a pastor noticed the
security gate had been damaged and his
computer was missing. A five-gallon
jug of water was also taken. There are
no leads and all prayers were likely
stored on the hard drive of that comput-

Continued on page 37

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December 2008

!" i" "O!


Crime Beat
Continued from page 36
er. This string of events so affected the
officer who wrote the report that he
sprinkled his narrative with exclama-
tion points.

A Musician's Lament
2200 Block of NE 4th Avenue
If you are going to live like a musician,
you will likely be robbed like one. This
victim, living in a condo, had his guitar,
computer, and a box of money (in lieu of
a bank account) stolen by an unknown
intruder. The theory is that the criminal
entered his unit via a vacant motel next
door. The musician, perhaps after a late-
night show, had left his balcony door
open. Biscayne Corridor denizens should
never underestimate the dexterity of a
determined crook.

Fencing Operation
200 Block NE 59th Street
Television monitors valued at $40,000
were stolen from a business. Private
investigators were hired by this television
company and they obtained pertinent

information from the most knowledge-
able neighbors the crack addicts.
Druggies led the PIs to a fencing opera-
tion at an apartment on NE 3rd Avenue,
where several of the stolen monitors
were found with shipping packaging
addressed to Haiti. The monitors were
retrieved without incident. According to
the victim, the apartment was filled
from floor to ceiling with stolen mer-
chandise, and there was a flow of foot
traffic in and out of the building. Police
set up surveillance at the location for
the next several days (the subject who
lives there owns a vessel that regularly
sails to and from Haiti), but they
observed no illegal activity. The case is
closed pending further stolen goods. So
if you're in the market for cheap elec-
tronics, it looks like this fence is closed
for business.

Good Samaritan
Richly Rewarded for
100 Block ofNE 48th Street
A kind and decent man (read: naive)
was enjoying a walk when he was
approached by a seemingly hungry man

asking for money. The kind man did not
give the panhandler money but offered
food. He brought him to his residence,
sat him down, and served him some
impromptu microwave dinner. The kind
man then went upstairs for a minute -
perhaps to get dessert? While he was
gone, the now-sated panhandler stole
his bicycle and iPod. There have been
no arrests.

No Justice for
the Pothead
Police responded to a homeowner who
reported that a man was removing
plants from his backyard. The owner
was gone by the time police arrived,
but upon closer inspection, the officers
discovered that these beautiful plants
were of the cannabis variety and were
growing inside the home. The man
absconding with the plants was a bur-
glar, who was arrested immediately.
The rightful owner of the plants was
notified of the arrest, but by press time
he still had not responded. Police have
indicated they want to talk to him to
"discuss" the burglary.

One Way to Avoid
Collection Calls
200 Block Biscayne Boulevard
Aman owed a law firm $65,000. He came
by the office to "verify" the fees. When the
office clerk gave him the files to review, the
man grabbed them and ran out of the office.
Multiple calls were placed to him asking
for the files to be returned. Police got
involved and a deadline was set for a show-
down. The files were returned without inci-
dent and charges were not filed over the
now-filed files. What the indebted man did
not know is that the files were backed up
by computer. Guess he only had two hands.

Phoning Your Way to Jail
3400 Block of Biscayne Boulevard
On patrol, police observed a man appar-
ently trying to break into a pay phone. He
banged the metal phone housing and
shook it in an obvious attempt to retrieve
coins. When police stopped their vehicle
and approached him, the man pretended to
be talking on the phone. That did not stop
the officers from arresting him. Good luck
trying to steal coins in the county jail.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


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O OOi cHmm CIu


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353 NE 2 Ave MiuaFL33137 116 NE I Ave. Majii FL 33132
P 305.576,9320 F, 305.576,321 www.aaami.com

December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


^iJ^AZe _614-iI

' s : *UK

- A A m .


By Victor Barrenechea
BT Contributor

It's year number seven for Art Basel
Miami Beach, which once again
promises to be the catalyst for a full
week of art hysteria in our town. With
more than 20 satellite fairs and countless
other events sailing along in ABMB's
huge wake, it's easy to become over-
whelmed. So the BT has put together a
list of some of the more exciting and
quirky shows worth seeking out amid the
artistic extravaganza.

The consistently cutting-edge New
York City Deitch Projects has put to
together an exhibition titled "Rad Moon
Rising," curated by Nathan Howdeshell,
better known as Brace Pain, guitarist for
the Portland, Oregon, indie group The
Gossip. What you get is 16 emerging
young Portland artists, predominantly
under age 30 and few with any gallery
representation whatsoever. Expect lots of
screaming fluorescent colors, Polaroids,
crude drawings and collages, each exud-
ing youthful DIY aesthetic. The fitting
venue for this event is the former experi-
mental art space known as the Bas Fisher
Invitational, reopened for this one-time-
only special event.
December 4 through 6, Bas Fisher
Invitational, 180 NE 39th St., Miami,
#210, from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

In a yet-to-be-occupied building in
Midtown Miami with a completed facade
but an unfinished, raw industrial interior
that encompasses 12,000 square feet of
space on three floors, "The Station" is a
show that explores themes of temporality
in the urban landscape. Organized by
Eleanor Cayre and curated by New York-
based artist Nate Lowman and Shamim
M. Momin, co-curator of the 2004 and
2008 Whitney Biennials, "The Station"
exhibits more than 40 of today's hottest
contemporary artists, with a few locals
thrown into the mix for good measure.
You'll find a painting of L.A.'s Fox
Plaza Building set ablaze by Gary
Simmons; a naively rendered wall draw-
ing by Olaf Breuning depicting a dimin-
ishing chain of aggression, with a bomb
falling on a tank that is firing its cannon

Off the Basel Path

A short guide to some of the more novel art shows

i i
1. hI Lw

Mette Tommerup's piece at CasaLin's outdoor exhibition.

at a man who's shooting another man in
the head. Also look for performances by
the New Humans' Lansing-Dreiden, and
on opening night Terence Koh. Other
artists include Rita Ackermann, Diana
Al-Hadid, and Peter Coffin.
December 2 through 7, Midblock East,
3250 NE 1st Ave., Miami. For more infor-
mation visit www.thestationmiami.org

For the past six years CasaLin (brain-
child of Lin Lougheed) has been show-
casing an intriguing series of outdoor
exhibitions, and this year is no excep-
tion. Six local artists have created

Several times each night through
week, the garage door will fling op
minute-long performances by a v
range of artists.

works that interact with nature and the
outdoors. Mette Tommerup takes a gar-
den shed and transforms it into a habitat
for moss and air plants, a symbol of
man's encroachment on nature and vice
versa. Her husband Robert Chambers
presents a sculpture in which he fuses
two tractors together, head to head, a
statement on America's heartland her-
itage and its precarious future. Frances
Trombly's Toilet Paper Prank shrouds a
tree in a fabric facsimile of toilet paper,

exploring the nature of trash and dispos-
able objects.
Through December 7 at Casa Lin, 55
NW 30th St., Miami, www.casalin.org,
S .... / ,,,11,/i i; . i .....l ,Il ,,i , i ,
Reception December 4 from 10:00 a.m.
to 12:00p.m.

Organized by Scott Murray of Twenty
Twenty Projects, with artists Nicolas
Lobo and Jay Hines, and located directly
across the street from the Design Miami
fair in a warehouse space, you'll find an
unassuming closed garage door, decorat-
ed with a donut mural and a peephole in
the center. Several times each
night throughout the week, the
Ut the garage door will fling open
ien for for minute-long performances
vide by a wide range of artists.
This is part of an ongoing,
amorphously collaborative art
project known as "American
Donut," which will record and broadcast
a multitude of audio performances
(including the aforementioned) for broad-
cast on telephone party lines. Eventually
it is to become a vinyl LP containing a
portion of those recordings.
December 2 though 7, 3825 NE 1st
Ct., Miami, unscheduled evening hours.

"I can't be here and not do some-
thing," says local artist and sculptor

A work by
S Portland
lan Hawk,
at the Bas

Oliver Sanchez, who has a studio next
door to the "American Donut" project,
also across the street from Design
Miami. So Sanchez is transforming his
space into an installation that will oddly
resemble a cobbled-together bazaar or
bodega. The artist hopes the piece will
be something of an oasis from the hectic
pace of the fair. Inside you'll be able to
purchase soft drinks, empanadas, cook-
ies, as well as caf6 cubano, cigars, and
botanicals. Sanchez also stresses that
there is no sponsorship for this event and
that all proceeds go to D.A.S.H., the
neighborhood's arts-magnet high school,
Design and Architecture Senior High.
December 3 through 7, 3821 NE 1st
Ct., Miami, varied hours.

Our own local museums are doing their
part to pump up the Art Basel fervor with
two exciting projects. "The Possibility of
an Island" will be on exhibit at the MOCA
Goldman Warehouse. The show explores
themes of anxiety, alienation, technology,
aging, and death as presented in French
author Michel Houellebecq's popular sci-fi
novel of the same name. Taking part is an
impressive array of international artists,
including Cory Arcangel, Cristina Lei
Rodriguez, Heman Chong, Peter Coffin,
and Julika Rudelius, among others.
MAM will be presenting public-art proj-
ects featuring works by Jeff Koons, Daniel
Arsham, and John Henry. Above MAM's
downtown plaza will hover Koons's
kitschy Silver Rabbit Balloon, a 50-foot,
rabbit-shaped helium balloon in the tradi-
tion of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
Arsham's project involves choreographing
the exterior floodlights at the landmark
Bank of America Tower to pulsate like a
Continued on page 39

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008



Rendering for the Friends With You F

Basel Path
Continued from page 38

beacon. John Henry's 80-foot, painted-
steel sculpture will be installed at
Bicentennial Park, soon to be Museum
Park and the future home of MAM.
"The Possibility of an Island, "
December 4 through March 21, MOCA
at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th

-un House at SCOPE.

St., Miami, 305-893-6211.
Silver Rabbit Balloon, on display
December 4, MAM Plaza, 101 W
Flagler St., Miami.
Daniel Arsham s floodlight project at
the Bank of America Tower December 4,
100 SE 2nd St., Miami.
John Henry's sculpture on display
December 4, Bicentennial Park, 1075
Biscayne Blvd., Miami.

In Da Shade by Rita Ackermann, which will be
on display at "The Station."

And finally, look to the SCOPE Art
Fair for a carefree and fun interactive
installation of ambitious size. Fun House,
by the Friends With You art duo of Sam
Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, is a
4000-square-foot, hands-on magical vil-
lage, complete with a bounce house,
playrooms with inflatable figures, and a
restaurant and bar. "Our hope is to give
people an art experience that's more like

an adventure," says Borkson, who invites
people of all ages to come play and enjoy
themselves in the piece. Also included
will be a gallery of Friends With You
sculptures and paintings, and a gift shop
to purchase toys and products, including
limited-edition T-shirts.
December 3 through 7 at SCOPE Art
Fair 2951 NE 1st Ave., Miami.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

piaRlffi~ni KM/ if~^ IiFw ___

December 2008 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com




233 NW 36th St., Miami
Through January 8:
"Fusion" with Pip Brant, Emanuele Cacciatore, Tony
Caltabiano, Emmy Cho, Debra Holt, David McConnell,
Peter Mackie, Sara Modiano, Kerry Phillips, Susan
Woodruff, and Jayoung Yoon
December 13 through February 4:
Solo show by Jayoung Yoon
Reception December 13, 7 to 10 p.m.

2134 NW Miami Ct., Miami
Through January 31:
Solo show by Pablo Siquier

2033 NW 1st PI., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

6140 NW 7th Ave., Miami
Through December 10: "Nothing You Have Ever Seen
Before" byAddonis Parker

1 NE 40th St., Miami
Through December 24:
"Fusion V A Global Affair" with various artists
Reception December 6, 7 to 10 p.m.
Reception December 13, 7 to 10 p.m.

46 NW 36th St., Miami
Through January 20:
"The Box of Mental States" by Jose Manuel Ciria

171 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through January 3:
"No Easy Pieces" with Fabian De La Flor, Natasha
Duwin, Donna Haynes, Anja Marais, Alejandro
Mendoza, RJ. Mills, Ray Paul, Natalia Reparaz,
Rosario Rivera, Alette Simmons-Jimenez, and Chieko

561 NW 32nd St., Miami
December 4 through 7:
"Garden and Grotto of Manifest Desitiny" by Randy
December 4 through January 25:
"Paraphernalia" curated by Carol Damian with Tristan
Fitch, Leanne Hemmingway-Siebels, Moira Holoham,
Jill Hotchkiss, Stephen Barron Johnson, Kathy Kissik,
Cyriaco Lopes, Mario Marinoni, Luisa Mesa, Deborah
M. Mitchell, Daniel Ortiz, Tere Pastoriza, Randy
Polumbo, Susan Radau, Rosemarie Romero, Angelika
Rothkegel, Tina Salvesen, Anica Shpilberg, Jose
Pacheco Silva, Loren Squire, Kikuko Tanaka, and
Ramon Williams
Reception December 4, 6 to 10 p.m.

4141 NE 2nd Ave. #202, Miami

Santiago Rubino,Vescica Piscis, grape
and charcoal on paper in artist's frarr
2008, at the Spinello Gallery.

Through December 12: "Recession Proof with Robert
Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Robert Thiele, David
Hockney Jim Dine, and James Rosenquist

301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami
December 2 through 7:
"Giants in the City" with Gustavo Acosta, Jose Bedia,
Tomas Esson, Frank Hyder, Anja Marais, John Martini,
Alejandro Mendoza, Angel Ricardo Rios, Alette
Simmons-Jimenez, and Michelle Weinberg
Reception December 2, 9 to 11 p.m.

3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through December 27:
"Cycles" by Hung Liu and "In Your Hands" by Maria

598 NE 77th St., Miami
December 12 through January 9:
"Last Works of Maximo Caminero" by Maximo
Reception December 12, 7 to 11 pm.

158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores
By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com
Through January 10:
"Limpiesa" by GisMo Girls

541 NW 27th St., Miami
Through January 31:"Rauschenberg Retrospective" by
Robert Rauschenberg
Reception December 7, 7 to 10 p.m.

250 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through December 21:
Solo show by Marc Seguin
Reception December 5, 7 to 10 p.m.
Reception December 13, 7 to 10 p.m.

2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through December 13:
"Earth, Part One: Anima" by Fernando
Reception December 13, 7 to 11 p.m.

61 NE 40th St., Miami
Ongoing exhibition "Acrylart" with
various artists
Reception December 13, 7 to 10 p.m.

2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
December 1 through January 3:
"Four Solo Shows" with Wendy Wischer,
Glexis Novoa, Aramis Gutierrez, Frances
ihite Trombly, and Leyden Rodriguez-
ie, Reception December 6, 7 to 10 p.m.

2051 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through December 13:
"VooDoo Cracker Magic" by Graham Wood Drout
Reception December 13, 70 to 11 p.m.

2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami
December 2 through February 7:
"Spill-Over" with Felice Grodin, Perry Hall, Gye-Hoon
Park, Udo Noger, Silvia Rivas, Sterz, Karina
Wisnieska, and Xawery Wolski; "Fantastic Voyage"
with Luis Alonzo-Barkigia, Carlos Betancourt, Vicenta
Casan, Rabindranat Diaz Arjona, Michael Loveland,
Marc Hello, Cecilia Paredes, and Michael Scoggins;
and "$9990" with Luis Alonzo-Barkigia, Sergio
Bazan, Carlos Betancourt, Trisha Brookbank,
Vicenta Casan, Clifton Childree, Julie Davidow, Tulio
De Sagastizabal, Rabindranat Diaz Arjona, Nina
Ferre, Felice Grodin, Jill Hotchkiss, Rosa Irigoyen,
Laura Kina, Michael Loveland, Katrin Moller, Marc
Hello, Cecilia Paredes, Silvia Rivas, Graciela Sacco,
Jorge Simes, Nicole Soden, Guillermo Srodek-Hart,
Sterz, Annie Wharton, Karina Wisniewska, and
Xawery Wolski
Reception December 6, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

3938 NE 39th St., Miami
December 3 through January 22:
"Caribbean Crossroads Series -Art/ Basel -When
Black Is Clear" with various artists
Reception December 3, 7 to 10 p.m.

151 NW 24th St., Miami
Through December 31:
"Shapeshifter" with Jenny Brillhart,
Elisabeth Condon, Robin Griffiths,
Richard Haden, Michelle Hailey, m lafille,
Martin Murphy Ralph Provisero, John Sanchez,
and Kyle Trowbridge

51 NW 36th St., Miami
Through January 20:
"and let it go" by Leslie Gabaldon
Through January 22:
"Laboratory" by Leonel Matheu

151 NW 36th St., Miami
December 6 through 20:
"Art Basel @ Wynwood Art Show" with Anica, Alicia H
Torres, Carolina Rojas, Fabia Nitti, Francisco Ceron,
and Jorge Matas
Reception December 6, 7 to 11 p.m.

2247 NW 1st PI., Miami
December 5 through January 3:
"Heavy Manner" by Luis Gispert and "DEATH BY
BASEL" with Chim_Pom, Cyprien Gaillard, Daniel
Newman, Eirik Saether, Eric Pougeau, Ida Ekblad,
Item Idem, John Riepenhoff, Ken Kagami, Tai Ogawa,
Yamataka Eye, and Yoshiaki Kuribara
Reception December 5, 7 to 10 p.m.

194 NW 30th St., Miami
December 4 through January 3:
"the PIG presents ..." with Paola Pivi, Gelitin, Alfredo
Jaar, Mario Grubisic, Jeremy Deller, Simon Martin, and
Roberto Cuoghi

174 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through December 20:
"bi(h)ome" by Brian Burkhardt

3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Ongoing show: "A Slice of the Action" by Carl Pascuzzi
and Jonathan Stein

Temporary location:
314 NW 24th St., Miami
Through December 12:
"The Cosmic Blob Show" with KRK Ryden

164 NW 20th St., Miami
December 6 through February 14:
"Sisters in Arms" by Julio Blanco
Reception December 6, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Reception December 13, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

50 NE 29 St., Miami
Through January 31:
"Migration" with Joe Concra and Kevin Paulsen
Reception December 4 through 7, 8:30 to 11 a.m.

2249 NW 1st PI., Miami
Through January 7:

Continued on page 41

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Art Listings

Continued from page 40
"New Images / Unisex New Images/ Unisex" with
Kerstin Bratsch, Davis Rhodes, Nikolas Gambaroff,
Adele Roder, Taylor Kretschmar, Georgia Sagri,
Charles Mayton, and Greg Parma Smith
December 2 through January 17:
"Deal or No Deal" by Mika Tajima
Reception December 2, 6 to 9 p.m.

105 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through December 31:
"10 Years of Locust Projects" curated by Gean Moreno
and Claire Breukel with various artists and "New Work
(wall painting)" by Ed Youngs

98 NW 29th St., Miami
Through January 30:
"Escape" by Aldo Chaparro, "Altarium 14 Wheeler" by
Bayrol Jimenez, and "In a Moment's Notice" by Ricky
Reception December 3 through 7, 9 to noon

126 NE 40th St., Miami
Ongoing show:
"Art and Serenity" with Jeffrey Gluck, James Kitchens,
and Gail Taylor

244 NW 35th St., Miami
December 5 through 13:

Carlos Betancourt,The Last Supper, ink on canvas, 2008, at Diana Lowensi

"Purvis Young & Friends" with Purvis Young, Steve
"Beast" Alvin, and more
Reception December 5, 7 to 10 p.m.

101 W. Flagler St., Miami
Through December 15:
"Polychrome Affinities" curated by Michelle Weinberg
with Guerra de la Paz, Michelle Weinberg, and
Magali Wilensky

1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
December 4 through January 8:
Annual faculty exhibition
Reception December 4, 5 to 8 p.m.

17 NW 36th St., Miami
Through December 20:
"The Pucker-Up Project" by Perry Milou

3100 NW 7th Ave., Miami
December 2 through 7:
"It Ain't Fair" with Tauba Auerbach, Stefan Bondell,
Scott Campbell, Dan Colen, Phil Frost, Patrick Griffin,
Evan Gruzis, Ben Jones, Terence Koh, Nate Lowman,
Ryan McGinley, Slava Mogutin, Takeshi Murata, Jason
Nocito, Ara Peterson, Aurel Schmidt, Shinique Smith,
Agathe Snow, Dash Snow, Francine Spiegel, Kon
Trubkovich, Solange Umutoni, and more

2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through December 31:
Francis Acea, Tracey Snelling, and Ana Maria Pacheco
Reception December 6, 6 to 9 p.m.

2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
December 2 through 13:
Group show with Alexa Horochowski, Torres Llorca,
Federico Uribe, Hisae Ikenaga, Luis Mallo, Andrea


tein Fine Arts.

Juan, and Agusto Zanela
December 13 through 31:
Solo show by Alexa Horochowski
Reception December 13, 7 to 10 p.m.

28 NE 14th St., Miami
December 6:
"Unbreak" with Alex Yannes NF Romero, Ross Ford,
Luis Diaz, E.S. Angel
Reception December 6, 4 p.m. to 5 a.m.

81 NW 24th St., Miami
December 3 through 7:
Group show with Kevin Brady David Button, Manuel
Carbonell, Nichole Chimenti, Dest, Gary Fonseca,
Steven Gamson, Jennifer Kaiser, Raquel Glottman,
Jim Herbert, Alejandro Paiva Lopez, Andy Piedilato,
Pablo Power, Tomy F. Trujillo, Jon "Depoe" Villoch, and
Giancarlo Zavala
Reception December 3, 6 to 11 p.m.

Continued on page 42

.0...................... mimF 33

December 2008 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

CHANTIK 25%Yff Sale

7287 Biscayne Blvd (954) 559-2804

Miami 33138 www.CHANTIKONLINE.com

December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Art Listings
Continued from page 41
2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
December 6 through January 3:
"Primeval State of Perfection" by Santiago Rubino
Reception December 6, 7 to 10 p.m.
Reception December 13, 7 to 10 p.m.

162 NE 50 Terrace, Miami.
Through December 12: "Bewitched, Bothered and
Bewildered" by Helene Weiss

2020 NW Miami Ct., Miami
Through January 6:
"Cha-Cha" with John Bucklin, Robert Chambers, Alyse
Emdur, Jay Hines, Justin Long, Raul J. Mendez, Gean
Moreno, and Daniel Newman
Reception December 13, 7 to midnight

10 NE 3rd St., Miami
www.wal flowergallery.com
myspace.com/wal flowergallery
December 4: Solo show by Thomas Daniel Burnikel


CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation)
1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami
December 3 through March 1:

Project Illustrated" by John Henry
Through April 4: "Simulacra and
Essence: The Paintings of Luisa
Basnuevo" by Luisa Maria Basnuevo

1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables
Through January 18:
"Charles Biederman: An American
Idealist" by Charles Biederman

Martin Murphy,The Split Mirror Syndrome, HD 101 W. Flagler St., Miami
video with sound, 2008, at the Dorsch Gallery. 305-375-3000
Through January 18: "MBE: A Flying
"The Prisoner's Dilemma: Selections from the Ella Machine for Every Man, Woman, and Child" by Yinka
Fontanals-Cisneros Collection" with Francis Alys, Shonibare
Barbara Kruger, Alexander Apostol, Rafael Lozano- Through January 25: "Moving Through Time and
Hemmer, Alexandre Arrechea, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Space" by Chantal Akerman
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Through February 22: "Objects of Value" with various
Judith Barry, Priscilla Monge, Paolo Canevari, Carlos artists

Motta, Stan Douglas, Antoni Muntadas, Jimmie
Durham, Shirin Neshat, Cao Fei, Julian Rosefeldt,
Regina Jose Galindo, Laurie Simmons, Carlos
Garaicoa, Eve Sussman, Mathilde ter Heijne, Frank
Thiel, Thomas Hirschhorn, Susan Turcot, Jenny
Holzer, and Monika Weiss
Reception December 3 through 7, 9 to noon

11200 SW 8th St., Miami
Through February 28: "Intersections" by Florencio
Through March 1: "Modern Masters from the
Smithsonian American Art Museum" with various artists
Through March 9: "Drawing in Space: The Peninsula

770 NE 125th St., North Miami
December 3 through March 1:
"Purchase Not By Moonlight" by Anri Sala

404 NW 26th St., Miami
December 4 through March 21:
"The Possibility of an Island" with Cory Arcangel,
Davide Balula, Tobias Bernstrup, Heman Chong, Peter
Coffin, Matias Faldbakken, Cao Fei, Kim Fisher, Claire
Fontaine, K48, Chris Kraus, Cristina Lei Rodriguez,
Nicolas Lobo, Martin Oppel, Philip (a novel written by

Mark Aerial Waller, Heman Chong, Cosmin Costinas,
Rosemary Heather, Leif Magne Tangen, Francis
McKee, David Reinfurt, and Steve Rushton), Lisi
Raskin, Julika Rudelius, and Mungo Thomson

591 NW 27th St., Miami
Through April 25:
"Hurma" by Magdalena Abakanowicz, "Western Union:
Small Boats" by Isaac Julien, "Oil Rich Niger Delta" by
George Osodi, and "Photography and Sculpture: A
Correlated Exhibition" with various artists

95 NW 29th St., Miami
Call for operating hours and exhibit information.
December 3 through May 30:
"30 AMERICANS" with Nina Chanel Abney John
Bankston, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Bradford, lona
Rozeal Brown, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Noah
Davis, Leonardo Drew, Renee Green, David
Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Rashid Johnson,
Glenn Ligon, Kalup Linzy, Kerry James Marshall,
Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, William Pope.L,
Gary Simmons, Xaviera Simmons, Lorna Simpson,
Shinique Smith, Jeff Sonhouse, Henry Taylor, Hank
Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Carrie
Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, and Purvis Young

Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection
170 NW 23rd St., Miami
Appointment only: dennis@worldclassboxing.net
Call for operating hours and exhibit information.

Compiled by Victor Barrenechea
Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to

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2I 49

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

F1 I I / ,


Culture Briefs

Holiday Lights Like
You've Never Seen
In the same way airplane pilots need
bright runway lights in order to make
safe landings in the darkness of night, so
too Santa Claus needs dazzling light dis-
plays in order to make his famed rooftop
landings. Which means you needn't
worry about the children along North
Miami's NE 137th Terrace going without
gifts. For more than 15 years this lushly
tree-canopied neighborhood, just north
of Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park,
has banded together around holiday time
to transform their homes into a twinkling
wonderland with an over-the-top array of
more than 300,000 lights. It's known as
Holiday Lights 2008, and though there is
no charge to drive through the luminous
display, volunteers from Care Resource,
a nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organiza-
tion, will be on hand to accept donations
and hand out goodies to children. Load
up the kids and cruise by December 5-
31 NE 137th Terrace, just east of NE
16th Avenue. For information call 305-
576-1234 x257.

Pencils To Peru
Last year's coverage of earthquake-rav-
aged Peru compelled Miami photojour-
nalist Jacqueline Carini to reach out to
the struggling region. "After the earth-
quake, I went to Peru," she says. "What
struck me more than the tragedy was the
poverty of these people. I realized the
only way to change a situation like that
is by promoting education." Carini's
photos of rural Peru in the earthquake's
aftermath, and later images by Miami
restaurateur Armando Alfano, are on
view at Soya y Pomodoro, 120 NE 1st
St., Miami. Revenue from photo sales
will go to their Give Thanks For the
Children project, for which they're also

collecting books and school supplies for
Peruvian students ages 3 to 12. Supplies
dropped off at Soya y Pomodoro from
11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays
through December 22 will be delivered
by Carini, who will document the dona-
tion's impact. A closing reception, featur-
ing performance art by choreographer
Octavio Campos's students from the
New World School of the Arts, is slated
for later this month. For more informa-
tion call 305-381-9511 or 786-271-3622.

Art Week in MiMo
The MiMo Historic District isn't about
to be left out of the Art Basel hoopla.
From December 1-7, the MiMo strip
from 50th to 77th streets will host a con-
tinuous series of special events. From the
News Lounge at the southern end (8:00
p.m., December 6: "Miami Art in
Action"), to the Red Light restaurant at
the north (ongoing: "Urban Bridge -
River's Edge"), and many galleries and
shops in between, it'll be a weeklong
celebration. Look for a preview of the
Miami Expose photo-montage project on
Boulevard light posts between 69th and
73rd streets. For more information and
full list of events, visit www.mimoboule-
vard.org and click on "Events New and

Hooked on Books?
Here's Your Fix
If you're suffering from bibliographic
withdrawal following the Miami Book
Fair International, Friends of the Miami-
Dade Public Library can ease the pain
with its annual book-sale extravaganza
December 4-7 at the main library in
downtown Miami (101 W. Flagler St.).
It's the largest of its kind in South
Florida. You'll find thousands of books,
CDs, videotapes, and other treasures for
two bucks or less. All proceeds help the
financially challenged library system.
The sale runs from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00
p.m. on Thursday, from 10:00 a.m. to

5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and
from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, when
everything remaining is discounted by 50
percent. To volunteer or to join the
Friends organization call 305-375-4776
or e-mail friends@mdpls.org.

-. -,.. M"

Sugar Plum Fairies
and More
The Christmas season just wouldn't be
the same without a performance or ten of
The Nutcracker ballet. This year the
Miami Youth Ballet is among several
local groups performing the classic.
Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's The
Nutcracker and the Mouse King and
scored by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the
ballet premiered in 1892 in St.
Petersburg, Russia. It tells the story of
young Clara, who is given a nutcracker
as a present on Christmas Eve. The nut-
cracker magically transforms into a
prince, and the two travel to the Land of
the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Miami Youth
Ballet brings guest dancers Maribel
Modrono and Christopher Rendall-
Jackson to the Gusman Center (174 E.
Flagler St.) for one night only, Friday,
December 5, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $13-
$33 available at the Gusman Center box
office (305-372-0925) or Ticketmaster at

Playwright August Wilson
Onstage with the
M Ensemble
The M Ensemble, Florida's oldest
African-American theater company and a
Biscayne Corridor stalwart, launches its
2008-09 season with Pulitzer Prize-win-
ner August Wilson's drama Joe Turner s
Come and Gone. The play, set in a 1911
Pittsburgh boardinghouse, examines the
struggle for identity among post-slavery

African Americans. It is the third of ten
works in Wilson's cycle of plays that
broadly examine the African-American
experience. Joe Turner is directed by
Miami's own John Pryor. Onstage
through December 21 at the M
Ensemble playhouse (12320 W. Dixie
Hwy., North Miami). Tickets $20-$30.
For more information call 305-899-2217
or visit www.themensemble.com.

Spinning and Spirituality
Roughly 800 years ago in Turkey, the
Islamic scholar Rumi searched for
answers to life's eternal questions of the
spirit. Then he met a wandering dervish
named Shams al-Din. Shams showed
Rumi that spirituality was about celebra-
tion. Rumi then spent his life celebrating
the divine writing mystical poetry. On
Saturday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m.,
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (464 NE
16th St.) will host Peter Rogen, a master
interpreter of Rumi's poetry, accompa-
nied by Sufi musicians and whirling
dervish dancers, whose ecstatic twirling
transports them from the material to the
spiritual world. Tickets are $15 ($9.75
for students). Call 305-374-3372 or visit
trinitymiami.ticketleap.com for tickets.

Jazz on the Bay
On Saturday, December 6, perhaps the
busiest night of the year for stepping out
Continued on page 44

December 2008 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Culture Briefs

Continued from page 43
on the town, live jazz will take the stage
at American Legion Post 29, along
Biscayne Bay in Miami's Upper Eastside.
The Miami Jazz Project, a sextet led by
veteran Miami jazzman Arthur Barron,
will work through charts that range from
the standards to originals penned by
Barron himself. The lineup: Barron on
tenor, alto, and flute; Saul Gross (day
job: Miami Beach City Commissioner)
on tenor; Ken Kay on alto; Felix Gomez
on piano, Marcel Salas on bass, and
Oscar Salas on drums. The setting is cozy
and the sound pretty decent. Bar and
restaurant seating from which to choose.
Downbeat at 8:00 p.m. Cost: $15 at the
door. The post is located east of Biscayne
Boulevard on NE 64th Street. For more
information call 305-757-5773.

For the Birds and
For You
Frank Schena, the Historical Museum
of South Florida's own eco-historian,
leads a tour of Pelican Harbor, the
island bisected by the 79th Street
Causeway. Most people whiz past with-
out a glance. This is your chance to
slow down and look around. First stop
will be a visit to the Pelican Harbor
Seabird Station to visit with staffers and
see birds of all types recovering in the
rehabilitation hospital. The next stop is
a Biscayne Bay ferry ride over to
Pelican Island. Here you'll be free to
explore island trails with Schena or pull
out a blanket, grab some grub, and
enjoy the serenity. The tour begins at
Pelican Harbor (1279 NE 79th Street
Causeway) at 10:00 a.m. on December
7. Tickets are $20 for HMSF members
and $25 for nonmembers. Call 305-375-
1492 or visit www.hmsf.com.

Tropical Snowflakes
in NMB
Once again the City of North Miami
Beach is importing some traditional win-
ter spirit to South Florida with a 30-ton
snow mountain. This seasonally epic
event, appropriately named Snow Fest,
includes other fun features like a rock-
climbing wall, giant slide, bounce house,
live music, holiday games, prizes and
giveaways, arts and crafts, and of course
pictures with Santa (available for $1).
The snow will fall on December 13 at
6:00 p.m. at Allen Park/ DeLeonardis
Youth Center Field (1770 NE 162nd St.).
Call 305-948-2957 for more information.

Bike Miami, Take Two
Cyclists of Miami, reunite! Sunday,
December 14, is your second chance to
enjoy the streets of downtown Miami
- car-free. Skaters, joggers, and walk-
ers can also take advantage of the safe

zone from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.,
one hour more than the first Bike
Miami event in November. This free,
earth-friendly initiative comes courtesy
of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who
pledges to make it a monthly event. The
closed roadways center around E.
Flagler Street and run along S. Miami
Avenue by Mary Brickell Village,
where live bands will perform. Look for
giveaways and free services such as the
"bicycle valet" stations at SW 10th
Street and in Bayfront Park. Discounted
parking available at Bayside
Marketplace and Mary Brickell Village,
and public transportation is free with a
bike. For more information and a map,
visit bike-miami.com.

Gory Goings-on at the
Some observers have pointed to the
growing popularity of mixed-martial
arts (MMA) as another sign of
America's profound decline. As if
celebrity worship and reality TV shows
weren't enough, along comes MMA to
probe the depths of our social depravity
with its anything-goes ethos and gener-
al bloodletting. It's not every day, how-
ever, that we get to see this stuff live,
so here's your chance to watch a couple
of professional thugs try to put each
other in the hospital. Revolution
Fighting Championships, a local MMA
promoter, hosts fight night at down-
town's normally genteel Gusman
Center on December 19 at 8:00 p.m.
The card will feature a title bout
between undefeated Eric Reynolds and
Orlando's own Jos6 Figueroa. Tickets
range from $38 to $123 and are avail-
able at the Gusman Center box office
(305-372-0925), Ticketmaster
(www.ticketmaster.com), and at revolu-

Flipper Does Santa
Floridians usually have to go far north to
experience the true splendor of the holi-
day season with rosy cheeks, snow-clad
trees, and smoking chimneys. (Or maybe
just NMB? See above.) Visiting the
Miami Seaquarium isn't exactly a walk
in the Vermont woods, but it's worth a
look-see for the "Winter Nights and
Lights" festival. The park will be all
decked out, with light sculptures of dol-
phins, orcas, and sea lions. There will be
special holiday exhibits and a nightly
fireworks show, and park hours will be
extended to 8:00 p.m. The winter festival
will run from December 20 to January
4, and will be included with regular park
admission of $35.95 for adults and
$26.95 for children. For more informa-
tion call 305-361-5705 or visit

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008



Spoiled Rotten and Loving It

They 're your kids, but try telling that to the grandparents


By Jenni Person
BT Contributor

It is commonly accepted that the role
of grandparents is to spoil their
grandchildren. And so grandparents
spoil their grandchildren. My mother,
with all good intentions, never misses an
opportunity to overindulge my kids in
gifts, to the extent that there is literally
no room to store them all. Often our own
gifts to our kids pale in comparison, or
go completely untouched.
And then there is the issue of values. I
was raised in a home where Barbie dolls
were not welcome. They arrived only as
gifts from doting aunts, and also when we
later figured out we could use our
allowance to buy them. Meanwhile my
mother has bought my daughter about a
dozen no exaggeration. Not only has she
purchased the dolls, their accessories, and
their "fashion," she has also painstakingly
made clothing buying in to their destruc-
tive body-image messages with every pull
of her needle, and those of her designer
friend and former seamstress housekeeper,
who she also pulls into the obsessive work.
When I was growing up, there were no
sweets in our house, except on special
occasions. Bread was only whole grain and
whole loaves (no store-bought sliced bread,
only fresh); produce was never, ever from a
can; salt and fat were lowered or eliminat-
ed, mostly owing to my dad's heart disease,
but good for us all; Celestial Seasonings
was our tea; granola was always available;
and there was even a time when my mom
only bought hot dogs from the health-food
store (this was the 1970s, long before the
current trend of nitrate-free, hormone-free,
organic hot dogs).

But on a recent road trip with my mom,
she stocked up on the most extensive
amount of crap I've ever seen in her pos-
session at one time. She actually planned
to give my kids cookies (white flour,
white sugar) and M&Ms all the way to
Tampa. My own feelings about giving
kids sugar the habit it potentially fos-
ters, the health risks (which happen to be
especially high in our family), the behav-
ior it causes, the implication that a health-
ier option is not an equally exciting treat
- made me wonder if my mother, being
the person to teach my kids to crave sug-
ary treats, would also get them drunk their
first time, or teach them to freebase.
Long before I had kids of my own, I
became an aunt. My sister (who had made
me an aunt) said, "So, are you going to be
the cool bad aunt?" And when I, in my
fuchsia hair, Doc Martens, and some pur-
ple sheer number by Debbie Ohanian from
back in the Meet Me in Miami Days,
inquired as to what she meant, she went on
to describe all the crazy things she expect-
ed me to teach her daughter, things she felt
would be inappropriate for her to do.

lofty role especially given that I'm
1200 miles away but I am the person
responsible for introducing my niece to
thrift-shopping, where I bought her first
leather motorcycle jacket. Now that I'm
knee-deep in the parenting game as well,
my sister and I are comparing notes
about our own mom, and I'm beginning
to understand the differences between
the role and influence of parents and that
of grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
My sister pointed out that her teenage
daughter seems to have survived her
aunt-and-grandmother-infused Barbie
obsession. Distinctly a feminist and
clearly the product of a progressive-
home, she even proudly wears a T-shirt
that declares, "This is what Barbie ought
to look like."
As I think about my niece and
nephew, who were exposed to the
same conflicting values between par-
ents and grandparents, I realize there
is hope, and that ultimately a consis-
tent message from the inner-circle of

home and parents shines through in
our kids.
So my gift to myself this holiday sea-
son is one of the big steps in parenting:
Letting go and not worrying about the
long-term affects of misplaced, value-
divergent messages from grandparents,
or seemingly inappropriate gifts from
aunts, uncles, or friends.
Happy holidays to all, and to all a
goodnight that is, a good night of
sleep instead of staying up and worrying
about your kids.
S Speaking of antidotes to Barbie, just as
American Girl dolls have provided a
more imaginative literary and relevant
alternative, a Miami company has made
playing with dolls even more relevant for
a great percentage of our community's
population. Maru, an 8-year-old immi-
grant doll from Latin America, comes
with an immigrant story spelled out in an
accompanying book, just like an
American Girl doll.
The challenge facing this young immi-
grant is the contemporary story of a child
who has come to the States to live with her
grandparents until her mother and father
are able to join her. She is befriended by
other dolls with similar stories, and grap-
ples with language acquisition, accultura-
tion, and a new definition of home and
family. Maru and her friends can wear
clothing designed for American Girls dolls,
the founder told me at the Miami Book
Fair International, but American Girl dolls
can't squeeze into the more slender attire
of the Maru line. No matter. Maru needs
all the opportunities she can get. For more
info check out www.maruandfriends.com.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Small Park with a Big Heart

It an oasis in Little Haiti, and it one man passion

aBfrW'U S

Which came first: The sign or the fence?

Low hoops: It's basketball for height-challenged kids.

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor
The moral of this story is "hare"
today, "goon" tomorrow. Wait,
that's the punch line to the story I
forgot to tell about the rabbit and the -
well, never mind. The moral still applies
to Lemon City Park.
My second visit to the park, in the
heart of Little Haiti, was disappointing.
The gates were locked and no one was

home at 4:30 on a Thursday afternoon.
The park's hours are supposed to be
from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays.
As I stood outside, two scrawny boys
did enter the park by squeezing through a
gap in the steel gates that encircle the
property. The locks did not keep them out.
My previous visit was much more
engaging, because as I walked through
the gates of Lemon City Park, someone
actually said "Hello" to me.
Lewis Mahony connected with me

immediately inside the park he supervises.
He was the papa bear making sure that a
wolf was not threatening his children.
After I introduced myself, he walked with
me and discussed his philosophy of parks.
Having visited nearly two dozen local
parks for Biscayne Times, this was a first.
A human being talking to me! At most
parks, managers are nowhere to be found,
and even when you do find them, they
tend to react like a disturbed butterfly.
Mahony's park is not pristine or impres-
sive by any means, but he describes it as
an "oasis" and "sacred." He insists that
"this park is for the kids and families" in
the immediate neighborhood.
Later he told me why the park was
closed on that Thursday afternoon: So he
could escort a group of children to a UM
football game. He said the same thing
would happen again on Friday, when he
planned to take about 20 kids to an FIU
basketball game.
The problem here is that the park seems
to depend on one person, who may become
indisposed, thereby locking out the commu-
nity it intends to serve. Mahony says the
park gates remain open on the weekend
even if he must leave during the 7:00 a.m.
to 7:00 p.m. hours. But keeping it open and
unsupervised during the week may be too
risky, as most adults are working and
unable to accompany children in the park.
The neighborhood defines this park as
a working-class, urban oasis. Two-story

apartment buildings and pastel-colored,
modest houses line the streets around
it. Occupying the park's southwest cor-
ner but divided by another copper-
green gate is the Lemon City Child
Care Center, and to the park's east
stands the Toussaint L'Ouverture
Elementary School, named in honor of
the liberator of Haiti. Down the street
is the colorful architectural gem, the
Caribbean Marketplace.
The easiest landmark to spot adjacent
to the park is Villa Paula, the stately,
supposedly haunted former Cuban
Consulate on N. Miami Avenue near
58th Street. You can peer into its back-
yard from Lemon City Park.
The park's nighttime schedule is its
best feature. Opening at 3:00 p.m.,
when children are pouring out of
Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary, the
park also caters to parents who get
home from work and need a place to
stretch their legs.
No formal walking path exists in the
back or southern section, but Mr.
Mahony says he wants one there. In this
shady area, there is a Vita course with
several exercise stations placed at a low,
child's level.
Most of the action in this park takes
place on the several basketball courts
with deliberately low baskets for those
with growing pains. Mahony says mature
Continued on page 47

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comDecember 2008


Park Rating

NE 59th St )r I
27 NE 58th St., Miami
E 305-759-3512
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 3:00 to
-O 10:00 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 7:00
z a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Picnic tables: Yes
Barbecues: Yes
Picnic pavilions: Yes
Tennis courts: No
N5z Athletic fields: No
I I Night lighting: Yes
Swimming pool: No
2 Special features:
SNE57th St Basketball courts, Vita
Course, meeting room

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

Continued from page 46
players occasionally show up, too. Dunk!
The small community center within
the park is shuttered and closed, except
when Mahony unlocks the door to the
bathrooms and water fountains. He says
the area lacks tutors to run an after-
school program in the park building, but
he would like to move in that direction.
Mahony concedes he needs help. He
even invited me to attend the sporting
events with the kids.
Park rangers and police officers from
the City of Miami are supposed to patrol
Lemon City Park, says Mahony, to keep
people from trespassing when the park is
closed. He says the broken metal fence is
a recurring problem, and he suggests set-
ting up a camera at the elementary
school to catch the perpetrators.
Near the park's entrance are several
mango trees and a few small picnic pavil-
ions and a couple of barbecue pits. The
playground nearby features a plastic "club-
house" and a bouncy, psychedelic dolphin.
Most of the park's trees stand in the
western section near Villa Paula. Some
very tall and skinny palms shoot up

* Tree Removal
* Ficus Whitefly Prevention
and Treatment
* Stump Grinding
* Tree Crown Reduction
* Shape & Trim
* Transplant
* Up-Righting & Bracing
* Hedge Trimming
* Land Clearing

The park's clubhouse is a cozy affair.

among the oaks, and a single, invasive
Australian pine stands in the park's cen-
ter. It should be sent to the chipper.
Lemon City Park could use a few
upgrades, but most of the equipment
appears to be in good condition. More
trees and other landscaping features,
such as a community garden, would give
it more visual appeal.
The small community center has limit-
ed potential, but clearly there are many
children who would love to go inside
and play games. Perhaps the elementary

23 Years
Licensed & Insured
Free Estimates
Member International
Arborist Society

We service all models sold at Home Depot,
Costco, and Lowes. Pick-up & Delivery Services.

The park is locked when closed, but not really.

school could "adopt" it and staff it as an
after-school center.
Signage for the park is minimal. You
wouldn't know the place exists unless you
happen to pass by. Even then, the park's
name on a faded wooden sign appears to
stand behind prison bars. My guess is that
the sign was there first and then the gate
was erected in front of it. Another sign at
the entrance erroneously states that the
park's hours are 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Lemon City Park is a classic inner-city
park, meaning it may not have much

appeal to outsiders, but to nearby resi-
dents, it is vital. Neighborhoods without
green space, especially in a semi-tropical
setting, are destined to boil over and
foment crime and discontent.
This small slice of green has what
appears to be a good man trying to keep
it running. The children scampering
around on the basketball courts and on
the playground deserve more good,
helping hands.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

* weight
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* stress
* fatigue

the body
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* body shape
* muscle mass
* bone density
* skin tone
* sleep cycle

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FREE tRIA L @786

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



m o mI a ----- -i

December 2008

~C~a, U




The Big Chill

Miami is growing warmer, but a cold snap can still do damage

By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor

Couple of weeks ago, I began to
notice a bit of damage on a num-
ber of plant species, including
the breadfruit tree, at Jungle Island,
where I work. It's pretty odd when you
think about it, how all of these tropical
plants can be damaged from the cold
weather in Miami. We had temperatures
briefly in the high 50s one morning and
the effects could be seen a week later.
Most people probably don't notice this
kind of damage or associate it with cold
weather. This first sign is just a bit of
leaf-drop. The ficus trees, hibiscus,
bananas, and our beautiful yellow, flow-
ered Cordia lutea may drop about 50
percent of their green leaves after a
brush with cold air. On the breadfruit
tree, the lowest leaves turn yellow and
then drop. Of course, there's a point at
which all leaves of almost all species
will bur and drop.
In 1977 there was a freeze during
which we recorded a low temperature at
South Miami's Parrot Jungle of 19
degrees F. We had 30-foot-tall Areca
palms killed to the ground. Our giant
Banyan tree not only lost all its foliage,
but the top ten feet of branches were
frozen outright and died. By that after-
noon, everything at the park looked as if
it had been burned by a blowtorch.
Heavy freezes were certainly not com-
mon then, but we commonly would record
a brief low temperature of 28 or 29 degrees
just before dawn at least once a year, usu-
ally up to three times a year. We used to
take elaborate precautions with our plants.
Many were in large containers heeled into


The Yellow Geiger tree, Cordia lutea, is a close relative of the Orange Geiger.

the ground. On days of a freeze, we would
place the plants inside a building or a heat-
ed green house. We would cover hundreds
of feet of hedges and our entire cactus gar-
den with burlap, and then before the end of
the day, turn on the sprinklers. I used to
monitor the temperature, and when it got
below 40 degrees, I would run the sprin-
klers all night long, until the sun came up
and melted the frost.
Starting in the 1990s, winter tempera-
tures seemed to moderate. Temperatures
rarely got into the high 30s, and if they
did, it was only for a very brief time
before sunrise. We began to grow plants
outside all year that never would have
survived in previous decades. It was
unheard of to grow breadfruit outdoors.
This tree is very sensitive to cold air. But
now we are growing it outside. Global
warming is here. Having carefully moni-
tored winter temperatures for the past 30
years, I know it has gotten warmer.
Cold protection for tropical plants is

quite the science, though I learned a few
shortcuts along the way. In the 1990s, I
stopped putting sprinklers on grass to
protect it from frost or freeze damage. I
began using grass paint instead. No more
long nights drinking coffee and defrost-
ing sprinkler heads with a small torch.
Yes, there is grass paint. I bought green
paint and started spraying the day after a
freeze. It was very cost effective and no
one ever noticed.
I also learned that when the ground
was moist, it could store heat to help
protect the plants. Many plants were
severely damaged from cold if they were
dry. Some cold fronts would be windy,
and if rain preceded them, evaporative
cooling would result. This is an advec-
tive freeze, a horizontal movement of an
air mass. Often at the end of an advec-
tive freeze, the winds stop and the sky is
clear. This is a radiational freeze, and
very cold conditions result as the warmth
is wicked from the ground and plants.

I always try to soak the ground the after-
noon before a freeze to retain a bit of
warmth. For the more tender plants, I like
to place several inches of fresh tree chipper
* mulch on top of the ground and against the
plants. This is the only time I will place
mulch against the trunks or stems of plants.
Fresh mulch is actively decomposing and
can generate quite a bit of heat. This
mulching process definitely protects plants,
especially bananas and Heliconias. You
may loose the foliage and even the trunk to
cold, but the ground will have been
warmed and insulated by the mulch so the
roots survive and the plant grows back.
Another very important thing to
remember when preparing plants for cold
weather is that they are very vulnerable
to cold if they are actively growing. If
the foliage is soft and new, it will get
burned much faster and at higher temper-
atures than a plant that has been "hard-
ened-off." Do not fertilize in the winter
unless you are going to move the plant
indoors every time it gets cold outside.
Finally I learned the hard way that
when you cover a plant to protect it from
frost, the cover no matter what it is
made of must be raised at least a cou-
ple of inches above the plant. Anywhere
the cover touches, the cold will be trans-
ferred and the plant will be burned.
Several layers of burlap or a thick blanket
will work best as covers even when wet.

Jeff \I/,,r,... ', is an ISA-certified munic-
ipal arborist, director of horticulture at
Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical
Designs of Florida. Contact him at
jL Feedba l' l Letters@bis m .. I e

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Weline Eixamlnnatlons Vacciiona||
ymSpay and Neuter Ccevttitkfe Fees LI I

Bisayn Time ww.Bscyn^iesco Dcebe 20

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December 2008


Quiet Dog, Good Dog

- Yes, dogs bark naturally, but you can control it

By Lisa Hartman
BT Contributor

It is written that a tired dog is a good
dog, and that may be true. A well-
exercised and stimulated dog will
keep out of trouble far more than the
average, under-exercised pooch with fuel
to bur. But with many Miami dog own-
ers living in apartment or condominium
buildings, having a quiet dog may be the
single most important canine trait.
Dogs, of course, can and will bark.
They should be allowed to have a voice
and express themselves to a certain
extent, in certain situations. Having a dog
bark when playing in the park or alerting
you to the UPS guy is acceptable. But just
as important is a dog that can quiet down
when told, and not bark excessively at
every person walking the hallway, every
elevator ding, every other barking dog.
We talk about exercise a lot in the BT,
so I'll make this point brief: Your dog
needs real exercise. This means a healthy
young dog needs a vigorous run to burn
off energy. A short, on-leash walk in the
morning will never get the job done. If
you are not tired, your dog probably isn't
either. Here's another useful adage: If
you are overweight, your dog is not get-
ting enough exercise. If you are having
barking issues, add more exercise.
The rest of the ingredients in the Quiet
Dog Cocktail are mixed in a behavioral
blender. There are many types of bark-
ing: watchdog barking, boredom barking,
anxiety barking, and more. (If you think
your dog suffers from separation anxiety,
seek professional help.)
Here we'll deal with general tips and
techniques you can practice to help keep


your dog quiet in a multifamily
dwelling. Start with yourself. You must
make sure you do not encourage your
dog's barking with attention. Yelling
"No!" and getting frustrated with your
dog usually just fans the flames. He
barked, and on top of it he got attention,
a reward in itself. If anything, when
your dog barks, you should abruptly turn

your back on him and walk away. Let
him learn that his loud behavior makes
you disappear.
Practice ringing the doorbell yourself,
over and over. When your dog is quiet,
give him a treat. Repeat. When he gets
pretty good at it, invite friends to ring
the bell or knock on the door, then hold
up the treat to distract your dog. When

he looks at you and quiets down, praise
him and give him the treat. Make sure
you're using something really good and
distracting, such as boiled chicken.
Repeat this exercise over and over.
Now, before you hold up the treat, add
the word "quiet," "enough," or whatever
word you want to use. Then you can
move on to cold trials. Ask your friend
or the doorman to call you or knock on
your door. Be ready with your distracting
treats. It takes time for dogs to develop
the self-control needed to change habits,
especially if they've been exhibiting
them for a while and they've been rein-
forced by your attention. Besides, bark-
ing is natural dog behavior, which we are
just trying to manage. But with enough
practice and good timing on your part,
your dog will master the quiet cue.
Another technique is to teach your dog
an incompatible behavior. I once trained
a Maltese that her ringing doorbell meant
she should run to the opposite side of the
room, away from the door, and sit quiet-
ly on her bed. (I'm told she still does this
two years later!) Obviously she can't
bark and scratch at the front door and
run to her bed to sit quietly at the same
time. They're incompatible behaviors.
While you may not need your dog to
respond in that particular fashion, you
can make him understand the stimulus
that used to make him bark now means
go sit in the kitchen (or any room away
from the door) and await a treat. It's the
same practice routine: When you hear
the noise, get up and move to a chosen
spot, then ask your dog to sit. Reward
him. Practice it over and over, to the

Continued on page 50

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December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Quiet Dog
Continued from page 49
point that the dog hears the knock,
assumes his position, and waits for his
reward. The goal in apartment living is
to avoid upsetting your neighbors. You
don't want them complaining. Moving
your dog to a room away from shared
walls is a good first step.
Successful management of your dog's
barking is especially important when
you are not at home with him. (This
becomes even more important, and more

challenging, if you have more than one
dog and one or both are excessive bark-
ers. With more than one dog, you will
have to practice everything singly as
well as together.) While away from your
apartment, you should contain your
dog(s) in an area as far from the door
and neighboring apartments as possible.
You can close the blinds or pull the cur-
tains so your dog is not swayed by out-
side stimuli. You can also leave a radio
on, playing music that will drown out
some hallway noises. Adding a rug and

some artwork to you walls will also help
absorb the sound of elevator movement
and people walking by your door.
Leave a few stuffed toys around the room
to entertain your dog while you're away.
You can even hide treats, like baby carrots,
around the covers of the room to give him
something to do instead of focusing all his
attention on the next exciting noise.
Controlling out-of-control barking is
possible with a multi-pronged
approach: Check your own behavior so
you're not rewarding your dog's bad

behavior. Teach a different response,
reinforcing the quiet command.
Exercise and keep your dog busy.
Manage his environment when you're
not there. Even the barkiest of canines
can end up quiet as a mouse.

Lisa Hartman is head dog trainer for
Pawsitively Pets. You can reach her at
pawsitivelypetsonline@yahoo.com or

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008






Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


The Biscayne Corridor's most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 196.


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 chic outdoor ter-
race) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative
for those wanting something beyond steakhouses. And the
culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat mar-
ket, thanks in part to the flood of freebies that's a trade-
mark of Manhattan's II Mulino, originally run by II
Gabbiano's owners. (Free starters: A generous hunk of
parmegiano-reggiano with aged balsamico dip, assertively
garlicky fried zucchini coins, and tomato-topped
bruschette.) The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are
mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade
ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$

2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976
At this Indian eatery the decor is date-worthy with the typical

Restaurant listings for the BT Dining
Guide are written by Pamela Robin
Brandt. 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

900 S. Miami Ave.,
Hamachi chiles rellenos? Shiso leaf "nachos" topped
with raw spicy tuna, kaiware sprouts, and other Asian
ingredients? The Viva, a sushi roll that starts with stan-
dard Japanese stuff (spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado),
adds typical Latin sabor (jalapefio, cilantro), wraps it all in
a flour tortilla, and garnishes it with South of the Border

garish brass/tapestry/elephants everywhere replaced by a
cool, contemporary ambiance: muted gray and earth-tone
walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts
"Modern Indian Cuisine" to match the look. Classicists, how-
ever, needn't worry. Some dishes' names are unfamiliar, but
America's favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here,
though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and present-
ed with modern flair. Definitely don't miss starting with salad-
garnished Deshi Samosas (which come with terrific
cilantro/mint dip) or ending with mango kulfi, Indian ice milk.
All meats are certified halal, Islam's version of kosher -
which doesn't mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat
here, but Muslims can. $$$

3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-953-8003
Ultra-thin, crisp-crusted pizzas as good as Piola's in
South Beach. Made-from-scratch daily specials like green
bean and parmesan soup, or prosciutto and mozzarella-
stuffed gnocchi that you really have not seen on every
other menu in town. A homemade white chocolate/rasp-
berry cake, chocolate ganache cake, and other pastries
to die for. High-quality ingredients, wine and beer, low
prices, enthusiastic hands-on owners committed to arts-
oriented creativity. A comfortable hang-out atmosphere.
This tiny cafe, where "processed food" is a dirty word,
has it all except a high-visibility location or media
hype. So discover it for yourselves. (There's ample free
street parking, too.) $-$$

heat (spicy snow crab mix)? Miami hasn't tended to initi-
ate too many food "firsts," but this Japanese/Pan-Latin
fusion place is surely one. Intended as the groundbreaker
of an international chain, this stylish indoor-outdoor
eatery features inventive makis (executed by Hiro Asano,
formerly Bond Street's sushi maestro), plus LatAmer/
Asian small plates and meals like pasilla chile-braised
short ribs with wasabi-shiitake grits. Prices are higher
than at neighborhood sushi spots, but in keeping with
Abokado's Mary Brickell Village neighbors. $$$$

1435 Brickell Ave., Four Seasons Hotel
Originally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this
comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in
2006 (to Patrick Duff, formerly at the Sukhothai in
Bangkok), resulting in a complete menu renovation.
Thailand's famed sense of culinary balance is now evi-
dent throughout the global (though primarily Asian or
Latin American-inspired) menu, in dishes like
yuzu/white soya-dressed salad of shrimp tempura (with
watercress, Vidalia onion, avocado, pomegranate), a
tender pork shank glazed with spicy Szechuan citrus
sauce (accompanied by a chorizo-flecked plantain
mash), or lunchtime's rare tuna burger with lively
wasabi aioli and wakame salad. For dessert few choco-
holics can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled with sinful-
ly rich warm chocolate custard. $$$$$

500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254
Floor-to-ceiling picture windows showcase Biscayne Bay.
But diners are more likely to focus on the sparkling raw
bar and open kitchen, where chef Clay Conley crafts
imaginative global creations many of them combina-
tions, to satisfy those who want it all. One offering, "A
Study in Tuna," includes tuna sashimi, Maine crab, avo-
cado tempura, and caviar, with several Asian sauces.
Moroccan lamb is three preparations (grilled chop,

Europa Car Wash and Caf6
6075 Biscayne Blvd.
Giving new meaning to the food term "fusion," Europa
serves up sandwiches, salads, car washes, coffee with
croissants, and Chevron with Techron. Those who
remember this former no-frills filling station only as one
of the Boulevard's cheapest sources of brand-name gas
will be astonished at the invitingly expanded interior.
Snacks match the casual chicness: sandwiches like the
Renato (prosciutto, hot cappicola, pepper jack cheese,
red peppers, and Romano cheese dressing); an elabo-
rate almond-garnished Chinese chicken salad; H&H
bagels, the world's best, flown in from NYC. And the car
cleaning done by hand, not finish-scratching
machines are equally gentrified, especially on
Wednesday's "Ladies Day," when women are pampered
with $10 detail washes and glasses of sparkling wine
while they wait. $

Simplee Salad
7244 Biscayne Blvd.
This is actually a restaurant within a restaurant: Sushi
Square. But don't be confused. There's an explanation.
The original eatery's Paris-trained chef/co-owner Julien

harissa-marinated loin, and bastilla, the famed savory-
sweet Middle Eastern pastry, stuffed with braised
shank), plus feta and smoked eggplant. Finish with a
vanilla souffle your way, a choice of toppings: chocolate,
raspberry, or creme anglaise. $$$$$

109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751
While Indonesian food isn't easy to find in Miami, down-
town has secret stashes small joints catering to Asian-
Pacific cruise-ship and construction workers. Opened
circa 2002, this cute, exotically decorated cafe has sur-
vived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is
delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even
the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will
want Indonesia's signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match col-
lection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on
rice. Once you're hooked, there's great gado-gado (veg-
gies in peanut sauce), nasi goring (ultimate fried rice),
and laksa, a complex coconut-curry noodle soup that's
near-impossible to find made properly, as it is here. Note:
bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$

The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel)
1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500
On the Conrad's restaurant/lobby-level 25th floor, the
expansive, picture-windowed space around the corner
from the check-in desks used to be just a lobby exten-
sion. Now it's The Bar, which is not just a watering hole
with panoramic views. At lunch it's an elegant sandwich
bar; at night it's a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oys-
ters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. That's just
the Basque word for tapas, but as interpreted by Atrio's
chef Michael Gilligan, there's nothing mere about the gen-
erously portioned small plates. They range from tradition-
al items like cod fish equixada (a zingy bacalao salad)
and saffron-saut6ed Spanish artichokes to inventive
inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed
empanadas, or Asian-inspired soft-shell crab in airy tem-
pura batter. $$$

Durosini wanted to open for lunch, but couldn't lower
sushi prices to lunchtime levels without compromising
quality. So he decided on a midday morph from sushi bar
to salad bar. Choose a green (mixed, romaine, or
spinach); load on four choices from an extensive list of
veggies, fruits, nuts, olives, and cheeses; pick a dress-
ing, all housemade (tangy ranch, creamy-rich gorgonzola,
and exotic sesame-ginger are especially good); and pay
six bucks or an extra $3 if you want an added protein
like shrimp or marinated white anchovies. If doing it your-
self is a brain strain, there are also two daily chef-creat-
ed salad combos. $

Roasters & Toasters
18515 NE 18th Ave.
Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food pornography
one of the Carnegie Deli's mile-high pastrami sandwiches?
Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Even a mouth like Angelina
Jolie's couldn't fit around a "Carnegie-style" monster con-
taining, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent
meat (really 1.4 pounds; we weighed it), for a mere 15
bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too,
including just-sour-enough pickles, just-sweet-enough slaw,
silky hand-sliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and
the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per
order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$

Blu Pizzeria e Cucina
900 S. Miami Ave. (Mary Brickell Village)
305-381-8335; www.blurestaurantsgroup.com
More than a mere pizzeria, this spot sports a super-sleek
Upper Eastside (of Manhattan) interior. If that's too formal,
opt for a casual patio table while you study the menu over an
order of warm, just-made gnocchetti (zeppole-like bread
sticks, with prosciutto and savory fontina fondue dip), or
creamy-centered suppli alla romana (porcini-studded tomato
and mozzarella rice croquettes). And don't worry. The place
looks upscale, but prices of even the fanciest seafood or veal
entrees don't exceed $20. The fare fashioned by chef Ricardo
Tognozz (formerly from La Bussola and Oggi) is wide-ranging,
but as the name suggests, you can't go wrong with one of the
thin-crusted brick-oven pizzas, whether a traditional
margherita or inventive asparagi e granchi (with lump crab,
lobster cream, mozzarella, and fresh asparagus). $$-$$$

Caf6 Sambal
500 Brickell Key Dr.
305-913-8358; www.mandarinoriental.com/miami
Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space
as its "casual hotel restaurant," many consider it a more
spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs,
owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered ter-
race directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired,
with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents (sushi, plus
creative fusion dishes like tangerine-anise spiced short
ribs with scallion pancake, or a tempura-battered snapper
sandwich with lemon aioli). For the health-conscious, the
menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists there's a
big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$

Caribbean Delight
236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254
Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been
serving her traditional homemade island specialties to
downtown office workers and college students since the

Continued on page 52

December 2008 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Red, White, and You

By Bill Citara
BT Contributor

W Taiter, champagne for 300 million."
SWhether you're celebrating the
S beginning of a new year or the end
of eight years of darkness, nothing does it quite
so right as a bottle of bubbly.
Call it champagne (France), cava (Spain),
prosecco (Italy), sekt (Germany), or
sparkling wine (everywhere else), there's
something about the delicate effervescence
of a wine a Benedictine monk named Dom
Perignon likened to "drinking stars" that
makes the difference between celebration
Of course, Dom Perignon's eponymous bubbly
has a stratospheric price tag to match its starry reputation,
but the lack of large quantities of unmarked bills doesn't
mean you have to resign yourself to celebrating rather than
CELEBRATING! It does mean, though, you have to
choose your affordable sparklers carefully, as its increasing
popularity has put a lot of carbonated dreck on the market.
Even the least-expensive premium French champagnes

SAgreeable wine for $12 or less

will cost you $35 a bottle and up, though a more modest
splurge will get you the eminently drinkable California
siblings of such famous champagne houses as Roederer
(Roederer Estate), Taittinger (Domaine Careros) and
Moet et Chandon (Domaine Chandon). Other reliable,
available, and not-too-pricy domestic sparklers include
Gloria Ferrer, Mirabelle (the second label of
Schramsberg), and Gruet (from New Mexico, no less).
But within our price range $12 and under you
have to look a little harder. Or rather, I do. Er, did....
Anyway, there are some things the French just do better
llun anyone produce the most gloriously decadent
goose liver, be casually and effortlessly stylish, and make
first-rate sparkling wine at a variety of prices. The NV
Saint Germain Brut is a wicked-good value at $11.99
and wicked good to boot, with lots of pinprick bubbles
and flavors of green apple and Meyer lemon in a very ele-
gant, well-structured package.
Another fine value comes from an underappreciated
California vintner. The nonvintage Korbel Brut Ros6
is a lush, full-bodied wine with the ripe fruit (here,
strawberries and raspberries) California wines are
known for. But a lingering lemony acidity keeps them
from becoming cloying.

In the broadly appealing if not terribly distinctive catego-
ry are a pair of off-dry (which is to say, a bit sweet) non-
vintage Bruts: Tarantas Cava and Zonin Prosecco. The
Tarantas is a very aromatic number, redolent of tropical
fruit, with a creamy texture and just barely enough acidity.
The Zonin is a big bite of red apple, a good choice for
those who like their bubbly on the sweeter side.
I can't recommend either the Pascual Toso or
Brickstone Cellars Bruts, although the latter would be
fine for spraying around the room like baseball players
do after winning the World Series.
Hey, at least it's a celebration.

The nonvintage Saint Germain and Korbel
Rose are both available at the North Miami
Total Wine & More for $11.99 (14750 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-354-3270). The Tarantas can be
found at the Aventura Whole Foods Market for
$11.99 (21105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-933-1543),
while the Zonin is on the shelves at Laurenzo's
Italian Market in North Miami Beach, also for
$11.99 (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381).

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 51
early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the week-
day 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 doubly true thanks to
the home-baked Jamaican desserts. $

Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita
1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103
It's hard to figure why a Mediterranean/Latin restaurant
(with Asian touches) would be named after a line in a
1950s novel about a New England pedophile. But every-
thing else about this casually stylish spot is easy to
understand and easy on the wallet. All entrees cost
either $18 or $23, a price that includes an appetizer -
no low-rent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham
croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mushroom
sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. And all
desserts, from tiramisu to mango carpaccio with lemon
creme, are a bargain $2.50. The best seats in this hip
hangout, housed in the old Firehouse 4, are on the
rooftop patio. $$$

Fresco California Bistro
1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608
This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot
of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food
onto its menu, and a very large amount of informal retro
California-style fusion food onto its plates. To the familiar
Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch
of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious).
Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to
custardy tamales, but the bistro's especially known for
imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin
oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied
pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$

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 rustic outside dining deck overlooking the Miami

River, diners can view the retail fish market to see
what looks freshest. Best preparations, as always
when fish is this fresh, are the simplest. When stone
crabs are in season, Garcia's claws are as good as
Joe's but considerably cheaper. The local fish sand-
wich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or
mahi mahi, fried, grilled, or blackened. The place is
also famous for its zesty smoked-fish dip and its sides
of hushpuppies. $-$$

Grimpa Steakhouse
901S. Miami Ave., 305-455-4757
This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery at Brickell
Plaza is more sleekly contemporary than most of Miami's
rodizio joints, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding
gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of
skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish -
16 cuts at dinner, 12 at lunch. And included in the price
(dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting
buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts,
and cheeses, plus additional accompaniments like irre-
sistible cheese bread served tableside. A pleasant,
nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart
passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango
chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-

638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1525
Indochine has succeeded by morphing from mere restau-
rant into hip hangout. Copious special events (art open-
ings, happy hours with DJs, classic movie or karaoke
nights, wine or sake tasting) draw everyone from down-
town business types to the counterculture crowd. Not
that there's anything "mere" about the range of food
served from three Asian nations. Light eaters can snack
on Vietnamese summer rolls or Japanese sushi rolls,
including an imaginative masago-coated model with
mango, spicy tuna, and cilantro. For bigger appetites,
there are Thai curries and Vietnamese specialties like
pho, richly flavored beef soup with meatballs, steak
slices, rice noodles, and add-in Asian herbs and sprouts.

Iron Sushi
120 SE 3rd Ave., 305-373-2000
(See Miami Shores listing)

La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge
68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800, www.laloggia.org
This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm-feeling Italian
restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing
downtown; when it first opened, eating options in the
courthouse area were basically a variety of hot dog wag-
ons. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin
agnolloti in sage butter sauce, cilantro-spiced white
bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, and souffle
di granchi (crabmeat souffle atop arugula dressed with
honey-mustard vinaigrette), proprietors Jennifer Porciello
and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that
returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the
afternoon, fueled by the Lawyer's Liquid Lunch, a vodka
martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$

La Moon
144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209
At four in the morning, nothing quells the post-clubbing
munchies like a Crazy Burger (a heart-stopping Colombian
take on a trucker's burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, moz-
zarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa
corn pancake "bun") unless it's a Supermoon perro, a
similarly overloaded hot dog. For less dainty eaters,
there's a bandeja paisa, a mountainous construction con-
taining char-grilled steak, pork belly, pork-enriched beans,
rice, plantains, eggs, and arepas. One hardly knows
whether to eat it or burrow in to spend the rest of the
night. While this tiny place's late hours (till 3:00 a.m.
Thursday, 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising,
the daytime menu is more so. In addition to all the cho-
lesterol-packed Colombian classics, there's a salad
Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango
salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$

Latitude Zero
36 SW 1st St., 305-372-5205
Potted plants are the only sign outside this narrow store-
front that the room inside is worlds more charming than
standard downtown Latin eateries. This urban oasis is an
artsy little white-tablecloth place (with alternating red
tablecloths warming up the feel), but with no-tablecloth
prices. While much of the menu is Miami's generic Latin
mix, there ia a separate Ecuadorian section that's a
playlist of that country's culinary greatest hits.
Standouts: encebollado, a centuries-old fishermen's soup
given national individuality by yuca and zingy hits of lime;
lighter caldo de bola, veggie-packed broth with plantain

dumplings; and cazuelas, thick layered casseroles of
mashed plantains and tomato-enriched seafood. No clue?
Try a bandera, a mixed plate of Ecuador's most distinc-
tive dishes, including shrimp ceviche. $$

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 jalapeinos, basil, and
the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or
crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable
are entree salads like the signature Ensalada
Novecento: skirt steak slices (cooked to order) atop
mixed greens coated in rich mustard vinaigrette with a
side of housemade fries. $$-$$$

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 while many dishes (including popular sides like bacon-
enriched hash browns and fried green tomatoes) are iden-
tical at all Oceanaires, menus vary significantly according
to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean
Bernal (formerly at Merrick Park's Pescado) supplements
signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly
marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-chang-
ing, 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. $$$$

1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116
The original branch on Miami Beach's Lincoln Road was
instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern
fast food made with no trans fats or other nutritional
nasties is served at the three newer outlets. The prices
are low enough that one might suspect Pasha's was con-
ceived as a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business

Continued on page 54

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


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Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 52

School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek
and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from common classics
like falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muham-
mara (tangy walnut spread), silky labneh yogurt cheese,
and chicken adana kebabs with grilled veggies and aioli
sauce. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh,
from scratch, daily. $-$$

Peoples Bar-B-Que
360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080
Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs
(enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back sever-
al generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution.
But the chicken is also a winner, plus there's a full menu of
soul food entries, including what many aficionados consider
our town's tastiest souse. Sides include collards, yams, and
soft mac and cheese. And it would be unthinkable to call it
quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pud-
ding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$

15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449, www.perricones.com
Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from
Vermont), this market/cafe was one of the Brickell area's
first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad (with pig-
nolias, raisins, apples, and basil) is a favorite; dinner's
strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from 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, sal-
ads, and more remains one of our town's most civilized
all-you-can-eat deals. $$

Prime Blue Grille
315 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-358-5901
This truly 21st-century steakhouse targets today's health-
minded gourmets by serving only certified-organic Brandt
beef antibiotic- and hormone-free, as well as dry-aged,

Te 305.759.31T

butchered in-house, and smoke-seared by Prime Blue's
intense wood-burning grills and ovens. For noncarnivores,
the menu gives equal time to fish, all caught wild, and
offers dozens of cooked vegetable and salad options,
including build-your-own. There's also a raw bar and a
small steak/seafood retail counter. The decor is as mod-
ern as the menu. Instead of the stuffy men's club look,
you have a soaring, light-hued, open-plan, indoor/outdoor
space, with panoramic Miami River view. $$$$

Provence Gril
1001 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-1940
The cozy, terracotta-tiled dining room (and even more
charming outdoor dining terrace) indeed evoke the south
of France. But the menu of French bistro classics covers
all regions, a Greatest Hits of French comfort food: coun-
try-style pate maison with onion jam, roasted peppers and
cornichons; steak/frites (grilled rib-eye with peppercorn
cream sauce, fries, and salad); four preparations of mus-
sels; a tarte tatin (French apple tart with roasted walnuts,
served a la mode). Deal alert: An early-bird prix-fixe menu
(5:30-7:30 p.m.) offers soup or salad, entr6e, dessert,
and a carafe of wine for $44 per couple. $$$-$$$$

The River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915
This casually cool Miami River-area jewel is a full-service
seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections
like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish,
and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please
meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni
and cheese. But oyster fans will still find it difficult to
resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large
selection of bivalves (often ten varieties per night), espe-
cially since oysters are served both raw and cooked -
fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. To
accompany these delights, there's a thoughtful wine list
and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$

Rosa Mexicano
900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001
A branch of the original Rosa Mexicano that introduced
New Yorkers to real Mexican food (not Tex-Mex) in 1984,


fn your orders: 345759.41 15

this expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining expe-
rience 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; though nachos aren't available, there is nothing
scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly
made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-
habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosa's signature gua-
camole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegran-
ate 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 atmospheric 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 authenti-
cally straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entrees such as
spinach- and rcotta-stuffed crepes with bechamel and tomato
sauces. There are salads and sandwiches, too, including one
soy burger to justify the other half of the place's name. The
most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard,
completely hidden from the street. Alfano serves dinner on
Thursday only to accompany his "Thursday Night Live"
events featuring local musicians and artists. $-$$

Taste of Bombay
111 NE 3rd Ave.
No surprise that a place called Taste of Bombay would be
an Indian restaurant. And depending mostly on the pre-
dominant nationalities of downtown construction workers
at any given time, Taste of Bombay has also served
sushi, Philippine, and Chinese food. Best bet, though, is
the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet lunch spread, featuring
six changing entrees (a mix of meat, poultry, fish, and
vegetable curries) plus veggie pakoras, rice, salad, chut-
neys, hot naan bread, and a dessert. The place looks
plain outside, but it's pleasantly exotic enough inside for
a bargain business lunch. $$

Tobacco Road
626 S. Miami Ave.
Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al
Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this
gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue
for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food
from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00
a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budg-
et-priced steaks, and burgers, including the mega-mega
burger, a trucker-style monster topped with said chili
plus cheddar, mushrooms, bacon, and a fried egg.
There's also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a
Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker
in back turns out tasty ribs, perfect accompaniment to
the blues. $$

Midtown / Design District

Adelita's Caf6
2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262
From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne)
this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside it's
bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin
American eateries, which serve a multinational melange,
this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-
pleaser. On weekends especially, the two casual dining
rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like
baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Honduras's take on
tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or
meat and veggies, and more. To spend ten bucks on a meal
here, one would have to be a sumo wrestler. $

Bin No. 18
1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575
At this wine bar/cafe, located on the ground floor of one
of midtown's new mixed-use condo buildings, the decor is
a stylish mix of contemporary cool (high loft ceilings) and
Old World warmth (tables made from old wine barrels).
Cuisine is similarly geared to the area's new smart,
upscale residents: creative sandwiches and salads at
lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish,
Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the
place is small and family-run friendly, Venezuelan-born chef
Alfredo Patino's former executive chef gigs at Bizcaya (at
the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove) and other high-profile ven-
ues are evident in sophisticated snacks like the figciutto,
a salad of arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions,
pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking in a
fenced lot behind the building. $$

Bleu Moon
1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-373-8188
Deep inside the Doubletree Grand, this restaurant, which
has panoramic Biscayne Bay views and an outdoor deck,
is one of the few upscale dinner spots near the Arsht
Center for the Performing Arts. The eclectic menu is
more Mediterranean than anything else, from old-fash-
ioned favorites like lasagna to contemporary creations
like gnocchi with sun-dried tomatoes, sweet pea puree,
pine nuts, and ricotta salata. But a few seafood sauces
reflect Asian influences, and tropical Latin touches
abound. Some of the most charming dishes are modern-
ized American, and done well enough to make you nostal-
gic for 1985: creamy (but not gunky) lobster bisque, lump
crab cake with fried capers, and a retro arugula salad
with caramelized walnuts, bacon, gorgonzola, fresh
berries, and raspberry vinaigrette. $$$$

163 NE 39th St., 305-531-8700
The reputation that Arthur Artile amassed after years as
executive chef at Norman's and Chispa has made the
Design District's Brosia an instant hit. The menu is
Mediterranean-inspired, with a few items like gazpa-
cho Caprese fusing cuisines, but most retaining
regional individuality: Moroccan mussels in curry broth;
shrimp and clams (with garlic, chorizo, and sherry) that
scream "Spain!" The stylish space is a draw, too. Inside,
all mahogany, leather, and luxuriant intimacy; outside,
seating on an extensive patio shaded by a canopy of old
oaks. And the convenient all-day hours (even breakfast)
give it the feel of a real neighborhood restaurant. $$$

Buena Vista Bistro
4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909
If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves
supremely satisfying Italian, American, and French bistro
food were within walking distance of every Miami resi-
dent, we'd be a helluva hip food town. Located in the inti-
mate space that formerly housed Restaurant A, it's the
love child of Quebequoise chef Claude Postel and his wife
Callie, who runs the front of the house with exuberantly
friendly charm. Like true Parisian bistros, it's open contin-
uously, every day (until midnight!), with prices so low
(starters $5-8, entrees $8-15) that one really can drop in
anytime for authentic rillettes (a scrumptious spiced meat
spread, like a rustic pat6) with a crusty baguette, steak
with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many
changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is
free parking. And it's well worth a drive. $$

3612 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7877
This Design District old-timer has hung on for close to 20
years as the District has gone through its mood swings.
But it's no worse for the wear. The upstairs/downstairs
space looks good as new, and is still almost impossibly
cute. The menu, chalked daily on a blackboard, still fea-
tures well more than a dozen typical French bistro spe-
cials like chicken Dijonaise or almond-crusted trout in
creamy, lemony beurre blanc. And the salads, soups, and
sandwiches are still, invariably, evocative. Rough-cut pat6
de champagne, topped with cornichons on a crusty but-
tered baguette is an instant trip to Paris. Though week-
end nighttime hours were instituted several years ago,
dinner is an on-again, off-again thing, so call first. $$-$$$

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 different-
ates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after
national and local newspapers (like the Biscayne Times: tuna
salad with hummus, cucumber, roasted peppers, arugula,
and sprouts on multigrain bread), giving diners something to
chat about. For those who'd rather Have It Their Own Way,
both sandwiches and salads can be do-it-yourself projects,
with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes,
breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $

Delicias Peruanas
2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634
Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot,
as it was at the original Delicias, run by members of the
same family, eight blocks north on the Boulevard. There
are differences here, notably karaoke on weekends and
a kitchen that doesn't shut down till the wannabe
American Idols shut up, around 2:00 a.m. But the food is
as tasty as ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional

Continued on page 56

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Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 54

ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but
cooked, a mammoth jalea platter (lightly breaded, fried
seafood under a blanket of marinated onions the fish
and chips of your dreams). As for nonseafood stuff, no
one who doesn't already know that Peru practically invent-
ed fusion cuisine (in the 1800s) will doubt, after sampling
two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado (Chinese-
Peruvian beef or chicken lo mein) or tallerin verde (Ital-
Latin noodles with pesto and steak). $$

18th Street Caf6
210 NE 18th St.
Most of the seating in this cool little breakfast/lunch
room is in a sort of giant bay window, backed with ban-
quettes, that makes the space feel expansively light-
filled, and quite nicely gentrifies its whole evolving
Midtown block. This pioneering place deserves to sur-
vive, even if just considering the roast beef sandwich
with creamy horseradish an inspired classic combina-
tion that makes one wonder why more places in this
town don't serve it. (We'll debate later.) Other culinary
highlights of the classic "Six S" repertoire (soups, sand-
wiches, salads, sweets, smoothies, specials) might
include a turkey/pear/cheddar melt sandwich, and really
sinful marshmallow-topped brownies. $

Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries
3401 N. Miami Ave. (Shops at Midtown)
Like the West Coast's legendary In-N-Out Burger chain,
this East Coast challenger serves no green-leaf faux
health food. You get what the name says, period, with
three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts
while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are
made fresh upon order, not steam-tabled. Available in dou-
ble or one-patty sizes, they're well-done but spurtingly
juicy, and after loading with your choice of 15 free garnish-
es, even a "little" burger makes a major meal. Fries (regu-
lar or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house
from sourced potatoes; a changing sign reports the
spuds' point of origin. $

Fratelli Lyon
4141 NE 2nd Ave.
This Italian cafe has been packed since the moment
it opened. No surprise to any who recall owner Ken
Lyon's pioneering Lyon Freres gourmet store on pre-
gentrified Lincoln Road (1992-97), another joint that
was exactly what its neighborhood needed. The
restaurant's artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful bou-
tique olive oils, and more on the ingredient-driven
menu are so outstanding that one can't help wishing
this restaurant also had a retail component. Well,
maybe later. Meanwhile console yourself with the
sort of salamis and formaggi you'll never find in the
supermarket (as well as rare finds like culatello -
prosciutto royalty), including a mixed antipasto
esplosione that would feed Rhode Island. Entrees
include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional
specialties like Venetian-style calves liver, rarely
found outside Italy. $$$

28 NE 40th St.; 305-573-3355
After a couple of years in hiatus, this Design District
restolounge has reopened in the same outdoor courtyard
space. What's new: "MediterAsian" chef Michael Jacobs
and a menu that travels beyond pan-Asian and
Mediterranean influences into the Americas. Entrees range
from lowbrow comfort food (cunningly reinvented mini pot
pies) to high-status extravagance (stone-seared, authentic
Kobe steak). For healthy grazers, raw-bar selections include
ceviches and a large seafood platter (lobster, shrimp, and
lump crab with housemade dipping sauces). There's also a
snack menu (pristine coldwater oysters, a crab salad tim-
bale, parmesan-truffle shoestring fries, mini-Kobe burgers)
served till the wee hours, providing a welcome alternative
to the Boulevard's fast food chains. $$-$$$$$

Kafa Caf6
3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-438-0114
Opened in late 2007 by a brother/sister team (both originally
from Ethiopia, via San Francisco), this breakfast/lunch spot
is located in the casually stylish indoor/outdoor multi-roomed
Midtown space formerly housing Uva and Stop Miami.
Nothing on the menu tops $8, and portions feed an army (or
several starving artists). Signature item is the formidable
Kafa Potato Platter a mountain of wondrously textured
home fries mixed with bacon, ham, peppers, onion, and
cheese; eggs (any style), fresh fruit, and bread accompany.
Lunch's burgers, salads, and overstuffed sandwiches (like
the roast beef supreme, a melt with sauteed mushrooms,
onion, sour cream, and cheddar on sourdough) come with
homemade soup or other sides, plus fruit. Not full yet? The
pair plans expanded night hours with an authentic Ethiopian
menu, pending wine/beer license approval. $

Latin Caf6 2000
2501 Biscayne Blvd.
305-576-3838; www.latincafe2000.com
The menu is similar to that at many of our town's Latin
cafes, largely classic Cuban entrees and sandwiches,
with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin
America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed
seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many
Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies
the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppi-
fied/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive,
rustic wooden deck. Delivery is now available. $$

Lemoni Caf6
4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080
The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/sal-
ads/starters primer. What it doesn't convey is the
sparkling freshness of the ingredients and the care that
goes into constructing these mostly healthy snacks.
Entree-size salads range from an elegant spinach salad
(with goat cheese, pears, walnuts, and raisins) to chunky
homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens a
hefty helping of protein without typical deli-style mayo over-
load. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed pani-
nis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a
respectable Cuban, but the deceptively rich-tasting light
salad cream that dresses a veggie wrap might tempt even
hardcore cholesterol fans to stick with the sprouts. $-$$

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 breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has
grown with its neighborhood. It's now open for dinner
six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at
rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pinon and pepita-crusted
salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab,
or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big
breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pas-
tries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer
and wine list. $

Maino Churrascaria
2201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-571-9044
This very upscale Brazilian steakhouse has all the fea-
tures one expects at a rodizio-style restaurant, including
all-you-can-eat meats carved tableside and a lavish buf-
fet of salads, sides, salumi, and hot prepared dishes.
What sets Maino apart from typical rodizio palaces is its
family-run feel, intimate rather than intimidating, plus its
attention to every detail (immediately obvious in the
classy rustic/elegant decor, highlighted by striking onyx
accents bars, tabletops, and more). While it's rare at
most rodizio joints to get meat done less than medium,
Maine's eager-to-please servers here are happy to con-
vey custom-cooking preferences to the kitchen and
they're English-speaking, too. One other welcome differ-
ence: As well as the one-price (hefty) feast, there are a
la carte starters and pastas for lighter eaters and non-
carnivores, and some lunch specials. Free parking, too.

Mario the Baker
250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228
(See North Miami listing)

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550
Long-awaited and an instant smash hit, this truly neigh-
borhood-oriented restaurant from Michael Schwartz,
founding chef of Nemo's in South Beach, offers down-to-
earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish
indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are
emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy
beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and
chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled
eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or
a whole wood-roasted chicken. There's also a broad
range of prices and portion sizes ($4-$8 for snacks and
small plates to $24-$39 for extra-large plates) to encour-
age frequent visits from light-bite as well as pig-out din-
ers. Michael's Genuine also features an eclectic and
affordable wine list, and a full bar, with cut-rate weekday
happy hour cocktails. $$-$$$$

Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731
There's no sign out front, but this family-owned Irish
pub, on the pool deck of a waterfront condo building
across from the Miami Herald, for more than 15 years
has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for
local journalists and others who appreciate honest
cheap eats and drinks (not to mention a billiard table
and 17 TV screens). Regulars know daily specials are
the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco,
or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared
fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good,
and happy hour appetizers (like meaty Buffalo wings)
are always half-price. Additionally, a limited late-night
menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00
a.m. $-$$

Orange Caf6 + 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: chori-
zo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil
on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edi-
bles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the
Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and
house-baked pastries. $

Out of the Blue Caf6
2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-3800
Forget impersonal chain coffeehouses. This artist-friendly,
independent neighborhood cafe serves a full selection of
coffee drinks made with the award-winning beans of
Intelligentsia, a roasting company that works directly with
artisan growers to encourage sustainable agriculture and
one helluva good cup of java. Also served: breakfast and
lunch sandwiches, imaginative salads, soups, homemade
pastries and creamy fresh-fruit smoothies. With tables,
sofas, and lounge chairs inside an old Midtown house,
plus free wireless Internet access, the space is also just a
pleasant place to hang out. Owner Carmen Miranda (real
name) says beer and wine will soon be available. $

Pacific Time
35 NE 40th St., 305-722-7369
Everyone knows Jonathan Eismann's original, now-
defunct Pacific Time, for many years Lincoln Road's
only serious contemporary restaurant. The question is:
How different is its new incarnation? Very, and it's all
good, starting with far superior acoustics (no more
voice-shredding conversations!), an admirably green
ecological policy, and a neighborhood-friendly attitude
(including kid-oriented dishes, plus continuous service
of inventive small plates and bar snacks). The food is
also more intriguing simultaneously complexly refined
and accessibly clean. While the addition of
Mediterranean influences to PT's former Pacific Rim
menu may sound confusing on paper, trust us: A meal
that includes a butter-grilled asparagus with prosciutto,
soft-cooked egg Milanese, and preserved lemon; plus
an Asian-accented creamy corn/leek soup with Peeky
Toe crab dumplings, coriander, and mustard oil makes
perfect sense on the tongue. $$-$$$$

3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201
(See Brickell/Downtown listing)

2905 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-0900
Those seeking dainty designer pizzas can fuhgeddaboudit
here. At this New York-style pizzeria (which has roughly
the same menu as North Beach's original Pizzafiore, but
independent ownership), it's all about heftiness. A special
slice/soda deal features two pizza triangles bigger than
most Miami mini-skirts. Whole pies come medium (large),
large (huge), and extra-large (think truck tire). And with fully
loaded pizzas like the Supreme Meat Lover priced only a
few bucks more than a basic tomato/ cheese, it pays to
think big about toppings too. Other Italian-American fare is
also available, notably pastas and subs. $-$$

Continued on page 58




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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008



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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

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December 2008



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 56

1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055
Relatively few people except hotel guests and condo
residents are familiar with the Grand's restaurants
(except for Tony Chan's). The imposing, cavernous lobby
just doesn't have that "do drop in" locals' hangout vibe.
But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to
the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven speci-
mens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to
trendy prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But
pastas are also planned to please: diners' choice of
starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the
price is right, with few entrees (whether traditional veal
piccata or seared ahi tuna) topping $20. The capper:
It's open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$

Sake Room
275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122
Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated
decor at this small but sleek restolounge, which offers
South Beach sophistication without the prices or attitude,
thanks to charming proprietor Mario Cicilia. Among the
seafood offerings, you won't find exotica or local catches,
but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites are here, but in
more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond
standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many
more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll
(chopped Pacific yellowtail with scallions, sesame, roe,
citrusy dressing, and refreshing shiso leaf), the lobster
tempura maki (with veggies, chive oil, and an oddly won-
derful tomato sauce), and panko-coated spicy shrimp with
hot-and-sour mayo and a salad. $$-$$$

4029 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1819
Combining contemporary Design District chic with tradi-
tional African craft (from its adjacent art gallery), Sheba's
spacious setting is a soothing place to discover the exot-
ic offerings of Miami's only Ethiopian eatery. Once diners

adjust to eating with their hands (using inerja, the sour-
dough crepes accompanying entrees, as a utensil), the
food is quite accessible. Both wats (meat and poultry
stews) and tibs (sauteed dishes incorporating the familiar
multicultural "holy trinity" of onions, tomatoes, and pep-
pers) tend, like Cuban cuisine, to be spiced with complex-
ity, not fire. A Best of the Best platter for two enables din-
ers to sample most of the menu. $$$

S & S Diner
1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291
Some things never change, or so it seems at this diner,
which is so classic it verges on cliche. Open since 1938,
it's still popular enough that people line up on Saturday
morning, waiting for a seat at the horseshoe-shaped
counter (there are no tables) and enormous breakfasts:
corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy
pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia
sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict, all
in mountainous portions. The lunch menu is a roll call of
the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu
and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$

Tony Chan's Water Club
1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888
The decor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, a
huge bayside condo/resort hotel, looks far too glitzy to
serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food.
The presentation is indeed elegant, but the American
dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more
authentic and skillfully prepared than those found else-
where in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail
(minced with mushrooms in lettuce cups). Moist sea
bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion,
ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking
duck is served as three traditional courses: crepe-
wrapped crispy skin, meat sauteed with crisp veggies,
savory soup to finish. $$$-$$$$

W Wine Bistro
3622 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7775
Both bistro and retail wine shop, this Design District spot
is run by Rorent Blanchet, an energetic young Frenchman
who was previously a wine distributor. His former gig led to
connections that mean if wine lovers don't find the bottle

they want in W's selection of roughly 200-labels (which
emphasizes boutique and organic growers), Blanchet can
probably get it within 24 hours. Food is sophisticated light
bites like a shrimp club sandwich with pancetta and sun-
dried tomato aioli; smoked duck salad with goat cheese
croutons and a poached egg; and chocolate fondant. At
night there are tapas. $-$$

Zuperpollo Biztro Reztocafe
3050 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-8485
Occasionally there's a sign out front of the office building
housing this bistro, indicating that a branch of the popu-
lar Uruguayan eatery Zuperpollo (on Coral Way, since
1986) is within. Otherwise, since the restaurant opened
in 2006, locals have basically had to intuit its presence -
way in back, past a guard desk and an elevator bank,
behind an unmarked door. Once there, diners discover an
extensive pan-Latin menu of breakfast food, salads, sub-
stantial meat and fish entrees, homemade pastas and
soups, desserts, and sandwiches, including Uruguay's
famed chivito, sometimes called "a heart attack on a
bun": beef, bacon, ham, eggs, mozzarella, plus sauteed
mushrooms and red peppers. And naturally, from the
rotisserie, there's the signature zuper chicken. $-$$

Upper Eastside

5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751
Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside car
wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soyka's 55th Street
Station -which means ditching the car (in the complex's
free lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no problem
even if you're not getting your vehicle cleaned while consum-
ing the brick-oven pies (from a flaming open oven) that are
this popular pizzeria's specialty. Choices range from the sim-
ple namesake Andiamo (actually a Margherita) to the
Godfather, a major meat monster. Extra toppings like arugu-
la and goat cheese enable diners to create their own
designer pies. Also available are salads and panini plus rea-
sonably priced wines and beers (including a few unusually
sophisticated selections like Belgium's Hoegaarden). $$

916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735
This strip of 79th Street, formerly known for its live bait
and auto repair shops, is rapidly becoming a cool alt-cul-
ture 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 backyard 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 (shrimp and hearts of palm-
stuffed turnovers) to hefty Brazilian entrees, is also
appealing- and budget-priced. $$

The Boutique Kitchen
6815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-7560089
What the sure-handed sensibilities of Haitian-American
chef/owner Jean Sebastien (whose culinary training
came from notable NYC fine-dining restaurants) does to
his menu's basic dishes raises them to new heights,
while keeping them comfortingly homey. Melt-in-your-
mouth oxtail comes with gently herbed polenta and
thyme-spiked honey dressing; an equally slow-cooked
roast pork sandwich is elevated by horseradish mayo
and impeccable housemade slaw. And as for desserts:
one bite of the peach cobbler, made by the chef's
dynamic co-owner/mom Evelyne, almost makes one feel
sorry for the Starbucks at the other end of this little
shopping strip. $-$$

Le Caf6
7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551
For anyone who can't get over thinking of French food as
intimidating or pretentious, this cute cafe with a warm
welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the
antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic
comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oys-
ters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast),
Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade creme brulee. A
respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as
is the housemade sangria. Top price for entrees is about
$14. $-$$

Continued on page 59

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 58

5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-3930
When this atmospheric little neighborhood oasis opened,
the formula was Cuban cooking at lunch, Catalan tapas
at night. The menu is now more uniform: contemporary
Spanish and pan-Latin tapas, sandwiches, salads, sides,
and entrees at all hours, just a far more elaborate selec-
tion at night. The tapas list is especially impressive, with
all the usual Hispanic meat and cheese favorites but also
an unusually large selection of seafood and vegetarian
items such as espinaca a la catalaia (spinach sauteed
with pine nuts and raisins). Must-not-miss items include
ultra-creamy croquetas (ham, cheese, chicken, spinach,
or bacalao), grilled asparagus with aioli, and habit-forming
Brazilian cheese bread. $-$$$

Captain Crab's Take-Away
1100 NE 79th St., 305-754-2722
The drive-through window says "fast food," and so do
this long-lived seafood shack's low prices. And indeed
there are three Captain Crab's Take-Aways (the others
are in Carol City and Fort Lauderdale), all related to
the sit-down Crab House restaurants. But there the
resemblance to McFauxFood ends. For about the price
of a bucket of the Colonel's chicken you can get a
bucket of the Captain's savory garlic crabs. The King's
burger meal or the Captain's similarly priced fried (or
garlic boiled or New Orleans-spiced) shrimp meal? No
contest. Also popular: crab cakes and conch (fried or
in fritters and chowder). For fish haters, spicy or garlic
chicken wings are an option; for kids, cut-price "first
mate" meals. $-$$

Casa Toscana
7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-3353
Tuscan-born chef/owner Sandra Stefani cooked at
Norman's (and briefly ran the Indian Creek Hotel's restau-
rant) before opening this Upper Eastside jewel, a wine mar-
ket/eatery whose 30 original seats have been supplement-
ed by a wine room/garden for tasting events and private

dining. Stefani travels regularly to Italy to find exciting, limit-
ed-production wines and inspiration for truly Tuscan-tasting
daily special dishes with honest, authentic flavors, such as
grilled wild boar sausages with lentil croquettes. Favorites
that show up often on the menu include pear and ricotta
raviolini with sage butter sauce, grilled eggplant slices rolled
around herbed goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and a
light ricotta tart with lemon and rosemary. $$$

Che Sopranos
7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282
This branch of a Miami Beach Italian/Argentine pizzeria,
housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy
patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola
pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciut-
to, 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). $

Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St, 305-754-2223
Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner
Wilkinson Sejour's two tiny but wildly popular establish-
ments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot
(fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available -
and a $3.99 roast chicken special is a hard deal to resist
- the glistening fish display that greets diners as they walk
in makes it clear that seafood is the specialty here:
crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter
sauce), lambi fri (a mountain of perfectly tenderized fried
conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter
sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. Note for ambiance-seekers:
The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining; North
Miami's outlet, a former Carvel, has the same food but
lacks the tropical charm. $-$$

Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3433
What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to the
Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables just
feet from the busy Boulevard? From the day it opened,


people have been lining up, even in summer's sweltering
heat, for this stand's sauce-garnished, all-beef, soy veg-
gie, turkey, and chicken hot dogs. The 22 varieties range
from simple (the Classic, with ketchup, relish, and
chopped onion) to the elaborate (the Athens, topped with
a Greek salad, including extra-virgin olive oil dressing) to
near-unbelievable combinations like the VIP, which
includes parmesan cheese and crushed pineapple. $

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 meatballs, but East Side also
has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild
mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices.
The East Side Salad includes goat cheese, walnuts, and
cranberries; quaffs include 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 mozzarel-
la (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seat-
ing for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $

Garden of Eatin'
136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050
Low profile would be an understatement for this place.
Housed in a yellow building that's tucked in back of a
parking lot behind a small grocery store, it's nearly invisi-
ble from the street. Inside, though, it has the comfortable
feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive
Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Rastafari owner Immanuel
Tafari cooks up meat and dairy-free specials, like
Jamaican pumpkin/chayote stew in coconut milk, that
depend on what looks good at that morning's produce
market. 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. $

Gourmet Station
7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229
Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no
time to cook, has been trendy for years. But the Gourmet

Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main rea-
son: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good
for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite
items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt
sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ
sauce sin-free comfort food. For lighter eaters, there are
wraps and salads with a large, interesting choice of dress-
ings. Food is available a la carte or grouped in multimeal
plans customized for individual diner's nutritional needs. $$

Hiro's Sushi Express
5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914
(See North Miami Beach listing)

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.
Admittedly the place closes at 4:00 p.m., but still. There are
blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles for sweet-tooth
eaters; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frit-
tatas for those preferring savories; and a full range of sides:
biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even
hot oatmeal. Also available are traditional diner entries
(meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions), plus burgers,
salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$

7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-1392
A real car wash with meticulous detailing takes time. But
killing an hour is a pleasure at this stylish car wash/tapas
bar, where the elegant light fare occasionally even out-
shines the hand-washed automobiles. Vegetarians do
especially well, with crusty baguette sandwich combos like
brie, walnuts, and honey, or another featuring grilled arti-
chokes and buttery St. Andre cheese. Lower carb items
range from an imported olive assortment to an antipasto
platter with Spanish Cantimpalo chorizo, manchego
cheese, and garbanzos. There are breakfast and dessert
pastries too. Beverages include organic coffee and soy
chai lattes, as well as wines and an extensive beer list
featuring Belgian brewskis. On Thursday nights the car
wash transforms into a chic lounge until 2:00 a.m. $-$$

Continued on page 60


Artist Hugo Urlacher and Daniel Moriano's work

will be featured on display for the month of December.

Join them December 7th at 6pm

Complimentary wine and cheese will be served.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


December 2008




Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 59

6708 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-0074
This newly renovated, indoor/outdoor sports bar serves
low-priced but high-quality steaks, plus more typical bar
food that's actually far from the usual premade,
processed stuff. Philly cheese steak sandwiches, big
enough for two, are made from hand-sliced rib eye; sides
include fries and beer-battered onion rings, but also light-
ly lemony sauteed spinach. And the burgers rule, particu-
larly the Doomsday, a cheese/ bacon/mushroom-topped
two-pound monster that turns dinner into a competitive
sport. But even the smallest Queenburger (a half-pounder
that's no sissy) is a perfectly seasoned contender. No
hard liquor, but the beer list makes up for it. $$

Luna Caf6
4770 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-5862
The ground floor of the Wachovia Bank building may not
seem a particularly evocative locale for an Italian eatery,
but once inside, the charming decor and the staff's ebul-
lient welcome indeed are reminiscent of a cafe in Italy.
The kitchen's outstanding feature is a brick oven, which
turns out designer pizzas (greater in variety, lesser in cost
on the lunch menu, in effect till 4:30 p.m.) and crisp-
skinned roast chickens. Otherwise the menu holds few
surprises except the prices, surprisingly low for such a
stylish place. No dish exceeds $22. $$-$$$

The Lunch Room
7957 NE 2nd Ave., 305-722-0759
Hidden in Little Haiti, this Thai/Japanese spot, which
opened in 2005, remains one of the Upper Eastside's
best-kept secrets. But chef Michelle Bernstein (of
Michy's) and other knowledgeable diners wander over
from the Boulevard for simple but perfect pad Thai, chili
grouper (lightly battered fillets in a mouthwatering
tangy/sweet/hot sauce), silky Asian eggplant slices in
Thai basil sauce, and other remarkably low-priced special-
ties of Matilda Apirukpinyo, who operated a critically
acclaimed South Beach Thai eatery in the 1990s. Though
the casually cute indoor/outdoor place is only open for
weekday lunches, "cantina" dinners can be ordered and
picked up after hours. $

6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001
Don't even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a resume that
includes topchef gigs at upscale eateries like Azul, 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. Table-to-table conversations about the food are com-
mon, something that only happens at exciting, if not flaw-
less, restaurants. And at this one, the star herself is usually
in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$

7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999
Like its Brickell-area older sibling Indochine, this friendly
indoor/outdoor Asian bistro serves stylish 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 gar-
lic). But the cafe also carves out its own identity with
original creations, including yellow curry-spiced
Moonchine fried rice or Popeye's Salad (spicy tuna, avo-
cado, spinach, masago roe, sesame seeds, and a
scrumptious sweet/hot kimchee dressing). Nearly every-
thing is low in sodium, fat, and calories except
desserts (notably the chocolate bomb). There's also an
impressive sake list, too. Coming soon: a large rear
patio for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$

Moshi Moshi
7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404
"Spruced up" is a supreme understatement for the space,
formerly the Haitian hole-in-the-wall Rdele. Now a boutique
Japanese eatery, this younger sibling of South Beach old-
timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an
izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the
hip decor is the food's unusually upscale quality. But this
isn't surprising given the owners' previous work: Toshi
Furihata and Hiro Terada were executive chefs at
SushiSamba and Doraku; Yani Yuhara is an ex-Benihana
manager. Sushi ranges from pristine plain individual nigiri
(all the usuals plus rarer finds like toro) to over-the-top
maki rolls like the signature Moshi Moshi (tuna, white
tuna, salmon, avocado, masago, tempura flakes, spicy
mayo). Tapas also go beyond standards like edamame to
intriguing dishes like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork
fingerling frank with a superior pop/spurt factor; rarely
found in restaurants even in Japan, they're popular
Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like
Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy
even the biggest appetites. $-$$$

One Ninety
26 NE 54th St., 305-758-7085
When the original One Ninety, a hip Nuevo Hippie hangout
in residential Buena Vista, closed because of rent
increases in 2004, loyal patrons from all walks of life
mourned the loss. In its new Little Haiti location, the
space is much smaller but the loose vibe is the same, as
are the eclectic live bands and some old food favorites:
bacalao cake with onion, cuke, and tomato salad with
lemony aioli sauce; ricotta-walnut agnolotti with butter
and sage; and chef Alan Hughes's unique black-pepper-
spiked white chocolate mousse (now presented as one of
a five-item chocolate medley). $$-$$$

Pineapple Blossom Tea Room
8214 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8328
The interior of this pineapple-yellow building is a soothing
oasis offering traditional full English tea service or a
more zingy tropical fruit-flavored Caribbean variation.
Whether your chosen brew is steaming Earl Grey or pineap-
ple-mint iced tea, the scones (with thick cream and jam),
tea cakes, cookies, and desserts, are hometown treats.
Owner Frances Brown is a pastry chef. There's more sub-
stantial fare, too. Innovative wraps like Caribbean shrimp
salad with tropical fruit salsa; salads such as warm goat
cheese with fresh greens, tomatoes, dried cranberries, and
candied cashews. Also offered are tempting take-out bas-
kets like the Tea for Two (with tea, jam, scones, and cook-
ies), great for gifts or for at-home teas. $-$$

Red Light
7700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-7773
Only in Miami: From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris

Wessel's intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool river-
front restaurant, located in a refurbished old motel, you
can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees (Florida's own
half mammal/half meatloaf) while enjoying eclectic
regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sour-orange-
marinated, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet
corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried
green tomatoes). The menu is limited, which makes
sense with a chef-driven place; and it changes daily,
which also makes sense at an ingredient-driven place.
But several signature specialties, if they're available, are
not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire
and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini
conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$

Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus
1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002
With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party
noises emanating 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. $$-$$$

5556 NE 4th Court
305-759-3117; www.soykarestaurant.com
This expansive, contemporary hangout was often credit-
ed with almost single-handedly sparking the revitaliza-
tion of the Biscayne Corridor's Upper Eastside. Now
that the hype has calmed down, Soyka remains a solid
neighborhood restaurant that, like restaurateur Mark
Soyka's previous ventures (notably Ocean Drive's pio-
neering News Cafe and the Van Dyke on Lincoln Road)
is a perfect fit for its area. Comfortably priced yuppie
comfort food like meatloaf with mashed potatoes, crab
cakes with spicy-sweet slaw, a wild mushroom/smoked
mozzarella pizza, or a Cobb salad may not be revolu-
tionary fare, but Soyka continues to thrive while more
ambitious, nationally publicized restaurants like OLA
have come and gone. $$-$$$

Sushi Siam
5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818
On the fairly standard menu of sushi-bar specialties plus
a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes,
there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki
that's admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size:
six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus,
avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt)
roes, and special sauces. Also popular are red and
orange dragon rolls, similarly sauced makis of fried
shrimp plus veggies, topped with, respectively, raw tuna
and salmon. 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. $$$

UVA 69
6900 Biscayne Blvd.
305-754-9022; www.uva-69.com
Owned by the Vega brothers (chef Michael and artist
Sinuhe) of Cane 6 Sucre now defunct, but one of
Midtown Miami's first cool, contemporary cafes this

more ambitious yet casual outdoor/indoor Euro-cafe and
lounge serves the same purpose on the Upper Eastside,
helping to transform a commuter strip into a hip place to
hang out. The menu has grown more sophisticated along
with the neighborhood. Lunch includes a variety of salads
and elegant sandwiches like La Minuta (beer-battered
mahi-mahi with cilantro aioli and caramelized onions on
housemade foccacia). Dinner features a range of small
plates (poached figs with Gorgonzola cheese and honey
balsamic drizzle) and full entrees like sake-marinated
salmon with boniato mash, Ponzu butter sauce, and
crispy spinach. Drink specials and live music on week-
ends. $$-$$$

Ver-Daddys Taco Shop
7501 Biscayne Blvd.
At this soulful taco shop, the menu descriptions are in
common English ("cinnamon puffs" drizzled with honey
and lime, not "buinuelos"). But taco fillings range from the
commonplace (ground beef, shredded chicken) to more
unusual pork in chili verde, fried potato, or Baja battered
fish (authentically garnished with Mexican crema and
cilantro-spiked cabbage). And all offerings can be loaded
with other garnishes from the kitchen (refried beans,
cheese, crema) or less perishable offerings from a salsa
bar. For the heath-minded, oils are nonhydrogenated, and
sauces/seasonings are all housemade and free of
preservatives. $

Wine 69
6909 Biscayne Blvd.
From the name, one might think this is just a wine
shop. It's actually about wine, food, and art, and how
they work together. Wines, about 200 labels, are avail-
able retail (at 35-50 percent of their marked prices,
which are for in-house drinkers), with 40 sold by the
glass. But the place's specialty is comparative flights
of various wine types from different regions. Food,
designed for pairing, includes a new $25 three-course
dinner. But the menu is mostly light bites with intrigu-
ingly inventive touches: a seared Cajun tuna salad with
wasabi sauce; crab cakes with Asian sriracha chili
sauce; a three-cheese souffle. Especially impressive
are some nicely priced cheese/charcuterie platters,
served with fig tapenade, cornichons, fresh fruits,
bread, and multiple sauces. And the art part encom-
passes revolving exhibits, plus an art lecture series
featuring wines picked by owner Ben Neji to compli-
ment the art. $$

Barchetta on the Bay
1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-2228
Location, location, location. The truth of the old real
estate cliche could not be better illustrated than at this
reasonably priced Italian restaurant. While pastas like
lobster ravioli in tomato/cream vodka sauce are under
$20, and no meat or seafood entree exceeds $30, the
spectacular setting on Biscayne Bay is priceless. Floor to
ceiling picture windows serve as the expansive indoor
dining space's rear wall, but the primo seats are out-
doors, in sheltered banquettes and patio tables where
the water view, and carefree tropical party feel, is unim-
peded. $$-$$$$

Continued on page 61

NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH TOO! "Ariston is derived from the Greek aristos, meaning 'the best,' and it just might be."--VictoriaPesce liott, MiAiWraft

(CLOSED ON TUESDAYS) "A restaurant that pleases its patrons. Ariston has started out doing just that."-- Lee Klein, Miamin w Times
"Ariston continues the lucky streak with classical Greek cuisine based on recipes of owner Thanasis Barlos's mom."-- iscayne Times


Come & try our $9.95 $

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$1 7.50 $23.50 a $27.50
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1 94 71s STET MIM BEC 30-6494 0 WW.RSONETU NTIM.O

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 60

Bocados Ricos
1880 79th St. Causeway; 305-864-4889
Tucked into a mall best known for housing the Happy
Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette joint services big
appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, there's
an especially belly-busting bandeja paisa (Colombia's
sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried
egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans). But do not
miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if
this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily changing home-
made soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the
hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, care
desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice,
beans, and cheese. Garnished with even more over-the-
top abandon are Colombian-style hot dogs like the Perro
Rico, topped with chicharron, chorizo, cheese, a quail
egg, and pineapple to cancel out the cholesterol. Ha! But
who cares? Strap on the med emergency bracelet and
bring it on. $-$$

Japanese Market and Sushi Deli
1412 79th St. Causeway
Inside a small market that is, nevertheless, widely consid-
ered Miami's premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the
"Sushi Deli" restaurant component is nothing more than a
lunch counter to the left of the entrance. But chef Michio
Kushi, who worked for years at the Sushin, Miami's first
full-service Japanese restaurant, serves up some sushi
found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-
style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, more rice,
and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box,
then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw
fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian
sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entries, like cur-
ried beef stew, that typify Japanese home cooking. $

Mario the Baker
1700 79th St. Causeway
(See North Miami listing)

Oggi Caffe
1666 79th St. Causeway
This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a
pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restau-
rants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide
range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily,
remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele.
Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant
crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional
forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghetti-
ni (with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes). For
those tempted by too much, ultra-accommodating
servers have been known to allow half orders of two
pastas. $$-$$$

Shuckers Bar & Grill
1819 79th St. Causeway
"Cheap eats and a million-dollar view" is the sound bite
manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor
beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint
dates from South Beach's late 1980s revival, but the
kick-off-your-shoes vibe not to mention the pool tables
and jukebox couldn't be farther from SoBe glitz. The
food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings,
conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners
featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen,
fish. And since about half of the establishment is shel-
tered, the bites and bay view rock even when the weather
sucks. $-$$

Sushi Siam
1524 NE 79th St. Causeway
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)

940 71st St., 305-864-9848
It took a Greek place (Ouzo's, which moved to bigger
SoBe quarters in 2007) to break the curse of this former
restaurant jinx location. And Ariston continues the lucky

streak with classical Greek cuisine based on recipes of
co-owner Thanasis Barlos's mom Noni Barlou, and exe-
cuted by CIA-trained chef Alexia Apostolidis. Skip the
menu's puzzling Italianesque and generic Euro-American
selections and concentrate on authentic treats like the
lightest, most savory whipped tarama (caviar spread)
west of Athens; ultra-rich tzatziki (Greek yogurt with
cukes, garlic, and olive oil); bracing avgolemono (egg-
thickened chicken/lemon soup); char-grilled sardines with
greens and citrus dressing; or an inspired
eggplant/ground beef moussaka, bound here with an
almost sinfully custardy bechamel. $$-$$$

Cafe Prima Pasta
414 71st St., 305-867-0106, www.primapasta.com
Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run North
Beach landmark has now taken over the block, with an
outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose
walls are full of photos of their clientele (including nation-
al and local celebs). Particularly popular are homemade
pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather
than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream
sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Veal
dishes, such as piccata with white wine-lemon-caper
sauce, are also a specialty. Though romantic enough for
dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the ter-
race, they'll even feed Fido. $$$

Tamarind Thai
946 Normandy Dr.,
When an eatery's executive chef is best-selling Thai cook-
book author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, you'd expect major
media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe
address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day
Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal who'd moved to
Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neigh-
borhood place. Some standout dishes here (like shrimp
and corn cakes with plum sauce, deep-fried sweet and
sour fish, and roast duck with tamarind sauce) are fea-
tured in the chef's latest tome, Vatch's Thai Kitchen, but
with Tamarind's very affordable prices (especially at
lunch), you might as well let the man's impeccably
trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
9432 NE 2nd Ave.
305-754-0311; www.ironsushi.com
With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branch-
es elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is
fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do
Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isn't any. But
when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies
know their fish, tout the seafood's freshness, we listen.
And though the bargain prices, and many menu items, are
similar to those at other fast-food sushi places, there are
some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja,
featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry mayo. And
where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted
makis) birthday cake? $-$$

Village Cafe
9540 NE 2nd Ave.
305-757-6453; www.villagecaferestaurant.com
There's an official Village Hall a few blocks up the road,
but a popular vote would probably proclaim Village Cafe
the community center of Miami Shores. Few residents
can resist starting the workday with unique breakfast
treats like a pressed panini of ham, Brie, and
caramelized apples. Later locals gather over a balsamic-
dressed cranberry blue chicken salad (a grilled breast on
romaine with gorgonzola, walnuts, and dried cranberries),
pan-fried blue crab cakes with beurre blanc and crisp
cayenne-fried onions, wonton-topped salmon Oriental, or
homemade pasta. As for dessert, the pastry case
speaks for village residents: Let them eat (fresh-baked)
cake! $-$$

Cote Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112
If every Miami neighborhood had a neighborhood restau-
rant like this low-priced little French jewel, it'd be one fan-
tastic food town. The menu is mostly simple stuff: break-
fast croissants, crepe, soups, sandwiches, salads,

Continued on page 62

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December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 61

sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a
Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna,
onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side
salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads,
and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French
technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the
stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafe's
baguette sandwiches. $-$$

Los Antojos
11099 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-892-1411
If it's Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombia's
national dish. If it's Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are
thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. But veggies and
garnishes vary, and this modest Colombian eatery is a
handy spot to comparison-test such typical stews.
Adventuresome eaters may want to try another Saturday
special, mondongo (tripe soup, similar to Mexico's
menudo). For Colombian-cuisine novices, a Bandeja Paisa
(sampler including rice, beans, care asada, chicharron,
eggs, sauteed sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake)
is available every day, as are antojitos "little whims,"
smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with
Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are sev-
eral hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$

Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435
While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one
can't actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its
location next to a firearms shop. But there's a lot of other
stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sand-
wiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with
banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But what's
most important is that this is one of the area's few
sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy
outside, challengingly chewy inside. Those puffy half-donuts
most places pass off as bagels aren't even contenders. $

Cte Gourmet

eganFprench Cuisin e

13408 Biscayne Blvd, 305-947-6339
Buried in a strip mall perpendicular to the Boulevard,
Bamboche is worth the hunt on one of those head-splitting
Saturday, for a Haitian specialty not found in many area
restaurants: bouillon tet cabrit, a soup packed with greens
(like spinach, cabbage, cress, string beans) and root veg-
gies that is reputed to be a miraculous hangover remedy.
Along with bouillon, weekend specials include more unusu-
al dishes like fritay, fried street snacks. Haitian standards
(griot, tassot) are available daily, as are fresh-squeezed
juices, lattes, and almost two dozen desserts. $

Bar-B-Que Beach Sports Bar & Grill
12599 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-3141
On Friday nights, there's karaoke at this expansive eatery,
though from the decor mixing Wild West rusticity with Key
West flip-flops dangling from the ceiling it's hard to know
whether to brush up your Jimmy Buffett medley or
"Tumbling Tumbleweeds." There are specials the other six
days of the week as well, from early-bird discounts to open-
mike nights to kids-eat-free Tuesdays. But don't forget the
biggest draw: the barbecue, honest stuff that has been
low-temperature smoked for 12 to 14 hours till tender yet
resilient. Ribs are meaty (except for the aptly named, bar-
gain-priced "bucket of bones," and while chopped pork may
not totally satisfy North Carolina pulled pork purists, noth-
ing within a 1000-mile drive ever does. Biggest winners:
succulent sliced brisket and delightfully juicy chicken. $$

Burritos Grill Caf6
11717 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1041
Originally a friendly little 125th Street hole-in-the-wall that
garnered raves for its limited menu of terrifically tasty treats,
Mario and Karina Manzanero's cafe is now in more sizable
and atmospheric quarters. But the friendly, family-run (and
kid-friendly) ambiance remains, as do the authentic Yucatan-
style specialties. Standouts include poc-chuc, a pork loin
marinated in sour orange juice and topped with pickled
onions and chiltomate sauce (roasted tomato/chili); tacos
al pastor, stuffed with subtly smoky steak, onion, cilantro,
and pineapple; sinful deep-fried tacos dorados (like fat flau-
tas); and signature burritos, including the Maya, filled with
juicy cochinita pibil, refried beans, and pickled onions. $$

Canton Caf6
12749 Biscayne Blvd, 305-892-2882
Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly
Cantonese-based dishes, ranging from all the old
Chinese-American classics (chop suey, moo goo gai pan,
pu pu platters) through newer Americanized fusion
favorites like honey garlic chicken, teriyaki beef, and crab
Rangoon. But there are also about two dozen spicier,
Szechuan-style standards like kung po shrimp, ma po
tofu, and General Tso's chicken. And there are a few
imaginative new items, like the intriguingly christened
"Shrimp Lost in the Forest," Singapore curried rice noo-
dles, crispy shrimp with honey-glazed walnuts, and
Mongolian beef (with raw chilis and fresh Oriental basil).
Delivery is available for both lunch and dinner. $$

Captain Jim's Seafood
12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812
This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim
even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica
tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the fresh-
ness of its seafood (much of it from Capt. Jim
Hanson's own fishing boats, which supply many of
Miami's most upscale eateries). Now there's a casual
but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths,
and more recently added, a sushi bar stocked largely
with flown-in Japanese fish just as pristine as the local
catch. Whether it's garlicky scampi (made with sweet
Key West shrimp), housemade smoked fish dip, grilled
yellowtail (or some more exotic local snapper, like hog
or mutton), perfectly tenderized cracked conch, or
conch fritters (with just enough batter to bind the big
chunks of Bahamian shellfish), everything is deftly pre-
pared and bargain-priced. $$

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 neigh-
borhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regu-
lars after about ten minutes here, thanks to the staff's
genuinely Italian ebullience. The delightful Italian
accents don't hurt, either. As for the menu offerings,
they're mostly classic comfort foods with some con-
temporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good
enough that low-carb dieters should definitely temporar-
ily fuhgeddaboudit, especially for the tender gnocchi
with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini "beggar's
purses" stuffed with pears and cheese. $$

15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808
Diners can get some of the usual Tex-Mex dishes at this
cute spot, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted
Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one
can sample Caribbean Mexico's most typical dish: cochini-
ta pibil? It's currently LA's trendiest taco filling (and morn-
ing-after hangover remedy). But that city couldn't have a
more authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-
topped marinated pork dish than Cheen's earthily aro-
matic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, meltingly ten-
der from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompa-
ny, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically
Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to
dark beer. $$-$$$

Chef Creole

Chipotle Mexican Grill
14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779
Proving that national fast-food chains don't have to be bad
for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what
the company calls "food with integrity." The fare is simple,
basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn tor-
tillas stuffed with chipotle-marinated steak or chicken
chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented
pork carnitas, all with choice of fresh garnishes. But these
bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial
color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). Additionally, all
pork, plus a large and growing percentage of the grill's beef
and poultry, is raised via humane and ecologically sustain-
able methods. And the food, while not the authentic Mex
street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $

15979 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-3330
A pocket flashlight isn't a bad idea if you want to read the
menu in this mood-lit room. But who needs to read it?
There's a coal-fired brick oven, so order pizza, which comes
out of the ultra-hot enclosure with a perfect crust- beauti-
fully blistered, crisp outside, chewy inside. Appealing top-
pings include the Calabrese (Italian sausage, caramelized
onions, kalamata olives, mozzarella, tomato sauce) and a
more modern mix of mozzarella, tomato sauce, onion, thin-
sliced prosciutto, and arugula drizzled with olive oil. For
those craving more crunch than the latter pie's arugula
salad, there are flavorful veggies from a hardwood-fired
grill. Wings from the brick oven (spiced with roasted garlic
and Italian herbs, topped with grilled onions) are a smoking'
starter. $$-$$$

D.J.'s Diner
12210 Biscayne Blvd., 305-893-5250
Located in a Best Western motel, this place, run by a
Chinese-American family, serves mostly basic American
diner fare burgers, sandwiches, about a dozen dinner
entrees, fresh-baked apple pie, and, oddly, a whole section
of Caesar salad variations. But it's also a secret source for
Chinese food, mostly chow mien/chop suey-type dishes,
but also a few dishes such as eggplant with garlic sauce
and ma po tofu that are a step up in authenticity. $-$$

Hanna's Gourmet Diner
13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255
When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner
from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late
1990s, they added "Hanna's" to the name, but changed
little else about this retro-looking French/American diner,
a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers
can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in
tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce,
iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid
salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-
melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal
dinner date destination. $$-$$$

Here Comes the Sun
2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711
At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miami's
first, there's a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supple-
ments. But the place's hearty soups, large variety of
entrees (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetari-
an selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret
"sun sauce" (which would probably make old sneakers

13105 W Dixie Hwy.; 305-893-4246 ....................................................................................
(See Miami listing) Continued on page 63

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 62

taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get
healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with
the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt,
fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$

13488 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-9334
Half sushi/sashimi, half cooked Japanese dishes, the menu is
relatively small but covers most of the traditional favorites and
a few surprises. Popular makis include the Dream (shrimp tem-
pura, avocado, Japanese mayo, and masago), the vegetarian
Popeye spicy spinach roll, and the deep-fried Crispy, a riceless
salmon and veggie roll. Among cooked items, there's a large
list of teriyakis, and a few dishes prepared with a different
twist panko-breaded pork or chicken katsu cutlets, for
instance, that eschew the standard sweet sauce for curry. $$

Jerusalem Market and Deli
16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080
Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hum-
mus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bul-
gur, arguably the world's most interesting meatball) are
native to many Middle East countries, but when a
Lebanese chef/owner, like this eatery's Sam Elzoor, is
at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement.
There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon
chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but
even a common falafel sandwich is special when the
pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion
salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. For home
cooks, there's also a limited selection of imported
spices and staples. $-$$

Le Griot de Madame John
975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333
When Madame moved her base of operations from her
Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal
one, and still mostly takeout), she began offering numerous
traditional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tas-
sot and an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish
rubbed with salt before poaching with various veggies and

spices). But the dish that still packs the place is the griot:
marinated pork chunks simmered and then fried till they're
moistly tender inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800
Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant
hit, as much for being a hip hangout as for its carefully
crafted Tex-Mex food. Though Lime is now franchising, the
chain's concept is "fast casual" rather than fast food -
meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredi-
ents aren't canned-type crapola. Seafood tacos are about
as exotic as the standard menu gets, but the mahi mahi
for fish tacos comes fresh, never frozen, from a local sup-
plier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-
carb tortillas for dieters and many Mexican beers for
partiers. $

Little Havana
12727 Biscayne Blvd
In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance that's several
steps up in elegance from the majority of neighborhood
eateries, 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 din-
ers 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. $$$

Maleewan Thai & Sushi
2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0393
Redecorated (tasteful bamboo-matted walls, silk flowers) since
the days many days this space was occupied by the
kosher sushi spot Tani Guchi's Place, Maleewan is now a cozy,
neighborly nook at which to enjoy all the standard Japanese
and Thai selections. Cooked sushi is the strong suit here, par-
ticularly the signature mammoth-size Maleewan roll, given zing
by pickled Japanese squash and savor by a crispy yellowtail
tempura topping. If you're craving more creative fare, check out
the handwritten specials board on your way in. $$

Mama Jennie's
11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627
For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has
been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners
with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meat-
balls (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala
topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-
American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entries come
with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty mine-
strone) 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. $-$$

Mario the Baker
250 NE 25th St., 305-891-7641
At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food is
Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and meat-
balls, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and hot or cold
subs. No imported buffala, arugula, or other chichi stuff
on the New York-style medium-thin-crusted pizzas; the
top topping here is the savory housemade sausage. And
no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley
oil and smashed garlic ($4 a dozen, $3 per half-dozen,
which won't even last the ride home). New branches are
now open in Miami's Midtown neighborhood and in
North Bay Village. $

The Melting Pot
15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228
For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots
were standard dorm accessories. These days, however,
branches of this chain (originating in Maitland, Florida, in
1975) are generally the only places to go for this blast-
from-the-past eating experience. Fondues are available a
la carte or as full dip-it-yourself meals. Start with a wine-
enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entree with
choice of meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion
- herbed wine, bouillon, or oil; finish with fruits and cakes
dipped in your favorite melted chocolate. Fondue eti-
quette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot
must kiss all other table companions, so go with those
you love. $$$

North One 10
11052 Biscayne Blvd
For most chefs a Miami-to-Manhattan move is generally
considered one of those offers you can't refuse. But after
helming several NYC restaurants for China Grill
Management, the homegrown married team of chef Dewey
and sommelier Dale LoSasso returned to do their own
thing in their own neighborhood. The menu is "creative
comfort food": a shrimp waffle with basil butter; "steak
and eggs" (a grilled NY strip with truffled goat cheese fritta-
ta, herb demiglace, and hash browns); a stone crab hot
dog the chef invented for a Super Bowl party. The award-
winning wine list inspires playfully themed pairing events
like an Italian food/wine "Godfather" dinner. But it's not
South Beach, so prices are reasonable, and parking is
free. $$$-$$$$

Nuvo Kafe
13152 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-1441
Though the neighborhood is decidedly ungentrified, the
interior of this cafe is an oasis of cultivated Caribbean
cool and subtly sophisticated global fare. Haitian-born,
Montreal-schooled chef Ivan Dorval formerly cooked at
the Oasis Cafe in Miami Beach, as well as the Delano,
and the varied background is reflected in cuisine that's
chiefly creative Caribbean but with influences from the
Middle East, Asia, Greece, and Italy. Homemade, health-
oriented dishes include velvety ginger pumpkin bisque,
unusually refined conch fritters (light batter, monster
chunks of conch), West Indies crab cakes with citrus
aioli, and a signature lavish, but only slightly sinful,
Citadel Raw Fruit Pie. $$-$$$

Oishi Thai
14841 Biscayne Blvd.
At this stylish, dramatically minimalist Thai/sushi spot,
the regular Thai and Japanese dishes are as good as any-
where in town. But the way to go is the menu of specials,
many of which clearly reflect the young chef's fanatic

Continued on page 64

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December 2008 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 63

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). Formerly all
Japanese-influenced, the specials menu now includes
some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal mas-
saman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet
mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$

La Paloma
10999 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0505
Step into La Paloma and you'll be stepping back in time,
circa 1957. Adorned with antiques (some even real) and
chandeliers, the over-the-top plush decor was the American
fine-dining ideal half a century ago (though actually the
place only dates from the 1970s). Cuisine is similarly retro-
luxe: old-fashioned upscale steaks, chops, and lobster,
plus fancier Continental fare. If you have a yen for
chateaubriand, duck a I'orange, oysters Rockefeller, French
onion soup, trout almondine, wiener schnitzel, and peach
Melba, it's the only place in town that can deliver them all.
A huge wine list fuels the fantasy. $$$$

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 plat-
ter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find tradi-
tional preparations like alb6ndigas spicy, ultra-savory
meatballs. $$-$$$

14871 Biscayne Blvd., 786-923-2323
(See Miami: Brickell / Downtown listing)

Paul Bakery Caf6
14861 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-4443
From one rural shop in 1889, the French bakery known sim-
ply as Paul has grown to a worldwide chain, which fortunate-
ly chose to open its first U.S. outlet in our town. One bite of
the crusty peasant loaf, the olive-studded fougasse, or
another of the signature artisan breads transports you right
back to France. As authentic as the boulangerie breads are,
the patisserie items like flan normande (a buttery-crusted,
almond-topped apple-and-custard tart) are just as evocative.
For eat-in diners, quite continental soups, salads, and sand-
wiches are equally and dependably French. $$

Plein Sud
12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-2355
The Boulevard may not be the Champs-Elysees, but din-
ers could be fooled once inside this evocative French
bistro. The ambiance is Old World, and the menu is solid
and well executed. Starters range from country comfort
(Lyonnaise sausage with warm, vinegary potato salad; a
charcuterie platter with homemade pat6) to urban sophis-
tication (Maine lobster tail with celery remoulade).
Entries include long-stewed, creamy blanquette de veau,
or a precision-cooked steak-frites (rib eye with crisp shoe-
string fries). For dessert there is the ubiquitous tarte
tatin, caramelized apples atop puff-pastry crust. $$-$$$

2214 NE 123rd St., 305-891-3312
While this mainly vegetarian kosher place is best known for
its pizza (New York-style medium crust or thick-crusted
Sicilian, topped with veggies and/or "meat buster" imitation
meats), it's also offers a full range of breakfast/lunch/dinner
vegetarian cuisine of all nations, with many dairy and seafood
items too. Admittedly the cutesie names of many items -
baygels, bergerrbite, Cezarrrr salad, hammm, meat-a-ball,
schmopperrr may cause queasiness. But the schmopperrr
itself is one helluva high-octane veggie burger. $-$$

Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar
13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5588
Though some food folks were initially exasperated when
yet another Latin-influenced grill replaced one of our area's

V ( 7 c C aer i f

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few Vietnamese restaurants, it's hard to bear a grudge at
a friendly, casual neighborhood place that offers monster
ten-ounce char-grilled burgers, with potatoes or salad, for
$8.50; steaks, plus a side and a sauce or veg topper, for
nine bucks at lunch, $15 to $18.75 (the menu's top
price) at night; and three-dollar glasses of decent house
wine. Many other grilled meat and seafood items are also
offered, plus pastas, salads, gooey desserts, and spe-
cials (events as well as food). $-$$

Steve's Pizza
12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202
At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin
designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff)
doesn't do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steve's
has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro
pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato
sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is
applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength:
pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $

Sun City Caf6
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-6955
Super-stuffed crepes, made to order from scratch, are
the main specialty here some sweet (the Banana Split:
fresh strawberries, sliced bananas, candied walnuts, ice
cream, and Nutella or dulce de leche), some savory (the
Sun City Steak: beef, mushrooms, onions, red peppers,
Swiss cheese, and Al sauce). But there's also a smaller
selection of custom-crafted wraps, salads, sandwiches,
and sides, plus smoothies, coffee drinks, even beer or
wine. Free Wi-Fi encourages long, lingering lunches. $

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: Delano-like sheer
floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is
over the top, featuring monster makis: the Cubbie
Comfort (spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tem-
pura, plus avocado, jalapenos, and cilantro, topped with
not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy
mayo); the Volcano, topped with a mountain of tempura
flakes; the spicy/sweet sauce-drenched Hawaiian King
Crab, containing unprecedented ingredients like toma-
toes, green peppers, and pineapple. To drink there are
boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails as exotic
as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$

Twenty-One Toppings
14480 Biscayne Blvd., #105, North Miami
A shoo-in to top many future "Best Burger" polls, this lit-
tle joint serves sirloin, chicken, turkey, and white bean
patties, topped with your choice of one cheese from a
list of seven, one sauce from a list of twelve, and three
toppings from a list of 21. And since the chef/co-owner
is a culinary school grad who has trained in several cut-
ting-edge kitchens (including David Bouley Evolution), the
garnishes ain't just ketchup. There's Asian vinaigrette,
gorgonzola, grilled portobellos, much more. If choosing
is too confusing, try the chef-designed combos.$-$$

Two Chefs Too
2288 NE 123rd St
305-895-5155; www.twochefsrestaurant.com
At this much-anticipated spin-off of Jan Jorgensen's
South Miami Two Chefs, there are some differences in
the menu. But the concept of New American comfort food
- familiar favorites modernized with the chef's elegant,

unexpected creative touches is the same. So are many
much-loved dishes like juicy bacon-wrapped meatloaf, fla-
vored with a fusion Chinese black bean barbecue sauce,
and perfect dessert souffles (with creme chantilly plus
caramel or chocolate sauce). New and notable: knockout
artisan cheese platters (with choice of inventive garnish-
es: brioche frites, celery escabeche, Dijon mustard
sauce, marinated olives, much more) that, with wine
(from a relatively high-priced but high-quality list) make an
idyllic light meal in themselves. $$$$

Tokyo Bowl
12295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9400
This fast-food drive-thru (unexpectedly serene inside) is
named for its feature item, big budget-priced bowls of rice
or noodles topped with cooked Japanese-style items like
teriyaki fish (fresh fish sauteed with vegetables), curried
chicken and veggies, spicy shrimp, or gyoza dumplings in
tangy sauce. There's also an all-you-can-eat deal sushi
(individual nigiri or maki rolls) plus tempura, teriyaki, and
other cooked items for $14; three bucks more for sashi-
mi instead of sushi. $-$$

Venezia Pizza and Caf6
13452 Biscayne Blvd.
No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No
imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New
York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the
cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered America's
finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American
pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple sal-
ads, and a few new protein adds grilled chicken breast,
fried fish, or a steak. $-$$

Wong's Chinese Restaurant
12420 Biscayne Blvd.
This old-timer's menu reads like a textbook on how to
please everyone, with food ranging from traditional
Chinese to Chinese-American to just plain American.
Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo
wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried
rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop
suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And
snowbirds will be pleased to find a number of dishes that
are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not
common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken,
twice-cooked pork, Lake Tung Ting shrimp, and peppery
kung po squid. $$

Woody's Famous Steak Sandwich
13105 Biscayne Blvd.
The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie
fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change
the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours
into the night and expand its classic griddled-or-fried-
things menu to include a few health-conscious touches
like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are
free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich
is still a traditional Philly thin-sliced beef, cheese, and
onions on a buttered Italian roll (with tasty housemade
sour cream/horseradish sauce served on the side so as
not to offend purists). Extras like mushrooms are possi-
ble, not imposed. Drippin' good burgers, too. And unlike
MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer
with the good grease. $-$$

Continued on page 65

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"Best Bang for the Buck"

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7030 Biscayne BIvtL

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900s5. FederaHwy

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com December 2008

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 64

14316 Biscayne Blvd.
It's appropriate that the name of this small strip-mall
sushi spot refers to Japan's first and only sparkling
sake something most Americans have never heard
of, making the reference pretty much an insider's joke.
Since opening several years ago, the restaurant itself
has been one of our town's best-kept secrets. But the
perfectionist chef/owner's concentration on quality and
freshness of ingredients has made Zipang the pick of
sushi cognoscenti like Loews's executive chef Marc
Ehrler, who has named the unpretentious place his
favorite Miami eatery, while admitting the obvious:
"Nobody knows it." $$-$$$

Bamboo Garden
1232 NE 163rd St.; 305-945-1722
Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veter-
an is many diners' favorite on the 163rd/167th Street
"Chinatown" strip because of its superior decor. But the
menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like
peppery black bean clams, sauteed mustard greens,
and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus
Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild
even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but
don't worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will cus-
tomize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$

Blue Marlin Fish House
2500 NE 163rd St.
Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual out-
door eatery (which is covered, but otherwise open-air)
is a rare surprise for nature lovers, especially since an
eager-to-please young couple took over the daytime-only
concession, upgrading the menu, at the start of 2008.
The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this

historic venue first started producing in 1938 three
varieties (salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue
marlin), available in a sampler, salads,
sandwiches/wraps, or a delightfully mild smoked fish
dip that may be Miami's best. But the smokehouse
now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other
new additions include roasted red pepper hummus,
crab cakes, a delightfully light homemade Key lime chif-
fon pie, daily specials, and on weekends, fish fries
(with live music). For basic diners there are burgers
and hot dogs. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not
through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $

China Restaurant
178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549
When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese
fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional
Chinese cuisine in the world won't scratch the itch. So
the menu here, containing every authentically inauthen-
tic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just
the ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg
rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded bone-
less chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$

Christine's Roti Shop
16721 NE 6th Ave.
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 probably jerk chicken,
bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage,
carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are
about a dozen other curries to choose from, including
beef, goat, conch, shrimp, trout, and duck. Take-out
packages of plain roti are also available; they trans-
form myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $

El Gran Inka
3155 NE 163rd St.
Somehow, when setting off to try Key Biscayne
restaurants (like Miami's original Gran Inka), we never

make it past Jimbo's. So luckily, the newer branch of
this upscale Peruvian eatery offers the same menu.
Though diners 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 (notably a picture-perfect causa con camarones,
mashed potatoes layered with shrimp), the contempo-
rary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially
recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes
by Peru's influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef
Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito
de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol,
pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce).

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 snack stop after a hard
night at the area's movie multiplexes (or strip clubs).
The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reli-
able. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori,
skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat,
fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety avail-
able of the last makes this place a good choice for veg-
etarians. $$

Hiro's Sushi Express
17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776
Tiny, true, but there's more than just sushi at this
mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis
are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls,
more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, 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. $

Hiro's Yakko-San
17040 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-947-0064
After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the

night, many come here for a bite of something differ-
ent. The specialty is Japanese home cooking, served in
grazing portions so diners can enjoy a wide variety of
the unusual dishes offered. Standard sushi isn't
missed when glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be
had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed
with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Dishes
depend on the market, but other favorites include
goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in
sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young
shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps
just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce.
Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$

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 famil-
iar, it's because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her hus-
band Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critical-
ly acclaimed Renaisa. Their new menu's mix-and-match
option also 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 reminis-
cent of sour orange. Early-bird dinners (5:00 to 6:30
p.m.) are a bargain, as some dishes are almost half-
price. Lunch is served weekends only except by reser-
vation, so call ahead. $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
16350 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-2244
(See Miami Shores listing)

JC Food
1242 NE 163rd St., 305-956-5677
Jumbo's regular menu offers a large percentage of
hard-to-find traditional Chinese home-cooking special-
ties (many using fresh and preserved Asian vegeta-
bles): pork with bitter melon, beef with sour cabbage,

Continued on page 66








Voted But BInain Pancakes

SNew Times Flapjack Flp-O VII


OPEN 7-DAYS A WEEK 6 AM to 4 PM -'

11064 BISCAYNE BuSm., MIAM, FL 33161


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 65


December 2008



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 65

chicken with mustard green, cellophane noodle with
mixed-vegetable casserole. Still, most diners come for
dim sum, a huge selection served at all hours. These
small plates include chewy rice noodle rolls filled with
shrimp or beef, leek dumplings, crisp-fried stuffed taro
balls, savory pork-studded turnip cake, pork/peanut
congee, custard croissants, and for the brave, steamed
chicken feet. $$

Kyung Ju
400 NE 167th St., 305-947-3838
Star of the show at this long-lived Korean restaurant
(one of only a handful in Miami-Dade County) is bulgo-
gi. The name translates as "fire meat," but isn't a ref-
erence to Koreans' love of hot chilis. Rather it refers to
Korean-style barbecue, which is really not barbecued
but quickly grilled after long marination in a mix of soy
sauce, sesame, sugar, garlic, and more. Lovers of fiery
food can customize with dipping sauces, or the
eatery's many little banchan (included side dishes,
some mild, others mouth-searing). Pa jun, a crispy
egg/scallion-based pancake, is a crowd-pleasing
starter. And if the unfamiliarity seems too scary alto-
gether, there's a selection of Chinese food. $$-$$$

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 destination for rea-
sonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly
soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but
the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They
aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian
eatery, too. $$

King Buffet
316 NE 167th St., 305-940-8668
In this restaurant's parking lot, midday on Sundays, the
colorful display of vivid pinks, greens, and blues worn

by myriad families arriving for dinner in matching going-
to-church outfits is equaled only by the eye-poppingly
dyed shrimp chips and desserts displayed inside on
the buffet table. Though there's an a la carte menu,
the draw here is the 100-item (according to advertise-
ments) all-you-can-eat spread of dishes that are mostly
Chinese, with some American input. It's steam-table
stuff, but the price is right and then some: $5.95 for
lunch, $8.95 for dinner. $-$$

King Palace
330 NE 167th St., 305-949-2339
The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style bar-
becue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, dis-
played in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood
dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in
two tanks by the dining room entrance. There's also a
better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veg-
gies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering
strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians,
is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point.
Servers will also steer you to the good stuff, once you
convince them you're not a chop suey kinda person. $$

Laurenzo's Market Caf6
16385 W. Dixie Hwy.
It's just a small area blocked off by grocery shelves,
buried between the wines and the fridge counters no
potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-
style snack space. But when negotiating this interna-
tional 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, steam-tabled but 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. $-$$

Lemon Fizz
16310 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-6599
Like wraps? Then you'll love this Middle Eastern cafe's
version made with saj, a circular Syrian flatbread similar

to pita but much thinner, moister, and all-around better.
Upon order, diners can watch the chef custom-cook
their saj (on a scorching-hot, flying-saucer metal dome
of the same name), then roll the beautifully surface-blis-
tered bread around one of 27 stuffings, including
za'atar and EVOO, brined olives and labneh (creamy
yogurt cheese), falafel, steak, even dessert fillings like
strawberries and Nutella. Also available: soups, salads,
and substantial globally topped rice bowls, plus fresh
fruit juices and smoothies. $

Little Saigon
16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377
This is Miami's oldest traditional Vietnamese restau-
rant, 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 Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting
green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served
with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not
just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other
Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$

Mary Ann Bakery
1284 NE 163rd St., 305-945-0333
Don't be unduly alarmed by the American birthday
cakes in the window. At this small Chinese bakery the
real finds are the Chinatown-style baked buns and
other savory pastries, filled with roast pork, bean
sauce, and curried ground beef. Prices are under a
buck, making them an exotic alternative to fast-food
dollar meals. There's one table for eat-in snackers. $

Matador Argentinean Steakhouse
3207 NE 163rd St.
With Latin parilla places spreading here as fast as
kudzu, it's hard to get excited about yet another all-you-
can-eat meat spread. But Matador offers far more for
the money than most. One dinner price ($24.95,
$27.95 weekends) includes a salad bar of more than
30 items, unlimited grilled proteins (many cuts of beef,
sausages, chicken, pork, assorted veggies, and even
fish upon request), crunchy steak fries, a dessert (typi-
cally charged extra elsewhere), and even more fun, a
bottle of quite quaffable wine per person. $$$

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 region-
al and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he
doesn't automatically curtail the heat or sweetness lev-
els to please Americans. Among the most intriguing:
moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork
strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp
green papaya salad, a study in sour/sweet/savory bal-
ance); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening
chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped
Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$

PK Oriental Mart
255 NE 167th St.
While there are three other sizable Asian markets on
this strip between 1-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK
has the only prepared-food counter, serving authentic

Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces
included. Weekends bring the biggest selection,
including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted,
then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of sub-
cutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-mari-
nated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork,
and whole roast ducks hanging, as tradition dic-
tates, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson
will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless
pieces. $

Sang's Chinese Restaurant
1925 NE 163rd St.
Open late (12:30 a.m. most nights) since 1990,
Sang's has an owner who previously cooked in NYC's
Chinatown, and three menus. The pink menu is
Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey
garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to
show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper
prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked
chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucum-
ber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served
until 4:00 p.m. A limited live tank allows seasonal
seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion.
More recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, dis-
playing savory items like crispy pork with crackling
attached. $$$

Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House
237 NE 167th St
At this unique Taiwanese eatery, run by a trio of Taipei-
trained female chefs, all seafood, poultry, and meats in
the budget-priced entrees ($6.95) are mock imita-
tions made from wheat gluten, tofu, and vegetables.
But don't mock it till you try the quite beefy pepper
steak, or smoking' duck, with slices that mimic the char-
cuterie item down to convincing faux fat. Other main
dishes feature recognizable veggies or noodles, includ-
ing appealingly chewy curried chow fun. As for the rest
of the name: icee is shaved ice, an over-the-top
dessert that's a sort of a slurpee sundae, with top-
pings that vary from the familiar (fresh fruits) to the
weird (grass jelly, sweet corn, kidney beans, rice balls,
chocolate pudding). And the bubble tea is a must-not-
miss. Using housemade syrup (as opposed to most
establishments' store-bought stuff), the cold, refresh-
ing boba comes in numerous flavors (mango, taro,
even actual tea), all supplemented with signature black
tapioca balls that, slurped through large-diameter
straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $

Siam Square
54 NE 167th St
Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is
closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to
North Miami Beach's "Chinatown" strip has become a
popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other
Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh,
nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen
staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and
the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most impor-
tant, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood
strikes. $-$$

Continued on page 67

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

December 2008


Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 66

Tuna's Garden Grille
17850 W. Dixie Hwy
When Tuna's moved in 2006 from the marina space it
had occupied for almost two decades, it lost its water-
front location, its old-fashioned fish-house ambiance,
and its outdoor deck. But it has gained a garden set-
ting, and retained its menu of fresh (and sometimes
locally caught) seafood some fancified, some simple
(the wiser choice). Also continuing are Tuna's signature
seasonal specials, like a Maine lobster dinner for a
bargain $15. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can
sometimes feel like a singles bar during the two post-
midnight happy hours, but since the kitchen is open till
closing, it draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too.

Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza
17901 Biscayne Blvd.
The last four digits of the phone number actually spell
"COAL." And that's what it's all about here a coal-
fired oven (like that at Lombardi's, Patsy's, John's, or
Grimaldi's in New York) producing the intense 800-
degree heat to turn out, in a mere three or four min-
utes, a pie with the classic thin, crisp-bottomed, beauti-
fully char-bubbled crust that fans of the above leg-
endary pizzerias crave at any cost. Expect neither bar-
gain-chain prices, a huge selection of toppings (these
aren't the kind of clunky crusts you overload), nor
much else on the menu except a hefty salad and some
onion-topped chicken wings that are also coal-oven
tasty. Anthony's does just a few things, and does them
right. $$

Bella Luna
19575 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura Mall,
If the menu here looks familiar, it should. It's identical
to that at the Upper Eastside's Luna Cafe and, with
minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billante's eater-
ies (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the
typeface. But no argument from here. In a mall a set-
ting more accustomed to food court, steam-tabled stuff
- dishes like carpaccio al salmon (crudo, with porto-
bellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato
dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with
pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit
familiar, air. $$-$$$

Bourbon Steak
19999 W. Country Club Dr.
(Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)
At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant
empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard
award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare
starts. There are also Mina's ingenious signature dish-
es, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby veg-
etable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable veg-
etable/seafood starters and sides (duck fat fries!) for
noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But don't
neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-per-
cent Wagyu American "Kobe," swoonworthy grade A5
Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all
cooked to perfection under the supervision of on-site
executive chef Andrew Rothschild, formerly of the
Forge, meaning he knows his beef. (Mina himself is
absentee.) $$$$$

Chef Allen's
19088 NE 29th Ave; 305-935-2900
After 20 years of success in the same location, many
chefs would coast on their backlog of tried-and-true
dishes. And it's doubtful that kindly Allen Susser
would freak out his many regulars by eliminating from

the menu the Bahamian lobster and crab cakes (with
tropical fruit chutney and vanilla beurre blanc). But
lobster-lovers will find that the 20th anniversary
menus also offer new excitements like tandoori-
spiced rock lobster, along with what might be the ulti-
mate mac'n'cheese: lobster crab macaroni in a Fris
vodka sauce with mushrooms, scallions, and parme-
san. The famous dessert souffle's flavor changes
daily, but it always did. $$$$$

II Migliore
2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr.
Reminiscent of an intimate Tuscan villa, chef Neal
Cooper's attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well
as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable
ingredients and straightforward recipes that don't over-
complicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with
that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil
and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither
does the signature Polio Al Mattone, marinated in
herbs and cooked under a brick, require pretentious
fancification. And even low-carb dieters happily go to
hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of pota-
toes alla Toscana, fried herb-sprinkled French fries.
Located west of Biscayne Boulevard in the Davis Plaza
shopping mall, across from Ojus Elementary School.

Mahogany Grille
2190 NW 183rd St.
Formerly Ruby and Jean's Soul Food Cuisine, a popu-
lar but strictly neighborhood cafeteria, Mahogany Grille
has drawn critical raves and an international as
well as local clientele since retired major league
outfielder Andre Dawson and his brother Vincent
Brown acquired the place in early 2007. The diner
decor is gone, replaced by white tablecloths and, natu-
rally, mahogany. The food is a sort of trendy yet tradi-
tional soul fusion, heaping platters from several
African diaspora regions: Carolina Low Country (but-
tery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream
gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad),

and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-battered fried
chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miami's best, made
even better with the Grille's waffles. $$-$$$

20475 Biscayne Blvd.
Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman
Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive
chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYC's James Beard
House. Armed with those impressive credentials,
Fredel and his partners launched Pilar (named for
Hemingway's boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants
can be affordable. Consider it now proven. Floribbean-
style seafood is the specialty, dishes like fried
Bahamian cracked conch with fresh hearts of palm
slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring
rolls with sweet soy glaze, and yellowtail snapper with
tomato-herb vinaigrette and a potato/leek croqueta.
Don't let the strip-mall location fool you. The restaurant
itself is elegant. $$-$$$

The Soup Man
20475 Biscayne Blvd. #G-8
The real soup man behind this franchise is Al
Yeganeh, an antisocial Manhattan restaurant propri-
etor made notorious, on a Seinfeld episode, as "the
soup Nazi." On the menu: ten different premium
soups each day (from a rotating list of about 50). The
selection is carefully balanced among meat/poultry-
based and vegetarian; clear and creamy (like the
eatery's signature shellfish-packed lobster bisque);
chilled and hot; familiar (chicken noodle) and exotic
(mulligatawny). All soups come with gourmet bread,
fruit, and imported chocolate. Also available are salads,
sandwiches, and wraps, a la carte or in soup-plus com-
bos. $-$$

Sushi Siam
19575 Biscayne Blvd.
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)

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December 2008

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December 2008

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