Biscayne times
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00056
 Material Information
Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Creation Date: August 2011
Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00099644:00056


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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE IN THIS ISSUE14 New Advertisers p. 16 278 Restaurants, 8 New p. 76 Who We Are Part 2: What the U.S. Census tells us about life in Aventura, Biscayne Park, El Portal, Miami Shores, North Miami, and North Miami Beach page 20 For all things Yogurbella nd us on Twitter, Facebook and Yelp August 2011 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 9 Issue 6



KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb rfntb bb rrb r rf nrntnb trrn tfrnrrbb tntrrtn Z trrnrr rnrtnrn Z rr tnrtr Z n trttrnrtrt Z r tt tfrrr rrf Z t n rnrb nrr nnntb Z rrrtr trnr rnr Z rrr rntnb tr Z r ntn rtnrr rrt Z r ntn rtnrr rrt Z tr rfrrnt nrrtfn Z rtn rrtr ttt Z nnttnnr trt rr Z rrrr nrtr trrnn tn Z rntbnr ntb rrtnttn tntbt Z rtnb tntnnr rttn nnr Z tr rr rtt Z rtntrrr tnrn ttrnrtnrn rnrt tntn rnnrtr frr rnr nrfrftnr rtn ntrnr ntnrt rrnrrtn rnf rtrnrrtr rtfb tnrtnr nnntt rrnr rrrt trrn btnntn rtrnnr rnr rrtnbrb rnrtrr trnnrrnr rtttnfr trnrf Z K rfntf rrrn rtrb rrrb tnr rnnr tnnr Z rtrnr tbtf Z nttn rr rrntntb trtnrb trntnt Z ttn trntnrntnf Z rntn tnrrnrrt tnbtn bttntrr rnrtnrnf Z nnrtr frn trrtrb rnftn rnrtnr rnr Z Z Z






COVER STORY 20 Who We Are, Part 2 COMMENTARY 10 Feedback: Letters 14 Picture Stor y: Home of the Brooklyn Dodgers OUR SPONSORS 16 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 42 A Waterfront Park for All to Enjoy 42 A Peek into the Past 43 All Bets Are On NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 52 Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer: Cat Fight at PetSmart 54 Frank Rollas on: The Municipal Ref 56 Jen Karetnic k: Keeping It Local 58 Wendy Doscher-Smith: Did You Just Say Bovine? ART & CULTURE 60 Anne Tschida: Big Ideas in Little Havana 62 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 65 Events Cale ndar POLICE REPORTS 66 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 68 Call of the Wild: Highland Oaks Park COLUMNISTS 70 Pawsitively Pets: The Price of Puppy Love 72 Going Green: Rooting for the Home Team 73 Kids and the City: The Name Game 74 Vino: Ros Is the New Summer Blockbuster 75 Your Garden : Warming Up to Aroids DINING GUIDE 76 Restau rant Listings: 278 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants 305-538-8835 | www.miamibeachhealth.org | Healthcare made easy.Serving the medical needs of the Miami Beach community for more than 35 yearsMiami Beach Community Health Center North | 11645 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 103-104, Miami, FL, 33181 PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr brtt t rr r nn nrrr rn rn BUSINESS M anagerANAGER rrr rrrr ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES r r A rtRT directorDIRECTOR rn r A dvertisingDVERTISING designDESIGN b rrr CIRCULATION rr r PRINTING r WEBSITE br rnrCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 16 43 58Serving communities along the Biscayne Corridor: Arch Creek East, Aventura, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Coventry, Design District, Downtown, Eastern Shores, Edgewater, El Portal, Enchanted Lake, Hibiscus Island, Highland Lakes, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Morningside, North Greynolds, North Bay Island, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Oak Forest, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Sky Lake, Sparling Lake, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands



Never Fear, the Upper Eastsiders Are Here Jack Spirk Upper Eastside Preservation Coalition ShorecrestFour Palm Trees Out of Five: That Park Is Going Platinum! Biscayne Times North MiamiRole Reversals? Mr. Mom Thinks Its Great Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 12


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Jean Sebastien MiamiDo They Charge by the Hour for Minutes?Biscayne Times BT BT Fred Jonas Biscayne ParkSkateboards and Hookers Are Like Oil and Water BT deter BT politics Santiago Sanz Miami rfntrnfbbb rfnt brrntntrt b f rfntrb ffnftf nn f fnnfnftf b fb rfnt f ntrf Commentary: LETTERS Continued from page 10


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Commentary: PICTURE STORYSpringtime Home of the Brooklyn DodgersA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George BTS Los Angeles To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #1989-011-15487



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ARE WHO WE Part 2: A decade of change has transformed some cities along the Biscayne Corridor but not allBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior Writer Photos by Silvia Ros


IBiscayne Times Continued on page 22


22 an environment is not ideal for workingclass and middle-class families, he says. According to Murray, one way to slow this trend, aside from diversifying the overall economy, is to embrace enlightened urban planning that will balance residential development with commercial. Tony Cho, president of Majestic Properties, goes a step further. He thinks the future of a healthy middle class is tied to dense, urban development where residents can walk to work. A lot of suburbanites are tired of the commute and tired of the high gas prices, he says. For Cho, the northeast Miami-Dade city AventuraAventura was among the fastest-growing municipalities during the boom years. The city is just 3.5 square miles in size, but its housing stock swelled by a whopping 34% between 2000 and 2010. It had a lot of developable properties in the last decade, particularly along 182nd Street and the area directly north of Williams Island Boulevard, says Jay Beskin, a former Aventura city commissioner. There was also a lot of developable land that was by the water. Aventuras property tax rate, the lowest in Miami-Dade County, as well as a city code that encouraged high density, also attracted developers, he adds. But when the bubble burst, Aventuras property values cratered, and some residents lost their homes in the ensuing foreclosure crisis. There were short sales, foreclosures, several of the newest construction buildings stopped, says Denise Rubin, a Realtor with Prudential Realty who specializes in northeast Miami-Dade properties. Some buildings had to raise maintenance fees, close pools, get rid of doormen. Hardly any wonder that the number of vacant units within Aventura increased by 37% between 2000 and 2010. Yet Aventuras real estate market is rebound ing, thanks to its amenities. Aside from thousands of condo units, Aventura has a charter school, a cultural arts center, a movie theater, and plenty of commercial development, including the sprawling Aventura Mall and a number of strip malls. With this recipe, notes Murray, of FIUs Metropolitan Center, cities like Aventura and Miami Beach are going to attract more urban-type populations. With the mixed-use type of development, youre going to have an environment simi lar to New York or Chicago. Unlike New York and Chicago, though, Aventura doesnt stay open 24/7, or even very late like South Beach, an important element in keeping communities economically healthy, Murray says. Still, the citys population is among the few along the Biscayne Corridor that is getting younger, and in a big way. Between 2000 and 2010, Aventuras median age plummeted by seven years to 46, which can be partly explained by this change: a 107% increase in families with children under the age of 18. Aventura also experienced a population explosion, jumping 42%, from 25,300 to 36,000. With that increase, it also became more diverse, particularly for a city that just ten years ago was 75% Anglo. The citys Hispanic population shot up by 145%, with 12,800 now calling Aventura home. Realtor Rubin says most of her clients buying property in Aventura are foreigners from all over the world, including Russia and China. However, Latin Americans from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and Mexico make up the bulk of her buyers. They also tend to pay cash, she says. They were all trying to get out of the country. People were getting kidnapped. All kinds of problems, Rubin explains. For a while, Venezuelans were her best customers. Now its the Brazilians. So many wealthy Brazilians, she Continued from page 21 Continued on page 24 Courtesy Metro 1 Properties Aventura Source: U.S. Census Bureau Total population 2000: 25,267 Total population 2010: 35,762 Median age 2000: 52.8 Median age 2010: 46.1 18 and under 2000: 2,564 (10.1%) 18 and under 2010: 5,552 (15.4%) 65 and over 2000: 8,893 (35.2%) 65 and over 2010: 9,499 (26.6%) Hispanic 2000: 5,218 (20.7%) Hispanic 2010: 12,798 (35.8%) Black 2000: 430 (1.7%) Black 2010: 1,382 (3.9%) Non-Hispanic White 2000: 18,954 (75%) Non-Hispanic White 2010: 20,711 (57.9%) Asian 2000: 307 (1.2%) Asian 2010: 648 (1.8%) Median household income 1999: $44,526 Median household income 2009: $60,667 Households making below $14,999 annually in 1999: 2,363 (16.9%) Households making below $14,999 annually in 2009: 2,013 (13.6%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 1999: 1,330 (9.4%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 2009: 2,046 (13.8%) Total households 2000: 14,000 Total households 2010: 17,892 Family households 2000: 6,692 (47.8%) Family households 2010: 9,627 (53.8%) Householder living alone 2000: 6342 (45.3%) Householder living alone 2010: 7037 (39.3%) Total housing units 2000: 20,020 Total housing units 2010: 26,120 Occupied housing units 2000: 14,000 (69.9%) Occupied housing units 2010: 17,892 (68.5%) Vacant housing units 2000: 6,020 (30.1%) Vacant housing units 2010: 8,228 (31.5%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2000: 4,200 (21%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2010: 5,506 (21.1%)



24 Many of the people moving into the area are Jews from Latin America, Rubin adds. Sheskin, director of the Jewish observation. While the Jewish population in other Miami-Dade areas is shrinking, Aventuras is on the rise. Once an area gets a reputation for being highpercentage Jewish, it continues to grow, he says. You start seeing retail and restaurants catering to the population. Its kind of a take-off point. Aventuras median household income increased by 36% over the past decade. Surprisingly, however, the citys current median household income of $60,667 pales in comparison to Biscayne Park ($72,750) and Miami Shores ($87,500). Morr, presi dent of Majestic Properties, believes he knows why. Aventura has a much larger population of foreigners who own second homes there, and a lot of them are not reporting their income, he says. Rubin predicts that it may take about six years before developers con sider building large projects in northeast Miami-Dade again. But when they do, they are likely to look at high-rise-packed Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach before breaking ground in the bedroom commu nities of North Miami Beach and North Miami. In fact, the activity has already begun. Last month, after a three-year hiatus, Miami developer Martin Margu lies restarted construction on a $100 mil lion condo project at Williams Island. North Miami BeachWhen the real estate market was still hot, developers submitted proposals to build residential and commercial projects in North Miami Beach, ranging from townhouses to high-rises. Several were approved by the city, but hardly anything materialized. Unfortunately, by the time all the development came here, the market collapsed, recalls Chris Heid, NMBs chief planner. As a result, while Aventuras housing inventory increase by 6100 units in the previous decade, NMBs increased by only 1052. Aventura rather than North Miami Beach? Heid believes its in part because NMB is already built out. Change, if it happens, happens slowly because we dont have large tracts for development, he says. It requires tearing down whats there. North Miami Beachs population growth was also anemic between 2000 and 2010. It only increased by 737 people, or less than 2%. Still, the citys demographics remained varied. We have a really diverse population, says Heid, who has spent 23 years working for NMB. Thats something weve always been proud of. Blacks remain the citys largest segment at 41%. Residents claiming West Indian ancestry account for 29% of the citys population, a large portion of them being Haitian. But NMBs Hispanic population is bigger (37%) and is growing faster and any other group up 24% over the past decade. North Miami Beachs Anglo population declined by the same percentage the Hispanic population grew: 24%. Ira Sheskin of the Jewish Demography Project points out that, since the end of World War II, a large portion of NMBs Anglo population has been Jewish. In 1970 there may have been as many as 39,500 Jews living in the city, making it the second largest Jewish community in Miami-Dade. By 2004, only 13,900 NMB households had at least one Jewish member, Sheskin says. Mortality is the principal cause of the population decrease. If you moved to North Miami Beach at the age of 30 in 1960, in 50 years youre 80 and dying, he says. Aside from its ethnic diversity, solid middle class, says city planner Heid. Census data, however, suggest that NMBs middle class is actually shrinknumber of households earning more than $150,000 annually rose by 61% over the past decade. Realtor Denise Rubin says many of those are to be found in the Eastern Shores community. Eastern Shores has changed a lot in the last ten years, she notes. Houses one by one were ripped down and renovated. There Continued from page 22 Continued on page 26 North Miami BeachSource: U.S. Census Bureau Total population 2000: 40,786 Total population 2010: 41,523 Median age 2000: 34.5 Median age 2010: 36.4 18 and under 2000: 11,129 (27.3%) 18 and under 2010: 9,731 (23.4%) 65 and over 2000: 4,611 (11.3%) 65 and over 2010: 4,679 (11.3%) Hispanic 2000: 12,245 (30%) Hispanic 2010: 15,213 (36.6%) Black 2000: 15,895 (39%) Black 2010: 17,177 (41.4%) Non-Hispanic White 2000: 10,104 (24.8%) Non-Hispanic White 2010: 7,630 (18.4%) Asian 2000: 1,646 (4.0%) Asian 2010: 1,416 (3.4%) Median household income 1999: $31,377 Median household income 2009: $42,275 Households making below $14,999 annually in 1999: 3,174 (22.6%) Households making below $14,999 annually in 2009: 1,669 (12.2%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 1999: 359 (2.6%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 2009: 577 (4.2%) Total households 2000: 13,987 Total households 2010: 14,412 Family households 2000: 9,803 (70.1%) Family households 2010: 9,805 (68%) Householder living alone 2000: 3,342 (23.9%) Householder living alone 2010: 3,611 (25.1%) Total housing units 2000: 15,350 Total housing units 2010: 16,402 Occupied housing units 2000: 13,987 (91.1%) Occupied housing units 2010: 14,412 (87.9%) Vacant housing units 2000: 1,363 (8.9%) Vacant housing units 2010: 1,990 (12.1%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2000: 605 (3.9%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2010: 453 (2.8%)


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26 were a lot of homes built on the water. At the same time, the number of households earning less than $15,000 per year dropped by 47%. Did the poorer families move up to the middle class, or did they simply move away? Murray of the Metropolitan Center believes its the latter, and blames a lack of housing affordabili ty. As an example, he points to the median monthly rent in NMB. Over the past decade, it rose 51%, from $643 to $970. Another aspect of a resort-style economy and shrinking middle class, according to Murray, is fewer families with children. In NMB, families with children declined by 16% between 2000 and 2010. have a lot of young families coming in, he says. I would think [families with kids] would be on the rise. Aware that smart growth can create economic opportunity, North Miami codes encouraging mixed-use development. For example, a neighborhood known as Fulford City Center is now zoned for residential and commercial developments up to 15-stories in height. The goal: To create an urban, pedestrianfriendly environment. Lincoln Road is Lincoln Road because density surrounds it, Heid says. market turns around, developers will return to NMB. Already builders and investors are making inquiries: Its a good sign that people are coming by to talk, because for a while they werent. North MiamiIn the mid-1990s, Scott Galvin worked on immigration issues for Congress woman Carrie Meek. There was such a high volume of case work from Haitians coming from North Miami, remembers Galvin, now a North Miami City Councilman. Back then the city was vastly Anglo. There was one African-American member of the city council. By 2000, Haitians and other West Indian nationalities made up 37% of the citys population. As of 2009, 45% of the population was West Indian. Blacks overall (African-Americans, Haitians, and other residents of African descent) now make up 59% of North Miamis population. Today Galvin notices that neighbor hoods east of Biscayne Boulevard, which traditionally had Anglo majorities, are becoming increasingly Hispanic. You are seeing a continually evolving city, he says. In fact North Miamis Hispanic population is growing at a faster rate than the black population. Between 2000 and 2010, Hispanic residents in North Miami increased by 15% while the black population grew only 6%. According to Roseline Philippe, a Haitian-American activist who resides in North Miami, Hispanics are moving into houses all over the city. North Miamis Continued from page 24 Continued on page 28 North Miami Source: U.S. Census Bureau Total population 2000: 59,880 Total population 2010: 58,786 Median age 2000: 31.8 Median age 2010: 34.4 18 and under 2000: 16,815 (28.1%) 18 and under 2010: 13,958 (23.7%) 65 and over 2000: 5,510 (9.2%) 65 and over 2010: 5,935 (10.1%) Hispanic 2000: 13,869 (23.2%) Hispanic 2010: 15,959 (27.1%) Black 2000: 32,842 (54.9%) Black 2010: 34,634 (58.9%) Non-Hispanic White 2000: 10,860 (18%) Non-Hispanic White 2010: 7,287 (12.4%) Asian 2000: 1,152 (1.9%) Asian 2010: 972 (1.7%) Median household income 1999: $29,778 Median household income 2009: $36,564 Households making below $14,999 annually in 1999: 4,941 (24.2%) Households making below $14,999 annually in 2009: 2,639 (14.8%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 1999: 496 (2.5%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 2009: 682 (3.8%) Total households 2000: 20,541 Total households 2010: 19,275 Family households 2000: 13,587 (66.1%) Family households 2010: 12,899 (66.9%) Householder living alone 2000: 5,527 (26.9%) Householder living alone 2010: 4,866 (25.2%) Total housing units 2000: 22,281 Total housing units 2010: 22,110 Occupied housing units 2000: 20,541 (92.2%) Occupied housing units 2010: 19,275 (87.2%) Vacant housing units 2000: 1,740 (7.8%) Vacant housing units 2010: 2,835 (12.8%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2000: 351 (1.6%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2010: 309 (1.4%)


DESIGN DISTRICT HOME-OFFICE CITY 24 CONDO MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE rf nrtbfnrnrtfffnf fnftff r ffrfrntbrnrrfnn rnfntbfnrrfnnbt frtr ftftfrrtfr rfffr ffffrrftn ffn nrftbtb nrfrrfnn tn rfrtf nrfn ffrffrnfr rtnff ff nftbt frrfnn 1111 LINCOLN ROAD, PENTHOUSE 805, MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139 PHONE 305-695-6300 1626 JEFFERSON AVENUE, MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139 PHONE 305-531-9277 135 OCEAN DRIVE, MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139 MORNINGSIDE ESTATE PALACE AT BRICKELLbtnnff frf fffrrfrfr frffnff ffnffffr ffrfnfrrntbnfrrnrrfnn ntbbnrrfnn brrt ff nrfrfffrfffnf nffrfnrff nrffrrr ff rfnfrrntb nfrrnrrfnn THE RIVIERA CONDO #1107 CANYON RANCH #511C 360 CONDO #609 CANYON RANCH #2108tnrrff frffffr frrfrrnf rfrtfftf ftffrtnrnrrn nf bttt tnrrfb fffnrff ffrfrn ftfnffrftrfrr ffftnfrrf ffnrrfrtrftft bttt tnrfnrr f fftffff frtrtrfnrr rrntnffrf rnfrr bttt tnrrft f frfffff ntrffffftff ffrnfrf fttnffrftrff tnfrrfffrt rffr btttnrnnn rr nrrrfrn tbtrr tbbtt nrrfnn nnrn UPPER EAST SIDEbrrtfffn rffnffrfrtf frfnrfr fnffrfffrf ff rfnftbb rfnfrrfnn


28 gated, waterfront neighborhoods of Sans Souci Estates and Keystone Point are attracting homebuyers from South America and also Europe. Youre not getting folks from New Jersey and New York, not anymore, she says. These new folks do have money. The number of North Miami households earning more than $150,000 a year increased by 38% over the past decade. Like other Biscayne Corridor cities, North Miamis Anglo population shrank between 2000 and 2010, by a substantial 33%. But it isnt just Anglos who are leaving North Miami. The city lost a total of 1097 residents. There were also 1093 more vacant homes in 2010 than in 2000. Pam Solo mon, spokeswoman for the City of North Continued from page 26 Continued on page 30 BT photo by Jim W. Harper


Continued from page 6


Miami, says foreclosures emptied many of these homes. During that decade, de spite the construction of 363 condo units at Biscayne Landing, North Miami also lost 171 housing units. Where did they go? tion by deadline. There were also 47% fewer house holds earning less than $15,000 a year in 2010 than in 2000. Working-class families probably moved, Philippe says. The hotel industry has less and less need for workers. I know people who work in hospitals who used to work 40 hours a week. Now theyre cut back to 35 hours or 30. Then, of course, you have the school system. Aside from teachers jobs being in jeopardy, janitors, food-service work ers, and other occupations are threat ened by layoffs, she adds. North Miamis poverty rate climbed to a disturbing 24% in 2009, the most recent data available. At least one in four North Miami families with children fell below the poverty line in 2009. A related children living in North Miami dropped by 21% between 2000 and 2010. Galvin blames North Miamis past zoning for its current stagnation. From 1970 to 2003, new buildings were capped at four stories. As a result, developers avoided North Miami, inhibiting the creation of everything from affordable housing to new businesses. North Miami has been very unchanged, in every regard not just in our housing but in economics, he says. Eight years ago, in an effort to revitalize the citys economy, North buildings up to 12 stories in certain also partnered with Boca Developers to construct Biscayne Landing, which was envisioned as city within the city (6000 condo units), but the real estate market imploded and the developers defaulted on a $169 million mortgage. Still, Galvin remains optimistic about the future. He predicts families will begin brand-new schools opening up. The city will also pick a new developer for the Biscayne Landing site in September. As dent the new zoning and North Miamis location between South Beach and Fort Lauderdale will attract developers. We can at least be part of the conversation, he says. We couldnt 12 years ago. Biscayne Park Like North Miami, the diminutive Village of Biscayne Park (3055 residents rienced a population loss over the past decade: a drop of 214 people. There were also 17 fewer dwellings in that decade. Patrick Duffy, president of Duffy Realty, Continued on page 32 rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn Continued from page 28 Biscayne Park Source: U.S. Census Bureau Total population 2000: 3,269 Total population 2010: 3,055 Median age 2000: 37.3 Median age 2010: 40.4 18 and under 2000: 777 (23.8%) 18 and under 2010: 658 (21.5%) 65 and over 2000: 368 (11.3%) 65 and over 2010: 333 (10.9%) Hispanic 2000: 867 (26.5%) Hispanic 2010: 1,076 (35.2%) Black 2000: 605 (18.5%) Black 2010: 539 (17.6%) Non-Hispanic White 2000: 1,658 (50.7%) Non-Hispanic White 2010: 1,326 (43.4%) Asian 2000: 89 (2.7%) Asian 2010: 101 (3.3%) Median household income 1999: $48,313 Median household income 2009: $72,750 Households making below $14,999 annually in 1999: 153 (11.7%) Households making below $14,999 annually in 2009: 102 (9.1%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 1999: 48 (3.7%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 2009: 137 (12.3%) Total households 2000: 1,283 Total households 2010: 1,201 Family households 2000: 831 (64.8%) Family households 2010: 760 (63.3%) Householder living alone 2000: 321 (25%) Householder living alone 2010: 309 (25.7%) Total housing units 2000: 1,341 Total housing units 2010: 1,324 Occupied housing units 2000: 1,283 (95.7%) Occupied housing units 2010: 1,201 (90.9%) Vacant housing units 2000: 58 (4.3%) Vacant housing units 2010: 123 (9.3%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2000: 8 (0.6%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2010: 3 (0.2%)



ascribes the villages housing and population shrinkage to an anomaly. Quite a number of duplexes were converted into single-family homes, he says. Also one or two houses burned down. Biscayne Park is devoid of any commercial enterprises. It is strictly homes, trees, parks, and a log cabin housing the village administration. Its a part of old Dade, says historian Paul George. Incorporated in 1931 on what was once farmland, Biscayne Park is the sort of place that George says you can drive by without realizing it: It is a nondescript, very low-key, very small municipality. Duffy says that Biscayne Park did get noticed at the height of the real estate for homes in neighboring Miami Shores. As a result, Biscayne Parks median household income increased by 50% over the decade, with 89 more households earning above $150,000. During that same period, there were 51 fewer households earning below $15,000. The poverty rate also fell from 12% in 2000 to 8% in 2009, although the unemployment rate increased three points to 8% The hike in property values, even as the market waned and slumped, made living in Biscayne Park pricier. The median monthly rent leaped by 62% from $645 in 2000 to $1054 in 2009. The median monthly costs for homeowners with mortgages climbed 66%, from $1331 to $2213. Continued from page 30 Continued on page 34



Anglos were still Biscayne Parks largest population group, although there were 332 fewer of them in 2010 than 2000, which amounts to a 20% decrease. On the other hand, the village gained 209 new Hispanic residents during that period, a hike of 24%. Other demographic changes in that decade include 66 fewer black residents, 12 more Asian residents, and a loss of 33 families with children. One demographic change not revealed by the census is the apparent increase of same-sex households in Biscayne Park and Miami Shores. Duffy says the double income effect explains the dramatic increase in median household income for both municipalities. Miami ShoresThe upscale village of Miami Shores still has single-family homes from the late 1920s, late 1940s, early 1950s, and a few from the 1960s, notes Realtor Patrick Duffy. Miami Shores is a beautiful community, he says. There really is not a whole lot that has changed in the past 50 years. There is still a fairly large contingent of old-time residents who have lived in the Shores for 60 years, Duffy adds. To some extent, Miami Shores may have tried to wall itself off from change literally. Starting in 1986, in an effort to combat crime, the village began closing off some of its residential streets to cars and pedestrians, creating a maze of cul-de-sacs, barriers, and historic homes with manicured lawns. However, change did come to the Shores over the past decade. There were 958 fewer Anglos living in the village in 2010 compared to 2000, a drop of 19%. At the same time, there were 623 more Hispanics calling the village home, an increase of 28%. Also in that decade, 99 housing units were added to the villages inventory, much waterfront condominium at 1700 NE 105th St. known as The Shores Condo. One force for change was the real estate bubble, which made Miami Shores a very hot community. People were lining up with multiple offers in 2005, back in the heyday boom years, Duffy says. It almost got to the point where you could call it a feeding frenzy. In the wake of that frenzy, some homeowners in the single-family part of town decided to cash in and move. There are a lot of Miami Shores people who sold their properties and moved into Quayside [in unincorporated Miami-Dade] or The Shores Condo, Duffy says. The Shores experienced its share of foreclosures when the real estate market tanked, notes Duffy. Home prices also fell by as much as 60% in the Shores and the neighboring villages of Biscayne Park and El Portal. Even with this wave of pain, U.S. Census data suggest that many Shores Continued from page 32 Continued on page 36 Miami Shores Source: U.S. Census Bureau Total population 2000: 10,380 Total population 2010: 10,493 Median age 2000: 37.7 Median age 2010: 39.9 18 and under 2000: 2,332 (22.5%) 18 and under 2010: 2,099 (20%) 65 and over 2000: 1,308 (12.6%) 65 and over 2010: 1,226 (11.7%) Hispanic 2000: 2,257 (21.7%) Hispanic 2010: 3,215 (30.6%) Black 2000: 2,541: (24.5%) Black 2010: 2,499 (23.8%) Non-Hispanic White 2000: 5,043 (48.6%) Non-Hispanic White 2010: 4,420 (42.1%) Asian 2000: 254 (2.4%) Asian 2010: 270 (2.6%) Median household income 1999: $56,309 Median household income 2009: $87,500 Households making below $14,999 annually in 1999: 328 (8.9%) Households making below $14,999 annually in 2009: 258 (8.2%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 1999: 308 (8.3%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 2009: 696 (22%) Total households 2000: 3,631 Total households 2010: 3,627 Family households 2000: 2,434 (67%) Family households 2010: 2,367 (65.3%) Householder living alone 2000: 848 (23.4%) Householder living alone 2010: 902 (24.9%) Total housing units 2000: 3,836 Total housing units 2010: 3,935 Occupied housing units 2000: 3,631 (94.7%) Occupied housing units 2010: 3,627 (92.2%) Vacant housing units 2000: 205 (5.3%) Vacant housing units 2010: 308 (7.8%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2000: 25 (0.7%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2010: 39 (1%)



residents did well during much of the previous decade. There were 388 more households earning above $150,000 a year in 2009 than 1999, an increase of 126%. The unemployment rate actually dropped in Miami Shores, from 9% in 2000 to 7% in 2009. The poverty rate also dipped from 9% in 2000 to 7% in 2009. Not surprisingly, the cost of living also underwent a change upward. Median monthly costs for homeowners with mortgages increased 69% from $1354 in 2000 to $2291 in 2009. The median monthly rent climbed 58% from $743 in 2000 to $1180 in 2009. However, there were still 258 households earning less than $15,000 a year in 2009, although there were 70 fewer of them than in 2009. Miami Shores does have some affordable condominiums, Duffy says. A lot of them are rented for only about $800 to $1000 a month. El PortalFor this quarter-square-mile municipality (and bird sanctuary), the real-estate market was quite a ride. Between 2005 and 2006, single-family houses were being sold for as much as $600,000, says El Portal village manager Jason Walker. By 2008, property values had slumped by as much as 50%. That same year 60 houses were being foreclosed on, Walker says. Of those, 40 were in derelict condition. Some of these empty houses were burglarized for their copper wiring. We actually caught one person who had hit ten homes, he recalls. Three years later, Walker notes that is why he doubts the U.S. Census claim that there were 92 empty housing units in El Portal in the year 2010, a 122% increase over 2000. I dont think so, he says. Maybe in 2008 or 2009, but not now. Walker says its also possible the Census Bureau undercounted his village, especially the somewhat chaotic 13-acre realm of Little Farm Trailer Park, which falls mainly within El Portals boundaries, where some undocumented immigrants are suspected to live. I know they [U.S. Census workers] were counting, but its hard to have a real count because a lot of people dont answer the door, Walker explains. Their status may not be legal, so they try to avoid the authorities as much as possible. However, he has no plans to contest the census results: The change is not so drastic. According to the census, there were 180 fewer people living in El Portal in 2010 than in 2000. Blacks now make up half of El Portals population, though that segment declined by 372 people, or 24%, between 2000 and 2010. By contrast, Hispanics increased by 183 people, or 38%, during that period. Also on the rise: Anglos. Forty-two more Continued from page 34 Continued on page 38 El Portal Source: U.S. Census Bureau Total population 2000: 2,505 Total population 2010: 2,325 Median age 2000: 36.5 Median age 2010: 40.9 18 and under 2000: 636 (25.4%) 18 and under 2010: 440 (18.9%) 65 and over 2000: 260 (10.4%) 65 and over 2010: 261 (11.2%) Hispanic 2000: 482 (19.2%) Hispanic 2010: 665 (28.6%) Black 2000: 1,537 (61.4%) Black 2010: 1,165 (50.1%) Non-Hispanic White 2000: 399 (15.9%) Non-Hispanic White 2010: 441 (19%) Asian 2000: 20 (0.8%) Asian 2010: 28 (1.2%) Median household income 1999: $39,681 Median household income 2009: $54,274 Households making below $14,999 annually in 1999: 150 (18.5%) Households making below $14,999 annually in 2009: 149 (17.2%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 1999: 14 (1.7%) Households making above $150,000 annually in 2009: 51 (5.9%) Total households 2000: 837 Total households 2010: 847 Family households 2000: 565 (67.5%) Family households 2010: 574 (67.8%) Householder living alone 2000: 207 (24.7%) Householder living alone 2010: 198 (23.4%) Total housing units 2000: 878 Total housing units 2010: 939 Occupied housing units 2000: 837 (95.3%) Occupied housing units 2010: 847 (90.2%) Vacant housing units 2000: 41 (4.7%) Vacant housing units 2010: 92 (9.8%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2000: 5 (0.6%) For seasonal, recreational or occasional use 2010: 4 (0.4%)



non-Hispanic whites resided in El Portal in 2010 than in 2000, an increase of 11%. Walker says El Portals new residents include people who used to live in Miami Beach and City of Miami neighborhoods such as Buena Vista. Then there are the Europeans. We have people from Germany and Italy, he says. Between 2000 and 2009, there were 37 more households earning above $150,000 a year, an increase of 264%. households in El Portal that earned more than $200,000 a year in 1999. By 2009, there were 37 who earned that amount. Still, El Portals unemployment rate went from 7% in 2000 to 9% in 2009. The poverty rate also rose, from 12% in 2000 to 20% in 2009, when 26% of families with children were living below the poverty line. Rental rates in El Portal increased by a mere 6% from a median of $654 a month in 2000 to $696 a month in 2009. Many of El Portals rentals are found in Little Farm Trailer Park, which has received numerous citations for code, safety, and environmental violations by The cost of owning a single-family home, on the other hand, skyrocketed. Median monthly costs for homeowners with mortgages went from $1008 in 2000 to $2020 in 2009, a 100% increase. Past, Present, FutureThe roots of Miami-Dade Countys Hispanic population boom were established in the 1960s, when waves of Cuban settled here. After the arrival of Cubans, thats when the [Hispanic population increase] began, says Jaime Suchlicki of University of Miamis Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. By the 1980s and 1990s, this town became a fairly Latin town. Those immigrants paved the way for new arrivals throughout the Western Hemisphere, particularly Latin America and Haiti. At the same time, non-Hispanic populations were declining. Anglos began leaving 35 to 40 years ago, says Florida International Universitys Alex Stepick. American-born blacks are also de parting, particularly in recent years. We are seeing a lot of African Americans moving to Atlanta or the Virginia-Wash ington, D.C. area, says Roseline Philippe of the Haitian-American Leadership Coalition. Some Haitians are also depart ing for Broward communities such as Pembroke Pines and Miramar, she adds. These migration trends are being fueled by the high cost of housing in midst of a poor economy, argues Edward Continued from page 36 Continued on page 40 BT photo by Jim W. Harper



Murray of FIUs Metropolitan Center, and can be seen in the reduction of families with children under the age of 18. When you have a family, Murray says, you need an affordable place to live. Even if Miami-Dade ends up being an economy based on service to the wealthy, the providers of service commonly poor immigrants working low-paying jobs need somewhere to live. The people who work in restaurants and other downtown are having an increasingly hard The development brings amenities, but it crowds out affordable housing, and Miami is one of the worst places in the country to provide for affordable housing. The working classes, which may be decreasing but are still very large and are necessary for the city, are being forced into more crowded conditions or they will simply have to leave. In short, affordable housing is a key to the Biscayne Corridors long-term health. Another lesson to be learned from the past decade: A balanced mix of commercial and residential development can revitalize an area, as is happening with Midtown and downtown Miami. So how soon will these demographic shifts affect the Biscayne Corridors municipalities? Says Murray: We may have to observe this trend for several years out. Suchlicki is bullish. He points out that Miami-Dades status as a Latin town has encouraged corporations and banks from Latin American and the rest of the world to set up shop here. According to Miamis Beacon Council, 47 foreign banks and more than 1000 multinational comCounty, making it an important business hub for $79.2 billion in annual global trade. I think Florida will grow as a business center, he says, and Miami will be an important international city. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 3 CHLORINE TABLETS $58.88*With this coupon expires on 08.31.11 REPLACEMENT CARTRIDGE FILTERS 10% off *With this coupon expires on 08.31.11 TOYS GAMES & FLOATS ON SALE10% off *With this coupon expires on 08.31.11 BUY 4 CHLORINE REFILL GET 1 FREE*With this coupon expires on 08.31.11 ON SALE FOR FINALLY FURNITURE THAT WILL HOLD UP TO THE FLORIDA SUN 20 YEAR WARRANTY ON SALE NOW! 305-893-4036 rfntPOOL SERVICE POOL REPAIRS POOL RENOVATIONS HOT TUBS & SWIM SPAS HEATER & SUPPLIES OZONATORS AUTOMATED CONTROLS PATIO FURNITURE SALT CHLORINATORS COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED 50 TRUCK SERVICE FLEET Continued from page 38


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42 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORA Waterfront Park for All to EnjoyRemember Parcel B, the land behind the Miami Heats arena? You own it but cant use it yetA Peek into the PastThe renovation of the Bennett Building has uncovered old faades, rekindling memories of what NE 2nd Avenue once wasBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterOn a locked gate just behind the American Airlines Arena a sign reads: No Trespassing, Loitering or Fishing on This Property Violators Will Be Prosecuted. Another sign features a Miami-Dade County logo. It says: Parcel B Bike Path and Shoreline Stabilization Project. Beyond the gate and the looming arena is Parcel B, three acres of land county leaders promised years ago to transform into a park. Also gated is a new 611-foot-long seawall and bike path/baywalk that cost taxpayers $6.1 million to build. But the public cant use the path or wander among Parcel Bs palms, planted for a 2005 MTV Music Video Awards show. Those trees and other permanent improvements cost taxpayers up to $205,000, according to county documents. A thousand feet to the north, another fence straddles the seawall, keeping out anyone whod risk climbing over a pile of rocks to reach Parcel B. Ever since the arena opened, that area has never been open to the public, grumbles Miami parks activ ist Steve Hagen. But Jos Perez, director of the county General Services Administra tions design and construction divi sion, claims the fences will come down after repairs to the countys seawall, which cracked two days after it was built in 2009. Opening up a public area to the public? What a concept! mocks Greg Bush, vice president of the Urban Environment League. Bush fears that hand over Parcel B to a private devel oper. I think Parcel B is absolutely being set up for failure and to priva tize, he says. Perez insists that the county is determined to transform Parcel B into a park. When we do get funding, we will and benches, he assures. All the land where American Airlines Arena stands was supposed to be a park. In 1981 the City of Miami bought 23 acres from the Florida East Coast Railroad for $23 million. The intention was to merge the FEC Tract with Bicentennial Park. Instead, throughout the 1980s, the tract served as a track for the annual Miami Grand Prix, and as a hangout for vagrants. In 1996 county voters blessed the concept of leasing much of the FEC tract from Miami and building a 19,600seat, $210 million new stadium for the Miami Heat. Helping to sell the idea was a promise that a portion of the tract (Parcel B) would become a park. Hagen remembers that before the vote, the Heat sent out brochures with a color photograph depicting the arenas backyard as a The new arena had hardly opened when, in 2000, the Miami Heat Group proposed building a marina with restaurants and retail on Parcel B. That scheme mutated into a 23-story apartment building that was to be co-developed by Armando Codina. By 2003 the Heat and Codina had backed off the idea. The county and the Heat are in agreement that this should be a park, Heat attorney Richard Weiss told Miami Today However, the county had never clearly zoned Parcel B as a park. By Mark Sell BT ContributorLike unwitting archeologists, work crews have peeled back a layer of history by ripping off the red brick faade from the Bennett Building on the northeast corner of 95th Street and NE 2nd Avenue in Miami Shores to reveal the long-gone A&P market. Blink fast and you might still catch the old A&P logo on the buildings south side, the last remnant of the supermarket that operated there from 1948 to 1972, or the old Chase Federal Savings sign on the corner (no relation to Chase Bank) that replaced the Peoples National Bank, now Bank of America, when it moved to the handsome new red brick building across the street. Richard and Theresa Caccamise, the stockbroker and mortgage broker who bought the Bennett Building from George Bennett for $1.6 million late last year, are revamping the whole structure in the perpetual NE 2nd Avenue hope of attracting retailers. Were trying to make it beautiful and bring it to 2011, says Theresa. Crews are raising the parapets, putting in Spanish tile, stone Continued on page 46 Continued on page 48BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith BT photo by Silvia Ros


All Bets Are OnSavvy developers with deep pockets are investing billions in the Biscayne CorridorBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterNo doubt about it, there is a lot of bad economic news out there: high gas prices, Congressional debt-ceiling doubts, high unemployment, a nationwide foreclosure crisis that only seems to get worse. Closer to home, Miami-Dade Countys unemployment rate, as of June, hovered just under 14 percent. In spite of the gloom and uncertainty, Jamal Rahma is investing his time, energy, and money in the Biscayne Corridor. A few months ago, Rahma, who already owns two Miami-Dade grocery stores, bought the gas station at 5400 Biscayne Blvd., just a hop, skip, and a jump from 55th Street Station, the upscale, courtyard-style restaurant, retail, neur Mark Soyka. (Disclosure: Soyka is now the BT s landlord.) The gas stations dingy appearance and reputation as a hangout for drug users and hookers didnt dissuade Rahma from buying it. Ive been after this gas station since I learned it was for sale about a year ago, he says. Its a unique location in a very nice area. Rahma is not alone in his upbeat outlook on the Biscayne Corridor. Developers, corporations, independent entrepreneurs, and government agencies are collectively investing billions of dollars from downtown Miami to Aventura in a surge of activity that promises to employ thousands. I think we are in for a nice long boom here, says Jeff Morr, president of Majestic Properties. Investors from South America, Europe, and Asia see South Floridas up-and-coming areas, like the Biscayne Corridor, as a place to deposit their money. Property in Miami has become another commodity, like gold and silver, he says. Timing and the optimistic belief in a global recovery have created much more activity than a year ago along the Biscayne Corridor, says Tibor Hollo, a Miami developer for the past 55 years who has two new projects of his own planned in the corridor. If you start something, it takes you two and a half ceived that in two and a half years, there will be an economic upswing. But Biscayne Corridor residents and commuters wont have to wait that long to see results. Some projects have already broken ground, while retailers and restaurateurs have spent millions on recently opened ventures. Below are brief descriptions for 25 of them. 1. Brickell CitiCentre Swire Properties, subsidiary of a Hong Kong-based company that developed much of Brickell Key, will invest $700 million to build Brickell CitiCentre, a 4.8-million-square-foot mixed-use project designed by Miamis own Arquitectonica. Construction employing 1700 workers could begin as early as this year on nine acres of land at SW 8th Street and S. Miami Avenue, just south of the Miami River and west of U.S. 1, according to ates. Once completed, Brickell CitiCentre will employ an estimated 3800 people and will include condominiums, rental nightclubs, an exclusive business hotel, a movie theater, and a bowling alley. 2. Big Fish The iconic hidden restaurant, founded by the late Thomas Orren Sykes in the 1980s on the bank of the Miami River at 55 SW Miami Avenue Rd., will soon reincarnate in the form of a two-story building with dining terraces on the roof and a VIP lounge-caf, says architect Dean B. Lewis, founder of Miami-based DB Lewis Architecture+Design. Spanish developer Ignacio Vega and an vesting $3 million to develop the restaurant, and spending another $250,000 to repair the seawall, move FP&L lines underground, and make other infrastructure improvements. Lewis says the two structures that once housed Big Fish have been demolished to make way for the development. The seawalls renovation will begin in the fall. 3. One Bayfront Plaza In 2007 the Miami City Commission approved Tibor Hollos dream of developing the tallest building in Miami: the 1049-foottall One Bayfront Plaza, 100 S. Biscayne Blvd., designed by Coral Gables architect Ignacio Permuy of TERRA Architecture. Hollo has since scaled back the design somewhat, settling on a height of 1010 feet, still tall enough to dwarf the 789-foot Four Seasons Hotel on Brickell Avenue. To help Permuy revise his original design, Hollo hired Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, a New York architectural 1614-foot-high Shanghai World Financial Center and Hong Kongs 1588-foot-tall International Commerce Centre. months from now, says Hollo, who plans to demolish the current 19-story, replace it with a $1.8 billion twisting space, a hotel, and retail. 4. FEC Railway Project July 15 marked the groundbreaking of a $46.9 million Florida East Coast Railway reconnection project that will link the Port of Miami to a rail yard near Miami International Airport. The project will also repair the rail bridge to the Port of Miamis Dodge Island that was knocked out by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the project will provide 833 jobs, the Port of Miami claims. It is funded by a $22.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, a $10.9 million contribution from the Florida East Coast Railroad, $10.9 million from the Florida Department of Transportation, and $4.8 million from the Port of Miami. 5. Port of Miami Tunnel Costing taxpayers $1 billion, the underwater dual vehicular tunnel system will connect the western end of the MacArthur Causeway to the Port of Miamis road network. The tunnel project, which commenced last year, is scheduled for completion in 2014 and is expected to provide 400 jobs for local workers. Funding comes from the state ($650 million), the county ($402 million), and the City of Miami ($50 million). 6. Resorts World Miami Tan Sri Lim, CEO of the $45 billion Malaysian-based Genting Malaysia Continued on page 44BT map by Marcy Mock 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 17


44 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORBerhad, loves Miami so much that hes been visiting the city for 40 years. I believe Miami is destined to be one of the most prominent cities in the world, he announced during a June 16 reception at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. This past May, Lims resort company shelled out $236 million to buy 14 acres fronting Biscayne Bay from the McClatchy Company, owner of the Miami Herald including One Herald Plaza, which has housed the newspaper since 1963. Lim plans to build Resorts World Miami, a $3 billion, Arquitectonica-designed project that will include residential units, hotel rooms, retail, restaurants, and casino gambling (pending state approval). Aside from being close to the Arsht Center and the future Museum Park, Resorts World Miami will be within rowing distance of the terminal for Norwegian Cruise Lines, in which Genting owns a 50-percent stake. 7. 1700 Biscayne At 1700 Biscayne Blvd., where a Burger ated with Midgard Management plan to build three towers, ranging between 443 and 603 feet in height, designed by architect Bernard Zyscovich. Called 1700 Biscayne, the $726 million project will include 672 residences, 505 hotel rooms, and nearly 182,000 square feet of retail, and will create 536 full-time jobs, according to a report from consultants Lambert Advisory. 8. Sonesta Mikado Hotel Just 480 feet from the future 1700 Biscayne project, and less than a half-mile from the Resorts World Miami project is Tibor Hollos second Biscayne Corridor project. Architect Zyscovich is designing the $62 million, 250-room Sonesta Mikado Hotel. Under a deal approved by the Miami Community Redevelopment Agency this past April, Hollos Florida East Coast Realty will receive a property tax rebate of up to $9 million, paid over several years, if the hotel hires 268 Miami residents on a full-time basis. Hollo says he will break ground on the project as soon as they issue the permit. Completion is scheduled for 2014. 9. 18Biscayne On track to provide groceries, dietary supplements, banking services, and haircuts in an area of intensive develop ment is 18Biscayne, a 57,200-square-foot, three-story, Publix-anchored retail project now being built at 1777 Biscayne Blvd. by the Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Com pany. Set for completion in early 2012, 18Biscayne is already 98 percent leased, according to a July 27 Stiles news release. Besides the 49,200-square-foot Publix with bakery, pharmacy, and caf, tenants include a Wells Fargo branch, a GNC health store, and a Hair Cuttery. 10. City Hall the Restaurant Restaurateur Steve Haas (who helped open eateries such as Tuscan Steak and Montys) and executive chef Tom Azar (formerly of Emerils South Beach) opened City Hall the Restaurant to much media attention in June. Located at 2004 Biscayne Blvd., the two-story, 201-seat American bistro took $2 million and more than a year of planning to build. 11. Midtown Miami Entertainment Complex Jack Cayre, principal of Midtown Equities Group, is intent on partnering with another developer within a year to build a $60 million, 220,000-square-foot entertainment complex within Midtown Miami, a 56-acre community of condos, 36th Street and N. Miami Avenue. In an interview last month, Cayre told the South Florida Business Journal that the future complex will include a 200-room boutique hotel and a 12-screen movie theater that will serve alcoholic beverages to adult patrons, as well as meals. The complex would rise just east 645,000-square-foot Shops at Midtown Miami, on a four-acre plot now occupied by a jungle of trees and bushes that were supposed to be part of World Gardens at Midtown. Suzanne Schmidt, spokeswoman for Midtown Miami, says some of the landscaping will remain on site. 12. Design District Just north of Midtown Miami is the Design District, a quarter-square-mile area that serves as home to 145 clothing boutiques, high-end furniture stores, restaurants, bars, art galleries, and other businesses. The districts largest landowner and developer, Dacra CEO Craig Robins, told the Miami Herald in May that hes investing $40 million to increase his real estate holdings there, so he can build more commercial space, loft apartments, and a boutique hotel. 13. Educating Hands School of Massage Once based in Brickell, this 30-year-old, accredited teaching institution took over 3883 Biscayne Blvd. last fall. The new place offered a fresh start in a fresh, up-and-coming neighborhood, says Iris Burman, director of Educating Hands. The landlord [Odarp Inc.] put in a very substantial investment to renovate the building from its basic shell to the full build-out. In addition to their part, weve put in over $150,000 to create a space that will serve us and our customers well for years to come. Continued on page 47 All BetsContinued from page 43 For more information, visit www.miamiparking.com. Department of Off-Street Parking (DOSP)SAVE ON PARKING IN THE CITY OF MIAMIQUICK-VISIT PARKINGNow FREE in every MPA garage, all the time. If youre in and out in 30 minutes or less, your parking is FREE! Regular rates apply after 30 minutes. Courtesy of Swire Properties




46 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR columns, and lots of display windows. Im trying to go with French chateau Mediterranean to create an old carriageThey hope the revamped digs will entice retailers to join Mooies ice cream parlor, Impact Fitness, the Flower Bar, Miss Janes Music Studio, and the business, Preferred Mortgage Lenders, will stay where it is in the Sklar complex across NE 2nd Avenue. end, they will rename the building Downtown Village Square. George Bennett of Miami Shores, now 86 years old, bought the southern half of the block, including the A&P, in 1971 from Peoples National Bank for $400,000 and covered it with red brick that reminded him of his native Madison, Georgia. In 1982 he bought the northern half of the block which included the old Shoreland Arcade that once housed the Shoreland Company, the original and bankrupted developer of the village, and Miami Shores Village Hall for $500,000 from Bill and Claude Mercer of the Mercer Seed Company, and paid In 2004 he sold the block-long building to Ruben Matz for $3.9 million, took back the mortgage as a deed-in-lieu in 2010, and sold it late last year to the Caccamises for $1.6 million. I never dreamed Id buy the build47, Bennett says. I started grade school in Madison, Georgia, in my bare feet in 1930. We grew up without electricity, but when the war came, I joined the navy and became an electrician. I was just out of the navy in 1946 and working for Western Electric. I met Nancy at Rader Methodist Church down the street and swore if I ever got back here Id marry her. Western Electric transferred me to Georgia and then to the Carolinas, and then, by a ried. Its been 63 years and a great run. Bennett founded and built the Bennett Electric Company, and bought the building just before NE 2nd Avenue entered its slow decline. At that time, the Company (on the present site of Mooies), three service stations and barbershops, for business. North Shore Hospital, a bit more than a mile to the west, had not yet built many doctors from Miami Shores. Up the street, the Shores Theater was still PeekContinued from page 42 Continued on page 49 Photo courtesy of the Seth and Myrna Bramson Collection


14. Bay Point Center Just across the street from Educating Hands, renovation work by G & L Real Estate is nearly complete at the 43,000-square-foot Bay Point Center at 3915 Biscayne Blvd. A lot of medical professionals are looking to move their practice there, says Mauricio Zapata, a broker associate of Chariff Realty Group. The $5 million project is expected to pancy within three months. 15. Kubik at Palm Grove It isnt all positive news on the development front. Since 2004, LAB Developers has sought to build Kubik, twin 130-foot-tall, loft-style residential build ings on 2.5 acres at 5582 NE Fourth Ct., right across the road from Mark Soykas 55th Street Station. Earlier this year, after LAB spent years in litigation with a small band of Morningside homeowners, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that Kubik will have to head back to the Miami City Commission. Otherwise the developers will have to settle for a project below the 35-foot height limit that now covers Biscayne Boulevard between 50th and 77th streets. Paul Murphy, one of Kubiks developers, says he and his partners believe that heading into the appeal circus all over again is a total waste of time and money. He adds that the height limit kills any rational development in the Upper Eastside. In the meantime, Murphy says, you have to admit, its a pleasant-looking piece of nonproductive land. The land became pleasant-looking last month, when a giant crane, an abandoned sales trailer, and assorted construction debris was removed from the site, prompting rumors that the Kubik project had been revived. Murphy explains that the material was removed at the request of the citys code enforcement department. Neighbors are hoping that the fence surrounding the property will come down and a new lawn will come up. We will sod the property, Murphy re ports. The fence is an insurance issue. The city wants it down. The insurance company wants it up. At the moment, no resolution. 16. Milebella The 35-foot height limit hasnt stopped developer and restaurateur Steve Perricone and his partner Jay Solowsky. The pair will soon break ground on a brand-new, $1 million, 10,000-squarefoot commercial retail building at 6101 Biscayne Blvd. Named Milebella, the 35-foot-tall structures MiMo-inspired design will include a double-height glass faade, a V-shape chevron roof canopy, covered terraces and entrances, rear gated parking, and landscaping, accord ing to project architect Dean Lewis. Itll make a difference in the MiMo/Boulevard landscape, he says. Were not looking at a typical cinder block. Once work begins, Lewis expects the project will take six months to complete. 17. 6405 Biscayne Blvd. Four blocks away from Milebella, an Argentine developer purchased a 15,000-square-foot lot at 6405 Biscayne Blvd. from Midtown developers Joe Cayre and Michael Samuel. Chariff Realty Groups Zapata, who closed the deal in May, declines to name the investor or sale price, but says the new owner intends to build retail. 18. Wonderland at the Boulevard After six months and $1.5 million in remodeling, Wonderland at the Boulevard should be open for busi ness within three to four weeks, says adult entertainment entrepreneur Leroy Griffith. owned the Boulevard Theater, the 14,000-square-foot building has oper ated under various names as an adult movie house, a female strip joint, a gay club featuring male strippers, and a female topless sports bar. But for the ing his theater to Sofa Entertainment Group, which will reportedly feature a gourmet restaurant and nude female entertainment. They put in new All BetsContinued from page 44 Continued on page 50


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORRecords show that both the arena and Parcel B are in an 8002 Parks & Recreation zone, yet their legal description is maritime arena. The land languished for a few years before another idea was proposed. In September 2007, the county commission approved a resolution to study the museum and parking garage devoted to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. But no further action was taken. I think the museum has gone away, Bush says. While the county contemplated what to build, or not to build on Parcel B, the City of Miami was investing more than $20 million improving the waterfront area between the MacArthur Causeway and the arena, says city spokeswoman Cristina Fernandez. Among the enhancements was a $10 million seawall along the FEC slip that was completed in 2006, and a new $1.5 million bollard system capable of docking vessels more than 400 feet long. Thanks to those enhancements, the FEC slip area has become an exceptional venue for hosting tall ship events, around-the-world races, military ship visits, the Miami International Boat show, and a variety of other maritime activities and events, Fernandez writes in an e-mail to the BT Then, unexpectedly this past June, Miami-Dade County Commission Chair man Dennis Moss proposed studying the material dredged from the Port of Miami tunnel project. After an outcry from pulled from the commissions July agenda. The citys waterfront activity inline improvements of their own. In 2008 the county commission hired Shoreline Foundation, Inc. to renovate the crumbling seawall behind Parcel B and connect it to the new FEC slip seawall. The countys GSA department recommended the Fort Lauderdale-based company because it had also built the seawalls for the FEC slip and Bicentennial Park. On December 16, 2009, the countys new seawall, which includes a 16-footwide walking and biking path, was completed. Two days later a severe storm hit Miami. It rained like crazy, recalls the GSAs Jos Perez. The rain seeped through the millions of holes still present in the older portions of the seawall. At the same time the brand-new seawall a way out, it ruptured a three-foot hole in the corner where it connects with Miamis portion of the seawall. Spencer Crowley, a commissioner with the Florida Inland Navigation rupture. The intersection of these two seawalls did not match up quite right, Crowley states. Thats what caused the problem. Perez denies the damage resulted from faulty design, claiming that the do. (Shoreline Foundation did not return a phone call from the BT .) Regardless of the how the hole was caused, the rupture threatened to undermine the both the county and city portions of the seawall. Without repairs, the ground could keep going under the seawall and into the water, Crowley explains. If that happens, we would have to replace the corner of that seawall, and that could be an expensive project. Finally on July 7, Shoreline Foundation went to work, repairing the wall substantially by July 27 at a cost of $167,000, a contingency amount already in the projects budget, Perez says. In the event allow the water to go over the edge. Meanwhile, the City of Miami is also making some progress with its plan to complete a signature baywalk around the entire Bicentennial Park, FEC slip, and north toward I-395, states city spokeswoman Fernandez. Construction on the baywalk should commence in spring 2012, she adds. That baywalk, Perez notes, will be connected to the Parcel B bike path by a sidewalk. At deadline, neither Perez nor Fernandez could say when the fences blocking access to Parcel B would be removed. Parks advocate Steve Hagen re mains skeptical that Parcel B will ever open to the public as recreational open space. Says Hagen: I will believe it when I see it. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbffn f ffnffn Parcel BContinued from page 42


Local historian Seth Bramsons book Boulevard of Dreams: A Pictorial History of El Portal, Miami Shores, and North Miami unpeels more layers of NE 2nd Avenue history. One striking handdrawn map by Melvin Mishler, who homesteaded 80 acres in the neighborhood in 1900, reveals a 1904 Piney Woods Church (on the present Bank of America site), north of the Moore packinghouse on NE 2nd Avenue and 91st Street. Move forward almost a generation, and you can see the devastation of the 1926 hurricane on the Shoreland Arcade with the blown-out storefronts for United Cigars and the remnants of Shorelands Dave Watson, born in 1922, grew up in the neighborhood. His memories begin about 1928. He remembers the Margaret Ann grocery store on 2nd Avenue near 98th Street (later renamed the Food Palace), a smaller store where the butcher would cut your meat to order, predating the A&P. He also remembers swimming in the Little River by the Miami Avenue wooden, humpback bridge in the late 1930s when he went to Edison High. After graduating in 1940, he worked as a plumbers apprentice and courted his wife-to-be Eleanor, who worked behind the soda fountain at Blacks Drug Store at the present site of the Village Caf. In 1943 he went off followed by the GI Bill, college, the launch of an engineering career, and recall to naval duty in Key West during the Korean War. He returned to Miami Shores in 1954 as a modern Rip Van Winkle after 11 years. The community had matured. The new Tropical Cafeteria, pillbox-shaped like a Cinerama theater, had opened on the present Catholic Charities site at 99th Street, along with the present village hall and library. The A&P displaced its competitors as the place to shop. It was the superstore of its day at 10,000 square feet, Miami Shores Publix. Company (hence the A&P) is now a shadow of its old self, but in the late 1940s and early 50s, it was the worlds second-largest purveyor of goods, behind only General Motors. Time magazine, in November 1950, wrote that the A&P sold one in seven cups of coffee, one in 14 pounds of butter, and one in 28 eggs in the United States. Time called the A&P the real melting pot of the country, patronized by the bosss wife and the bakers daughter, the priest and the policeman, and said that going to the A&P was almost an American tribal rite. And why not? During torrid summer days, nothing could beat the 20-ton airconditioning unit that the A&P installed in 1948. It was still working well when Ruben Matz replaced it 56 years later. But after the A&P closed in the early 1970s, NE 2nd Avenue was not the same. The new I-95 and larger Publix and Winn-Dixie supermarkets along Biscayne Boulevard drew shoppers away and retrenched. The cafeteria restaurant had closed, and some, if not all, of the doctors had decamped to North Shore. For NE 2nd Avenue merchants, is a tricky proposition, made all the more of Miami Shores uses septic tanks, commercial as well as residential properties.) Specialty food stores, restaurants of any to launch without replacing the present septic tanks with sewers. Despite civic the problem seems intractable. In the meantime, the Caccamises (Richards grandfather worked at an A&P in the Northeast) are going after national retailers to pay the new mortgage. Now that he is out of the real estate game, George Bennett counsels patience to current and would-be Miami Shores landlords. Rental rates of 28 or 30 bucks a square foot have to come to a screeching halt, he says. We need more competitive rental rates to keep these buildings occupied. You cant expect to make a fortune on these buildings overnight. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com PeekContinued from page 46


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR 19. Biscayne Plaza Designed by architect Robert Fitch Smith and opened in 1954, the Biscayne Plaza shopping center, at 561 NE 79th St., will soon undergo a several-milliondollar renovation, according to Terranova Corporation, the propertys manager. Sabor Tropical Supermarket also will pour $1 million into upgrades on the 24,000-square-foot space the company will be leasing for the next decade. 20. Antiques Plaza On the border between Miamis Upper Eastside and the Village of El Portal, the col lection of furniture stores known as Antiques Plaza (8650 Biscayne Blvd.) is going through a $500,000 expansion that will add 6000 square feet of retail space. Danceny Reyes, representative of Regalands Properties, Inc., in approximately four and half months. 21. Chase Bank Two months ago, North Miami Beach application to build a new branch where a BP gas station now operates at 14590 Biscayne Blvd. Chris Heid, North Miami Beachs chief planner, says it will take six months to a year for Chase Bank to obtain the necessary permits to build on the site. Some 20 blocks to the south, at 1865 NE 123rd St., TotalBank recently is part of the new Causeway Square development. 22. Biscayne Landing In September the North Miami City Council will choose between two development teams interested in completing Biscayne Landing, a 183-acre, cityowned tract at 150th Street and Biscayne Boulevard that was to contain thousands of condos until the real estate crash derailed the project in 2009. Ian Bruce Eicher, developer of the 40-story Continuum condominium in South Beach and Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, wants to build up to one million square feet of big-box retail in less than four years, followed by a medical pavilion, an assisted-living facility, luxury rentals, student dorms, and a 150-room hotel. Eichers rival is Oleta Partners LLC, which consists of Biscayne Landings original developer, Michael Swerdlow, plus Haitian-American broadcasting executives Manny and Jenn Cherebun and the LeFrak Organization, a centuryold New York-based real estate company. Oleta Partners proposes to build one million square feet of retail, 3000 residential production studio, 300 hotel rooms, and a 7000-square-foot community center. 23. Duffys Sports Grill The Florida-based sports bar chain picked the Intracoastal Mall at 3929 All BetsContinued from page 47 BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith


in Miami-Dade County and its 24th in South Florida. Open since June in the 24,000-square-foot space occupied prior, Duffys Sports Bar has 700 seats, extensive covered patio seating, 200 plasma televisions, and an outdoor swimming pool with its own bar, says Tricia Thomas, the restaurants public relations representative. Sitting along the Intracoastal Waterway, Duffys also has 500 feet of dockage for boats. 24. hhgregg The $2 billion nationwide electronics store spent $1 million transforming the 30,000-square-foot former Borders bookstore at 19925 Biscayne Blvd. into its Aventura outpost. According to Jeff Pearson, hhgreggs vice president of marketing, the Biscayne Corridor location was ideal. Our Aventura location is to consumers and convenient to access, he says in an e-mail to the BT Since opening in July, the hhgregg Aventura store has employed 50 people, says company spokeswoman Kim Paone. 25. Winn-Dixie In response to Aventuras growing Jewish Orthodox population, mega grocer Winn-Dixie completed a $3.5 million facelift in May. The refur bished Winn-Dixie at 20417 Biscayne Blvd. offers an expanded kosher department supervised by the Ortho dox Rabbinical Board, a South FloridaFor more images of these projects, go to www.biscaynetimes.com. Biscayne Times will continue tracking development along the Biscayne Corridor. Please send relevant information to senior writer Erik Bojnansky at erik.bojnansky@biscaynetimes.com Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com All BetsContinued from page 50


52 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA Cat Fight How a simple pet adoption turned into a showdown over kitty declawingBy Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorIm an animal lover. Always have been. Id venture to say that I like animals more than I like people. And after I tell this story, you may see why. It began a few weeks ago, when my mother-in-law decided that she wanted a kitten. It was a huge decision; she vowed thered be no more pets after her 15-yearold Yorkie passed away. I can understand that. Shes 71 years old and doesnt want more responsibility, nor does she want her heart broken again when the inevitable happens. But like all animal lovers, the allure of fur often outweighs any potential pain down the line. And so off to my local PetSmart we went. Ah, the Aventura Pe tSmart on Biscayne Boulevard and 210th Street. I know it well. Im there constantly. Its where I buy food for my two cats and my dog, and where I go when I want a Which brings me back to my story. neared the Adopt A Stray cat cages. And while there only for moral support, my in-laws. Always even-keeled, they feigned nonchalance. We looked, we saw, we selected the sweetest little white and My mother-in-law immediately knew the one she wanted. She was head-over-heels in love. They played. They bonded. Done requisite forms, and instead of having them drive back to Boynton Beach hungry, we went to lunch before completing the adoption. Fast-forward one hour and were back in PetSmart, the anticipation incredibly high. my mother-in-law to Edie, an elderly volunteer. E die, whom I have seen many times, pulled out the application and simply said, No. What do you mean, no? I asked. It says on her application that she intends to declaw. We do not award kittens to people who are going to declaw. Sorry, she matter-of-factly said before turning away. Within seconds, the look of confusion on my mother-in-laws face turned to pure sadness. The queen of Miami Spa Month Selections Just $99


nonemotion was about to cry. Seriously? I asked Edie sharply. You are joking, right? Um, no. She cannot have the kitten. We do not release kittens to people who intend to declaw them, she repeated. Her tone wasnt nasty or angry; it was more deadpan, like it was just another day. And to her, it was. But to Mom, it was the end of the world. Her heart was being broken once more, and I had to stand there and watch. But anyone who knows me knows that I will never let someone I love get hurt. This is unacceptable, I shot back. Youre telling me that youd rather a kitten remain homeless than be brought into a loving, caring home because it may get declawed? Thats ridiculous. Have you ever read about the declaw process? she asked, starting to conde scend. If youve ever read what it entails, youd know why [condescending tone getting worse, my tolerance waning]. Do you know what they do? They I know what they do, I snapped back. Ive had cats since I was eight years old. Well, then you should certainly understand. No, I dont understand. Not even a little. Not at all. As a matter of fact, able. A woman wants to give an animal food and lots of love, and you wont let that happen. Seriously? Its not for you to make that call. And I was just getting started. But rather than recount word-for-word the blossoming discussion that ensued, lets skip to where my mother-in-law simply shook her head, looked at the ground, and, her voice cracking, hoarsely whispered, It was devastating. And then we left. care program, preaches that abandoned and abused animals deserve a chance for better lives. They claim they look for long-term, compatible relationships for the animal and the family. Then why was my in-laws adoption quashed? I cant understand how an organization that spays and neuters animals can turn squeamish when it comes to another procedure, especially when someone who would provide a great home is involved. I was so incensed that I went back to PetSmart two weeks later to speak with the Adopt A Stray people. I didnt see Edie, but I did see that poor homeless kitty still awaiting adoption, and I was so angry that it was probably better that Edie was nowhere in sight. I did speak with a sympathetic and reasonable woman named Marlene Blauder. She tried to explain their rationale its cruel, its mean, its inhumane and all I could think was: Is her husband circumcised? Thats pretty brutal, too, isnt it? I admit the declawing process is pretty appalling, but sometimes its a necessary evil. And I believe it should be a personal choice between my pets and me. I dont have a problem with PetSmart. I like the folks at my local store and choose to frequent it rather than Petco or any other big-box pet store. ports the no declaw policy, as I spend a lot of money there and wont accept the brand condoning such a ban. I can only equate it to pro-lifers who vehemently impose their beliefs on others. Unfortunately, when I went to the manager, she clammed up and redirected out to PetSmart national, Jeff Davis, senior communications manager of PetSmart Charities in Arizona, responded. of canned stats and facts (but I learned they dont support declawing), and although I asked to speak with him, he because you told Kelley at PetSmart that your column would not be portraying PetSmart in a positive light. That type of comment indicates that your mind is made up no matter what we say, so I prefer to document my responses. Thats one weak response from Mr. Davis. He shouldve picked up the phone and had a conversation with me. Instead he hid behind e-mail. Im a reasonable person and never thought about trashing PetSmart. (Nor do I know who Kelley is.) And while it should choose adoption partners more carefully, I dont hold bad policy against the store. Thats all on Adopt A Stray. In fact, the only thing wrong with PetSmart is its choice of media-rela tions people. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


54 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEThe Municipal RefIts the Miami city managers job to put an end to the running feud between the mayor and the police chiefBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorThe saga of the dysfunctional City of Miami family goes on and on. appointed city manager, Johnny Martinez, issuing a clarifying memo on July 5 to Chief of Police Miguel Exposito, reiterating a previous verbal directive and lambasting the chief for understanding neither the scope or [sic] the intent of my instructions. reducing the intent of my instructions also directed to extend this order to your forced to act pursuant to the authority provided me under both the city charter and city ordinance. on a couple of key statements that are perhaps indicative of things to come. also directed to extend this order to has the authority to tell the police chief not do. The manager can hold the chief accountable for the performance and accan give the chief a direct order that he is obligated to pass on to the troops. The most notable gotcha is the LARGEST and MOST AFFORDABLE LUXE + NATURA Showroom Miami Beach Pebbles Stone Yard 3214 NE 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33137 P: 305.438.1775


the authority provided me under both the city charter and the city ordinance. What the manager is conveying to the chief in everyday city-government parlance is that, if you open your mouth in any derogatory manner toward our beloved Mayor Toms Regalado, I will Seems pretty clear to me and probably long overdue. time such a gag order has been issued to a police chief. A few years back there was quite a public battle between then Police Chief Donald Warshaw and Mayor Xavier Suarez. The mayor wanted Warmanager he appointed failed miserably in carrying out that assignment. So the in for a test run. Mayor Suarez made it clear to me chief, but he coyly reminded me that the appointed me as interim manager until he could bring my appointment before sent me merrily on my way. What was exceptionally clear to me aside from the fact that my employment as city manager hinged on my next move was that the ongoing verbal jousting in the media between the mayor and the chief had to come to an end. And since I had no authority to control what the mayor said or did, I had to control the chief. So on the weekend following the Friday that the mayor gave me the dubious honor of being the next city manager, I invited the chief to my home to discuss the current state of affairs. I knew Warshaw from various activiand understood him to be a polished professional and, more important, well respected by his troops and by the police community nationally. We discussed the situation and he explained to me that it went much deeper than an alleged be free to provide me more detail once I I then instructed him to refrain from any comments to the press having to do responded that he was not sure he could Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom Specializing in residential, commercial & industrial lighting products. State of the art LED and energy saving lightbulbs. 305.423.0017 do that because the mayor was on the attack. I told him that, if he did not obey him, plain and simple. Furthermore, I ascomplaint and take whatever action I and buttoned his lip, thus no written memo of the cover your ass variety was ever necessary. To make a long story short I the chief and wrote my now infamous memo to the mayor informing him of me and went on the hunt for yet another manager who would do his bidding. (I I have no problem with the current manager issuing a similar edict to the current police chief. The guy should keep his trap shut and the manager should thoroughly, yet quickly, evaluate the pros and cons of keeping this chief around. Contrary to what seems to be the chief for no reason other than he wants to take the police department in a different direction. In fact he does not even have the boot. Under the charter, the police chief has the right to appeal that dismissal to the full commission and they may uphold rule the manager and put the chief back come to an end and it does not require any big payoff to get Chief Exposito out. The manager does not need to tolerate one of his subordinates continuing a running battle with the mayor. You have to wonder why this crap continues. (Does the chief have not only the photos, residents, and it is certainly not healthy for our police department; it perpetuates cliques and factions within the department, which in the long run are detrimental to morale and the delivery of service. It needs to come to an end. So, Mr. Manager, it is time for you to step up to the plate and make a decision. We are all waiting. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


56 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Keeping II t LocalHosting a bat mitzvah, the Upper Eastside wayBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorWith my nearly 20-year career of global dining experiences behind me, you might think that I wouldnt delegate any of the food-ori ented tasks of planning my daughters bat mitzvah. You might think Id really want to take my time and tour a ton of venues, taste the fare from dozens of caterers, sift through countless bakeries. You might think I wouldnt rest without micromanag ing every morsel and covering, as a colony of ants would, every single crumb. Hardly. In truth its quite the opposite. Ive been tasting and testing all my brides in their 40s, I feel like Ive had decades to weigh every detail. Even with taking Zoes preferences into account, I knew exactly what I wanted, if not exactly how to get it. Hence the need for a weekend of checking out a number of businesses between Temple Israel of Greater Miami, some 15 blocks south of Midtown, and our home in Miami Shores. In other words, my husband and I wanted to keep her celebration all in the family, spreading our wealth, such as it is or more to the point, isnt through out the Upper Eastside and Biscayne Cor ridor. Five years ago, Zoes party might have looked something like this: We would have been limited to a reception at the Miami Shores Country Club, a brunch in our backyard, and hotel bookings at the Hilton downtown (formerly the Omni) for our out-of-town guests. Now with the almost magical, sudden cityscape of MiMo, we had our choice of businesses both big and boutique, run by friends or otherwise friendly strangers. In fact our circle of casual acquaintances has widened to the point where we probably are offending people by not hiring them to work on Zoes day. For instance, we could have called on Miami Shores residents and husbandwife Creative Tastes Catering team Frank Randazzo and Andrea Curto-Randazzo. Weve known each others kids their three girls, my daughter and son since their respective births. Or we could have tagged Shores neighbor and The Forge executive chef Dewey LoSasso, Photo courtesy of Prelude


whose eldest shares the Zoe moniker with ours; the girls have had play dates together. Deweys wife, Dale, also in the restaurant biz, and I even come from the same neck of the New Jersey woods. But with the Randazzos, I wouldve still had to rent a hall. With the LoSassos, it would be centerpieces and other details falling, probably literally, into my lap while I was also pregnant with a book, due only a week before the bat mitzvah. In the end, we went with one of G., the uninhibitedly creative party impresario who was happily demonstrating when our paths crossed that long-ago summer night in 1992. Two decades later, our sons are in the same class at three restaurants, one of which includes for the Performing Arts. It helps that my daughters date at Temple Israel is at the very beginning of the school year, and just before the arts season truly kicks off. We dont have to compete with Bartons roster of one-wo/ man shows for the use of Prelude at the to take over Bacardi USAs Bombay Sapphire Lounge space. The hotels in the immediate area mere blocks away include the has just been renovated to the tune of $38 million. Its still considered the slow summer season, so prices are almost laughably low for our weekend guests. Biscayne and 20th Street just for us, so we could host the Oneg Shabbat there in a private room after the Friday service for my incoming relatives. After all, Bourbon-Whipped Sweet Potatoes, truly dreaded, turned out to be a piece of, 305.756.77557242 Biscayne Boulevard 2nd Floor Entrance on 73rd St. Tues. thru Sat. 10:00am 6:00pm (Extended Hours Upon Request) See our 5-Star Reviews on http://www.yelp.com/biz/anastasia-molchanov-salon-miami Available in Custom Colors Tape-Ins, Fusion & Lock Methods Also Available in Clip-Ins Silky-Soft, Never Tangles Reuseable Up To One Year Excellent PricingTM GENERAL CONTRACTOR PAINTING CONTRACTOR HANDYMAN DIVISION Interior & Exterior Residential & Commercial Buildouts and Renovations Churches & Luxury Homes Licensed & Insured305.751.4447215 NE 97th St., Miami Shores 33138 www.fabinteriorexterior .com LIC# GCG1506675 CC00BS00302 Wed already seen some of the artistic cake designs of Shores-based Enchanting tical that cakes that looked so funky and appealing would be edible. Im delighted to have been proved wrong. one we had to go to, as it turned out amoros, a native Venezuelan who trained as an artist and who has been living in the Shores since she was ten, welcomed us by appointment into her green-andpink village storefront. There she served us coffee, along with the three-to-four to-three icings, done as cupcakes (which, incidentally, you can also order). While we were debating the moistbutter cream complements that type of cake, she calmly explained layers and serving sizes. She estimates the cut of her slices, she says, at three times that of other bakers. Almost on that alone, I was sold. Not to mention that the customized sketches she has produced for my daughter echoed her invitation and theme beautifully, and tastefully. In the end, weve kept the party addresses so tightly localized, my parents and siblings arent even renting cars and I can sprint over to Temple Israel for rehearsals more easily from my classBoulevard and 39th Street than I can There are other advantages, too, which will be especially helpful in case of trouble. Well be dashing home between services and parties to walk the dogs and feed the cats (and, in my case, hide for a few minutes when I need time to breathe). If one of my guests loses her lugpie and the only ones who wont are or Lori Lester for custom cocktail attire and Rebel for a pair of designer stilettos. And if the entertainment doesnt are going to very quickly realize a new Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


58 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGEDid You Just Say Bovine?A series of unfortunate events leads to the oral surgeons chair and a very strange conversation involving a cowBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorHoney, Im home! No, really I am. Which reminds me I need to get a Miami drivers license. This is a very good thing for two reasons: 1) My MUFT (Merciless Un-Frozen Tundra) of Binghamton, New York, license is an embarrassment deserving of a spot in drivers license photographic hell. The thing is rivaled only by Nick Noltes infamous mug shot. And 2) every time I take that piece of plastic out of my purse, pocket, or bra, I am reminded of the fact that I once lived there. Shudder. No more! Bye-bye killer skies of indif ferent shades of blah. Uggs? Snow boots? eBay! Debilitating allergies causing rivers of phlegm, demon red and itchy eyes, and stage right. Horseshoes? That MUFT-y summer pastime from that cursed region three hours northwest of New York City? I hate horseshoes! The privilege of calling my hometown my current and hopefully permanent town did not come easy or cheap for anyone involved. My stays at the haunted Brickell cotel (condo-hotel) were monthly trips from the MUFT to Miami that my husband, Jeremy (a.k.a. Angry J.), endured. The job market here pretty much sucked and continues to suck even worse than the national one. Yet somehow Angry J. managed to score a decent job in Miami. The chances of that occurring were about as good as, to borrow an old clich, winning the lottery. Or to borrow another one, getting hit by lightning. Actually, that is not that unlikely in Miami. We take our drama in any form we can get it. So the fact that Angry J. actually scored a job down here, thereby negating my yearly Trek of Doom back to the MUFT, which always led to suicidal tendencies, is, as far as Im concerned, an act of God. Thats right. Just like it says on the life insurance policies. After all, it makes sense. God is the one in charge of life and death, right? And since I was always hanging on the edge of death in the MUFT, in the form of driv ing into a river or using my body cocktails, I have deduced (since Im a BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith


semi-narcissist) that this means God no longer hates me! I mean, Angry J. garnering employ ment down here couldnt possibly have anything to do with Angry J. himself, his skills, or job-interviewing abilities, could it? Maybe. But the odds were stacked way against him. Stacked against us. Big stacks. Stacked like a pyramid of Double Stuf Oreo cookies perched on the highest counter, while a desperate, carb-starved Dachshund looks on longingly. (Hint: The dog is a symbol of me.) Add to that the fact that Angry J. doesnt care where he lives, and you are left with only me! It really is all about me! (Just as I always suspected.) So yeah. God no longer hates me. This is very exciting news! I can work this! But not so fast. Owing to recent events, I have decided that, while God may no longer decent-size grudge. See, while Angry J. may have gained employment here, our for three months. You know, the typical corporate makes-no-sense-so-it-mustmean-they-make-money-on-it move: the three-month long probationary period. Naturally, we lost our insurance For example, as I type this column, sitting on the toilet (dont judge), my left wrist is in a brace and it is not happy with me right now. In fact, it hurts. A lot. As luck would have it (or not) my wrist started hurting just as we witnessed the away. Coincidence? I think not! Warning: Insertion of requisite Judy Blume reference up next. Hello, God? Its me, Wendy. Um Why? The wrist started aching at the base. Then the shooting pain up my arm started, only to be closely followed by Well, I thought to myself, this blows, but Ill just call the Oh. Ill be calling nobody because I have joined the ranks of the uninsured. Oh, tingle, tingle, little star. For a mere $1000 per month I could elect to continue my health insurance via Cobra. Ouch. Anyway, whats important to note is that I blame Granny, my 17-year-old, curmudgeonly cocker spaniel. Granny prefers to do her business immediately and then go back to sleep. So whenever I encouraged walking, she would haunch down, mid-walk, jarring my wrist. Of course, I also blame God. For holding a grudge. And then there is my mouth. Always problematic for one reason or another, this time my right bottom rear molar needs to be pulled. By an oral surgeon. I determined this after going to my dentist, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Steve Martin. The oral surgeon doesnt resemble anybody, except the Prince of Darkness, as that is what he is going to plunge me into when he puts me into deep sedation. Hello, God. Its me, Wendy. Um WTF? Arguably worse than being temporarily faux killed is paying for it. Without insurance. But there is something even worse than that: What they use to get the job in this case, a bone graft done. Dr. Probably Death: Blah, blah, so then we take a bovine blah, blah Me: Stop! Did you just say bovine? Dr. Probably Death: Yes. Me: As in cow? Dr. Probably Death: Yes. We use cow bone for the bone graft. Me (wide-eyed): But what if you are vegan? Dr. Probably Death: Well then we What? Whats that? Me: Look, vegans have nothing to do with animal consumption. They dont even eat honey. There can be no cow bone in their mouths! I mean, do you know how the cow was killed? Was it done humanely? Dr. Probably Death (studying me carefully): Im sure the cow was killed in a humane way, probably for medical experimentation at a college, and then all parts utilized and eaten. Me: Medical experimentation? No, no, no! And how do you know for sure that it was treated humanely? Dr. Probably Death (following a pause): Okay, we can use human bone. Me: What? Thats even worse. What if the person was a jerk? I dont need any more bad-mouth mojo. Dr. Probably Death: (Speechless.) Nurse: (Hand over mouth. Poor attempt at concealing laughter.) Me: Hello, God. Its me. Mooo! Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com A New Aveda Concept Salonwww.SevenSeasSpaSalon.com Receive...30 Minute Massage 30 Minute Facial Maninicure and Pedicure Complimentary Valet Complimentary Champagne Access to Tiki Hut on the beachALL forDAY Mon-Thurs 16701 Collins AvenueLocated at the Sunny Isles Beach inside the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort


60 Culture: THE ARTSBig Ideas in Little HavanaThe dynamic duo behind 6th Street Container can draw a crowd By Anne Tschida BT ContributorOn this Friday evening in July, after a long, dry spring and early summer, the skies opened up dramatically and unexpectedly, with the kind of torrential rain that keeps most rational people home. Not a good omen for the opening night of an art exhibition. It could be especially challenging for a small, off-the-beatenpath gallery such the 6th Street Container, in Little Havana, far away from Wynwood and not even on Calle Ocho. And indeed the ing, with street drains clogged and parking tricky in the best of weather. But there inside the narrow, elongated space, at the back of a building accessed through an alley, a crowd had persevered to see marlene marlene, the latest exhibition at the alternative gallery that opened a year ago. Why such determination? The 6th Street Container might Miamis art scene has become increas ingly commercialized, and focused myopically on young talent. Part of the galleys mission is to exhibit the work of established local, national, and inter national artists, artists who have been forgotten by the mainstream. It may not be a coincidence that on the other side of town, off of 125th Street, the Bridge Red alternative space has also opened its doors with a simiKnight Arts Challenge grant to bring higher visibility to later-career artists. But 6th Street is also a hybrid. This evenings exhibit featured two women, both named Marlene: one is a young video artist, Marlene Lopez; the other is a more established photographer, Marlene de Lazaro. The latter artist likely knows that the location of 6th Street Container has a history that gives it special alt cred, which could be an additional part of the appeal. Lazaro was once part of Surreal Saturday, an avant-garde performance and art evening that used to take place on weekends at PS 742, on SW 6th Street. It was just one of the funky happenings centered here a decade ago. And Adalberto Delgado was in the middle of it all. Delgado, the owner and director of the 6th Street Container, along with his arrive at the corner of 6th and 12th, as it became known, to open his gallery 6G Art Space, which showed artists well known on the scene today, such as Lynne Gelfman and Gavin Perry. Delgado added rumba to his Friday nights, and Rumba on 6 turned into an unprecedented jam session for Miami. While this part of Little Havana is densely urban and STAYCATION STAY CLOSEwww.AscotTeakMiami.com Photos courtesy of 6th Street Container


people, churches, and walk-up cafecito windows. Very much unlike Wynwood. These evenings morphed into happenings in themselves, organically grown. But the scene changed, and moved on. Delgado decided to concentrate on his rumba alone, forming his own group. Its the most instant form of music. After a life-changing health crisis, however, he returned to the tography at the University of South Florida), and took a studio space back at his old haunt on SW 6th Street. Although the art scene had grown decade of the new millennium, he saw that it was becoming a wealth of exposure for a limited few. He wanted to expand that exposure and exhibit his friends. The strangely shaped space below his studio, which resembled a shipping container, piqued his interest, and he decided to enter the gallery world again. In the summer of 2010, he and Amores picked out nine artist friends who worked in nontraditional media such as video and sound, called it Nine on and old packed the place. Basnueva, Elisabeth Condon, Robert show all artists that Delgado thinks deserve much wider visibility than they had received. This past March, 6th Street featured a solo show from another longestablished artist, Tom Schmitt, which again attracted a crowd that was hungry for substance and dialogue. Although the gallery space is irregular, with beams that interrupt sur faces (and give it that container look), it makes for some innovative ways to display for instance, using the ceiling. And there is a courtyard, which Delgado will be using as a live-music space. He explains that he wants to create a destination center once again, where people come not just to see art and then leave, but to interact and stick around for a broader experience. Which can include an experimental experience. During Art Basel Miami Beach last year, he and Amores came up with a Dumpster Art competition, which they hope to do every year. Sponsored by the tion calls for artists to transform dumpsters into works of art, which are then placed around Wynwood during the fair, The winning dumpster last year, says Delgado with a grin, was stolen after two days. In response, the winning artistic duo of Cat Dove and Kyle Chapman returned to 6th Street Container for the May show gado of these still-emerging artists and their quirky output. looking down at the packed space from Delgados studio up the staircase, he ex nights, maybe dinner-and-conversation evenings. He clearly loves the neighbor get to know it, although he acknowledges it may soon be changing, this time for real. The development is moving west, from Brickell, from downtown, and with It wont look like this forever. But on this night, the video pieces from Marlene the archway above a beam. Then the rain started to seep in, and the director darted off to plug the leaks, mainly under the door, while intrepid smokers and talkers remained under um brellas out in the courtyard, in the down marlene marlene runs through August Honduran artist Alma Leiva, opening on August 19, 1155 SW 6th St., Little Havana BT photo by Silvia Ros


62 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Call gallery for exhibition information 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through August 31: The Pulse of Nature and Vanities by Debra Holt 2630 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through August 6: Tridimensional with Soledad Arias, Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt, Marta Chilindron, Juan Raul Hoyos, Silvana Lacarra, Artur Lescher, Karina Peisajovich, David E. Peterson, and Ana Tiscornia 750 NE 124th St., North Miami 305-975-6933 www.alonsored.com Call gallery for exhibition information 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www .artfusiongallery.com Through September 21: Art of Engagement with various artists 2215 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-237-3559 http://artseenspace.wordpress.com/ Call gallery for exhibition information 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 August 12 through August 26: A Mid Summer Nights Dream with various artists Steady on Stilts by Enrique Sendra Sketchy Miami Party with various artists 180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com Through August 31: Greenhouse with Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Jimmy Fike, Nancy Friedemann, Enrique Gomez de Molina, Juan Griego, Courtney Johnson, Cal Lane, Holly Lynton, Carsten Meier, Mark Messersmith, Carol Prusa, Karen Rifas, Gina Ruggeri, Lisa Switalski, Alex Trimino, Joe Waters, and Valeria Yamamoto 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com July 8 through August 27: Twenty Eighty by Jorge Chirinos Sanchez 100 NE 38th St., Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Ongoing: Group Show with H-Allen Benowitz, Franois Gracia, Clarice de Souza, David Tupper, Sharon Dash, and Hector Maldonado 180 NE 39th St., Miami www .collectiveinventory.com Call for exhibition information 2301-2303 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-303-6254 www.buttergallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www .susannacaldwell.com Ongoing: Seductive Assemblages and Wood Sculpture by Susanna Caldwell 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Call gallery for exhibition information 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Group Show with various artist from Argentina and Mexico 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www.visual.org Call gallery for exhibition information 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411 www.charest-weinberg.com Through August 20: Contact by Sheree Hovsepian 71 E. Flagler St., Miami 305-741-0058 www.christophermirogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2200 Biscayne Blvd.Miami 305-438-9006 www.cityloftart.com Closed for relocation until October 1 787 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-308-6561 www.chirinossanchez.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2509 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-357-0568 www.curatorsvoiceartprojects.com Through September 10: All About Me by Rosario Bond Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through August 6: Autumn Casey, Domingo Castillo, Alissa Christine, Ivan Toth Depena, Orlando Estrada, Daniel Gorostiaga, Peter Hammer, Patricia Margarita Hernandez, Freddy Jouwayed, Herman Felipe Kaizedo, Colby Katz, Juan Kurtzman-Gonzalez, Johnny Laderer, Felipe Lagos, Lucas Leyva, Oliver Loaiza, Christiaan Lopez-Miro, Jean Paul Mallozzi, Ruben Millares, Hugo Moro, Raul Perdomo, Carlos Rigau, Johnny Robles, Misael Soto, Carmen Tiffany, Antonia Wright 2043 N. Miami A ve., Miami 305-576-1804 Call gallery for exhibition information 3938 NE 39th St., Miami 305-536-7801 www.diasporavibevirtualgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net Through August 27: Absenteeism by Magnus Sigurdarson 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through August 20: Animals Are Outside Today by Colleen Plumb 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 51 NW 36th St., Miami I Wish Your Wish Hypnosis is powerful because it directly accesses the subconscious mind and reprograms it just as you would a computer. The good news is it takes only one or two sessions to reverse any limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Its as easy as that!USING HYPNOSIS, YOU CAN:ll Your Potential dence Eliminate Sexual Performance Anxiety rice h t




64 231 1 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184; www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes 2219 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-573-2900 www.praxis-art.com Through August 13: Home: Dream Home with Troy Abbott, Nicholas Arehart, Loriel Beltran, BooksIIII Bischof, Brian Burkhardt, Teresa Diehl, Natasha Duwin, Brian Gefen, Enrique Gomez de Molina, Guerra de la Paz, Graham Hudson, Jessica Laino, Michael Loveland, Elena Lopez-Trigo, Emmett Moore, Gean Moreno, Paul Myoda, Laz Ojalde, Ernesto Oroza, Jos Felix Perez, Gavin Perry, Bert Rodriguez, David Rohn, Moises Sanabria, Kristen Thiele, Mette Tommerup, Kyle Trowbridge, TYPOE, Tatiana Vahan, Dan Walker, Agustina Woodgate, and Daniel Young 4141 NE 2nd St., Suite 104 www .primaryprojectspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information 2136 NW 1st Ave., Miami 305-600-4785 www.sohostudiosmiami.com Call gallery for exhibition information 155 NE 38th St., Miami 786-271-4223; www.spinellogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 162 NE 50th Ter., Miami 305-992-7652 www.myspace.com/stashgallery Call gallery for exhibition information 3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami http://swampstyle.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: First Lady Fantasy & Neon Art by David Mayberry 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through August 6: Corrosion by Rodolfo Vanmarcke Through August 6: War By Children by P.J. Lazo 2200 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-284-2542 Call gallery for exhibition information 3322 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-776-1515 www.whitevinylspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information 201 NE 39th St., Miami 305-576-6960 Call gallery for exhibition information 250 NW 23rd St., Unit 306, Miami 954-235-4758 www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through August 21: GGG Presents the Pop Up with Hugo Moro, David Lerio, Damian Sarno, Natasha Duwin, Venessa Monokian, Nina Surel, Adriana Carvalho, and Augustina Woodgate 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through October 16: At the Same Time (Al Mismo Tempo) by Sandra Gamarra 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org Call gallery for exhibition information 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-61 12 www.delacruzcollection.org August 13 through October 8: The Family of Man by George Sanchez-Calderon 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through August 14: Rise of an Empire: Scenes of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 with various artists, and Tribute to Japanese Splendor: The Art of the Temari by Sharon Temari Through August 21: South Florida Cultural Consortium Exhibition with Cooper, Michael Genovese, Francis Bishop Good, Nolan Haan, Sibel Kocabasi, Beatriz Monteavaro, Glexis Novoa, Jonathan Rockford, Bert Rodriguez, FriendsWithYou, TM Sisters, and Tonietta Walters Through September 11: East/West: Visually Speaking with Cai Lei, the Luo Brothers, Ma Baozhong, Cang Xin, Shen JingDong, Shi Liang, Sun Ping, Tang Zhigang, Zhang Hongtu, and Zhong Biao Through September 18: Whos Counting and Temporal State of Being with David Hodge and Hi-Jin Hodge Through October 31: From Old to New with various artists 1301 Stanford Dr ., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through October 23: Sacred Stories, Timeless Tales: Mythic Perspectives in World Art from the Permanent Collection with various artists Through April 22, 2012: Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art with various artists Ongoing: Frank Paulin: An American Documentarian by Frank Paulin 101 W Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000 www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection Through August 28: Anchor Gallery by Mark Dion Through October 16: A Day Like Any Other by Rivane Neuenschwander 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 www .mocanomi.org August 27: Through September 4: Any Ever by Ryan Trecartin 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www .margulieswarehouse.com Collection closed until November 10 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 www .rubellfamilycollection.com Through August 26: How Soon Now with Cecily Brown, Thea Djordjadze, Huan Yong Ping, Matthew Day Jackson, Analia Saban, Ryan Trecartin, Kaari Upson, and David Wojnarowicz, and Time Capsule, Age 13 to 21: The Contemporary Art Collection of Jason Rubell with George Condo, Robert Gober, Andreas Gursky, Keith Haring, Cady Noland, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, and more Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908; www .worldclassboxing.org Call for exhibition information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com The Family of Man


Moonlight AdventureForget that glaring sun. Now is the time to experience the much cooler and calmer moon. And this month, on Saturday, August 13 the moon will be full, so no better time to kayak underneath it through Bear Cut Preserve and offshore Key Biscayne. In fact its a perfect time. But it is still hot and buggy, so bring water and spray and, as the Crandon Park Sunset and Moonlight Kayak Adventure does indeed start at sunset, maybe some sunscreen or a hat. One requirement: closed-toe shoes. Cost is $40. Meet at the Crandon Park Visitors and Nature Center, 6767 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne, at 6:30 p.m. For reservations call 305-365-3018.Category 5 Fun Its called Family Fun Day but the topic this month at HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St., Miami) on Saturday, August 13 might not strike everyone as fun: Trouble in the Tropics: Here Come the Hurricanes. Yet it behooves everyone to be prepared, and lets be honest, storm stories can be riveting. Eco-historian Frank Schena will combine the need-toknow information with tales of some of the most infamous hurricanes in history. Hurricanes are a part of life in Florida, and the more we know about them the better. Family Fun Day, which starts at noon and goes to 5:00 p.m., is free. For more info, call 305-375-1492 or go to www.historymiami.org.Huge Happening in Little HaitiBig Night in Little Haiti which launched last winter and takes place on every third Friday of the month, has already turned into a big deal. Revolving around the handsome Little Haiti Cultural Center (212-260 NE 59th Terr., Miami), the music, art, and culture night has become a huge draw, and rightly so. Stores and studios leave their doors open, food is abundant, and seriously good live acts can be heard. This Friday, August 19 should be no exception. The Montreal-based jazz saxophonist Jowee Omicil, who is of Haitian descent, will take center stage. Hes become an underground sensation, playing with the likes of Branford Marsalis and Wyclef Jean. The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m., although some venues stay open later. Go to www.bignightlittlehaiti.com.Me Tarzan, You SweatAn obstacle race in the middle of a Miami summer. Insane or part of the point? For the Tarzans Cup Race its part of the point. Tarzans Cup holds heat races, of 5K and 10K distances, in various parks in Miami-Dade from May through September. This month its being held at Oleta State Park (3400 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach) on Saturday, August 20 Itll be a 5K course. Start times are 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00 a.m. Through mangrove jungles and swamps, may the best Tarzan or go to www.tarzanscup.com.Dont You Forget About MeThe Breakfast Club set the tone not just for Generation X (before we were called that), but for Hollywood for years to come. It introduced the Brat Pack, 80s hairstyles, lip gloss, and songs we still like to crank when were in the car. And its back. On Thursday, August 25 the John Hughes hit is rekindled as part of the Flickin Summer Movies at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St., Miami). The screening is at 7:00 p.m., but there is a happy hour starting at 6:00. Come on, Judd Nelsons John Bender dares you to come early and dress the part! Tickets are $10. For more info visit www.gusmancenter.org.An Eyeful at MOCAOne of deep summers most anticipated cultural events is the longrunning Optic Nerve Film Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 125th St., North Miami). The festi val, to be held this year on Saturday, August 27 with two screenings at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m., is always fully booked, with reservations now mandatory to get a seat. The juried experimental fest has been a springboard for many local artists, as the winning entry is purchased for the museums permanent collection. Call 305-893-6211.Judaism in the TropicsAs its name implies, the Guava Rugelach Festival highlights and celebrates Jewish traditions and music. The guava is tropical, like Miami, and references the heritage of Sephardic Judaism, from North Africa, the Middle East, Spain, and eventually Cuba. In its fourth incarnation, hosted by Next@19th, and taking place on the campus of Temple Israel (137 NE 19th St., Miami), Guava Rugelach will feature an eclectic group of international performers on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, Septem ber 4 Film, music, and much more. Get details by calling 305-542-7732 or visiting www.nextat19th.org. Compiled by BT contributor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDARFree Flicks at Franks PlaceWhile the main draw to the spectacular Frank Gehry-designed New World Center (500 17th St., Miami Beach) is classical music, this amazing new cultural hub has some other things going for it. For instance, throughout August on Wednesday nights, the huge out door wall will be given over to screening such blockbuster hits as get ready Spider-Man on Wednesday, August 10 and Back to the Future on Wednesday, August 17 Its part of what is called the Soundscape Cinema Series@ExoStage and its intended to help introduce the public to the center, and to just get the public out. Sponsored by the Arts in the Park program of the City of Miami Beach, the shows start at 8:30 p.m. Paradise Rediscovered The rest of the nation may have expe rienced the intense heat and humidity of Miami this summer thanks to the heat dome, but they will never enjoy the incredible tropical vegetation that can sprout up here. Which is reason enough for us locals to take advantage of the Free Days at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables), every Sunday this month, starting on Sunday, August 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fairchilds 83 acres include serene lakes, winding paths, carefully cultivated botanical specimens, along with all those orchids, fruit trees, and palms. If nature itself isnt enough, free Sundays will also host live music, yoga classes, and a sale of plants par ticularly suited to South Florida. Go to www.fairchildgarden.org for details. BT photo by Silvia RosReel BrazilBrazils World Cup soccer teams havent made it to the top lately but almost the country is dominating much of the Western hemisphere. So what will the 15th annual Brazilian Film Festival unveil? Another Central Station or City of God ? A likely hit will be the recent Soulbound about a 20-year-old man fueled by his guitar, poetry, and alcohol. The festival starts on Friday, August 19 and runs through Saturday, August 27 Rd., Miami Beach), but the tribute screenings will be held at the new home of the Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). For more info,


66 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatNorth Miami Fire Sale125th Street and N. Miami Avenue One would hope that in case of crisis, neighbors would be kind enough to help one another. A fire occurred at a residence and the owners were removing what they could salvage from the home and placed those items on the front porch, behind an iron gate. After the fire was subdued, a U-Haul pulled up. The driver and passenger of that U-Haul pried open the gate and began, according to the victims brother, loading their truck with those items. They then drove off. Unfortunately, the brother missed the plate number and could not get a good description of the vultures.Sanitized Police Report11900 Block of N. Bayshore Drive A family watched a video on the mothers cell phone and heard a loud knock on the door. The mother, leaving the door chain on, opened the door, and a seemingly drunken man began to try to kick in the struggled to get the door closed but the man kept banging. Police were called and they found the shirtless man roaming the hallways. They told him he was under arrest, to which he responded, Youre just white. Once inside the police vehicle, he consistently used profanity at police. The being called numerous vulgar names, which included the name which describes the male sex organ by the suspect. Thanks to the NMPD for their discretion. This is, after all, a family publication. A Stand-up Guy?12300 Block of NE 6th Avenue We like it when people take responsibility for their actions. In this case, a perpetrator stole copper wire from the roof of a business. Police observed him in the act. The 57-year-old-male, only a I dont care, no big deal. Ill do the time. Its only wire. Police promptly arrested him. The value of the wire was $15. While we cant condone thievery, we do admire the perpetrators forthrightness when cornered. Two-Legged Vermin900 block of NE 82nd Street Once again though it has not happened for a while we have a fumigation robbery incident. This home was tented to get rid of those pesky critters, but it invited another type of critter criminal sleaze. The crooks cut the tent open and, despite the hazardous fumes, managed to break into the residence. There are no witnesses. Guess we just need to accept those palmetto bugs and termites. Either that, or come up with a way to tent the crooks.Safe Sex on the Cheap200 Block of NE 51st Street The ex-boyfriend of the victim came by and wanted to talk to her about his Compiled by Derek McCann PROUDLY ANNOUNCINGWheres The Doc?An iPhone app and web service to find doctors, review doctors, and communicate with your doctor. Coming soon! www.WheresTheDoc.com


current squeeze. Apparently he was having problems. The conversation became very strange and the victim repeatedly asked the ex to leave. He refused and said, Call the police. He remarked that he needed to have his condoms back. He then locked himself in the bathroom. The victim heard him rummaging through the vanity closet. A short time later he came out of the bath room and entered the victims bedroom and searched her drawers: Im looking for my condoms. He found the victims house and car keys and promptly left the home. To our knowledge he never found those condoms. At press time police have been unsuccessful in locating him. We suggest Pleasure Emporium, but that might be a miss as well, since he seems to be too cheap to spring for new condoms.He Said His Name Was Peter Parker1600 Block of N. Bayshore Drive After dropping off a passenger from Miami Beach, a cabdriver asked for his fare. The passenger refused and jumped out of his vehicle and ran toward the Marriott, where he was staying. He ran through a unit (not his), followed by police, went onto the balcony, and jumped to the balcony below. He entered that unit but found it occupied, so he jumped to the balcony below. That unit occupied as well so he then you guessed it jumped again and found an unoccupied unit, where he was able to escape. Searches done immediately after the incident yielded no results, although one bystander was heard to say that the guy looked like a spider man or something. We cant wait for the sequel.Billfold Blues55th Street and NE 2nd Avenue Victim got out of his car in the parking lot and began to change his clothes before entering the bar down the street. He placed his wallet on top of an adjacent car as he changed. He then walked away after dressing and realized he had forgotten his wallet. A suspicious male was near the car when he returned. Not seeing his wallet, victim questioned the male and the male offered to help him look for it. It never turned up. Remember: After a few drinks, youre not going to care how youre dressed and neither will the bar so long as you have your wallet.Heat Are Losers Again601 Biscayne Blvd. breaking the hearts of many Miamians. To show loyalty, lots of fans still display their Heat gear, but what about biting the hand of those you root for? Someone we assume a Heat fan stole a banner from the exterior of American Airlines Arena. Perhaps we should be grateful that we have at least one team whose give Marlins stuff away.) There are no witnesses to this early-morning crime.Laws of Mutual Attraction Violated30 NE 11th St. Those big, scary, stoic guys who hover over you at the clubs should be a reassurance that all is okay and your safety is guaranteed. Not in this case. A group of bouncers, according to the victim, had insisted that he buy drinks for a group of guys who were trying to talk to him. It is unclear if the men were hitting on him or if the bouncers were trying to play matchmaker. The victim refused, so the bouncers threw him down the stairs and shoved him outside, where he was beaten by lowlife criminals er, we mean the bouncers. There has to be a kinder, genA Case for the Fashion Police?NE 8th Street and N. Miami Avenue A Russian tourist visiting from Brook lyn was stopped on the street by a man who had just gotten out of the passenger side of a vehicle. The man demanded the victims wallet and, when the victim refused, grabbed the victims pants. The ensuing struggle resulted in the victims pants being ripped off. In his under wear, the victim continued to struggle with the attacker and the two exchanged punches. In an effort to hold him, the victim grabbed the attackers shirt, but the human slug slithered out of his shirt and ran back to the waiting vehicle. Picture the crime scene: pair of pants over here, shirt over there, and a tourist standing around in his tighty-whities. There are eight million stories in the naked city. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


68 Columnists: PARK PATROLCall of the Wild Highland Oaks Parks natural charm beckons visitors to stroll just watch out for the crocodilesBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWe know Aventura Mall is frequented by a diverse population: elderly power walkers getting in their morning exercise before the stores even open, Latin American tourists on designer-jeanand-jewelry shopping sprees, technology geeks lined up three-deep at the Apple Store, the business-lunch crowd at the signature eateries, the teenagers with nothing but time to kill, and the occasional celebrity. (I once saw George Hamilton drink an Arnold Palmer at Bella Luna. I think that counts.) But who would have thought that crocs ventured so close to South Floridas retail paradise? Not just the rubbery shoes, but the actual endangered crocodile has earned an Aviso warning sign in Highland Oaks Park on 203rd Street, only a few blocks from the mall. Just last month, an eight-foot alligator was spotted in the same area, which makes it seem that dinosaurs of both the reptilian and human variety are cohabitating in this retirement Mecca. (Though they have different means of grabbing the early-bird. No corner booths required for the crocs and gators.) The possibility of a passing crocodilian adds a dash of danger to the otherwise sedate, upscale neighborhood that surrounds the park. But dont be afraid to have your own adventure in Highland Oaks Park. While it has a wild side, most of the park serves up a civilized mixture of open vistas and concrete pathways that cover a few blocks. Operated by Miami-Dade County, the park offers green space next to the public Highland Oaks middle and elementary schools. The schools may have tennis and basketball courts, but the park has a nifty playground, baseball diamond, and large kids during the school year. (Enjoy it now before the kids return to school and compete with the reptiles for dominance!) Essentially the park is a two-for-one deal, with half of it serving as a nature preserve and the other half offering civilized zones for activities. The neighborhood gets full access because of entrances on every side, and some lucky homeowners get the park as a second backyard. For adults, the parks main attraction is a trail that winds around a scenic lake (and away from the schools). Beyond the main lake, portions of the trail cut through a jungle of tropical trees that gives a temporary sensation of being deep inside an Everglades hammock. This area may be where the wild things are, but no respectable crocodile or alligator would remain in this oasis when larger bodies of water can be found south of here. A tributary of the Oleta River extends north into the park, but midway through, it loses its natural, winding course, passes through an industrial lock, and becomes a straight and narrow canal. not allowed for humans, you will see some birds doing both. Resident wildlife includes large brown ducks and honking geese that congregate along the canal. A tin pan under a tree indicates that they are being fed, and they do not behave skittishly when approached. They have it made in the shade. So do the rest of us. Great shade can be found under the parks huge banyan benches under them beckon you to meditate. Or eat. Other noteworthy trees are the pond apples scattered throughout the park. Their fruit resembles a mango in shape and turns yellow when ripe. They are common in Everglades National Park areas. They like it wet. The parks mature trees are impressive, and newer ones have even earned an award. Last year, the Florida Native Plant Society recognized a professional ecosystem restoration in the park. Completed in 2006 by Coastal Systems, the Highland Oaks Mitigation Project restored 3.2 acres of wetlands and native plants as compensation for a private development. The growth is so thick as to be inaccessible to the casual visitor. But it means a lot to the Leaving the wetlands and the lakes ent kind of sanctuary. A plaque on the baseball diamond states: In Memory of a Dear Friend May His Dreams Come to Life on this Field. Current human activity revolves buildings close to 203rd Street. The resident Brazilian Soccer Training Center, led by former professional player Joao year and for all ages. Check out its Pee HIGHLAND OAKS PARK20300 NE 24th Ave. 305-932-2164 Hours: Sunrise to sunset Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: Yes Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No Yes Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No YesPark Rating 20300 NE 24th Ave. 305-932-2164 Tennis courts: BT photos by Jim W. Harper HIGHLAND OAKS PARKIves Dairy RdNE 26th Ave NE 209th Terr NE 206th Terr


Wee League on YouTube. Baseball leagues take advantage of a Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com AfterSchool @ The PlayGround Saturday @ The PlayGroundWhen schools out The PlayGround is in!!! Session 1: August 23 October 1, 2011 Cost Fee: $120/per session or $25/per class To register or for more information: 305-751-9550 www.theplaygroundtheatre.com Class ScheduleTuesday4:30pm Ages 6Wednesday4:30pm Ages 9Thursday4:30pm Ages 6Friday 4:30pm Ages 9Saturday10:30ampm Ages 12 9806 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Shores, FL 33138 Stephanie Ansin, Artistic Director


70 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETS TT he Price of Puppy LL ov eFinding just the right dog may mean a greater investment of time not necessarily moneyBy Lisa Hartman BT ContributorHow much is that doggie in the window? The singer of that song was seeking a puppy the one with the waggly tale to accompany her beau to California, and she was willing to shell out for it. It was a big hit for Patti Page in the 1950s (and has now been introduced to a new generation courtesy of the BioShock Xbox game). Unfortunately, the lesson stuck: The cost or price of an animal is still one of the peoples minds when procuring a pet. Another reason why people choose one dog over another is looks. A cute shed is the other top factor in their decision-making process. So then what should a person look for? Listed below are items to consider when choosing your next pet. An animal that may share your home for 15 years or more. A member of the family. For starters, price does not sive dogs are probably the little ones labeled teacups. This is not an actual term in the canine world of showing dogs. Rather it is a term developed for marketing and selling dogs to people who want the latest fad or a minuscule animal they can tote around. I know many people who have paid in excess of blank, the list keeps growing). Teacups, too-tiny dogs, dogs in colors youve never seen before, and the like are usually the product of unscrupulous pet stores and breeders. They are breeding to make money and produce what they believe people will buy, not a palace, they pay rent for the store and therefore always need a constant supply of puppies to keep business going. The only way to do this is to be supplied by a mill or mass production. Most overly expensive dogs are bought from stores Quality breeders would never allow their puppies to be sold off by a second party such as a store. Caring breeders do not breed for money, but rather the betterment of the breed they love. The dogs stay with them until they are bought by the right home, one that is a suitable match for the dog. Furthermore, socialization is paramount to good breeders, and they would not want their pups to be stuck in a store during the most critical socialization stage of a dogs life. A dog less than a dog from a store. ing and keeping a dog is one of the last considerations on my checklist when looking to add a canine to my family. Paying an exorbitant amount of money for a dog or something deemed designer (a marketing term for mutt) doesnt mean the dog comes house-trained or possesses magical powers and will be the perfect pet. Papers are no guarantee of this, either. As Ive written in previous columns, papers given to you by for house-training your new puppy. The best dog for you is the one you are willing to work with. A puppy is a puppy is a puppy, and your dog and you will need to attend puppy school as soon as possible to provide him with socializing and the skills necessary to live in your world. You need to be involved in his rearing to be sure you know how to give clear direction and to strengthen the relationship between you. Save your money for positive training lessons, then more advanced positive training lessons as the dog matures. Dont spend it on the price of the dog or a fancy dog bed. Great dogs are made, not born. If you are not willing to work with your puppy daily or if you work an eight-hour-plus day and need to leave the dog alone for hours on end, do not get a puppy. You do not have the time or ability to raise one properly. Pick up Dont just fall in love with your friends perfect dog and seek to get one. Find out about their needs, and then expect the unexpected.


a nice, well-adjusted adult dog from a local shelter, one that will be happy with a daily walk through the neighborhood and hanging around the house with you on weekends. The time you have available is probably the most critical component in choosing a dog time to train and raise it, time to exercise it, and just as important, time to play with it. You must also have the time to work on issues that may arise, and the dedication to do whats necessary to resolve them. Do your research. Dont just fall in love with your friends perfect dog or the cute dog in the store window and then run out to buy one. Learn as much as you can about their needs, if they are good with kids (another important consideration), and then expect the unexpected. I know golden retrievers that dont swim or retrieve, German shepherds that never bark, and Yorkshire terriers that arent feisty or energetic. Apparently they didnt read the breed book on how they are supposed to behave. This is especially true with store-bought dogs that arent bred to retain breed attributes. As with human children, you must be dedicated to working with what you have and doing right by them. In many cases where I work with people who didnt get what they bargained for with an animal, that pet becomes their favorite when they put some effort into it and spend more quality time with it. They certainly give the owners great stories to tell. (Oh, did you know my Rocky retriever is afraid of the water?) So do your research and spend your money, time, and energy on raising and training your dog. And with that, you Lisa Hartman is a dog-friendly trainer, behavior specialist, and author of Dial a Dynamite Dog. You can reach her at lisa@lisathedogtrainer.com, or visit www.pawsitivelypetsonline.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


72 Rooting for the Home TeamForget the league standings heres how our local sports mascots are doing in the real worldBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWith baseball season winding down and football season on the way (after months of negotia tions between owners and players), now is embodies the team spirit and gives the fans know about the animals behind the mas Just when you thought your opinion of South Floridas professional teams Its a good thing these teams dont monly seen around Floridas shores and animals on our list, and efforts from the The Cove shows, dolphins are still harvested for food in Japan and depleted status refers to a subset of Yup, they even swim past downtown, would you let your kids swim around At least dolphins get attention, who, judging by his looks, probably an extensive online biography, but it does He was born in the probably represents the largest of the ( Makaira nigricans featured in Hemingways The Old Man and the Sea marlin were labeled endangered by the as vulnerable, and the striped marlin As for the Florida panther, you Sad story alert (involving kittens, so skip to the next paragraph if youre On the bright side, Florida panthers ing highly treasured animals, have some Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY TT he NN ame Game Figuring out what to call your kid has only gotten tougherBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorMy OBG refused to sign our birth ing to Freakonomics The Baby Name Wizard: A Field Guide to Baby Names she Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


74 Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorRos wines are like action movies. The people love em. The critics, eh not so much. I mean, were all highly evolved sentient beings here, worldly and sophisticated, sensitive and caring, driven by the need to understand the deeper meaning of life and to meditate on both the personal and universal elements of the human condition. And yet its really fun to see stuff blow up. Of course, the interminable mus obsession can be great art. But theyre still not half as much fun as a really great car chase. Three hours of incomprehensible muddling by some frustrated Hollywood auteur may speak hauntingly to the estrangement of our id from our cud or whatever. But when Clint or Bruce or Arnold ride into town and beat the holy shiitake out of the bad guys, thats And so it goes with ros. will grudgingly allow that the ross of Provence are worthy, serious wines, and that a handful of producers in Italy, Spain, and the U.S. turn out ross they wouldnt have to be tortured by rack and thumbscrew and Barry Manilow tunes to imbibe, they pretty much dismiss everything else as so much insipid, characterless pink plonk. That is so wrong. anywhere are hardly Domaine Tempier or Domaine Ott or Billecart-Salmon Brut. But that doesnt mean there arent plenty of affordable, accessible ross that, like a good action movie, are fun, tasty, and well worth spending time with. And they wont leave you buried under a Tell you the truth, I picked up the nonvintage Yellowtail Ros Bubbles as a joke. You know, something to get snarky about, to work over with a verbal two-by-four. After all, Yellowtail wines have about the same cachet with wine nomenon, took already simple, stupid California Chardonnays and made them even simpler and dumber, the oenological equivalent of turning Sarah Palin into Michele Bachmann. But as it turned out, the joke was on me. These pink critter bubbles actually make for a pretty decent wine. You wont or even good California sparklers, but with its clean, bright cherry-strawberry and low (11.5 percent) alcohol, its a would make an awesome base for sparkling sangria. The other surprise of the tasting was the 2010 Sobon Estate ReZerve Its deep, rose-red color in the bottle made me wonder if it was another overwrought California fruit bomb, but it seemed to miraculously lighten up in the glass, and in the mouth it masterfully split the difference between ripe and fruity California and lean, minerally Provence. Its an idiosyncratic blend of Grenache, Syrah, Muscat Hamburg, Viognier, and Petite Syrah, and for ten bucks is a damn good value. In the Provencal style, but a little bigger all the way around is Les Rastellains 2009 Ctes du Rhne A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, it smells of strawberries and peaches and mouth, stiffened by a crisp, lemon-mineral backbone. The Casita Mami 2009 Grenache Ros delivers the classic fruit-earthy red Grlighter touch. Its a little with a shot of ripe strawberryraspberry fruit, then with a balancing shot of minerals and earth, a lot of different foods, but Id like to try pouring it with a good paella. More muscular than that are the 2010 Maipe Malbec Ros from Argentina and the 2010 Nostrada from the Catalan region of Spain. Theres not a lot of the bottle tasting of berries and rose petals rich, ripe, almost cloying, a little cough syrupy yet still manages to come off as dry rather than sweet. Its a good sangria wine and would stand up to burgers and barbecue. The Nostrada, as its name implies, plays on the dark side of ross, with a deep coral-red color, but surprisingly faint fruit aromas. On the palate, its all berry fruit and citrus acidity, as simple and elemental as an action movie. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com EXPERTS rfn rfnt rfb rfn rftn rfnnn rftnWE WILL BEAT ANY ESTIMATE FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATES All Mororized Solar Shades Plus FREE Multi-channel RemoteExpires 9/30/2011. Must present Coupon. SUMMER SHADE SPECIAL20% OFF Motorized Specialist Fast, Fast Service! Ros II s the NN ew S ummer Blockbuster Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less


Warming Up to AroidsThermogenic plants can be a nice addition to the yardBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorNormally when you think of things that can get hot and subject that comes to mind. Who ever heard of a plant getting hot? Many years ago, when I was learning about the aroid family that includes the many species of Philodendron the tasty malanga, and the ubiquitous Pothos ( Epipremnum aureum ), a professor of mine told me to grab the spadix of an aroid and tell him what I noticed. The spadix is actually the spikelike structure, usually white, that holds the grabbing the spadix, I immediately noticed that this plant part was very warm to the touch. This was amazing, and I learned that it was caused by a process known as thermogenesis. Thermogenic plants have the abili ty to raise their temperature above that of the surrounding air. The process, in this particular case, attracts pollinators by volatilizing scents. These distinct odors spread through the air to attract insects that will aid in the pollination same concept for humans with per fume and cologne. The Swiss cheese plant, or Mon stera deliciosa, is one of the most common aroids in our local landscape. It is a very distinctive shadeand humidity-loving plant with large, green, onto the trunks of trees and beyond. It is not an aggressive plant and requires very little maintenance. To propagate it, you can just cut a couple of feet of stem and lay it on a bed of very well broken-down, moist mulch. The photograph with this article shows the fruit of Monstera deliciosa which gives off a sweet pungent odor when it begins to ripen. Im always on the lookout for this delicious fruit. The sweet taste is somewhat like a cross between a ripe pineapple and an overripe banana mashed together. One very important fact to keep in mind when handling any part of an aroid, including its foliage, roots, and fruit, is that they contain a nasty com pound within them minute needlelike structures of calcium oxalate. This can cause some nasty itching on your skin, and worse symptoms if you eat it. (The fruit will ripen gradually with the scales at the tip of the fruit fall to loosen and, once they come off, the sweet edible fruit will be exposed un derneath. Do not eat the scales!) There are about 60 other species of Monstera, including some with very at tractive foliage. ( Monstera deliciosa has the largest foliage of this new world tropi cal genus.) Their slow-growing nature makes them great candidates to plant at the base of a tree, so they can climb up the trunk. There is also a dwarf form of Monstera deliciosa that makes a nice bed plant. Ive used many species of aroids to grow onto the trunks of trees with great results. The slower-growing species may take a few years to cover a trunk, but waiting for some of the Philodendron spe cies is worth it. Many put out new foliage that is pink or red, which contrasts nicely with the rest of the dark green foliage. Some aroids are very aggressive. Pothos, for example, should only be grown in a container, because when it gets a chance to grow up a tree trunk, it will quickly get into the canopy and shade the trees foliage, often causing the tree stress. It can also get very heavy, causing branches to break. I grow it on tree trunks, but when it gets too high, I just cut all of the trunks and roots of the pothos at a certain height and let everything in the canopy die out. Malanga, another aroid, is a starchy potato-like food that many of us eat on a regular basis. The tuberous root of this species of Xanthosoma is what is edible. Like the fruit of the Monstera malanga contains calcium oxalate crystals and must be cooked before it is eaten. There are several distinctive species of malanga that are eaten. The species with which we are most familiar locally is also called elephant ear and is an excellent ornamental when grown either in the ground or in a container. This very tropical plant does need to be kept out of windy spots and prefers moist locations. I have grown Xanthosoma and other similar species to heights reaching 15 feet, with leaves four feet wide. These can be beautiful plants in a garden and do not seem to be as common as they once were. Just remember to be careful of the sap when you cut the leaves off. You do not want to get it on your skin. ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski 305.246.0200rffn tfbrrfrrrfr nrrrftb


76 Brickell / DowntownAcqua 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-381-3190 Four Seasons HotelOriginally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006, resulting in a complete menu renovation. Thailands famed sense of culinary balance is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian or Latin American-inspired) menu, in dishes like yuzu/white soya-dressed salad of shrimp tempura, a tender pork shank glazed with spicy Szechuan citrus sauce, or lunchtimes rare tuna burger with lively wasabi aioli and wakame salad. For dessert few chocoholics can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled with sinfully rich warm chocolate custard. $$$$$Area 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterraneaninfluenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where glo betrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomyaccented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel) 1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$bistro e 485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373A full power lunch from a Michelin-starred chef for $15? Sounds unbelievable, but youll find just such a daily special (like corn/jalapeo soup, a grilled-cheese BLT, airy cheesecake, and a pint of beer) at bistro e, daytime name for Michael Psilakis dinner-only new Aegean eatery Eos. The name change emphasizes lunchtimes wholly different, globally influenced menu. Among la carte temptations: pork belly tacos, a Korean BBQ prawn salad, or a brisket/ gruyere sandwich with dipping juice. Breakfast, too, from 6:30 a.m. $$-$$$ Botequim Carioca 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-675-1876If Brazils cuisine were defined by the USAs Brazilian restaurants, the conclusion would be that Brazilian people eat nothing but rodizio (all-you-can-eat meat), and weigh, on average, 400 pounds. This Brazilian pub broadens the picture, with a menu that offers entres, especially at lunch, but highlights Brazilian tapas -mega-mini plates meant for sharing. Must-not-misses include pasteles filled with shrimp and creamy catupiry cheese, beautifully seasoned bolinho de bacalau (fried salt cod dumplings), and aipim frito (house-special yuca fries, the best in town). $$$Brickell Bridge Bistro & Bar 500 Brickell Ave., 786-871-7039The casual-polished hangouts name refers to the nearby real bridge between Brickell and downtown, but its ambiance -part South Beach music lounge and part bankers sports bar -also tries to bridge the neighborhoods, luring both execs and edgier sorts. The sames true of Allen Sussers role as consulting chef, though those expecting a hint of Chef Allens wont find it; the sole similarity on the Latin-accented Italianesque menu is Sussers Valrhona chocolate souffl. Snacking on small plates like meatballs with dried apricots and pine nuts is most fun. $$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442 The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thaimarinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of shortlived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 278. BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNEternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily deco rated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sau sage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Largo Bar & Grill 401 Biscayne Blvd. 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ Scalina 315 S. Biscayne Blvd. 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elabo rate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$ MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTBest Friends 4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurant-starved stretch of Biscayne Boulevard, this spot serves the same sort of simple but satisfying Italian fare (antipasti, soups, salads, pizzas) as its older sibling, South Miamis Blu Pizzeria, plus burgers. The thin-crust, pliable pizzas, though lacking burn blisters, are brick-oven cooked, as are blues, unusual calzones (like the blu oceano, fatly filled with mozzarella, prosciutto crudo, arugula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$ Duffys Sports GrillIntracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$rf ntntbnf nttnf tnt ff t tf fnf fff


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78 Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub compo nent remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro all-American feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/antibiotic-free ground Angus chuck/brisket/ short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$db Bistro Moderne 345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800 Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can find it. (Hint: The mysterious Avenue of the Americas is really Biscayne Boulevard Way. Dont ask.) Downtowns db is an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black trufflestuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no lowrent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Eos 485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Unlike their Michelin-starred New Adriatic restaurant Anthos, in Manhattan, this venture of chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia has influences ranging way beyond Greece to the whole Mediterranean region, and even Latin America. Unchanged is Psilakis solid cre ativity, and a beautiful sense of balance that makes even very unfamiliar combinations taste accessible. So skip the safe stuff and go for the luxuriantly custardy, egg yolkenriched lobster and sea urchin risotto, or any raw seafood item, especially the unique marlin with pistachio, apricot, and house-cured speck. $$$-$$$$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, includ ing a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ First & First Southern Baking Company 109 NE 1st Ave., 305-577-6446 How Southern is this restaurant/bakery? During the course of one breakfast of fluffy biscuits with rich sausage gravy, a friend from Italy, we swear, developed a drawl. While yall will also find familiar fare (burgers, salads, etc.), highlights here are traditional and/or reinvented country cooking favorites -especially homemade sweets. More than two dozen desserts daily are featured, from a roster topping 150: chocolate pecan pie, lemon bars, potato candies, seven-layer cookies, and Jack Daniels pound cakes, which are perfect for parties, though you wont want to share. $-$$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Fresco California Bistro 1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food onto its menu. To the familiar Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistros especially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$ Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave., 305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trade mark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Indigo / Table 40 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000Long known for its power-lunch buffet -including hot entres, carving station, custom pastas, packed-to-the-gills salad, sushi, and dessert stations -the InterContinental Hotels Indigo restaurant now has a hip offspring intended for private dining: Table 40. The charming, glassed-in wine cellar (actually in the kitchen) enables 12-14 diners to watch the action in heat-shielded, soundproofed comfort while eating creations by veteran chef Alexander Feher, combining Continental technique with local seasonal ingredients. Highlights: tender house-smoked, stout-braised short ribs; lavish lobster salad with grilled mango; and a seductive fresh corn gazpacho. $$$-$$$$$ Iron Sushi 120 SE 3rd Ave., 305-373-2000(See Miami Shores listing)Jackson Soul Food 950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710 With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/ comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge 68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence 1064 Brickell Ave., 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to coowner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcute rie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/ fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian



food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrumptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088 Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The dailychanging, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars coldwater oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-goround? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/ guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casu ally contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pitagarnished mixed meze platter. $$ Pashas 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Peoples Bar-B-Que 360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficio nados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crisp-fried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar 650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habaneropepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Sandwich Bar 40 NE 1st Ave., 305-577-0622This cool hideaway has a limited menu. Which is a good thing when it means everything served is solidly crafted by hands-on chef/owners, two of whom amassed sous-chef chops at Cioppino and Sardinia. The main fare is imaginative sandwiches on fresh breads; an especially delicious creation features slow-braised short ribs, caramelized onions, and melting muenster and provolone cheeses. Finish with fine-shaved Aloha Ice topped with fresh fruit and other full-flavored syrups, all housemade, plus rich condensed milk. A sno-cone for sophisticates. $ Soi Asian Bistro134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643 From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro 120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, openair courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, panAsian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/ habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes intro duced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche 49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influ enced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnutgarnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$Thai Angel 152 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9748Inside a colorful courtyard that rather resembles Munchkinland, this downtown insiders secret serves serious Thai food till 9:00 p.m. daily. Tasty classics like the four curries (red, green, panang, and massaman) come customspiced -mild to authentically brain-searing -and are so affordable theres no guilt in splurging on superb house specials like crisp-coated duck or fresh snapper (whole or filleted) in tamarind sauce. The young chef has a heavenly hand at tofu, too, so vegetarians are very well-served. $$ Tobacco Road 626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite afford able here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Waxy OConnors 690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$Wok Town 119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993 Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robatagrilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese


Also loccted in South Beach: 305.531.6068 and Oakland Park: 954.772.0555NEW LOOK, HIROS SUSHI EXPRESS BIGGER IS BETTER! Redesigned and moved to old Yakko-San17040-46 W. Dixie HighwayPH: 305.949.0776 or 305.949.4685 FAX: 305-949-4727Click your online order and get delivery right to your door www.sushiexpress.comMon.-Fri. 11 a.m. till 12 a.m. | Sat. & Sun. 1p.m.-12a.m.DINE IN TAKE OUT CATERING DELIVERY Going Green! Real Plates No More Plastic FAMILIES WELCOME We now have 50 dine-in seats! Specializing in regional Japanese Cuisine, focusing on small tapas-like plates you will not find on menus anywhere else.NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH Business Hours: After Hours Dining25years in business in North Miami Beach305.947.00643881 NE 163rd StreetNorth Miami Beach, Intracoastal MallVisit us online atwww.yakko-san.comNot affiliated with Hiros Restaurant on 163rd street rfntbfffb


restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/ rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Andalus 35 NE 40th St., 305-400-4422Early publicity pegging this place (in Pacific Times former space) as a tapas bar seemed to set it up as direct competition for nearby Sra. Martinez. Its actually quite different, with emphasis divided between small-plate lounging and full fine-dining meals. And regardless of size, dishes arent contemporary riffs on tradition but authentic regional specialties. Subtly nutty jamon pata negra (the Rolls-Royce of cured hams) or salmorejo (Cordobas Serrano ham/eggenriched gazpacho) truly take your taste buds on a trip to Andalucia. On weekends, food is served till 4:00 a.m. $$$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and pre sented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Bin No. 18 1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Blue Piano 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7919The address suggests a street-corner location, but this casu ally cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli 4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ Cafeina 297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbolump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-inyour-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar 1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment 3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/ caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Delicias Peruanas 2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as it was at the nearby original Delicias, run by members of the same family. The food is as tasty as ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mammoth jalea platter. As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado and tallerin verde. $$Egyptian Pizza Kitchen Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050 Pizza, pita -hey, theyre both flatbreads. So while many pizzas do indeed, as this halal places name suggests, have initially weird-seeming Middle Eastern toppings, its really not surprising that the Giza (topped with marinated lamb, feta, olives, peppers, and pungently spiced cumin sauce) works at least as well as Italian classics. Additionally the menu includes interesting Middle Eastern fare like foul, a hummus-like but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf 210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied


burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Ave., 305-571-8341No green-leaf faux health food here. You get what the name says, period, with three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are made fresh upon order. Available in double or one-patty sizes, theyre well-done but spurtingly juicy, and after loading with your choice of free garnishes, even a little burger makes a major meal. Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes. $Fratelli Lyon 4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-2901This Italian caf has been packed since the moment it opened. No surprise to any who recall owner Ken Lyons pioneering Lyon Frres gourmet store on Lincoln Road (199297), another joint that was exactly what its neighborhood needed. The restaurants artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful boutique olive oils, and more are so outstanding that you cant help wishing it also had a retail component. Entres include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like Venetian-style calves liver, rarely found outside Italy. $$$Gigi 3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ The Girrrlz of Sandwich 555 NE 15th St., 2nd floor (Venetia condo) 305-374-4305Riot Grrrl DIY spirit shines in the homemade soups, sweets, salads, and exceptionally tasty warm baguette sandwiches (like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, dressed with a unique sumac vinaigrette) at this concealed caf, hidden on the Venetia condos mezzanine. Owners Ana Oliva and Fadia Sarkis scour local markets daily for the freshest of ingredients, and their breads (plus light-crusted empanadas and sinful Ghirardelli chocolate cake) are all baked in-house. On Saturdays the grrrlsll even deliver you an elegant (yet inexpensive) breakfast in bed. $Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat bone less wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herbbutter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entresize salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon 185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Maitardi 163 NE 39th St., 305-572-1400Though we admired the ambitious approach of Oak Plazas original tenant, Brosia, this more informal, inexpensive, and straightforwardly Italian concept of veteran Lincoln Road restaurateur Graziano Sbroggio seems a more universal lure for the Design Districts central town square. The mostly outdoor space remains unaltered save a wood-burning oven producing flavorfully char-bubbled pizza creations, plus a vintage meat slicer dispensing wild boar salamino, bresaola (cured beef), and other artisan salumi. Other irresistibles: fried artichokes with lemony aioli; seafood lasagna with heavenly dill-lobster sauce. $$-$$$Mandolin Aegean Bistro 4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins freshbaked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Mikes at Venetia 555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and


84 drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$Orange Caf + Art 2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Primos 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami 3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant most everywhere. Today many places now offer authentic Italian or delicate designer pizzas. But a satisfying Brookynstyle street slice? Fuhgedit. Thankfully thats the speciality of this indoor/outdoor pizzeria: big slices with chewy crusts (made from imported NY tap water) that arent ultra-thin and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medium-thick -sturdy enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Sakaya Kitchen Shops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue 305-576-8096This chef-driven, fast-casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop). But why quibble about words with so many more intriguing things to wrap your mouth around? The concept takes on street-food favorites from all over Asia, housemade daily from quality fresh ingredients. French Culinary Institutetrained Richard Hales does change his menu, so wed advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken wings and Chinese-inspired, open-faced roast pork buns with sweet chili sauce and homemade pickles. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-freshdaily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Sustain 3252 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-424-9079Is it possible for a restaurant to be sincerely eco-conscious without being self-righteousness? It is at this casual/chic restolounge, where dedication to local, sustainable food comes with considerable humor. Fare includes playful items like wet fries (with mouthwatering gravy), corn dogs, house made soft pretzels with mustard and orange blossom honey, and a Mile Salad that seems almost like a game show in its challenge: All ingredients must come from within a 50-mile radius. At brunch dont miss the glazed sin-a-buns. $$-$$$$ Tapas y Tintos 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307 Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and selfservice wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sand wiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959Neither man nor woman can live by bread alone. But art alone doesnt do the trick, either. Father-daughter development visionaries Tony and Jessica Goldman satisfy the full range of life needs by combining cuisine from master chef Marco Ferraro with works from master street artists, in one venue -that fits perfectly into its gritty artistic neighborhood. Here Ferraro eschews his upscale Wish fare for simple yet inspired small plates (crisp, chili-dusted artichoke hearts with tart/rich yuzu aioli; mellow veal sausages enlivened by horseradish sauce; etc.) ideal for work or gallery-walk breaks. $$-$$$Upper EastsideAmerican Noodle Bar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-396-3269For us personally, a three-word Homer Simpson review says it: Bacon sauce! Mmmm But responsibly, the chef/owner of this casual, counter-service Vietnamese fusion cheap eats joint is Michael Bloise, formerly execu tive chef of Wish, one of South Beachs most glamorous. At his own anti-establishment place, customers customize. Seven bucks will get you a bowl of thick, charmingly chewy noodles, plus one of nine sauces (smoked lobster, lemon grass, brown sugar/ginger, bacon) and ten toppings (recommended: slow-roasted duck, sweet Chinese sausage). Also enjoy cheeseburger dumplings, banh mi subs, house made fruit sodas, beer or wine, and attitude-free fun. $Andiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside car wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station which means ditching the car (in the complexs free lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no problem even if youre not getting your vehicle cleaned while consuming the brick-oven pies (from a flaming open oven) that are this popular pizzerias specialty, along with executive chef Frank Cr upis famed Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Also available are salads and panini plus reasonably priced wines and beers, including a few unusually sophisticated selections like Belgiums Hoegaarden. $$


Anise Taverna 620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929The new owners of this river shack are banking on Greek food and festivity for success a good bet, judging from their wildly popular previous eatery, Ouzo. The mainly mezze menu ranges from traditional Greek small plates to creative Mediterranean-inspired dishes like anise-scented fish cro quettes with spicy aioli. But dont neglect large plates like whole grilled Mediterranean fish (dorade or branzino), filleted tableside. The interior is charming, and the outdoor deck on the Little River is positively romantic. $$-$$$ Balans Biscayne 6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamycentered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/ outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the house made sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$Chef Creole 200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: cre vette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433What 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 for this stands sauce-garnished, all-beef, soy veggie, turkey, and chicken hot dogs. The 22 varieties range from simple 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. New addition: thick, juicy burgers. $East Side Pizza 731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (consid ered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $La Q-Bana 8650 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-2550 In case you were wondering if its too good to be true -it isnt. El Q-Banos owners are indeed related to the family that operates the original three Palacios de los Jugos -which means no more schlepping way out west. Recommended are moist tamales, tasty sandwiches (espe cially the drippingly wonderful pan con lechon), rich flan, and the fresh tropical juices that justify the aforementioned excesses. For even heartier eaters, theres a changing buffet of daily specials and sides. $-$$Europa Car Wash and Caf 6075 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-2357Giving new meaning to the food term fusion, Europa serves up sandwiches, salads, car washes, coffee with croissants, and Chevron with Techron. Snacks match the casual chicness: sandwiches like the Renato (prosciutto, hot cappicola, pepper jack cheese, red peppers, and Romano cheese dressing); an elaborate almond-garnished Chinese chicken salad; H&H bagels, the worlds best, flown in from NYC. And the car cleanings are equally gentrified, especially on Wednesdays, when ladies are pampered with $10 washes and glasses of sparkling wine while they wait. $Garden of Eatin 136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Gourmet Station 7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Go To Sushi 5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Jimmys East Side Diner 7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusu ally imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a timetrip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd.305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more techniqueintensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with


86 mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat miniburgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sourorange-marinated, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chef-driven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, family-friendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemon-caper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. Now the arrival of new executive and pastry chefs plus a wine-wise general manager, all Joe Allen veterans, signals a culinary revival for this neighborhood focal point. The concept is still comfort food, but a revamped menu emphasizes fresh local ingredients and from-scratch preparation. (The meatloaf gravy, for instance, now takes 24 hours to make.) Unique desserts include signature sticky date pudding, a toffee-lovers dream. And the wine list features new boutique bottles at the old affordable prices. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crispfried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$UVA 69 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Owned and operated by brothers Michael and Sinuh Vega, this casual outdoor/indoor Euro-caf and lounge has helped to transform the Boulevard into a hip place to hang out. 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 entres like sake-marinated salmon with boniato mash and Ponzu butter sauce, and crispy spinach. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery 646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Bocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shred ded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$The Crab House 1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Kabobji1624 79th St. Causeway, 305-397-8039 (See North Miami Beach listing)Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Shuckers Bar & Grill 1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570Cheap eats and a million-dollar view is the sound bite manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates from South Beachs late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski demonstrates a rare mix of Old World technique and New World invention in dishes like perfectly caramelized sea scallops with smoky bacongarnished spinach salad, filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce, and figs with panna cotta so light one fears a bay breeze might carry it off. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run 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 national 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. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys exec utive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club 10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/ outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candiedwalnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ Mooies 9545 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-3666Kid friendly generally means restaurants will tolerate youngsters. Mooies, an ice cream parlor plus, positively pampers them, from the cute play area out back (equipped with old-school toys like giant bean bags) to a childrens menu that doesnt condescend. (Who says kids dont appreciate pizzas with fresh mozzarella?) For grown-ups there are sophisticated salads and sandwiches like a turkey, pear, garlic oil, and brie panini on house-baked bread. Just dont neglect Mooies mainstay: ice cream, dense yet creamy-soft Blue Bell. Pistachio almond is our pick. $Village Caf 9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-759-2211After closing for several months in early 2009, this caf, spruced up to look like a bistro rather than a luncheonette (but with the same bargain prices), has been reopened. The kitchen has also been rejuvenated, with head honcho Adam Holm (Whitticars original sous chef) serving up new, globally influenced dishes like mint/ pistachio-crusted lamb or tuna tartare with sriracha aioli, plus reviving old favorites like pork tenderloin with gingercaramel sauce. $$-$$$ NORTH MIAMILos Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hotsmoked salmon and veggie plates. There are also creative comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads, and sweets. Sides include refreshing slaw; beans studded with burnt ends (the most intensely flavored outer barbecue chunks); and sweet potato or chipotle-spiced fries. The cost is comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Canton Caf 12749 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2882Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly Cantonese-based dishes. However, there are also about two dozen spicier, Szechuan-style standards like kung po shrimp, ma po tofu, and General Tsos chicken. And there are a few imaginative new items, like the intriguingly christened Shrimp Lost in the Forest, Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-glazed walnuts, and Mongolian beef (with raw chilis and fresh Oriental basil). Delivery is available for both lunch and dinner. $$ Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chilispiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Happy Sushi & Thai 2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165 Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat


88 satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun 2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Le Griot de Madame John 975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333When Madame moved her base of operations from her Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal one, and still mostly take-out), she began offering numerous traditional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tassot and an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt before poaching with various veggies and spices). But the dish that still packs the place is the griot: marinated pork chunks simmered and then fried till theyre moistly tender inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Mama Jennies 11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other ItalianAmerican belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Mario the Baker 13695 W. Dixie Highway, 305-891-7641At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food is Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and hot or cold subs. No imported buffala, arugula, or other chichi stuff on the New York-style medium-thin-crusted pizzas; the top topping here is the savory housemade sausage. And no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and smashed garlic. New branches are now open in Miamis Midtown neighborhood and in North Bay Village. $Pastry Is Art 12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-toorder Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob 14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899 Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tokyo Bowl 12295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9400This 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 sauted with vegetables), curried chicken and veggies, spicy shrimp, or gyoza dumplings in tangy sauce. Theres 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 sashimi instead of sushi. $-$$Venezia Pizza and Caf 13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered Americas finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple salads, and a few new pro tein adds grilled chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$Yes Pasta! 14871 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At this fast/casual Italian eatery, the specialty is mix-andmatch. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (whole wheat and gluten-free options available), then one of 15 sauces. Our personal pick is carbonara, correctly creamycoated (via egg thickening, not cream overload); Bolognese is a wise choice for those who like sauces rich and red. Many options exist for vegetarians and pescatarians as well as carnivores, all clearly coded on the menu. $$ Bamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus ChineseAmerican egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ China Restaurant 178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional Chinese cuisine in the world wont scratch the itch. So the menu here, containing every authentically inauthentic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just the ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded boneless chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$Chipotle Mexican Grill 14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with chipotle-marinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland fauxCantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$Flamma Brazilian Steakhouse 3913 NE 163rd St., (Intracoastal Mall) 305-957-9900The rodizio formula is familiar: Pay one price ($39.90 for dinner, $29.90 at Sunday brunch), then eat till you drop from a groaning salad/appetizer bar and a massive selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, sausage, and fish (16 varieties at dinner; 5 at brunch) carved tableside by costumed waiters. What spectacularly differentiates Flamma: its setting on the Intracoastal Waterway. But also spectacular is a Monday-Thursday two-for-one dinner deal with a coupon available at Flamma. Unbelievable but true. $$$$El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant 3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$


Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veggarnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly freshtasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$Mary Ann Bakery 1284 NE 163rd St., 305-945-0333Dont be unduly alarmed by the American birthday cakes in the window. At this small Chinese bakery the real finds are the Chinatown-style baked buns and other savory pastries, filled with roast pork, bean sauce, and curried ground beef. Prices are under a buck, making them an exotic alternative to fastfood dollar meals. Theres one table for eat-in snackers. $The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$Miami Prime Grill 16395 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5101Dont be confused by the name, suggesting a steakhouse. Its really a reinvented sports bar, which has been packing in more varied crowds than the average man-cave by offering more varied food and entertainment options. No worries, sports fanatics. For you theres an astonishing array of high-def TVs plus all sports snacks known to mankind. But food fans should check out the special deals on full meals, offered daily. Our favorite day: Thursday, which hosts both Ladies Night (free drinks for us!) and Lobster Night (a Maine lobster plus two sides for $16). $$-$$$ New China Buffet 940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-inblankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai 14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/ owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/ or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt auto matically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$PK Oriental Mart 255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and whole roast ducks hanging, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall) 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a sound-bite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coaloven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$Roasters & Toasters 18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sandwiches? Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Consider the Carnegie-style monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we weighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky hand-sliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$The Rumcake Factory 2075 NE 163rd St., 786-525-7071When ex-Louisianan (and ex-Dolphins player) Larry Robinson and his Cuban-American wife Elena started a catering company in Miami Lakes, their mouthwateringly moist Caribbean-style buttered rum/walnut-glazed rum cake instantly became the star attraction. But after relocating to a real (if tiny) restaurant space in BT territory, the Factory now features a small supporting cast of Cajun fare scrumptious enough to upstage the star. Always available: authentic remoulade-dressed New Orleans po-boy sandwiches (shrimp, catfish, fried turkey), and humongous house-smoked chicken wings. Rotating specials include hearty gumbo, jambalaya, and BBQ ribs. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant 1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentictasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the mustnot-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar 13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5588Though some food folks were initially exasperated when yet another Latin-influenced grill replaced one of our areas few Vietnamese restaurants, its hard to bear a grudge at a friendly, casual neighborhood place that offers monster tenounce 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 menus top price) at night; and three-dollar glasses of decent house wine. $-$$ Sushi House 15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunchtopped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tunas Raw Bar and Grille 17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a newly impressive selection of raw-bar specialties: cold-water oysters from the Northeast, plus Blue Points, Malpecs, Island Creeks, and more. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after midnight, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin 73 NE 167th St. 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$Yakko-San 3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/ sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$ Asia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayodressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse; 305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original


from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ The Palm 9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli 19003 Biscayne Blvd., 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$Bella Luna 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330 If the menu here looks familiar, it should. Its nearly identical to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Caf and, with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billantes eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface. But no argu ment from here. In a mall a setting more accustomed to food court dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantrolime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$Il Migliore 2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$Fuji Hana 2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Gourmet Carrot 3599 NE 207th St., 305-749-6393 Since the first Gourmet Carrot -a healthy and kosher but not at all preachy eatery -opened in South Beach, its menu expanded to include many red-meat items. The same is true of this new Waterways mall branch. When confirmed cholesterol-careless carnivores like ourselves opt voluntarily for an eaterys veggie burgers (a brown rice/ lentil/veggie blend more satisfying than beef), or remarkably juicy ginger-mayo-dressed chicken burgers, over normal hamburgers, based solely on flavor -well, religion aside, thats a major miracle. $$$ Heavy Burger 19004 NE 29th Ave., 305-932-7555Sure, South Beach is our towns burger capital, if youre judging by high profile. But if creativity is what counts, no joint bangs a gong like homeboy Mark Panunzios place, where the concept is: Nothing goes together better than heavyweight burgers and heavy-metal music. What rocks us: a fire-grilled, 10 oz. Motley Burger (with cheddar, apple wood bacon, tomato, Bibb lettuce, and frizzled plus raw onions on a challah roll; upon request, chipotle aioli was cheerfully substituted for BBQ sauce). Get hand-cut cheese fries, too, and get wasted on craft beer. $$ Kampai 3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410 At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$ The Grill on the Alley 19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Mahogany Grille 2190 NW 183rd St., 305-626-8100Mahogany Grille has drawn critical raves and an international clientele since retired major league outfielder Andre Dawson and his brother transformed this place in 2007. Today its white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany. The menu is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion of food from several African diaspora regions: Carolina Low Country (buttery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad), and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-battered fried chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miamis best. $$-$$$Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar 18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, AmericanizedCantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Ocean Prime 19051 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall) 305-931-5400Most mall dining experiences are akin to NASCAR pit stops: quick pauses to refuel. Ocean Prime, as its super-sleek, circa 1930s cruise ship ambiance would suggest, is more like the tranquil trans-Atlantic crossings of slower-paced times -which makes the steak and seafood eaterys mall location perfect. After a frenetic shopping day, theres no better way to decompress than a couple of hours in a time warp, savoring retro supper-club specialties: pecan-crusted mountain trout with brown butter, an oversize cocktail, and a live lounge pianist. $$$-$$$$$Pilar 20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbeanstyle seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma 19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New Yorkstyle pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Playwright Irish Pub 801 Silks Run Rd. #2597, 954-457-7563 The vintage Old World look and convivial atmosphere of this new pub, located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, are more traditionally Irish than most of the menu, which ranges from penne with marinara sauce to Thai-inspired spring rolls. But fish and chips are always crisp-coated and satisfying; potato leek soup is the real thing; and the crab cakes (crab meat mixed with just enough celery, onions, and peppers for interesting texture) are so good youll be thinking Maryland, not Dublin. $$ Sushi Siam 19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) www.FinnegansRiver.com over $25 with this ad(excluding discounted items)Open from 11am till late Happy Hour Food & Drink Specials All Sports Games! On the Miami River 401 SW 3rd Ave. Miami, 33130305-285-3030WATERFRONT FUN WATERFRONT FUN TEL:305-754-8002www.schnitzelhausmiami.net1085N.E.79thStreet/Causeway,Miami,FL33138 ORIGINALBAV ARIANBIER GARTENOPENDAILYFROM5:00PMTO11:00PMFRIDAY&SA TURDAYTOMIDNI GHT


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DEVELOPMENT SITE FOR SALE WYNWOOD: 2110 N Miami AvenueAsking Price: $3,890,00062,500 SF of Development Site Asking Price MIDTOWN: 35 NE 29 Street Asking price: $5,600,000 PARK WEST: BAYSIDE: Prices Range From: $159,000 to $250,000 Asking Price: $2,800,000