Biscayne times ( June 2013 )

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00074

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Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Creation Date: June 2013
Publication Date: 06-2013


Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00099644:00080

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00074

Material Information

Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Creation Date: June 2013
Publication Date: 06-2013


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: UF00099644:00080

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IN THIS ISSUEMarvelous Baywalks Imagined p. 18 Power Studios Remembered p. 45 CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE r fff ntfb n June 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 11 Issue 4


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COVER STORY 24 Green Piece: Greynolds Threatened COMMENTARY 10 Feedback: Letters 14 Used Bookstores: Gaspars Desire 16 Jack King: Youre Not Going to Believe This 18 Christian Says: Invest in Baywalks OUR SPONSORS 20 BizBuzz: June 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 44 No More Ugly Security Shutters Downtown 44 City on the Verge of a Beginning 45 Remembering the Heyday of Power Studios NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 52 North Miami Elections: From Ridiculous to Serious 54 Aventura Is Smacked by Heavyweight Williams Island 56 The Everglades Skyway Finally Opens for Traffic ART & CULTURE 58 Anne Tschida on the MDC Live Arts program 60 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 63 Events Calendar: Summer Shorts Returns POLICE REPORTS 64 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 66 Jim W. Harper: Pace Park Picnic Island COLUMNISTS 68 All Things Animal: Giant Snail Alert! 70 Picture Story: A New Courthouse for Dade County 71 Your Garden: What Are Those Stringy Things? 72 Going Green: Sorry, but Were Due for a Hurricane 73 Kids and the City: Teach Your Kids About Litter 74 Vino: The Tangy Joys of Sauvignon Blanc 75 Dish: Summertime Is for Locals DINING GUIDE 76 Restaurant Listings: 331 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants rf ntb nf rfrb ntbfbbn U.S.News & World Report f tttttt nt tt Personalized and prompt care provided by board-certied pediatric physicians for minor injuries and illnesses. Walk-in, appointment not required. Monday-Friday: 3 p.m. 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. 10 p.m. X-ray Monday-Friday: 1 p.m. 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. 10 p.m. b Physical, occupational and speech-language therapies. Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. 5:30 p.m. fb Gastroenterology ntbfb nft 3915 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33137 786-624-6000 PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr bArts Editor r tnrt t t rr r nn n nrr rnrn BUSINESS MANAGER rrr rrrr ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES r r r rr ART DIRECTOR rn r ADVERTISING DESIGN rrr CIRCULATION rrr PRINTING rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com All articles, photos, and artwork in the Biscayne Times are copyrighted by Biscayne Media, LLC. Any duplication or reprinting without authorized written consent from the publisher is prohibited. F OR A DVERTISING INFORMATION CALL 305-756-6200 45 63 72Serving 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


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The Wait Is Over: Fair, Balanced, and No Snarky PutdownsRegarding the Erik Bojnansky story about Biscayne Parks annexation possibilities (Strapped for Cash? Try a Land Grab, May 2013), I want to say: Nice job! And I really mean that! This is the kind of article I have been waiting for fair, balanced, devoid of sarcasm and putdowns. And Erik qualiThe subheadline said that we have the highest property taxes in the county. Its the highest millage but he did explain that in the article. The fact is, with our property values having tanked so badly in recent years, we probably are paying, on average, less in dollars than people in many cities with far lower millage rates. Erik did a really nice job of providing information devoid of his opinion. Please let him know that is much appreciated. There is one other thing: The Bell David Planning Group was hired to provide a statistical report. They have not made a recommendation about annexation one way or another, and it is not their job to do so. Janey Anderson Biscayne Park Editors note: Erik Bojnansky did not write the headline or subheadline accompanying Strapped for Cash. The editor wrote them.Jewish Sleeper Cells Inltrating Aventura?I resent Jay Beskins insinuation that Orthodox Jews are intolerant of other Jewish denominations (Every Lobby a Temple, May 2013). To him, the trend toward Orthodox congregations in Aventura is a crisis, the result of brutal democracy in which claws are immediately unsheathed. For Mr. Beskin, the threat of a growing Orthodox community is so dire, he can only hope that the word Orthodox He makes it seem as though Orthodox Jews are spreading through Aventura like subversives bent on brutally conquer ing the city one small synagogue at a time. Like the Taliban, the Orthodox are prepared to impose a harsh and primitive form of religion on the vanquished. What rubbish! Mr. Beskins cadre of insiders is feeding him poisoned bait, and hes taking it hook, line, and sinker. He is a former better. This is the height of naivet. As an Orthodox Jew also active in the community (and always wary of being labeled radical), Im all too aware of the fear-mongering being perpetrated by people like Mr. Beskin. And that is why it would be foolish to have my name published with this letter. Name Withheld by Request AventuraNightlife Is Great, As Long As Its Not Directly DownstairsI loved Adam Schachners column about downtown Miami (Downtown After Dark, May 2013). I totally agree with his vision of a bustling nightlife, and would like to share mine. I live at 50 Biscayne, and I chose this building because I enjoy being near everything, but distant from the noise that nightlife can bring. A few months after I moved in, the res taurant-lounge MIA opened downstairs, at the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and Fla gler Street. Every week from Thursday to Sunday we suffered noise, music, screams from intoxicated people, smoke, and the Since they closed, I enjoy my sleeping hours so much more. I want to live near the action, but not in the action. If I want nightlife, as Adam Lucrecia Nicastro Downtown MiamiMiami: See It Like an Unsafe, Inconsiderate, Aggressive, Hostile DriverI agree with Gaspar Gonzlez that in South Florida (Car Trouble, May 2013). It is South Floridas biggest liability, a liability which I believe is ballooning. I have driven all over the world: I can drive like a cab driver in New York City, in Europe at 100 miles per hour (legally), in countries on the other side of the road without a problem. My license is so clean you could operate on it. But I feel under attack here in Miami. I have never seen such unsafe, inconsiderate, aggressive, and hostile driving as in Florida (where I winter), and which my wife and I love.Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 12


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I have even been physically attacked by a driver who jumped out of his car when I stopped him backing into me and my wife by slamming my hand on his trunk. (The police were called; I declined to prosecute.) I think we will see more of this rage; it appears to me that the road is becoming the stage where our problems are being worked out. Miami, and all of Florida, needs a major educational and enforcement pro gram before road anarchy becomes the rule. I hope Gaspar continues to write on this important subject. David Goldbeck MiamiMiami Only Daily: If Not Them, Who?I am writing in response to Farewell, My Lovely Miami Herald by Erik Bojnansky (April 2013), and the subsequent letter written by John F. Sugg, which was a critique of the Miami Herald (One Word for the Herald s Decline: Greed, May 2013). I have lived in Miami since 1959, and have been a reader and subscriber to the Miami Herald since that time. Prior to that, I had lived and worked in several major cities on the East Coast. I have been able to judge the Herald from that experience. I have always believed that the Miami Herald had an honest mission, and did a good job of reporting the news. Most important, for the Herald and every newspaper, they had a good investigative-reporting staff. Yes, they could have done a better job investigating the Bush/Gore election and the many schemes that were involved in causing the results. So could have other newspapers. Maybe the story was just too complex or too risky. My question is basically this: If not the Miami Herald who? Richard Mason Miami ShoresGaspar, There Really Is More to Miami Than the WeatherIn Taxi to the Bright Side (April 2013), Gaspar Gonzlez speaks of a cab ride in Chicago that highlighted good things about that city. I, too, have been on a few cab rides in Miami that have noted great food, shopping, and new neighborhoods to check out. Miami has many other things besides just the weather to be happy about. Problem is, the citizens of Miami cant read about them because you continue writing and focusing on the bad. Wouldnt it be nice to see on the cover of the BT an article titled, Miami: Many Great Things Besides the Weather. Just think, you could highlight the booming food scene, upcoming neighborhoods, the million outdoor activities, our museums, free memorials, sports games, vintage clothing/furniture spots, scenic drives, our great air quality, historic neighborhoods, nightlife, great places to picnic the list can go on. ing peoples incorrect points made about Miami that I overhear during a conversation with friends or even while riding our public transit system. Its the job of all of us to promote Miami! But its the job of papers like the BT to write about it so we can have facts to talk about! I Miami. I think its about time the papers did, too! Brandon Berretta MiamiIll Be High and Dry As the Rest of You Row Gondolas Down Biscayne BoulevardFrank Rollasons piece on sea-level rise (Rising to the Occasion, April 2013) is right on target. However, the majority of movers and shakers have adopted the os trich posture (head in the sand), sitting and waiting for somebody else to make a move. I am not a scientist, but common sense dictates that water, as a liquid, is going to stop it is to seal off the countrys perim eter against the invading armada. And who wants to get stuck with that bill? The alternative is to persuade people to move to higher ground, away from the water army. Youll probably think my brain is already waterlogged, but global warming is here to stay, and the seas will rise slowly and many of us will not realize it until the day we back out of our driveThe sad reality is that the federal government likes to talk but not walk. Believe it, the politicians know it is coming. So on that note, I am considering pitching my tent on higher ground. Even though this will be decades in the making, my children and grandchildren will be able to drive their automobiles, instead of rowing gondolas on the streets of South Florida. Sergio M. Capablanca MiamiCommentary: LETTERS FREE Movies 8PM Fountain Plaza June 26 June 12 www.shopmidtownmiami.com


Est. 1995 Est. 1995 LIVE THE CITY LIFE


Commentary: CULT FOLLOWINGNo Country for Old BooksIts easy to nd almost anything in Miami, except a great used bookstore By Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorT a used bookstore. I was 11 or 12 and the bookstore, the name of which I have since forgotten, was located in a strip mall on NE 2nd Avenue, near Barry University, two blocks from my house. The owner, whose name I do remember, was Gloria. She was a nice lady who, like a lot of bookstore owners, spent most of her day behind the counter, reading, looking up only when someone walked in, and then only sometimes. I would go there two or three times a week. Knowing I was partial to sports books, she would point me to the latest arrivals. After a few months, she asked me if I would like to come in a couple of days a week and help her around the store. Pay was 50 cents an hour. I can still remember sorting through hundreds of books each day, making sure they were nice and straight on the shelves, arranged in alphabetical order by author. (Id take an extra second or two with the Harlequin romances; ripped bodices were a revelation to me at 12.) I kept Gloria company in the store for a few months before Little League and other pursuits pulled me away. But I never lost my love for used bookstores the slightly musty smell, the gently frayed copies of yesteryears bestsellers or, even better, the creaseless, neglected that, if given a chance, had much to offer. I was lucky that, as I got older, I lived in places where used bookstores abounded, university towns like Gainesville, Florida, and New Haven, Connecticut, and of course, New York City. In New York, my apartment was only Broadway and 12th. The store famously boasts 18 miles of books, by which it means somewhere between two and three million volumes. I didnt have much money at the time, but I could always go browsing at the Strand, losing myself in row after row of biographies, novels, I suppose one of the reasons I remember the Strand (and, for that matter, the dozens of other used bookstores I frequented in the Northeast) so fondly is that Miami has so few places like that. There are some shops here and there Dunbar Old Books in South Miami, Fifteenth Street Books in the Gables, and the Paperback Book X-Change in North Miami Beach come to mind but not nearly as many as one would expect to people. And there are fewer all the time. In the vicinity of the Biscayne Corridor, there once were a couple of shops, both in North Miami: Books of Paiges, which was around for years at different locations, and Trader Johns Records and Books, which moved to North Miami from Hollywood around 2008. Of the two, Trader Johns came closest in feel to my idea of a used bookstore: often whimsically arranged (as when I found a vintage copy of Dostoyevskys Crime and Punishment in the True Crime section). After shutting down his shop, Trader John sold books out of his home, near Shorecrest, on the weekends. That didnt last, either. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky we have places like Libreri Mapou in Little Haiti, Libreria Universal in Little Havana, and Books and Books (every where); all can rightly be called commu nity institutions. But theyre not used book stores. Great as those places are, theres little likelihood of encountering a beloved book thats been out of print or one so deli ciously offbeat you couldnt possibly have These days, when I want a used book Raton. (Yes, Boca.) Bookwise doesnt quite have 18 miles of books, but it contains at least a city block or three of used and rare volumes the store bought out noted Fort Lauderdale bookseller Robert Hittels collection when he closed his store and enough comfortable chairs to accommodate those who want to spend an afternoon there. I wish there were more places like that in Miami. Id settle for just one in the Biscayne Corridor. If you dont think it could work, because people just arent interested in bookstores in the age of the iPad, think again. I recently read about a 21st Century take on the traditional used bookstore, the Monkeys Paw, in Toronto. The shop has managed to attract a clientele by specializing in unusual and esoteric books, titles like The Puppet Theatre in Czechoslovakia and Safety in Police Pursuit Driving The owner, Stephen Fowler, told the New York Times he seeks out the beautiful, arcane, macabre, and absurd. If that concept doesnt sound perfect for Miami, what does? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorSitting right next to my computer is a legal pad I use to make notes about ideas for future columns. There must be 75 entries on it, but Ive never used any of them. Why? Its simple: South Florida is the world headquarters for column ideas. They just keep showing up. The mantra for South Florida writers has to be Im not making this up. We dont have to. So the dilemma is: What to do with so many column ideas? Well, duh Why not make a column out them? So here goes, in no particular order. Every time I see a promo for giving money to the Wounded Warrior program, it makes me mad. Not because its not a great cause, but because our government should be taking care of these wounded veterans. We were the ones who got them be the ones who take care of them. The way Congress treats our vets is a national embarrassment, a disgrace. All members Congress should not be paid one dime until the vets get what we promised them. One more word about war that has been on my mind for 50 years: Can anyone give me a worthwhile reason why more than 58,000 Americans of my generation died in Vietnam? I love the IRS-Tea Party battle going on in Congress. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants to know who at the IRS is responsible for trying groups are stealing from the government. Thats a pretty novel concept. So far, after nonstop hearings, one person has Great job, Representative Issa. And then, when one of the IRS employees invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify before Congress, Issas Republican cronies on the committee cried that she must be guilty of something. I love how these so-called public servants show such a great understanding of the U.S. Constitution. The IRS scandal isnt enough for Issa. He also wants to blame everything thats happened in Libya over the past 200 years on Hillary Clinton. Granted, it was a tragedy. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed in Benghazi, but no one has asked the most important question: What was he doing In press reports, Benghazi has been referred to as an embassy, a consulate, a diplomatic outpost, a CIA station, and a wide spot in the road. It is 400 long miles from Tripoli, and it is a very dangerous place. Yet Issa is stuck on asking, What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it? So far, Issas investigative skills seem to be lacking. If he were in the journalagainst increased funding to beef up State Department security. Our wonderful Gov. Rick Scott is gearing up for a re-election campaign in 2014, and the early word is that hell spend at least $100 million. If he wins reelection, hell have spent some $170 mil lion to live in Tallahassee for eight years. You would have to pay me $170 million to live in Tallahassee for eight years. Most polls show that Scott is univer sally disliked, but Republicans are willing to put up with him because it gives them full control of state government. Sadly, there no credible Democrats (including Charlie Crist) lined up to run against him. Is there a Democrat out there who can walk and chew gum at the same time? The Miami-Dade Aviation Department just found out that the train depot at their Intermodal Center (fancy name for the car, taxi, bus, Amtrak, and TriRail center near the airport), has a little problem. The train station is about 200 feet shorter than it needs to be in order to accommodate Amtraks longest trains, which would stick out of the depot and block NW 25th Street, a busy roadway. Youd think that with so many engineers working on the project, one of them could operate a tape measure. But what the hell, its only money. Our money. And itll take up to $25 million Glad to see that the Florida House didnt bring up the Miami Dolphins stadium initiative. That scheme folded like a house of cards. I didnt think it had a chance, and judging by the early voting, it was a no-go from the start. ing was that Joe Robbie built his stadium with private money. Thats not exactly true. The state loaned him the money at about zero percent interest through a bond program to assist new businesses. Result: We have 200 hot-dog vendors employed for four months a year. Bachmann on the House Intelligence Committee? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Youre Not Going to Believe ThisWell, remember this is South Florida, where crazy things happen all the time


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Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorIn early June, the Miami Herald ran a headline proclaiming Edgewater to be Miamis next trendy district, a decade after New Times said the same thing. Without meaning to sound like a neighborhood spokesman, I think Edgewaters time has come. Ive felt it since the day I moved here in 2006. Its perfectly centered between great neighborhoods, highways, the bay, and Biscayne Boulevard. Its also relatively affordable and largely underdeveloped, but thats changing. The Herald piece detailed a half-dozen major residential projects on the rise. Edgewater will fully gentrify over the next decade, shedding its sketchy reputation to become a hub for the Design District, Performing Arts District, Museum Park, Park West, and the Midtown/Wynwood corridor. Yet one thought nags at me: Ours is the last prominent waterfront neighborhood to come into its own; why is our waterfront so underutilized? New condos must have baywalks accessible to the public, but older bayfront properties are fenced and private. So last month I attended a public meeting at Residencia Jesus Maestro on NE 27th Street to provide input on a baywalk study. I often cycle around South Pointe Park on Miami Beach, where public access to the waterfront is provided by walkways running from Miami Beach Marina, along Government Cut, north to Lummus Park (this stretch is still dirt), up to 22nd Street, and continuing on to 45th Street that part for pedestrians only. residents, visitors, and developers. Anyone who runs, bikes, or walks around Edgewater does a zigzag dance from the Julia Tuttle Causeway north to Margaret Pace Park. Now, imagine going all the way from the Tuttle, along a virtually uninterrupted waterfront path, down to Alice Wainwright Park, just south of the Rickenbacker Causeway. This would be the ideal Miami baywalk. Forget the boost to Edgewaters lifestyle and property values; it would transform the experience of living in our city, creating an attraction second only to perhaps a Venetian-style water-taxi system. The Miami Riverwalk was a key part of transforming the neighborhood at the mouth of the Miami River. Now residents of Icon Brickell and Brickell on the River, along with guests at Epic and the Hyatt Regency, enjoy waterfront parks and jogging paths. The baywalk that encircles tony Brickell Key next door is a big part of what makes it a desirable place to live. Wealthy communities tend to get these kinds of infrastructure improvements before other areas, which only enhances already valuable properties. Its also why condos in Edgewater sell for far less than those of equal quality in Brickell. So we sat in this meeting, Junebe 30 of us, hopeful that we might see some movement in the right direction. Instead we looked at maps with grim red markings indicating where pedestrians would be rerouted from Biscayne Bay back to the Boulevard, blocked by property. From a quiet waterfront stroll to the sidewalks of U.S. 1. Interesting. Armando Rodriguez, a community activist originally from Venezuela, said proposed 45 years ago in a meeting at Legion Park. The excuse then was that patrol the walk. The idea has resurfaced periodically ever since, most recently in 2004, when Commissioner Johnny Winton tried to kick-start a process to determine costs and planning needs. The next few years brought a whole new zoning code, known as Miami 21 (which actually calls for public waterfront walkways), a real estate bust, a personnel overhaul at city hall, and more pressing billion-dollar public projects like the port tunnel. Oh, and a new baseball stadium. Frank Rollason, a BT columnist with decades of experience in city govern ment, was also at the meeting. Someone with the city, he said, needs to sit down with property owners and aggressively negotiate deals to buy back property lines, in place before new developments like Gentings planned mega-resort on the Herald site even break ground. But it seemed as though the studys consultants saw these challenges and jumped right to Plan B, which is to create less of a baywalk and more of a winding sidewalk that occasionally runs along the water. This presumably will be corrected when the necessary waterfront parcels are redeveloped, sometime before the end of the century. As Armando Rodriguez phrased it: I was trained by the Jesuits. If youre going to do something, do it right or dont do it at all. I couldnt agree more. If left to private developers, continuous public waterfront access will remain a fantasy. A baywalk is an expensive and complex undertaking, but if we can make the effort for the Marlins, for a museum, and for a tunnel, we can do it for a public infrastructure investment that will bring major value to Miami monetary and otherwise and further cement our identity as a world-class, 21st-century city. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Pushing the Edge Establishing a walkway along the bay would transform Miami BT photo by Christian Cipriani


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20 Our Sponsors: JUNE 2013By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorS BT Laurenzos Italian Market Whole Foods Market Fiorito City Hall the Restaurant Bagels & Company Kitchen 305 Menchies Continued on page 22BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible


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22 Our Sponsors: JUNE 2013construction over to be weighed; pay. (Note: Kids wont want to miss the top Want to take dear old dad out for the traditional Fathers Day steakhouse dinner, but youre on more of a soupkitchen budget? Heres an idea: Get yourself a free Primecard membership (800offers discounts at more than 250 Florida restaurants, and then use the special deal in this months ad a full 50% off your take the man of the month somewhere We promised to keep you updated on the grand opening of Wynwoods Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grille unique spot where customers can buy prime beef yes, genuinely prime plus other quality meats, housemade sausages, and more, to cook at home or have it grilled and served (fully gargarden. Update as of press time: A June yet. Try thebutchershopmiami.com for details later this month. If youre seeking unique mealtime entertainment for the whole family, try the Melting Pot (15700 Biscayne Blvd., Florida favorite, where the specialty isnt so much dinner and a show, but dinner that is a show: fondue. Which really is as much fun as its cracked up to be, since the eatery does all the hard prep work for you. All diners do is dip their choices in beautifully bubbling, prepared pots on their tabletops, and enjoy. A new menu enables patrons to choose just one fondue, like classic cheese, or anything up to a full four-course dinner of cheese fondue, meat or seafood fondue (with global mari salad. As a special Tuesday treat, dinner comes with a real show a magician and kids eat free. A further deal, for BT readers only: Mention the magic words Biscayne 15 any day when reserving, for $15 off a minimum $40 check. Could the head of the family use a little makeover on his actual head? As a Fathers Day special, the Cutting Room (1666 79th St. Causeway, 305with Francis or Jorge for just $15. We recommend the cut in this issues ad, the American Crew the look for guys, combining the cool of a crew with badboy heat. See the ad for other specials, too, and bring it in, or mention the BT for the discount prices. Or maybe dad would prefer a handheld blower, trimmer, or a chainsaw. No, no, not for his hair; for the lawn and other landscaping. If so, visit new advertiser Joe Blair Garden Supply (320 NE 1928, the company knows what Miami landscapes need. This issues ad lists Fathers Day special pricing on the above tools, but they can service and repair any kind of outdoor power equipment. Since our backyard pools are about the only outdoor areas in which Miamians hang out willingly during the dog days, Frank Carmona, general manager of All Florida Pool and Spa Center advises pool owners to make sure the algae and bacteria growth. If its a Floridas techies show you how simple it could really be. Meanwhile, just down the Boulevard, Pinch-A-Penny (9071 Biscayne Blvd., supplies store whose stock ranges from pool chemicals to pool toys, is celebrattwo automatic pool cleaners. Come by to register, June 10-16. The drawing is June 17. Congratulations, folks and thanks for the birthday gifts. After a week or so of splashing in the pool all day, the kids will be looking Fortunately, several schools are offering exciting summer programs, including Miami Country Day School (601 NE state-of-the-art academic campus transforms into Fun Central with one-week to eight-week programs in aquatics, basketball, soccer, football, golf, eco-marine plus summer study programs in languages, math, art, and more. Theres also a regular summer day camp (with pool time, pony rides, and similar normal For full info: www.miamicountryday. At Monsignor Edward Pace High girls, ages 6-17, can learn intensively BizBuzzContinued from page 20 Architectural gem! Ultramoderne 5-story boutique residence right on the bay with a fabulous bayfront pool. This 1398 sq ft cutting-edge corner unit has huge indoor/outdoor living areas with high ceilings and lots of light! Great bayfront location with Incredible 320 degree panoramic views, 3 balconies, 2200 sq ft 3bed/3ba. Full service building 17th oor, beautiful white tile oors, unfurnished $4500/month oor, fully furnished with Brazilian oak wood oors $4900/month The best location and best amenities on Brickell! $2500/month. oor 1bed with amazing bay views $2300/month Peaceful sixth oor one bedroom overlooking quiet tree lined park with fabulous south views to the bay and Key Biscayne Bridge. Offering all possible amenities with an amazing pool deck, fabulous spa and gym and steps from the Brickell nancial community. Live in Miamis most sought after gated community for under $200k? Its possible! Dont miss this amazing opportunity and enjoy all the amazing amenities of Miamis largest bay front park: Tennis courts, basketball, bay front pool, boat ramp, kayak. All redone unit with bamboo oors and granite kitchen with SS appliances. Swanky loft apartment in Downtowns favorite luxury condo Vizcayne featuring 4 pools, fabulous gym and party room and parking. This 2 story loft has 978 sq ft + balcony


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Jonathan Welch is a temporary maintenance employee who works hard for his paycheck at Miami-Dade On this particular weekday afterpeople each year. The main to this Miami-Dade County hotel. a political consultant who Continued on page 26


26 land-use applications and they did so in the BT homes no taller than 35 feet much like RM-23 allows 35-foot-tall multifamGreen PieceContinued from page 25 Continued on page 27


Continued on page 28 only immoral to those of us who seek out


28 and 13 animal species that are threatened or she wrote. Donner dismisses that letter as well. A staff person at the parks department wrote opposition letter mirrors the unease of Green PieceContinued from page 27 GRAND OPENING! UPCOMING EVENTS JOIN US Continued on page 30


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30 canopy and from other open areas of the Once in a while Dalrymple and his to the BT Howe says. the BT BT Green PieceContinued from page 28 Continued on page 32


32 red shouldered hawks routinely nests in an county parks department has no plans The Australian pines appear to play T The prisoners mined oolitic limecounty land and an additional 40 acres mine was almost out of limestone and The land was worthless. Green PieceContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34


Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture C.H. Crandon secure additional land for The hill? That was in the center of the park on top of an Green PieceContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36 Courtesy of HistoryMiami


WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM La Playa Properties Group, Inc. 2275 Biscayne Blvd. Ste 1, Miami, FL 33137 LaPlaya@LaPlaya-Properties.com Now Recruiting Real Estate ProfessionalsLaPlayaMiami La Playa Properties Group @LaPlayaMiami FOR SALE $150,000 Spacious condo with incredible views of ocean and intercoastal/canals. This full service building includes 24 hour security, concierge, valet, gym, billiards, kids room, tennis court, pool, restaurant and more.ARLEN HOUSE WEST500 BAYVIEW DR # 2127 SUNNY ISLES PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $775,000ONE MIAMI325 S Biscayne Blvd #1123 DOWNTOWN MIAMI Amazing south east corner unit with endless views of the vibrant city, tip of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. Unit has many upgrades with an open floor plan. Close to American Airlines Arena and the Metro Mover. FOR SALE $220,000 FOR SALE $240,000Milton GarciaRealtor Associate 305-333-7234 Catherine UpeguiRealtor Associate 305-794-6366 FOR SALE $399,900Spectacular 2 bed 2 bath unit with direct Downtown Miami skyline and bay views. Laminate wood flooring and berber carpet in bedrooms. Amenities include pool, gym and social room.23 Biscayne601 NE 23 ST # 1704 EDGEWATER500 BRICKELL 55 SE 6 ST #2100 BRICKELLJordan LedermanRealtor Associate 248-701-5200Amazing 1Bed/1Bath + Den in Brickell. Largest 1 bedroom unit in the building! Amenities include: pool and rooftop pool, fitness center, spa, party rooms, valet, 24-hour concierge/security and more. FOR SALE $295,000 Linette GuerraManaging Broker 305-915-0148 Spectacular 2 story loft with gorgeous views of the Miami skyline. Walking distance to Brickell Financial District and Mary Brickell Village. Amenities include: pool, fitness center, spa and much more.INFINITY AT BRICKELL60 SW 13 ST #2018BRICKELLLuis HoffmannRealtor Associate 305-962-6326FOR SALE $325,000 FOR SALE $150 000 TIDES3801 S OCEAN DR #5U HOLLYWOODLeandro MuriasRealtor Associate 305-798-3800FOR SALE $219,900FOR SALE $329,000ARLEN HOUSE300 BAYVIEW DR # 411 SUNNY ILSES Totally remodeled unit with white porcelain floors throughout, new kitchen and bathrooms.Amenities includes 24 hour security, concierge, valet, gym, billiards, kids room, tennis court, pool, restaurant and more.Rudy CastroRealtor Associate 305-310-9656 From Buying, Selling, or Leasing, we have an experienced associate that can help!305-672-0773Oceanfront condo with access to the beach and intracoastal views. Amenities include: pool, beach club, business center, fitness center, concierge and valet parking. Close to Gulfstream Park and Aventura Mall. Grand and spacious 12ft ceiling loft with enclosed bedroom. This one of a kind unit features a European kitchen and cherry wood floors. Located just a few blocks from Midtown and Downtown Miami.UPTOWN LOFTS2275 BISCAYNE BL # 807, EDGEWATERLuis DevotoRealtor Associate 305-992-4255




38 and the Dixie Belle BT hosted outdoor concerts in the late 1960s ful Dead and Led Zeppelin. The parks department was less lucky as rare as in the core city from which wrote in a memo to the Dade County Green PieceContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40 Allison ACADEMYFounded in 1983Accredited by: AISF, SACS/CASI, AdvancED, MSA NCPSA ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTfor summer school June 17 July 25, 2013 ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTfor summer school June 17 July 25, 2013 Dr. Allison Celebrates 50 Years in Education! Courtesy of HistoryMiami


North Dade Journal Castaways was a raucous 540-room hotel orth Miami Beach residents Joe the land and recoup some of the money market. This year the Miami-Dade Continued on page 42 Green PieceContinued from page 38


and a 165-room limited-stay Hyatt Beach City Council that his company to discuss transactions or potential deals the case to the Third District Court of Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Green PieceContinued from page 40 rfr nrt rb bfb br b fbb b brbtf rtrtf fb THE ONLY REAL GYM IN MIAMIrtrbtrtbfbr rfn tbbbn t


TXT MBto 91011for information on arts and events in Miami Beach CULTURE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.


44 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORShutter House RulesThe Miami City Commission wants to make sure retail spaces stay attractive, even when they lock down for the nightTo Be, or Not To Be: That Is Cityhood? This is the question facing residents living west of Aventura, and they may soon get a chance to vote on itBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterSecurity shutters. Theyre hard to miss if you happen to be wandering Miamis downtown area after 5:00 p.m. They tend be ugly. Soon they may be illegal. On June 13, the Miami City Commission is scheduled to address a proposed law that will ban permanent security shutters (made from any material) within the 1.7-square-mile area overseen by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), which includes downtown Miami, Brickell, Park West, and Omni. The law will also cover commercial areas of Coconut Grove. If approved, most businesses and property owners within those areas will have two years to remove their security shutters. Shops with outdoor retail or restaurants using sidewalk cafs, terraces, and porches will be allowed to use permanent security screens and shutters in limited circumstances, according to the latest version of the city law that was drafted on May 13. However, those screens must be transparent as well as ornate and decorative, pursuant to review by the planning department. to replace the shutters, either. Instead, glass in windows, doors, and display windows shall be transparent to ensure a safe pedestrian-oriented environment, and to maintain the historic charm of the areas, the proposed law states. The code also will deny permits to anyone wanting to install new perma nent security shutters within the DDA district and the Groves commercial areas. Temporary shutters will be allowed during potential large-scale weather events, remodeling, or repair work. But any such storm shutters will have to be removed 72 hours after the dissipation of said weather condition. Security shutters BT photo by Adam Schachner Map by Marcy Mock By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterNortheast Miami-Dade civic activists are back at it, asking the question: Should we band together and create a new city? Known collectively as a Municipal Advisory Committee, the volunteers hope to meet this month to discuss a much more detailed plan including a proposed $9.9 million budget for incorporating an area of subdivisions, condominiums, apartments, and at least one trailer park, forming themselves into a municipality. The next step for committee members: decide whether to push for a referendum on cityhood for the 3.3-square-mile region of some 18,000 people, wedged between I-95 on the west, Aventura on the east, North Miami Beach to the south, and Broward County to the north. If they decide to hold a vote, and the Miami-Dade County Commission gives its blessing, a special Continued on page 46 Continued on page 47


BT ContributorA Design District building that once housed the iconic Power Studios search for a buyer. The Chariff Realty Group picked up the property, at 3711 NE 2nd Ave., for $8 million, with plans to demolish the old structure and replace it with a new, 19,000-square-foot, mixeduse building. For the thousands of patrons who once partied the night away at Power Studios, its quiet ghost sat empty for too many years, a reminder that good times, like youth, dont last forever. For the neighborhood, however, the empty shell also stood as a warning that, if youth doesnt last forever, neither does a good business atmosphere. The brainchild of Ross Power, Power Studios brought a much-needed, eclec tic mix of nightclub, restaurant, gallery, and performance spaces to a neigh borhood that, in the late 1980s, was just beginning to awaken from a long nightmare. The new complex promises to continue what Power began, if in a different format. Ross Power moved to South Florida from Laguna Beach, California, in 1988. water gallery in Key Largo three years earlier, and had fallen in love with the area. Although Power liked South Beach, he foresaw its quick transformation from a funky, inexpensive artists colony back Power SurgeA long-closed Design District icon nally is sold, fueling the neighborhoods rebirth Continued on page 48 Photos by Mark Roskams, courtesy of Ross Power


46 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORelection would be scheduled for all eligible people living in Highland Lakes, Highland Gardens, Coventry, Enchanted Lake, Sparling Lake, Greyknoll Lake, Oak Forest, Ojus, most of Sky Lake, and several private, gated communities. Or the committee could, once again, invite Aventura to annex them. Or committee members could simply allow Miami-Dade County to continue providing services. Or the county could halt the incorporation altogether. Or, as some cityhood advocates fear, North Miami Beach could seize the moment and annex prime commercial areas, rich with coveted tax revenue. Despite area residents debating this issue for a decade, few things are certain today even a name for the nascent city. Back in 2005, an earlier incarnation of the Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) was close to scheduling a referendum, but county leaders stalled the process. A formal countywide moratorium on creating new cities was established in 2007. Then the moratorium was lifted in November 2012. One month later, a revived northeast Miaminearly eight years. At issue are taxes and services. Advocates of incorporation believe the area has the tax base to provide enhanced services like police and code enforcement. Status-quo advocates fear cityhood will mean higher property taxes and fees. The least popular option: being annexed by North Miami Beach. That city charges property owners $7.64 per $1000 of assessed value for services and debt on bonds. Property owners in unincorporated Miami-Dade pay just $1.93 per $1000 for services. The most popular option: being annexed by Aventura. Renowned for its excellent services, Aventura has the lowest tax rate in Miami-Dade County just $1.73 per $1000 of assessed value. So far Aventura has rejected the notion of annexing any of the communities to its west. Ken Friedman, chairman of the Northeast Miami-Dade Municipal Advisory Committee and a strong advocate of cityhood, thinks Aventuras are elected there. But do we want to sit around for two years waiting? asks Friedman, a Highland Gardens resident. If we incorporated now, we would be open to un incorporating and merging with Aventura later. Id be totally openminded to that concept. But Skylake resident Alicia Rook ques tions the motivation of Friedman and other cityhood supporters. Its unnecessary, vices, especially the Miami-Dade Police Department, which is one of the best in the country. Dade does the garbage pickup. So why another level of government? New CityContinued from page 44 Continued on page 50 BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORblocking retail operations that are being repaired or remodeled will have to disap pear within a month. If the law is enacted, anyone deemed to be in violation by the citys code enforce ment board can be hit after the grace Improving the visual appearance of the downtown area and Coconut Grove is the primary motivation for the ordinance, which was unanimously approved sion meeting. (Ordinances need to be approved by a majority of the city commission at two separate readings before they become law.) I think there comes a point in time when you want your streets to look a certain way, said commission chairman Marc Sarnoff, when he introduced the ordinance on April 11. Sarnoffs district includes Coconut Grove and parts of the DDA district. Im not saying every street in Miami can look this way, but you start somewhere, he continued. And the Grove and downtown are probably good places to start. The law aims to improve security as well. When you have the windows open, you have your lights on, so you have more lights in the street, and that keeps a lot of individuals, especially criminal elements, from the area, said Commissioner Willy Gort, speaking at the same meeting. Sarnoff admitted the code will encourage retail operations to switch to shatter-resistant security glass. However, in many cases, either the DDA, which Sarnoff chairs, or Coconut Groves Business Improvement District will pick up part, or all, of the costs faced by business and property owners. We [the DDA] will remove 100 percent of the shutter so any removal, well pay at 100 percent, Sarnoff explained. If they wish to use impact glass, and I suspect everybody would want to use that, we pay 75 percent, but theres a 25 percent match. The Coconut Grove business group will pay 50 percent of the cost of removing the shutter and installing security glass, Sarnoff added. Neisen Kasdin, a board member of the DDA, says many people who live and work in the downtown area support the removal of security shutters: The closed shutters at night make the street less inviting. To promote this trend, the DDA has been picking up the bill for the removal of security shutters for the past ten years, ShuttersContinued from page 44 Continued on page 49 BT photo by Erik Bojnansky


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORinto the overpriced playground for touran alternate location that would cater to his artistic needs, a place where he could remain engaged with the community, while reaching out to an international clientele not based on tourism. During the 1980s, the Design District was decrepit. Artists, musicians, and South Beach were drawn there and into adjacent neighborhoods. At night, the Fire and Ice nightclub, just a block from the future Power Studios, at 3841 NE 2nd Ave., was the one place that provided refuge from the seediness. Mostly, though, the district was a quilt of empty buildings and dying businesses ready to turn to dust. Powers vision, and perhaps no other business in the area followed the arc of the neighborhoods recovery so closely as Power Studios. In 1989, Power purchased the sprawling 1925 building for $90,000, a ridicualmost seemed that Power Studios, like the neighborhood, was pieced together with shoelaces and chewing gun. Code violations were chronic, and the business was always in danger of being permanently shut down. Still, it managed to attract large crowds to a kind of cultural three-ring circus in multiple rooms and on several acoustic performers, plugged-in rockers, the Poetry Caf restaurant, several indoor and outdoor bars on different levels. Thanks to its exponentially growing popularity, and Ross Powers new partnership with Miami Beach impresario David Wallack (the man behind Mangos Tropical Caf on Ocean Drive), Power Studios was able to resolve its code issues through extensive and pricey renovations in 2000. Again, as the neighborhood went, so followed Power Studios (or was it vice versa?). The clientele had shifted dramatically and now included some of the biggest players in Miami. Gloria and the facility, and Gianni Versace even photographed there, using Powers son Pablo as a model. (Pablo also painted the outdoor mural on the faade.) However, it all came at the expense of the less-moneyed local artists and musicians. What had happened to South Beach ten years earlier was now happening in the Design District. Perhaps the loss of that engagement is why its star began to fade, and eventually the Studios powered down. By 2006, the building was listed for sale, staying in limbo, on and off, until this year. Although no one is willing to say for certain, a deteriorating relationship between partners Power and Wallack appears to be the reason Power Studios was actively marketed again last fall. Wallack says he is mostly sad about letting the Power StudiosContinued from page 45 Continued on page 51


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORsays Cesar Garcia-Pons, the DDAs senior manager of planning and design. For this purpose, the DDA sets aside $300,000 every year out of its $5 million budget. That money comes mainly from a special property tax of 48 cents per $1000 of assessed land value within the DDA zone. Applicants have received anywhere from $500 to $50,000 for shutter removal, security glass installation, and other faade improvements through the program, Garcia-Pons says. Currently, only businesses located within the DDAs Central Business District (the heart of downtown) qualify for the grants, but Eddie Padilla, execu tive director of the Downtown Miami Partnership, which administers the program, isnt sure the budget is large enough to pay for all the improvements in that area. Just within the Downtown Miami Historic District a cluster of buildings roughly bounded by 3rd Avenue, N. Miami Court, SE/SW 1st Street, and NE/ NW 3rd street there are 150 businesses with steel shutters. The older the building, Padilla adds, the more costly it will be to remove the shutters and install security glass. Some of these faades might cost up to $100,000, he says. Paying for even 25 percent of that bill could be too expensive for some smallbusiness owners. We have to be sensitive, Padilla cautions. We dont want to put someone out of business. Rusty Johnson, an employee at Lunch American Style, at 221 NW 1st St., a restaurant that has steel shutters, says clear windows can entice opportunistic criminals or desperate vagrants to break in after a place has closed. Weve seen Worlds Dumb est Criminals , Johnson jokes. Weve seen the guy climb down the exhaust shaft, only to get stuck. Not that Johnson needs to watch realty television to be exposed to a burglary. On May 21, somebody busted in the door of the Subway shop next door. The thief, says Subway employee Willie Banks, stole the change that was left overnight in a tip box and the credit card machine. Blanca Aguilar, who, with her mother, runs a cramped cafeteria in the historic district, wouldnt mind if the shutter law passed. It might force her landlord to install windows and a door. Right now, a pull-down shutter and a lock is all that separates her business from the street. I think it would be better, she says. This is not too safe. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.comBT photo by Adam Schachner MIAMI COUNTRY DAY SCHOOLMIAMI, FLORIDA 1 9 3 8 why youll love us every day is FUNDAY every day is MIAMI COUNTRY DAY SCHOOLMIAMI, FLORIDA 1 9 3 8 at miami country day school summer campMonday-Friday, 9AM-3:45PM REGISTER TODAY!miamicountryday.org/summer305.779.7350June 10-Aug. 2Summer Camp Grades PK3 5th Counselor-In-Training (CIT) Grades 6th-8th CHECK OUT OUR OTHER 2013 SUMMER PROGRAMSBasketball Camp COEP Treks FUNdamental Swim Camp Lifeguard Camp Marine Eco Adventure Camp My Lego Summer Camp Power & Fitness Camps Racer X Swim Camp Simple Soccer Camp SpartanTV Broadcasting Camp Summer Clubs Summer Studies Top-Tier Facilities & Staff Full-time Nurse, Lifeguards & Security Before/After Camp Care Daily Lunch & Snacks Miami Country Day School | 601 NE 107 St. | Miami, FL 33161 | 305.779.7350Over 30 years of providing summer fun!CIT Program Fees* 2-6 Weeks = $200/Wk 7 Weeks = $185/Wk 8 Weeks = $150/Wk *2-week minimumSummer Camp Fees 1 Week = $400 2-6 Weeks = $365/Wk 7 Weeks = $350/Wk 8 Weeks = $335/Wk Fun Themed Weeks Pool Time Every Day On-Campus Events with Water Slides, Wild Animals, Pony Rides and more! C C C C CH CH CH CH E EC KOUTOUROTHER ShuttersContinued from page 47


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORBecause the region will be able to control its destiny, pay for even more police protection, and enhance its appearance, answers Glenn Gopman, another Skylake resident who serves on the MAC. We have more than enough director, a city clerk, commissioners whatever costs are involved, he says. unincorporated northeast Miami-Dade and Budget, which oversees annexations, reveals that the area has a combined assessed property value of more than $1 billion. A new city would collect $1.9 million in property taxes at its current millage rate. Another $8 million in fees, being siphoned off by the county. With those funds, the new city could spend $5.6 million on a police department, $491,000 for a building and planning department, $400,000 for public works, $500,000 for a parks department, $400,000 for a city council and city manager, $300,000 for a city attorney, $300,000 for a city clerk, and $500,000 for an emergency reserve fund. ures are preliminary. He also believes the county is being too conservative in its estimate of property values, particularly in the Ojus area along W. Dixie Highway. Friedman says there is plenty of room along West Dixie for enterprising developers to build new projects. While his fellow committee members ponder just what can be done with an annual budget of $9.1 million, Friedman has something else on his mind: the Shops at Skylake on Miami Gardens Drive, which sits in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and which would be a tax-generating prize for any municiFriedman warns, would love to get the Skylake Mall into their city, but thats a major revenue source for our new city. North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo does nothing to dispel Friedmans fears. As far as Skylake shops, I think it makes far more sense for the mall to be part of North Miami Beach, he declares. After all, parts of the Skylake neighborhood and Miami Gardens Drive fall within NMBs weirdly shaped northern boundaries. Vallejo denies that his city is actively seeking to annex the Shops at Skylake. However, we are monitoring the situation to make sure commonsense borders are drawn, he says. Our area cant afford more gerrymandered essential services. to rankle Friedman and his cityhood allies, Mayor Vallejo adds, Any new municipality, or annexation for that businesses affected, and not just be about the political ambitions of a small group of people. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com FOR ADVERTISING CALL 305-756-6200 WE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW! New CityContinued from page 46BT photo by Erik Bojnansky


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORbusiness go and that Power Studios was an incredible work of kinetic art. However, the cost of saving it was enormous. Wallack adds that it will remain a bittersweet memory that will never be re-created. Tony Cho, president and CEO of Metro 1 Properties, the listing agent for the property, says they had many potential deals over the years, but the buyers always seemed to walk away at the last minute. With prices rebounding in the Design District and a change in motivation on the part of the sellers, says he got a very good deal for Power and Wallack. The buyer feels the same way. Lyle Chariff of the Chariff Realty Group was once a patron of Power Studios and had kept an eye on the property. (His NE 2nd Avenue.) He asserts that he was never interested in owning it until about two months ago. During a lunch meeting at Michaels Genuine Food and Drink (within easy walking distance of Power Studios), he ran into a fellow developer who wanted to pick his brain about the property. What unfolded almost sounds like a Hollywood script. I went back to the table, Chariff recalls, and started to share the conversation with [partner and friend] Shawn Chemtov. Shawn looked at me and said, Why dont we buy it? We literally got a napkin and a pen and we started to work the numbers. Before we got up from the table, we had a verbal agreement with Tony [Cho], and we said we would have a contract to him within the hour. It was crazy. Crazy, perhaps, but the numbers worked. Chariff is already looking for the right mix of tenants for the new space, though he does admit he prefers dry goods to a restaurant or nightclub. Also, as a Morningside resident, he feels he has the right amount of sensi tivity to the needs of the Design Dis trict and Biscayne Corridor: Weve been here and were not looked at as if were these horrible developers trying to take over the area. Were trying to be neighborly. As for the structure itself, Chariff isnt waiting. Hes already brought in what he calls a dream team to put together a world-class, award-winning design building. Included in the conversation are Touzet Studio, Donald Kipnis, and Plaza Construction. Meanwhile, Ross Power has been busy relocating his home to Vero Beach, which he calls the Hamptons of Miami. Now that hes been liberated from the burden of the old space, he maintains that he is ready for the phoenix to rise and for Power Studios to come back again at a new location, with new partners but still in Miami. One of the things I like about Miami is that its so eclectic and global, he says. Thats the one thing nobody else has got. Thats why Im not going anywhere. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Power StudiosContinued from page 48


52 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIThe Show That Never EndsOne election was never going to be enough in a town like thisBy Mark Sell BT ContributorIt has been said that Miami-Dade County is not a melting pot, but rather a paella. In the case of North Miami, call it goat stew, and its getting mighty spicy. The May 14 North Miami election was frontier democracy at its rawest, with elements of the Keystone Kops thrown in. After four turbulent years under Mayor Andre Pierre, there is no sign things are calming down. Where to begin? Mayoral candidate (and former councilman) Jean Marcellus got punched in the mouth. Mayoral candidate Anna Pierre, who early on accused opponents of practicing voodoo on her, proclaimed in her campaign literature that she was endorsed by Jesus Christ, then blamed Lucifer for her defeat. On Haitian radio, commentators called on listeners to not vote for the whites. (Read: ex-Mayor Kevin Burns and District 2 candidate Carol Keys.) Lucie Tondreau a longtime activist for Haitian and Haitian-American causes, a radio and TV host, and the favorite of Mayor Pierre and city manager Steve Johnson was accidentally caught on a Radio Mega 1700-AM microphone explaining her children by different men by saying, Its not given to women to have many men because, you know what? My coco [vagina] is douce [sweet]. (Stephanie Kienzle posted the recording on her blog, Votersopinion.com.) After the election, defeated mayoral candidates Dr. Smith Joseph and Marcel lus staged a news conference challenging the vote, claiming that 732 absentee ballots were missing. The countys elections de partment admitted a clerical error, but said that all ballots were accounted for. (The And that was just the opening act. Now comes the run-off on June 4. Ex-Mayor Burns will face Tondreau. In District 2, where Councilman Michael Blynn was unseated after 14 years, Keys, a lawyer, will run against Mary Irvin, who And in District 3, car dealer Philippe Bien-Aime is squaring off against former councilman Jacques Despinosse. For all its strangeness and black comedy, this is an election of great consequence for North Miami and, to a lesser but notable extent, for neighboring North Miami Beach, which adjoins the western boundary of Biscayne Landing, along Biscayne Boulevard. The vast Biscayne Landing development, already under construction, looms over nearly everything. And in the background, Florida International University is clearly not giving up its BT photo by Mark Sell


efforts to open another road for access to its 151st Street campus. In early May, FIU almost succeeded in getting state Sen. Gwen Margolis to push through a bill in the legislatures blocking road access to a state university. Translation: FIU would have the power to open the Arch Creek East nature trail Biscayne Bay campus. The bill failed at the last minute, bringing out the people to vote for Burns, who presided over the nature trails opening in 2007. Oleta Partners, developers of Biscayne Landing, had planned to push through its Biscayne Landing site plan proposal, stalled in the planning and zoning commission, at the May 28 city council meeting, which included three lame ducks: Mayor Pierre, Blynn, and Marcellus. But Oleta Partners thought better of it and will try its luck with the next council. Tondreau has been on the payroll of Oleta Partners, getting more than $5000 per month for public-relations services, on Biscayne Landing issues without a mayor and must recuse herself, Biscayne Landing matters could face a 2-2 stalemate. If Burns becomes mayor and Keys wins District 2, Oleta Partners will likely face a more hostile council. In the mayoral contest, no one comes off completely clean. While Burns ran an administration from 2005 to 2009 unmarred by the accusations of corruption and cronyism that have dogged Andre dodgy, with bounced checks, foreclosures, and bankruptcy. (Some may recall that when Pierres house was hit with foreclosure, he conducted workshops on how to avoid foreclosure.) Tondreau appears to move frequently, so much so that her residency has been called into question. In her campaign dress of 550 NE 125th St., and says she is renting a bedroom in the western part of North Miami. Small wonder that, in the May 14 election, 89 percent voted to require all future candidates for city prove they have resided in North Miami for at least one year. paint this election as Haitian versus white, as there is plenty of political divi sion within the Haitian-American commu nity. The non-Hispanic white population in between 2000 and 2010), but the Hispanic population is on the rise (up 15 percent in the same period), with the black popula tion, heavily West Indian, up 5 percent. In ing Hispanics as the swing vote. Whoever becomes mayor, North Miami is in for turbulence. Burns says it is highly likely he for reasons too numerous to list, and promised transparency in government and an end to rampant corruption at city hall. Biscayne Landings preliminary site plan remains in play. The last planning commission meeting April 2 almost members Kenny Each and Bill Prevatel walked out following a heated exchange Dellagloria. On May 20, Prevatel, an architect and urban planner, announced he would resign from the commission. Within a week, he had completed an alternate plan for Biscayne Landing, in which more than 4000 upscale apartment and condo units, all on the propertys eastern edge, would overlook wetlands and the bay, giving the plan a more classy feel. Prevatel also says that, contrary to rumor, he has no intention of going on Oleta Partners payroll. the city, not just from an architectural point of view, but from an urban-design aspect, and an enclosed mall, he says. One issue yet to be discussed is the political impact of the Biscayne Landing development. Oleta Partners envisions rentals for families, while others, like Each and Prevatel, see the location as ideal for The direction of Biscayne Land ing could alter the political balance of North Miami, particularly in may oral elections, and the argument over what form it takes will resonate in the months and years to come. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


54 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR AWilliams Island vs. Aventura: A Heavyweight Bout to WatchDeveloper Gary Cohens plans for a high-rise have some people accusing the city of not following its own rulesBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorAll new developments in South Florida are accessorized with a guard gate at their entranceway. The guard gate serves two purposes. security, or at least a sense of safety. The of the gated community homogeneity in practice and exclusivity in spirit. The exclusives residing in these developments prefer to hobnob with their own kind, without fear they may somehow be forced to interact with dreaded others. No canvassing politicians or Girl Scouts selling cookies will knock on the exclusives doors. Remarkably, some of the most exclusive exclusives in Aventura reside on Williams Island. Why is this remarkable? Because the guard gate at the entranceway to Williams Island, on Island Boulevard, is a placebo. Any schlub can drive onto the island by using the right lane of Island Boulevard, giving a pleasant wave of his hand to the royal gate attendant appropriately costumed as a servant to the governor-general of the Bahamas. How could this have happened? The story starts many years ago in New York, where Norman Cohen made a bunch of money manufacturing garments. Cohen thereupon bought a lot of property in north Miami-Dade, preAventura, primarily along NE 185th and (pre-Williams Island Boulevard) 183rd streets. Cohen developed Commodore Plaza and Admirals Port. After Cohens death, his son Gary sold off much of the undeveloped land holdings, but retained two spoil islands dredged from the muck of Dumfoundling Bay, immediately to the north and east of Williams Island. Gary named these islands Island Estates. The only access to Island Estates is through Williams Island. Before Williams Island was developed, and anticipating that future exclusives might seek to control access to Island Estates, Norman Cohen obtained a perpetual easement commencing approximately at the Williams Island guardhouse and ending at Island Estates which permits anyone unimpeded entry onto Williams Island. The Williams Island Homeowners Association sued Cohen to void the easement, but lost. Consequently, there is no love lost between the Williams Island HOA and Gary Cohen. So last month, when Cohen announced he intended to construct a 16to 20-story, 160-unit high-rise on the northern island, a building that would obstruct BT photo by Silvia Ros


the views of numerous Williams Island residents, the Williams Island HOA sprang into action. But this time, the Williams Island HOA did not sue Cohen. Rather, it sued the City of Aventura for failing to follow its own zoning rules. One of the primary reasons the people of Aventura in 1995 voted to incorporate was to wrest control of Aventuras zoning process from the developer-friendly county commission. And indeed, in 1999 the Aventura City Commission (of which I was a member) adopted a new comprehensive land-use plan that down-zoned many un developed parcels. However, even if a tract was down-zoned, that was no guarantee that it couldnt be developed for denser use than This is because the tract owner may have acquired vested rights to build the property to a higher density (or a taller height) before the commission changed the zoning. By law, the commission could not take away those vested rights without adequately compensating the owner. As the commission changed the zoning map, it also established a mechanism for determining whether a property had vested rights that might override the zoning. On the theory that a vested rights determination was a legal as opposed to political process, the commission delegated the vested determination to the city manager. In order for a property owner to dem onstrate vested rights, he had to do certain things within 120 days of the effective date an application accompanied by a fee and submitting a sworn statement asserting the basis of the vested rights. tary evidence supporting the claim. In the documentation, the property owner had to demonstrate that a governmental act of development approval was obtained prior to the zoning change; that the property owner had relied, in good faith and to his detriment (by making substantial expenditures), upon the prior approval; and that it would be highly inequitable to deny the property owner the right to complete the development. Depending on whether the claim was based upon a prior governmental approval or based on a state or county rights determination or court judgment, the city manager would have either 60 days or 90 days to issue his vestedrights decision. The city manager is also authorized to enter into a vested-rights determination agreement describing the development criteria with the landowner. The city commission zoned Island Estates as RS-2 Residential Single Family District, which limited density to 25 units per acre and permitted only single-family, detached dwellings on a minimum lot area of 4000 square feet. At the time of the zoning, except for two bridges connecting the islands with Williams Island, no development had commenced on the islands. On July 20, 1999, Cohens attorney submitted a letter to the city manager re questing a vested-rights determination for, among other properties, the north island of Island Estates. The request referred to a court order permitting development to RU-4 under the county code, meaning apartments at a density of 50 units per acre. It is at this point where things get interesting. The current lawsuit against Aventura alleges the city did not respond to the July 20 letter until December 7, 1999, when the city sent Cohens attorney a proposed vested-rights determination and vested-rights determination agreement. This is well beyond the 60or 90-day period required by the ordinance, and the lawsuit contends that, as a result, the city manager lost any authority to determine vested rights. Compounding the matter, Cohen didnt execute and return the determination agreement until 2006. In the interim, the city attorney issued a report that stated only three properties had complied with the vested rights ordinance. The Island Estates tracts were not among them. And attorney Arthur Shanker, a board member of the Williams Island HOA, notes a particularly strange fact. Until 2006, when Cohen returned the vestedrights determination agreement, the agreement had a blank line for the amount of expenditures that Cohen allegedly in curred in reliance on prior approvals. How could the city have made a vested-rights determination if it didnt possess all the information necessary to do so? So we are now in round two of the the city taking all the punches. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


56 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEA n Inconvenient Trail A road connecting Miami to Tampa was a no-brainer back when the impact on the environment wasnt a considerationBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorBack in 1915, a road project was undertaken that would change the face of South Florida forever: the Tamiami Trail, slicing through the Everglades and connecting Tampa to Miami. (Hence the name, Ta-Miami, get it?) Thirteen years later, the move ment of autos between the two cities was easier and more practical, but the movement of water across the river of grass through the Shark River Slough bump that has taken some 85 years Everglades Skyway. Funny how when we screw with Mother Nature, she comes back to bite us on our well-deserving ass every time. Whether it be the dumping of factory chemicals in our nations waterways or the ever increasing carbon dioxide emissions from our various industrial plants or the spilling of oil into our bays and of her. As the worldwide population explodes, the need for food, shelter, goods, and services places stress on the big blue marble, and the marble is getting tired. But for now, lets get back to the topic all refer to as the Tamiami Trail. I guess The Trail (we who grew up here in Myamuh have always referred to it as the Trail) has long been recognized as one of the primary barriers to the ecosystem. The result has been a strain on the entire food chain that eventually impacts the food we gather from our bays and oceans. The Glades on the south side of the Trail suffer unnatural droughts and system, affecting all creatures great and small; creatures such as the federally endangered wood stork, the Everglade snail kite (thats a bird, for you city dwellers), the Cape Sable seaside sparrow. Throw in the roseate spoonbill, which is on the states list of endangered species. Perhaps you say species come and go rf r fn tr bfntbrfnrtbttnnntn ttnbbn BT photo by Frank Rollason


past 85 years. Well, lets discuss an issue that may hit closer to home and closer rise owing to climate change, salt water works its way into the surrounding land and ultimately has an impact on our becoming contaminated with salt water or brackish water. you might try tasting the water that grass and shrubs!) sure created by this water can help push ocean. Just a thought. simple: Just tear up the Trail and let the built the road; man can demolish the There are other impacts to consider. be another problem slicing through the along the Trail, and Cooper institutions in their own what about to go, but it needs to be replaced with something else, and the choices are once again. option as the logical choice to restore the Glades to their pristine grandeur, the roadway was a mere $8 million and more million sticks the highway today will cost an estimated bling establishment is located, right on the bridge, but work is ongoing to demolish the old section, thus allowing Currently there is a group called the and, although it is looking good that the grow up thinking swimming pools are a Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Restoring the sheeting of fresh water into the Everglades can help push back the intrusion of salt water from the ocean.


58 Culture: THE ARTSHungry Like the WolfMDCs Live Arts culture series has expanded its scope, and its appetite for varietyBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorOn a bare stage with dim lighting, men and women in black tracksuits with stitching of glittering sequins move to a b-boy groove, dance to a hip-hop soundtrack. These are tough kids. Then a lone man, in gold, starts to come to life, moving his limbs in an amazing awakening. Hes a puppet, discovering himself his gay self in an unforgiving world where everyone, regardless of sexuality or race, is guarded, where sensuality and joy are found only That was a dance piece from the New York-based troupe Abraham In Motion, on stage at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach this past February. A week later, a theater group from Austin, Texas, the Rude Mechs, took the same stage, but this time to deliver a humor ous and surreal look at the art of theater. In a play within a play, the Mechs re moved the main characters in Tennessee Williamss A Street Car Named Desire and produced a ten-minute piece, with the plays bit players speaking lines out of context. In lesser hands, these two productions could have been strained and clichd. But they were not. They were sophistication of South Florida, but the forward-thinking, exciting programming coming out of Miami-Dade Colleges Live Arts cultural arm. Looking back, MDC has been bring ing to town some groundbreaking stuff since the inception of its performance arts series in 1991. The series was then called Cultura del Lobo, a Spanish-language riff on the colleges downtown Wolfson campus, where most of the events were held. (Lobo is Spanish for wolf.) was on highlighting Latin and, particu larly, Caribbean artists, in a mission that mirrored the composition of not just Miami-Dade, but the schools student body. During the past two decades, MDC has morphed from a community college into the largest and, some claim, the most diverse college in the nation, with eight campuses that serve 175,000 students. Its arts programs began to blossom School of the Arts developing serious dance, theater, and visual arts departments and graduates. So with the turn of the new century, there seemed to be a need to expand the scope of the schools cultural programming, as well as take it out to more venues. To do that, MDC brought in New World School of the Arts grad Kathryn Garcia, who, after ten years away from Miami, had come home to help get the Performing Arts up and going. She took over the job of executive director of the newly named MDC Live Arts about 18 months ago. The eclectic 2012-2013 season just coming programmed. Photos courtesy of MDC Live Arts


For the season opener, she chose the Spains Nuevo Ballet Espaol, which company Rennie Harris Puremovement, Sin Sangre a show Garcia says Live Arts will music, but at venues across the county, participants was eventually chosen, ac the place we call home, but also serve as Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com A Street Car Named Desire Executive director Kathryn Garcia aims to have eight to ten performances each season, up from six in 2011-2012.


60 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through June 15: Paintings by Jorge Santos June 22 through August 3: Koi No Yokan with various artists ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through July 31: Group Show with various artists ADAMAR FINE ARTS 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Ste 107, Miami 305-576-1355 www.adamargallery.com Through September 1: Summer Sensations with various artists ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-286-7355 www.albertolinerogallery.com Through June 8: Dick-tators by Dario June 8 through July 10: Complex: Thoughts by Suhame 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Call gallery for exhibition information ALMA FINE ART 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through June 9: Dissolving the Form by Ariel Toledano Private Matters by Julian Pardo and Jesus Petroccini June 13 through September 1: Lorena Guillen Vaschetti ART FUSION GALLERIES 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com Through June 17: Subjects of Splendor with various artists 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www.artnouveaumiami.com Through June 21: Mostly Red by John Henry ART WORK IN PROGRESS 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009 www.jacques-harvey.com Call gallery for exhibition information ARTSEEN GALLERY 2215 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-237-3597 http://artseenspace.wordpress. com Through June 21: New World School of the Arts High School Senior Showcase with various artists ASCASO GALLERY 2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9410 www.ascasogallery.com/site Call gallery for exhibition information BAKEHOUSE ART 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Through June 7: The Nature of Silence by Tina Salvesen and Gerbi Tsesarkaia June 14 through July 5: Water Rites: New Works by GUILD 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse Call gallery for exhibition information BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through June 1: Gold Chains and Champagne by Ryan McCann June 8 through August 3: Haunted Land by Dacia Manto and Patrizia Giambi, curated by Anna Milashevych and Sabrina Benvenuti BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Suite 3, Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Call gallery for exhibition information 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through June 16: INKarnation by Karen Rifas and Kerry Phillips BRISKY GALLERY 130 NW 24th St., Miami 786-409-3585 www.briskygallery.com Through August 9: LEBO, Eric Cloutier, Lucinda Linderman, CP1, Diana Contreras, Alex Yanes, Jos Mertz, and Karen Vermeer BUTTER GALLERY 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 305-303-6254 www.buttergallery.com Through July 31: Recent Work by Douglas Hoekzema (HOX) 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 6, Miami 305-571-8100 www.buzz-art.net Call gallery for exhibition information C-ART GALLERY 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami http://www.c-artgallery.com Through June 1: David Rodriguez Caballero CARIDI GALLERY 785 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Through June 30: Ulama, Ule, Ol by Ronny Quevedo 299 NW 25th St., Miami 305-502-5624 www.curatorsvoice.com Through June 15: Icons & Images with Malena Assing, Nadia Benatar, Carolina Bustillos, Gretel Capriles, Mariano Costa Peuser, Oly Diaz, Claudia Di Paolo, Marilyn Duarte, Corina Hernandez, Felipe Herrera, Winibey Lopez, Cheryl Maeder, Monro, Rafael Muci, Jean Nestares, Rubem Robierb, and Anica Shpilberg Too Good to Fail by Rosario Bond 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through July 6: Kaleidoscopic by Shinique Smith DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 June 8 through July 31: Season Review with various artists 100 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net June 7 through August 10: The Surplus Bulletin with Sophia Brown, Ingrid Cologne, Ben Holmberg, Dialaura LeFebvre, Ben Moore, David Kamm, Katelyn Kluge, Hannah Kosgaard, Robbie Scott, Rose Weselman, and Teresa Zaffarano DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through June 7: Illuminations by Kanako Sasaki DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 187 NW 27th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Through June 6: Inventory Revised with Mauro Giaconi, Raquel Schwartz, Liliane Eberle, and Hernan Cedola Through July 10: Stairway to Heaven by Pepe Lopez ELITE GALLERY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 June 1 through 30: Contrast with Patricia Ortega, Beatriz@Beatrice, Liliana Botero, and Ana Sanz EMERSON DORSCH 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.emersondorsch.com Through June 8: Object implied with Kris Chatterson, Dave Hardy, Ryan Roa, April Street, Robert Thiele, and Odalis Valdivieso June 13 through July 20: INTRO by Alan Gutierrez ill smile when im not sad by Freya Powell ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 Call gallery for exhibition information 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 516-532-3040 Untitled Your Property Management Pros Eddie Miller, Partner Alekxey Sabido, Partner & Realtor Homes | Condos | Multi-Family Miami-Dade & Broward Enjoy Your Profits Let Us Manage the Hassle! 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Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS www.gallery212miami.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through June 1: In Proximity by Daniel Peet and JJ PEET GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Through July 30: Masters New Acquisitions with various artists Through July 31: Back to Realism with Cundo Bermudez, Fernando Botero, Claudio Bravo, Mario Carreno, Walter Goldfarb, Guillermo Kuitca, Wifredo Lam, Julio Larraz, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Victor Manuel, Armando Morales, Guillermo Muoz Vera, Amelia Pelaez, Pablo GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 www.generalaudiencepresents.com June 6 through 30: Function+Will by Luis Garcia-Nerey GREGG SHIENBAUM FINE ART 2239 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-456-5478 Call gallery for exhibition information HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through August 10: No Hard Feelings by Chanoir Personal Is Political with Fernando Arias, Milton Becerra, Henry Bermudez, Efren Candelaria, Manuela Covini, Leslie Gabaldon, Mariana Monteagudo, Magnus Sigurdarson, and Ruben Torres Llorca Preserving the Void by Jonathan Rockford HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through June 7: Ft. Lauderdale Modern with Michelle Bickford, El Gato Gomez, David Parise, Christina Lihan, and Dawn Frasier IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through July 5: Square Totem by Jesus Matheus JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 www.juanruizgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through June 15: Disassembling Paradise by Sergio Vega KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through June 30: CONTINUUM by Laura Rodriguez KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through June 2: Triathlon: Soul Training by Antonio Ugarte KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Through June 1: in god we trust by Serguei Litvin Manoliu LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Through June 19: Jillian Mayer Out of Place by Tracey Goodman and Valerie Snobeck MARKOWICZ FINE ART 114 NE 40th St., Miami 786-362-5546 Call gallery for exhibition information 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdc.edu Through August 17: Imagining La Florida: Juan Ponce de Len and the Quest for the Fountain of Youth with various artists June 7 through August 10: FLASHBACK: Miami 1980s by Alexia Fodere, Donna Natale Planas, and Charles Trainor, Jr. Invisible Presence by Yovani Bauta June 7 to September 21: A Poetic Reality: Magical Realism of the CINTAS Fellows Collection with various artists 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through July 18: Aperture 2013 with various artists MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com Call gallery for exhibition information NEW WORLD GALLERY New World School of the Arts 25 NE 2nd St., Miami 305-2 37-3597 Call gallery for exhibition information NINA TORRES FINE ART 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 June 6 through 28: June Contemporary with Eduardo Agelvis, Eumelia Castro, R. Cuitlahuac G., Alberto Gonzalez, Cristina Hauk, Bernardo Jaureguizar, Pristowscheg, Jamie Rubio and Miguel Rey, installation by Mery Godigna Collet Senderos with Ana Luisa Figueredo, Beatriz Kohn, Carolina Otero, Eberth Perez, Eliana Sevillano, Henry Bermudez, Ismael Mundaray, Jorge Salas, Lihie Talmor, Luis Pannier, Luz Maria Charlita, Martin Morales, Nadia Benatar, Paolo Caponi, and Susana Attias, curated by Sol Bendayan NOW CONTEMPORARY ART 175 NW 25th St., Miami 305-571-8181 www.nowcontemporaryart.com Through June 30: Mark Jenkins 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 www.oncearts.com Ongoing: Pablo Gentile, Jaime Montana, Jaime Apraez, and Patricia Chaparro OXENBERG FINE ART 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-854-7104 www.oxenbergart.com June 8 through 30: Pools of Light with various artists PAN AMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com June 1 through July 6: Argentine Photography with Gian Paolo Minelli, Santiago Porter, Graciela Sacco, Pablo Soria, and Lucia Warck-Meister PRIMARY PROJECTS 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com www.primaryprojectspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information ROBERT FONTAINE GALLERY 2349 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-397-8530 www.robertfontainegallery.com June 4 through October 4: Chronology: A Timeline, Select Fine Art Works, Post War to Today with various artists SAMMER GALLERY 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Through June 2: Periode Blanche by Carmelo Arden Quin SPINELLO PROJECTS 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com Call gallery for exhibition information SWAMPSPACE GALLERY 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information THE LUNCH BOX GALLERY 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information THE SCREENING ROOM 2626 NW 2nd Ave., Miami Through July 11: We Are Where We Are Not by Carola Bravo UNDER THE BRIDGE 12425 NE 13th Ave., North Miami 305-978-4437 Through June 16: A Stroll Under the Bridge by Pablo Cano UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI GALLERY 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Ste 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art Call gallery for exhibition information Refugio de Postguerra BUYING OR SELLING A HOME?MiMo Title Services, owned by attorney Barbara B. Gimenez, is a full service title company. We guarantee fast, dependable, professional service, before, during, and after your real estate transaction. MENTION THIS AD FOR SPECIAL SETTLEMENT FEE: $495*MiMo Title Services, LLC*RESTRICTIONS APPLY. VALID THROUGH 10/31/13.


62 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS UNIX FINE ART GALLERY 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 WALTMAN ORTEGA FINE ART 2233 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-576-5335 WYNWOOD WALLS YEELEN ART GALLERY ZADOK GALLERY 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami MUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITSARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA BASS MUSEUM OF ART 305-673-7530 CRAIG ROBINS COLLECTION DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE 305-576-6112 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FROST ART MUSEUM MIAMI ART MUSEUM 305-375-3000 MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART THE MARGULIES COLLECTION 305-576-1051 THE RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION 305-573-6090 VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDEN 305-250-9133 WORLD CLASS BOXING Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com Carnivals playground MTCs talented company members lead students on a fun-lled theatrical adventure. Participants create and perform an original musical.9 am4 pm Ages 6 $850 per session


Culture: EVENTS CALENDARTennessee With a TwistThis is no humdrum reinterpretation of Ten nessee Williamss Night of the Iguana (Okay, that play was never humdrum to begin with.) In fact, la noche i.delicatissima is about as experimental a take on it as you can get. From the group that calls itself Southernmost Situations, this version will feature dancers, visual artists, and musicians, and promises a near-psychedelic experience. From Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, June 9 this noche will be performed at the alterna tive art gallery Swampspace (150 NE 42nd St.) at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10. Go to www. southernmostsituations.eventbrite.com. Short and Sweet and FunnyWhat would we do without Summer Shorts as our steamy season hits? For 18 years, City Theatre has produced short plays by writers from across the country to keep us indoors, and safe from frying in the heat. Each play can last from a few minutes up to 15, with most of the plays being comedies. From Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 30 this years crop of shorts takes the stage at the Carnival Studio at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd.) for both evening and matinee performances. Tickets are $35. Go to www. arshtcenter.org.Indescribably ReggieIts hard to categorize what Reggie Watts does. Hes part musician, part performer, part comedian, and hes also been called extraordinarily hip. He brings his free wheeling act to music festivals and latenight talk shows alike, and will close out Miami Light Projects season from Thurs day, June 6, through Saturday, June 8 at 8:00 p.m. Check out his sound, his humor, and his fro at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St.). Go to www. miamilightproject.com.Junkanoo for YouJunkanoo, while somewhat similar to a Latin American carnival, is a unique tradition from the Bahamas which is why every year a version of it takes place in Coconut Grove, with its rich Bahamian roots. The Miami/ Bahamas Goombay Festival returns on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday June 9 run ning along Grand Avenue, and will include a number of musical stages, colorful costumed dance groups, rake-n-scrape instruments, Caribbean food and crafts, and incredibly diverse attendees. Its free. For more informa tion, call 305-448-9501.Carmen Miranda Would Be ProudOut in the Tropics has become a unique Miami institution, a festival of Latin and gay cultures done in outlandish style. This year, for instance, one of the groups coming in for the fest is the lesbian, femi nist El Ciervo Encantado, based in Havana, while New Yorks Carmelita Tropicana will bring her own brand of queer comedy. Taylor Mac will sing one song from every decade of the 20th Century, and the allmale singing string quartet Well-Strung will interpret music from Mozart to Lady Gaga. All the performances take place Thursday, June 13, through Sunday, June 16 at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lin coln Rd., Miami Beach). Tickets are $30. fundarte.us.Keep on Truckin, DadIf you have no idea what to do for Fathers Day (join the club), how about taking Dad and the kids to the Miami Science Museum (3280 S. Miami Ave.) for Big Truck Days Held on Fathers Day, Sunday, June 16 the event highlights all kinds of trucks, providing good, clean climbing-around fun for little boys (and girls) of all ages. Oh, and dont worry, the day will include Dads absolute favorite kind of truck food trucks. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $14.95 for adults, $10.95 for children. Dads get in free. Go to www.miamisci.org.Dancing to HistoryIn 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges walked into an all-white New Orleans to do so. Norman Rockwell immortal ized that brave act in a famous Look magazine cover. Now Afua Hall, the Jamaican dancer and choreographer who calls Miami home, will honor that same historic moment in Red mixing Caribbean folkloric traditions with sto rytelling and dance. On Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29 Hall will bring her dance company to the Miami Theater Center (9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores), part of the Sandbox Series. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. on June 28 and 10:00 p.m. on June 29. Tickets are $20. From June 10 through July 15, Hall will also lead workshops on West African and modern dance. Go to www. mtcmiami.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com .Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR High-Flying TheatricsMore and more, performances refuse to remain grounded. in the air? For 8cho the aerialists, dancers, and musicians from Argentinas Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Company will (Yes, even the musicians.) The show has been a hugely popular spectacle for audiences in more than 100 cities worldwide, and will premiere here at the Ziff Ballet Opera House in the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts from Thursday, June 20, through Sunday, June 30 at various times. Tickets range from $35 to $75. Go to wwww.arshtcenter.org. Last Boat to Stiltsville You know those houses out on stilts in the middle of Biscayne Bay are iconic historical markers of Miami, but when was the last time you actually saw them? Thats why HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.) is offering a Stiltsville, Key Biscayne, and Cape Florida Lighthouse Boat Tour The trip will glide around the lush, turquoise-colored waters of the bay on Sunday, June 9 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. As is always the case with these tours, there will be much history told, from notorious smuggling escapades in and around Stiltsville in the old days to tales of more recent topless bikini parties. Tickets are $44 for members, $54 for nonmembers. Go to www.historymiami.org. Marisa the MagnicentIt can seem ridiculous to label someone the latest Brazilian musical sensation; there are so many of them. Still, Marisa Monte has been blazing a uniquely spectacular trail across continents with her singing lately. (She closed the London Olympics last summer.) Now the Rhythm Foundation is bringing her back to Miami with her mix of rock, jazz, and samba, for two concerts on Sunday, June 23, and Monday, June 24 at 8:00 p.m. at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater (1700 Washington Ave.). Tickets range from $48.50 to $98.50. Call 800-745-3000.


64 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannHow Do We Know This Guy Didnt Work for Comcast?7500 NE 1st Ave. Comcast strives to be the Future of Awesome. Maybe they are, but one victim isnt so sure. A man in a van displaying the Comcast logo approached this victim and offered him an assortment of cable and Internet services. All it would cost was $220 to set up. Cash only. The Comcast employee (who, it turns out, was not a Comcast employee) took the money and said he would return to set up the services. He never did. When the victim phoned him, he hung up. A call by the victim to Comcast indicated there was no order in the system. A deal thats too good to be true? A tech who keeps you waiting for hours? Unresponsive customer service? Wait Are we sure this was a crime and not just business as usual at Comcast?Basic Instincts Prevail400 Block of NE 35th Street In the mood for a morning quickie, a sexually starved man, looking for another sexually starved man, found him on a Website. This is a testament to the modern age, where one no longer has to frequent bars (or bookstores) to meet a mate. The man came over, and the two proceeded to enjoy each others company. Later, as the smitten victim was prepping breakfast, his guest helped himself to the house keys on the kitchen table. He later returned with an accomplice and burglarized the home. He did have the courtesy to lock the door on his way out, though. And at least there was no ice pick.Criminal Feasts on Fresh Air600 Block of NE 81st Street Securing ones residence may mean different things to different people. It is all a matter of interpretation. This homeowner told police his home had been secured, but that he had left the windows open. He cant be that naive, can he? Sure enough, a member of Miamis slime community removed a window screen, entered the home, and did his criminal deeds. We implore residents of Miami to lock their windows. It will keep burglars and that humid air out and, most important, you will avoid being the subject of snarky Crime Beat blurbs.Global Electronics Firm Established300 Block of NE 75th Street Criminals love to take what belongs to other people. Its just what they do. We are Pace... Partners Academics Catholic Empowerment The Tradition of Excellence Continues! Enroll Today!Be a part of the Spartan tradition... 305-623-7223, ext. 342 or visit www.PaceHS.com to get the enrollment process started.


In this instance, they took a televi sion. Actually, they took 25 of them. Imagine that. They stole 25 televisions without anyone noticing. That seems about right. They also stole 30 boxes of packing tape. So we guess they are shipping early Christmas presents to their loved ones around the world, while selling the extra packing tape on the black market. They should get about two dollars per box. That should pay for approximately 30 crack pipes. Then they can ship those, too, with plenty of tape to spare. I Vant to Drink Your House200 Block of NE 57th Street Man returned home and found his home ransacked. Hours before, he had left the house thoroughly clean and present able. Somehow that must have stirred up some bad scumbag karma. He found the front door open, items missing (including food from his refrigerator), and fresh blood. Lots of blood. Splat tered throughout the house. What went on there is a mystery, but cleaning out a refrigerator and ransacking a house while bleeding profusely demonstrates that our criminals will stop at nothing to satiate themselves.Help Me? No, Help You!900 Block of NE 81st Street God bless those living in this turbulent city who want to help the next guy. In this scenario, a man knocked on a door, asking for a soda and for use of the bathroom. Victim let him in. On the way out, the culprit, soda in hand, punched the victim in the face, grabbed scene. The victim stood there in disbelief at the harsh repercussions of providing hospitality in Miami. We think he has adjusted and is probably cutting people Pee Makes It Into Police Blotter 100 Block of NE 57th Street Once someone has been in the mob for a bit, they acquire a street name. We have had Sammy the Bull, Jimmy the Gent, and now, in this city, we have Well, his name is Pee. Not a mobster, but nevertheless well known in this neighborhood, Pee went into an apartment and stole the contents of a purse, which included $625 and a food stamp card. Were not sure how he got his nickname, but this waste product will soon be using the toilet at the county jail.Door or Die12995 Biscayne Blvd. Are you sick of high gas prices? Well, so are we. But thats not the worst thing that can happen to you at the pump. While a woman pumped gas at this North Miami gas station, a man opened her passenger side door and took her purse, getting away before anyone could get a good look at him. People, you need to keep your doors locked at all times. Your car doors. Your fence doors. Your house doors. Albums by the Doors. This is Miami. Our crimi nals are always watching us.Todays Special: Two-for-One Punks12855 NE 6th Ave. Publix supermarkets are known for being but we are increasingly learning that safety is relative. Two victims were walk ing behind this Publix when they were approached from behind by two subjects. One of the subjects threatened to kill them. The other reached into one of the victims pockets from behind and removed a cell phone. They then ran in an unknown direction. They are described as teenagers, each standing about 57 and weighing about 130 pounds. On top of everything else, we have to deal with little punks threatening our lives at our favorite super market? Load up on those protein bars.Crook Finds Library UsefulNE 79th Street and NE 2nd Avenue Taking the bus is a challenge, as you have to deal with some colorful, sleazy characters. (And those are just the bus drivers. Ba-dum ching!) This woman was boarding the bus when a man grabbed her from behind and tried to steal her cell phone. (What is it with cell phones lately?) She fought as bravely as she could, but the aggressive thief won the battle and ran off, disap pearing behind the library. Smart move. He must have known no one uses the library anymore, so who was going to stop him? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrntb rnrnrf nfrffnnrf frrfnrrf Exclusive Afliate ofrfrntbn tt btnrff rfrrfrffrf rfnr f nnntb rnb r n tt t


66 Columnists: PARK PATROLPark and RideA kayak trip to Picnic Island turns into a feast for the eyesBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWasnt that amazing! Im so glad you saw that! These enthusiastic words from a woman in the park were certainly unusual, as most strangers in parks have nothing to say to me. But the event that sparked her outburst was something spectacular, and Im so glad that she saw what I saw, too. On the return trip from paddling my kayak out to an island in Biscayne Bay, I was about 200 yards from the mainland when something large suddenly burst out of of the day, as earlier I had seen a pod of four circling around a central part of the bay. This six-foot-long bottlenose dolphin put on a show of leaps. It burst out of the water at about a 75-degree angle, did a half-twist to expose its pink belly, and crashed down into the water on its back. And then it did it again, and again. At Then, just like that, the show was over, and the dolphin swam north toward the Julia Tuttle Causeway. The woman who also saw this show was sitting in Margaret Pace Park, located on the bay in Edgewater. She called out to me as I was paddling back to the kayak launch in the park. Ill probably never see her or that dolphin again, but I thank them both for that incredible Miami moment. The dolphin was not performing for us, of course, because the bay is not Miami Seaquarium. The leaping was likely an attempt to free its skin of parasites. Still, when you add all the elements together the still water, the skyline backdrop, the midday sun its impact was much greater than that of a typical de-lousing. The object of the days outing was to visit Pace Picnic Island. As it is only accessible by boat, my partner and I carried our kayaks across the grass of Margaret Pace Park (careful to avoid the dog doo, an issue covered recently by the BT ) and, on the parks southern side, found a small opening in the barrier of coral rock. Its not much, but its there. In this section of the bay, between the Julia Tuttle and Venetian causeways, about a half-mile east, and slightly north, of Margaret Pace Park. The City of Miamis website, listing the site as one of the citys eight nature parks, calls it Pace Park Picnic Islands, with an s, yet only one island was visible. Perhaps the city includes the sandbars to the north of the island, which might become exposed during low tide. There are other, similar islands north of the Julia Tuttle Causeway, but they are far from Margaret Pace Park. Triangular in shape, the spoil island has two sides of continuous beach and shallows, great for splashing around. The islands southern shore is less hospitable, with its buttress of coral rock. Fairly heavy vegetation includes sea grape trees, mangroves, and palms, and the lack of trails discourages exploration. The fringing beach is clearly the main draw, and thats Picnic Island. Sad, sad picnic tables. One held together by rope. Two of the islands three picnic tables appear to be on their last legs. The sturdier one perches on a narrow isthmus of sand, with great views of both the mainland and the bayside of Miami Beach. Upon approaching the island by kayak, a rustle of sea grape leaves revealed a three-foot-long green iguana. On the islands more rugged southern side, a few more of the lizards could be heard scampering in the underbrush and, in one spot, it appears they have constructed several sandy pits. Remember when all the iguanas froze to death a few years ago? Well, theyre back, and theyre living the island lifestyle. Also on display are herons, ospreys, and the aforementioned dolphins. Peer hovering over sand and seagrass. Look carefully and you may also discover shelled and shell-less invertebrates, such teeming with hidden life. You might want to avoid looking too carefully on land, as that is where the trash accumulates. With the constant up as happens on the popular beaches every morning the plastic bits and beer-related paraphernalia accumulate here in large numbers. BT photos by Jim W. Harper PACE PARK PICNIC ISLANDBiscayne Bay, offshore of Margaret Pace Park Miami 305-350-7938 Hours: N/A Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: No Swimming pool: No NoPark Rating Biscayne Blvd NE 2nd AveN Bayshore DrNE 4th Ave


Visitors contribute their waste as well. On this day, we found an abanrecent discard, as around it were cooked clean and had a hoof, like that of a goat. The island has several trashcans, way to reuse a resource. Now, if we gray body clearing the water, arching for ward in an elegant arc, then landing hard Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


68 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALSlime SensationGiant African snails are coming to eat us out of house and home!By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorIf you ever hear about an occur rence that sounds like the plot of a Perhaps you even have personal experihungry BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith


cucumbers, and melons. No fresh fruit available? No problem. Tasty tree bark and ornamental plants work, too. These snails not only defy the traditional view of mollusks as lazy, they slime in the face of such accusations. Make no mistake: This snail is one industrious animal. This is the second South Florida go round for the giant African snail, which cording to the United States Department of Agriculture. The monster-size mollusk can grow as large as your foot (if you wear a size inches in diameter, or the size of an averrabbits. Only more so. Rabbits can get pregnant on the same day they give birth, mate with their siblings and parents, and be pregnant with two litters simultaneously. One giant snail can produce hermaphrodites. Some even wear tiny Tshirts that read Double Your Pleasure. (Im kidding.) The snails tongue, called a radula, is used, along with rows of tiny teeth, to chomp, chomp, chomp and consume food at night. They are nocturnal. Like vampires. Only not. (Vampire snails. No reports of those yet. However, Im Unlike Dracula, giant African snails have limited senses. The poor things can barely see, and are deaf. (They rely instead on a keen sense of smell.) This may be a blessing for them, though, as they are noisy nom-nomers. This is, after all, what one might expect from chowing down on Miamis McMansions. But can you imagine the headaches? Miami attracts weirdos and freaks. (You know what the Realtors say: Location, location, location.) People come here for the hot weather or the hot chicks. Either way, whatever their motives, we dont kill them off. Not usually on purpose, anyway. Tourists are also an invasive species who cause harm to our delicate balance of native life with their gawking and road clogging, making driving a curse rather than a privilege. However, unlike other invasive species, they are not forced here against their will. Florida is ground zero for invasive species. In fact, according to this incrednon-indigenous amphibians and reptiles me by South Florida-based wildlife biologist Joe Wasilewski (who is working in the Bahamas to remove invasive reptiles, a process he describes as a no-win situation), Florida is the worlds leader in invasive reptile species introduction. Invasive sounds bad. Like invaders. Space Invaders comes to mind. Which leads to aliens. Which leads to eyeballprobing. The thing is, if they could speak, these snails, along with countless other animals, would tell you they were kidnapped. In fact, according to the aforementioned scholarly document, the pet trade industry accounted for the overwhelming majority of invasive species arriving and breeding here. A whopping 84 percent. The invader snails arent as lucky as the invader tourists. Since invasive species are bad for the local ecosystem, we kill them. I understand this is a necessity. That doesnt mean I like it. Id hasten to guess the snails do not like it, either. Not that anyone is asking them. Freezing the snails to death is deemed the most humane way to do the deed. Although Ive gotta say, Ive been in freezing temperatures in a good coat, yet and there was nothing humane about it. This imminent mollusk holocaust angers me. Once again, yet another species (preceding the snails are reptiles, itself victim to stupid and greedy people. These snails were most likely smuggled in by people who wanted to sell them to morons who keep them as pets. Or even by teachers for educational purposes. Now they will follow in the path of the Burmese python, native to Southeast Asia. Seems snakes slithering up toilet drains to say hello during comfy throne moments are not desirable. But despite our best kill efforts, they remain in Miami. Unwelcome guest alligators still splish splash in backyard swimming pools. came here. What will it take this time? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


70 Columnists: PICTURE STORYCounty Courthouse #2: Object of Pride, Soon ObsoleteA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul S. George Special to the BTAlmost from the beginning, the along the Miami River, was As early as 1900, the Miami Metropo lis the existing building inadequate for the ing, for in 1901, it awarded a design Miami, donated 12 adjoining lots, worth an estimated $10,000, for the building, The Metropolis limestone faade made from what is sometimes The Miami Metropolis the handsomest as well as the most roomy ones In 1925, at the height of Miamis great 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 HistoryMiami, #2007-447-1 COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: ppspost@earthlink.net T.M.Est. 1980


Columnists: YOUR GARDEN Hedging Against the WindStrategies for helping your trees stand up to the rigors of hurricane seasonBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorI was very lucky in the formative years of my career to have listened to older people whod been successful in their own horticultural careers and businesses. Over the years, Ive had several mentors who have taken the time to explain things to me, and I made sure to listen They have all since passed away, but there is never a day that I accomplish something and dont remember the person who very patiently explained to me how to make it happen. A couple of weeks ago I was giving a talk at the annual seminar of the Florida Landscape Inspectors Association and ventured into the area of hurricane hor ticulture. I had brought up the topic of hundreds of species found pan-tropically that certainly did not all possess the same growing characteristics as our commonly overplanted Ficus benjamina I showed the audience a photo similar to the one that accompanies this article. (This is a photo of a banyan tree at Jungle Island, a Ficus benghalensis .) One of the interesting characteristics roots. These are roots that grow down from the trees branches and, once they reach the ground, these roots (usually there are many) coalesce and form a single trunk, thereby supporting the branch above both structurally and with water and nutrients. The tree in the photo has many trunk-like structures supporting the long branches above. These are from aerial the year 2000. I spent an entire Sunday working from a 40-foot lift, cutting into the bark below the lateral trunks with a hammer and chisel and then wrapping the cuts with burlap. (It took a couple of weeks just to get all the sap off my hands.) Most of my efforts paid off. Within a couple of months, hundreds of little red roots were growing from around the incisions I had made. I will never forget the gentleman who taught me how to make these roots grow. His name was Ralph. He worked with Arthur Vining Davis as a landscaper, and later with Franz Scherr, the man who opened the original Parrot Jungle in what is now Pinecrest. Ralph had induced the roots on the banyan tree at that park. I was so fascinated when I heard this could be done that I couldnt wait to try it myself. Unfortunately, I did have to wait I have since induced aerial roots on looks really cool and artistic, but what Im really thinking about is supporting these trees during a hurricane. We all habit of failing in high winds. Its very common to see entire trees of Ficus benjamina turn over. sia and Southeast Asia, where typhoons do not occur, so it did not evolve the deep Ficus benjamina is a great landscape (hopefully in a sustainable manner, as we do at Jungle Island). It grows rapidly and provides great shade. It also grows copious amounts of aerial roots. To support these trees in high winds and preserve them at the park, I had the landscape crew place telephone poles underneath critical lateral branches. When the wind blew the tree in the direction of the pole, the branch merely pressed down on the pole and did not move any farther. I then began to grow aerial roots down these poles to the point that many of the poles now are cov ered completely with coalescing aerial roots. No one has any idea that there is a wooden pole underneath, one that will continue to support the tree in high winds. I have done this with numerous specheap and practical way to help preserve our trees in hurricanes. So now that hurricane season is once again upon us, dont assume its time to go crazy butchering your trees or cutting them down. Giving your palms the pineapple look by cutting off all the lower fronds will not only not help in high winds, it will cause micro nutrient problems that can eventually kill the palm. Planning for hurricane season, or just planning for healthy, long-living trees, should start when a tree is planted. The right tree, in the right place, planted properly, pruned according to established arboricultural prac tices, along with a little common sense, will give you a great looking landscape. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski


72 Columnists: GOING GREENBracing for the Big OneIs this the year Miami experiences a major hurricane? W By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorAndrea. Barry. Chantal. Dorian. Erin. Fernand. Gabrielle. Humberto. Ingrid. Hurricane season 2013 has arrived. tions for identifying Atlantic storms this year. If they all turn into hurricanes, the roll call would end there, according to two highly accurate predictors of tropical storms. Colorado State University climatologists Phil Klotzbach and William Gray have been close to predicting the total number of hurricanes during the past several years, and this year they have forecast nine. Jerry. Karen. Lorenzo. Melissa. Nestor. Olga. Pablo. Rebekah. Sebastien. The next nine bring the total to 18 named storms, including both hurricanes and those tropical storms that fall short of Category 1. Should we exceed that number, weve got Tanya, Van, and Wendy in reserve. Those extra names round out the list for 2013. We could need more or we could need fewer, depending on what happens in the atmosphere this year. Make your bets now and keep count until the season ends in November. Did your name make the cut? Probably only one name will count. The Big One. Klotzbach and Gray predict that four of the seasons hurricanes will be major. Is this the year South Florida receives another Andrew, Katrina, or Wilma? No matter what, be prepared. This years prediction of 18 named storms and 9 hurricanes is higher than the average of 12 and 6 per year, respectively. Dropping the Caribbean from the equation, the likelihood of a major storm hitting the U.S. East Coast is very high: 48 percent, according to Klotzbach and Gray. Flip a coin for yea or nay. If yea, now the question becomes, where exactly will this major East Coast storm hit? Northeast or Southeast? Will be it Sandy, the Sequel? Why do we give human names to something so destructive? We dont name our weapons of mass destruction Ethel and Lucy, do we? Nobody knows the future until it arrives, but past predictions of major storms by Klotzbach and Gray have been eerily accurate. Last year they nailed the number, with two. The same number worked for 2009, and they were only off by one in 2008, 2010, and 2011. This year, the Atlantic is ready to double its number of big blows from last year. Why? Two major reasons stand out: First, we are in the middle of a 30-year period of high hurricane activity and, second, oce anic conditions are set at all systems go. Hurricane-shredding El Nio conditions are not expected, and ocean temperatures are whipping up some hot tamales. The worst statistic for our area, however, is that South Florida and Miami, in particular is long overdue for a major hurricane. Thats a simple matter of probability. We need to start expecting and preparing for the worst. The familiar message for everyone is to get ready for hurricane season. The new part is that you should brace yourself a bit more than last year, because the ride could get very bumpy. Last summer, Floridas east coast was almost as quiet as Lake Wobe gon, so we can also predict that many people have been lulled into a relaxed state of sunshine. Your friends on the Jersey Shore, on the other hand, are not feeling the relaxation. Remember, Sandy was headed our way before turning north and busting all bets in Atlantic City. Who could have predicted a combination hurricane and blizzard? Surprise! Hello, climate change! Even though Sandys wind and rain didnt hit us, its storm surge did. I was shocked in December to see cliffs of sand on the beach in Bal Harbour taller than my 6-foot, 3 inches that exposed the roots of coconut palms at eye level. In Fort Lauderdale, portions of the seawall along A1A are being reconstructed presently because they were washed away by the surge from Sandy. And that was far from a direct hit. If a storms sideswipe can bring down walls, what could a direct hit do? I really hope Im wrong, but I have to state it for the record: This year will be the year of the Big One. Take a moment this month to prepare out the online storm surge simulator from Florida International University plug in any hurricane higher than a Category 2 on this map, the island of Miami Beach turns into a giant pond. Text addicts can request emergency Dades website and then texting Join MDSMS to 34292. The countys online hurricane guide is extensive. If the authorities urge you to evacuate before a storm, dont ask questions. Do it. The good news: Hurricanes provide plenty of warning. The bad news: We live in Hurricane Alley. The shady characters lurking in this danger zone every season have names we cant forget. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY Litter Goes a Long WayMiamis trashy landscape provides a golden opportunity to teach our kids about protecting the environmentBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorMorningside Parks Waterfront Recreation Center offers a spectacular deal: Guided kayak tours of Biscayne Bay for only $12 per person. Its professional team assists and guiding your whole family around in a tropical wonderland. What better way to explore it with your kids than something like this? But what started as a leisurely, sunny Saturday morning paddle ended being an environmental lesson for our family, trying to explain to our children why there is so much trash in one of the most beautiful places in Miami. Who would dump their trash on an island paradise in Biscayne Bay? Only a matter of minutes after our boat hit the sand at one of the bays central islands, we spotted a sun-bleached doll head, a busted computer monitor, and multitudes of plastic bottles, beer bottles, construction materials, and even discarded packaging for a new tent. In every protective cluster of mangrove roots surrounding the islands, there were goopy groups of varied trash. Even if we had thought to bring garbage bags on our kayak, we couldnt have made a dent in that trash heap. The sheer volume of birds circling, swooping, and perching was glorious. But seeing many of them tangled in debris litter gets to the island with tidal activity, and with such limited budgets, the city cant afford regular cleanups. Matilda, my eight-year-old, asked if her Girl Scout troop could come out to do a cleanup project, but the thought of one troop of second-grade girls attempting this behemoth task was daunting. So its a good thing that on April 20, thousands of volunteers participated in the 31st Baynanza Biscayne Bay Cleanup Day, an event held on Earth Day every year to remove several tons of trash from the shoreline and islands of Biscayne Bay. I repeat several tons! We should do more. We should teach our kids to do more. One annual cleanup isnt enough. According to Keep America Beautiful, most plastic pollution at sea starts out on beaches, streets, and sidewalks. systems or directly into creeks, streams, and rivers that lead to the ocean. After they enter the marine environment, they slowly degrade into smaller pieces that marine life mistake for food, sometimes with fatal results. Do your kids know what a rainwater drain looks like? They are in parking lots, parks, and streets. The grates are usually large enough for that empty Dasani water bottle you discarded in the parking lot to slip right through. There is a YouTube video of an ador able animated whale whose swim becomes increasingly littered with little pieces of jumps from the water to catch a quick It is simultaneously shocking and poignant. Our sea creatures dont know the differ ence between a plastic bag and their lunch, but it is our responsibility to make sure they dont have to choose between the two. I had a moment of clarity the other day when, on I-95, the people in the car in front of me threw the remnants of their Happy Meal out their window. They had two kids in the back seat. Nice example youre setting, Mom. As the French fries pavement, I realized my childhood was service announcements (including the ones with the crying Indian) and wellnot have recycled in the early 1980s, but we sure as heck didnt litter. Our kids know all about recycling, from what the bin colors mean to the proper way to separate recyclables. They know how to compost, and they participate enthusiastically in our neighborhoods hand-me-down-clothing recycling program. Have we skipped a basic step in our effort to empower them with the knowledge to save the world? Perhaps we all need to go back to the basics and teach littering awareness. A few days after our kayak adventure to the ill-fated island, Everly, my four-year old, made the observation that her school parking lot was littered and that the litter was perilously close to the rainwater drain. She was afraid a manatee was going to eat the plastic bags and broken balloons that were strewn across the asphalt. After what we saw on the island, I agreed and heralded her effort to clean up the parking lot. Our local government spends millions on advertising our tropical beauty to tourists around the world. Cant we spend some of those millions keeping our city presentable? Its embarrassing having to explain to visitors why the bay is so polluted. It is even more embarrassing to have to explain it to our kids. We owe our future more. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jim W. Harper


74 Columnists: VINO By Bill Citara BT ContributorIf you want to get good value and under the trendy radar. Lets say you want a hot date. You could go out with Kim Kardashian, but wheres the value in that? Before the evenings out, youll be stuck with the cost of a full-body Brazilian wax, buckets of $1000-an-ounce makeup applied with a lawn spreader, a taurant bill to rival the GDP of most Latin American nations, and a nightclub tab larger than Donald Trumps ego. And thats not to mention dealing with the entire Kardashian family of greedy, dimwitted, publicity junkies; the phalanx of paparazzi goons that follows like a pack of crazed jackals; and the inevitable tabloid expos, in which Kimmy reveals it was just a ploy to jack up the ratings of her fading reality show, Throwing Up with the Kardashians All that, and youre still going to bed alone. On the other hand, theres the girl next door. Shes nice, smart, and doesnt have to epilate her entire body. You can have a normal, pleasurable, and not breathtakingly expensive night out. And best of all, shes not Kim Kardashian. In the world of wine, Chardonnay is Kim Kardashian, while Sauvignon Blanc is the girl next door. Sauvignon Blanc is everything Chardonnay is not. Its simpler, more refreshing, less bombastic, and not nearly as expensive. It pairs exceptionally well with seafood, but also lighter meats, like pork and veal. And because Sauvignon Blanc was to pay $15 for a glass of over-oaked, overfruity, overly alcoholic swill at this weeks hot new restaurant, you can get a much bigger bang for your hard-earned wine buck. If any country is associated with Sauvignon Blanc, its New Zealand, which in the 1980s gave the varietal its 15 minutes of fame by releasing a slew of fresh, lively, citrusy, affordable wines that captivated wine drinkers around the world. Some of these Cloudy Bay and Kim Crawford, for instance became cult favorites (and started approaching Kardashian-like price points). Others, like Brancott Estate, didnt get quite the buzz, but kept churning out those fresh, lively, citrusy, affordable wines that consistently hit the sweet spot between quality and value. The 2011 Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc is just the latest example. It hits you in the palate with a crisp, lemony-grapefruity blast, then settles down to show a little ripeness and softness and orange-melon complexity before gearing up again for a Another product of New Zealands Marlborough region, the epicenter of the countrys Sauvignon Blanc production, is the In aroma lemon and grapefruit, a little richness and melon, a lingering why its hard to go wrong with New Zealand Sauv Blancs. But lets give one up for the French, too. After all, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fum, two of the worlds most delectable wines, are made from Sauvignon Blanc, and even wines without those esteemed pedigrees offer much to like with out much pain to the pocketbook. The 2012 Chateau Montet for one. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, it smells of melons and green apples and Meyer lemons, aromas that carry through to the palate, where you get notes of herbs and minerals. As for the Pays Sauvignon it seemed on the verge of oxidization, or was just a very odd wine. In either case, an excellent excuse to save $10.79. Ive written before of my general aversion to South African wines, but not the 2012 Spier Sauvignon Blanc A steal of a deal at $8.99, it teases with lemon, apple, and grapefruit aromas, hint of fresh herbs, and a creamy, mouthrefreshing package. Less compelling was the 2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle It did the usual green apple-citrus-herbal thing, with soft acidity and moderately creamy mouth feel. It should appeal to many while being remembered by few. I had high hopes for the 2011 Sauv Blanc from Casa Lapostolle a Chilean pro ducer of generally reliable, well-made wines. At least until I tried to drink the stuff: stinky diesel and cooked vegetable aromas, metal go out with Kim Kardashian. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Settling Down with Sauvignon BlancRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less


Columnists: DISHStay Home and Take OutFood news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorNot that it isnt a relief during winters high-tourism season to see Miamis restaurants automatically packed. But as a resident rather than visitor, I cant help anticipating the return of summer, when even the best restaurants must work their brains to a to lure us locals out of our air-conditioned abodes. One such temptation, at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-772-8959): taste of the Americas, featuring ultimate signature dishes from a different Latin American country, every Thursday of each month. June highlights Peru, home to, arguably, Latin Americas most sophisticated cuisine. But Julys menu from Venezuela (chef Miguel Aguilars native nation) sounds mighty irresistible: a mini-arepa trio; tenqueos (traditional cheese sticks) with national dish pabellon criollo (beef ropa, maduros, queso, beans, rice, and egg). Meanwhile, many recently opened restaurants also await. OPENINGS So Chinese Kitchen (645 NW 20th St., 305-482-0238), just across Wynwoods western border, this mostly take-out/ delivery spot (with a few indoor counter seats and some cute patio tables outside) is what the midtown area, despite its exploding restaurant scene, needs many more of: an excellent contemporary Chinese not old-school, cornstarch-laden Chinese-American restaurant. Admittedly, there are some Southeast Asian Izzy Almonte (formerly of NeMeSis), traditionally oriented Erick Luo, from Kendalls Mekong), and menu consultant Brett Rayon (ex-Azul) playin witcha. No General Tso here. Try crispy wings with locally made Cuban sriracha, palm sugar-glazed char sui ribs with corn pancakes, tangerine-dressed honey-soy roast duck salad with maple-butter almonds. Wolfgangs Steakhouse (315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-487-7130) hearkens back to days when steakhouse meant not wet-aged for economic reasons. In fact, here the beef is actually dry-aged on premises. Back to the days when appetizers meant extra-thick bacon or maybe shrimp cocktail; sides meant old-fashioned potatoes (like cottage fries); vegetables meant creamed spinach or sliced beefsteak tomatoes; and chef-driven preparations meant nothing. For noncarnivores, there are lobsters sizable enough to saddle up and ride off into the sunset. Cipriani (465 Brickell Ave. CU1, 786-329-4090). Located on the Miami River in Icon, this sophisticated spot, derived, like the other 19 Cipriani family eateries worldwide, from legendary Harrys Bar in Venice, has been open only three weeks and is already stirring up local controversy owing to prices (large) and portions (smallish). But heres one controversy Cip is clearing up: carpaccio, which is how most menus describe anything sliced super-thin. When patriarch Giuseppe Cipriani invented the dish at Harrys, he named his creation raw beef drizzled with streaks of creamy white vinaigrette for its resemblance to paintings of Venetian-school artist Vittore Carpaccio, known for his use of brilliant reds and contrasting whites. So please note, chefs/restaurateurs: thinsliced eggplant isnt carpaccio, nor is beef dressed with colorless extra virgin olive oil. (Sorry Its a pet peeve.) Paprika (1624 79th St., 305-397-8777). Remember Ben Nejis Wine 69 in the Upper Eastside, an ahead-of-its-time wine bar/shop that featured creative global tapas and multimedia art/food/drink events before both became fashionable? Ben is now pushing the envelope in North Bay Village, as GM and part owner (with majority owner Stephane Aloui) of this new Middle Eastern restaurant/hookah lounge. Food menus were conceived by Fabrizio Carro of Lincoln Roads famed Quattro Gastronomia Italiana; the hookah menu features virtually everything smokeable thats legal. World of Beer (3252 NE 1st Ave. #112, 786-431-0347). With 50 rotating drafts and 500+ bottles on hand, WOB makes the important point that beer is food. And the only necessary accompaniment is live music (three nights a week). But if you feel differently, more than half-a-dozen neighboring Shops at Midtown Miami restaurant partners, including Lime Fresh Mexican Grill and Machiya will deliver anything from tacos to tuna tartare to your bar stool. CLOSINGS Namaste is gone. Darn! Perhaps prices at this unpretentious Indian eatery were so blessedly low (it was easy to eat for out. Or perhaps the hidden spot was too easy to whiz by without noticing on of the MiMo District. (Hint: Biscayne Boulevards higher-visibility but still stretch could sure use a place whose menu, like Rajas downtown, included cialties like dosai and idli. If only some compassionate landlord would cut these folks a break. Hungry for more food news? See BizBuzz, page 20. Send me your tips and alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


76 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAijo1331 Brickell Bay Dr.,786-452-1637 Hidden within Jade condo, this sleek Japanese fusion restolounge (whose name means love) is also a jewel. Food-loving Venezuelan owner Rene Buroz encourages innovation, and his chefs (including four from Zuma) respond with beautifully plated items as fun as they are flavorful. Dont miss the layered croquante (a sort of Asian croqueta: mouthwatering crispy rice, subtly smoked salmon, and creamy crab), Aijo kani (king crab legs with citrus foam clouds and rich emulsified butter dip), or creative cocktails from a mixologist who also juggles and plays with fire. Area 31270 Biscayne Boulevard Way 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells highrises 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 Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where glo betrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomyaccented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$Banana & Leaf234 NE 3rd St., 786-431-5548Ever get tempted by the convenience of supermarket sushi boxes, but feel uneasy about freshness and disgruntled about sparseness of fillings? In the grab-and-go containers here, raw fish glistens and makis like a plump snow crab roll have a satisfying seafood-to-rice ratio. If youd rather, dishes on the larger custom menu arrive almost as fast. There is also limited, tasty Southeast Asian fare. Most unbelievable: Prices beat supermarket sushi by far. $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. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Blue Martini900 S. Miami Ave. #250, 305-981-2583With a 41-martini menu (plus exotic lighting, late hours, dance floor, and live music most nights), this wildly popular place is more lounge than restaurant. Nonetheless food offerings are surprisingly ambitious, including substantial items like sliced steak with horseradish sauce, as well as shareable light bites -parmesan-topped spinach/artichoke dip, served hot with toasted pita; shrimp and blue crab dip (yes: crab, not faux krab); a seductive puff pastry-wrapped and honey-drizzled baked brie. Come at happy hour (4:008:00 p.m. daily) for bargain drink/snack specials, and lots of locals. $$ Bonding638 S. Miami Ave., 786-409-4794 From trend-spotting restaurateur Bond Trisansi (originator of Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro), this small spot draws a hip crowd with its affordable menu of redesigned traditional Thai dishes, wildly imaginative sushi makis, and unique signature Asian fusion small plates. Highlights include taste bud-tickling snapper carpaccio; an elegant nest of mee krob (sweet, crisp rice noodles); blessedly non-citrus-drenched tuna tataki, drizzled with spicy-sweet mayo and wasabi cream sauce; greed-inducing bags of gold, deep-fried wonton beggars purses with a shrimp/pork/mushroom/ waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$ Bon Fromage500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ Brother Jimmys BBQ900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J evidently didnt hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmys opened more than 20 years ago. Miamis location is actually the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the slow-smoked pulled pork butt tastes righteous -no interfering glop, just hot sauce-spiked vinegar to balance the fab fattiness. Theres other cue, too, including big (not baby back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$-$$$Bryan in the Kitchen104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-fromscratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very Frenchfeeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal500 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 healthconscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 331.rf ntbnf nttnf tnt f f t tff nff ff$= $10 and under $$= $20 $$$= $30 $$$$= $40 $$$$$= $50 and over NEW THIS MONTH MIAMIBRICKELL/DOWNTOWNBiscayne Tavern146 Biscayne Blvd., 305-307-8300From restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, this contemporary tavern seems tailor-made for a newly urbanized neighborhood, inviting residents to hang from breakfast to late-night snack time, over updated comfort food thats globally inspired while adhering to the local/organic mantra. Among expected casual favorites (solid American burgers; Asianesque pork-belly sliders) highlights are items that chef Will Biscoe stamps with his own unique, unpretentiously inventive touches, from small plates (housemade potato chips with blue cheese fondue) to large (a long-bone short rib chop with truffle popover; South Florida bouillabaisse). More than 30 craft beers accompany. $$-$$$ Medialunas Calentitas919 Brickell Ave., 305-517-3303At this first U.S. location of a Uruguayan chain, the signature specialtys crescent-like shape says croissant. But medialunas dont have croissants puff-pastry flakiness; theyre more substantial buttery breakfast rolls. And either simply syrup-glazed or stuffed (with ham and cheese, dulce de leche, more), they make a terrific Latin comfort-food breakfast or snack on the run. The same is true for equally bargain-priced empanadas (three varieties with distinctive fillings from Uruguay, Argentina, or Mexico) and tiny but tasty migas sandwiches like the elaborate Olympic: ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, peppers, eggs, olives. $Temaris1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-836-2747In Japan, temaris are ornamented hand balls, used since the Seventh Century for sport and as good luck folk-art objects. At this Japanese/Latin hot spot, temaris are reinterpreted, both playfully and artfully, as beautiful, bite-size sushi balls (each about half the size of normal nigiri): vinegary rice topped with sliced raw fish or beef, plus nipples constructed from several of the eaterys dozen-and-a-half sauces. Fancier mini-balls feature fusion combinations like spicy tuna, almonds, and tobiko, or substitute crispy rice. Normal-size makis, small plates, and desserts are also fun. $$-$$$ MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTDaily Melt3401 N. Miami Ave. #123, 305-573-0101Masterminded by Chef Allen Susser, the concept is to bring diners the comfort of homemade grilled cheese -like moms, if mom hadnt usually burned the bread and improperly melted the cheese. The Melts custom grill press browns/melts sandwiches perfectly every time. Additionally, Susser tested numerous all-American cheeses (no imports or artisanal products) for gooey goodness. Mom probably also didnt create combinations like cheddar with green apples and Virginia ham, or allow a simple signature grilled American cheese to be dressed up with truffle butter. Accompaniments include roasted tomato soup, chopped salads, and sweet melts like smores. $UPPER EASTSIDE Fiorito5555 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-2899While owners Max and Cristian Alvarezs description of their eatery as a little Argentinean shack is as charming as the brothers themselves, it conveys neither the places cool warmth nor the foods exciting elegance. Dishes are authentically Argentine, but far from standard steakhouse stuff. Chef Cristians background at popular pop-up The Dining Room becomes instantly understandable in dishes like orange and herb-scented lechon confit (with pumpkin mash, pickled cabbage salad, and Dijon mojo) or sopa de calabaza, derived from Argentinas peasant stew locro, but here a refined, creamy soup. Many more surprises -even steaks. $$-$$$ Ouzos620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929Unlike the wide-ranging Mediterranean eatery formerly in this riverside space, Anise, which Ouzos Liza Meli coowned, Ouzos menu returns to her heritage (and to her original North Beach Ouzos, 2003-2006): pure Greek, prepared with the full-flavored simplicity of authentic taverna food. Its hard to choose between making a meal of mezes (small plates, including lovely, light taramosalata fish roe spread) or grilled seafood (which really tastes, not merely looks, grilled). Fortunately, dip and seafood sampler platters mean you neednt choose. Just dont miss homemade lemon cake, a family recipe. $$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS


78 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTShalf-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 selfservice dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Ceviche Piano140 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414 Owners Martin and Charo Villacorta, a married chef/pastry chef team, think of this eatery as a relocation (in the same downtown plaza) and reinvention of their former best kept secret spot Martini 28. Most dramatic changes: upscaled size, and with its glamorous white piano, upgraded elegance. The menu has also been altered to be less of a global wildcard. Focus is now strongly on Peruvian cuisine, including a shrimp/calamari-smothered fish fillet with aji amarillo cream sauce. But no worries, old fans. Some of the old favorite dishes remain. $$ Chophouse Miami300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavor ful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ The Corner1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887 With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or creative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is transforming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout. The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets (the latter from Om Nom Noms cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti) ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the Crazy Madame, Frances elaborate Croque Madame (a bchamel sauce-topped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon and caramelized onion. $-$$ Crazy About You1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flashmarinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800Just 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 truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ D-Dog House50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no low-rent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Dominique Bistro-Club1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-371-8859At typical restolounges, the resto part often gets the short end of the stick. But not at this chic but friendly spot, where Gerardo Barrera, an alumn of Pariss Le Cordon Bleu, plus his wife Dominque and her brother Jos Sigona, welcome diners with Frances best-known bistro classics: coquilles St. Jacques (tender scallops in mushroom/white wine sauce); a precisioncooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eos485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Originally opened by Michelin-starred New Aegean chef Michael Psilakis, Eos changed upon the chefs departure into a more familiar Mediterranean resort eatery, minus Greekinspired innovations. Now inspiration comes mainly from Spain and Italy, with nods to Morocco and Latin America. Best bets include a tasting platter of Spanish cheeses and cured meats; a pistachio-garnished salad featuring Serrano ham, figs, and arugula; crispy parmesan risotto balls with prosciutto and smoked tomato dip; and olive/smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken. At lunch burgers and upscale sandwiches are added. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on miniboxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$First Hong Kong Caf117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafoodpacked fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe154 SE 1st Ave.305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly 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. $$Grimpa Steakhouse901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (from-scratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily competent service. $$$Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat mar ket, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Jamon Iberico Pata Negra Restaurant 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, for merly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$ GRAND OPENING COMING SOON!Wine, Craft Beers, Prime Meats GET READY, WYNWOOD!165 NW 23 St., Miami 33127 305-846-9120 www.TheButcherShopMiami.com


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Business Hours: 12pm-3am Every Day 305-947-00643881 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach, Fl(Intracoastal 163rd Street Mall) www.yakko-san.comNot affiliated with Hiros Restaurant on 163rd St. YAKKO-SANAuthentic Japanese Cuisine Specializing in regional Japanese cuisinefocusing on small tapas-like plates you will not find anywhere else.Full Bar -Hiros17040-46 W. Dixie Highway 305-949-0776 or 305-949-4685Mon-Fri 11amam/Sat & Sun 1pm-12amClick your online order & get delivery right to your door www.sushiexpress.com(Also located in South Beach 305-531-6068 and Oakland Park 954-772-0555) DINE-IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY CATERING Sushi Express


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSLargo Bar & Grill401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., 305-789-9929Like its Midtown and North Miami Beach siblings, this Lime Fresh serves up carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Little Lotus25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ Machiya3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025Originally called Machiya Ramen Noodle House, this eaterychanged its name -and really, the place is not so much a ramen joint as a contemporary izakaya (lounge featuring Japanese hot and cold small plates plus sushi), with a few added ramen bowls. Most of the menu is a mix of todays popular favorites, like Kobe sliders, and unique inventions. Wildest: wasabi-spiced tuna pizza. Our faves: fatty salmon makis (lightly seared salmon belly with shrimp tempura, asparagus, and yuzu sauce); rich miso-braised short ribs; steam buns with rock shrimp and spicy aioli.Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Momi Ramen5 SW 11th St., 786-391-2392Banish all thoughts of packaged instant ramen. Perfectionist chef/owner Jeffrey Chen (who cooked for more than a decade in Japan), changes his mostly ramen-only menu often, but constants are irresistibly chewy handmade noodles; soups based on creamy, intensely porky tonkotsu broth (made from marrow bones simmered all day); meats like pork belly and oxtail; and authentic toppings including marinated soft-cooked eggs, pickled greens, more. Other pluses: Its open 24/7, and the ramen ranks with the USAs best. Minuses: Its cash only, and the ramen might be the USAs most expensive. $$$MPP Brickell141 SW 7th St., 305-400-4610Tasty Peruvian eateries arent rare in Miami. Peruvian finedining restaurants are. In the tastefully toned-down but still glam space formerly housing And, this second location of Limas popular Mi Propriedad Privada specializes in familiar flavors presented with seriously upscaled preparations, plating, and prices. But many ceviches, tiraditos, and start ers (like especially artful layered/molded mashed potato/ seafood causas, or clever panko-breaded fusion causa makis) come in trios for taste-testing. And ceviche lovers score on Tuesdays, when all-you-can-eat costs the same as a trio. $$$-$$$$$ My Ceviche1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-960-7825When three-time James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee Sam Gorenstein opened the original My Ceviche in SoBe, in 2012, it garnered national media attention despite being a tiny take-away joint. Arguably, our newer indoor/outdoor Brickell location is better. Same menu, featuring local fish prepared onsite, and superb sauces including a kicky roast ed jalapeo/lime mayo), but this time with seats! What to eat? Ceviches, natch. But grilled or raw fish/seafood tacos and burritos, in fresh tortillas, might be even more tempting. Pristine stone-crab claws from co-owner Roger Duartes George Stone Crab add to the choices. $$Naoe661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263Chances are youve never had anything like the $85 prix-fixe Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Corys tiny but nationally acclaimed oasis, transplanted from its original Sunny Isles space with its supreme serenity intact. By reservation only, in two dinner seatings of just eight people each, and omakase (chefs choice) only, meals include a seasonal soup, a four-course bento box, eight pieces of sushi, and three desserts. Cory personally does everything for you, even applying the perfect amount of housemade artisan soy sauce mix and fresh-grated wasabi to each mind-reelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sau sage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredientdriven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various macand-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/ goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$Ozzi Sushi200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pashas1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Pega Grill15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Perricones15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most injokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly char-blistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/delivery-only Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$ Located Next to Publix & Party City Receivemenchies.com18839B Biscayne Blvd. Aventura, Florida 33180 (305) 935-677720% offCoupon Code bt521 Offer expires 9/30/13 *Valid with coupon. Not to be combined with any other offer. 2013 Menchies Group, Inc. 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM rfntft


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Pier 9494 SE 1st St., 305-379-5652Tucked into The Village, a collection of courtyard eateries far from any waterfront, this ceviche bar specializes in fresh seafood dishes from chef/owner Alex Del Corrals native Peru, but also features famous Peruvian meat and poultry dishes (including a refined aji de gallina, chicken in aji pepper-spiced cream sauce). Emphasis is particularly strong on Perus penchant for fusion food, including traditional Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) rice or noodle stir-fries. But the chef also fuses classic and creative influences. Try contemporary cau sas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Thea Pizzeria-Caf1951 NW 7th Ave., 305-777-3777Just over the border from artsy Wynwood, this ultra-cool caf (whose interior features a 30-foot Italian glass floral mosaic) isnt what youd expect to find inside one of the medical/lab buildings in Miamis sterile Health District. But the owner is Thea Goldman, former founding partner of Wynwoods pioneering restolounge Joeys, which explains both the stylishness and the menu, highlighted by imaginative wood-oven designer pizzas, plus artisan charcuterie/cheese platters, creative salads, and housemade salted caramel gelato. Not your typical hospital food. Call ahead regarding dinner. At this writing, its being served Fridays only. $$-$$$Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025 Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingredients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Porketta43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034Warm, juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herb-stuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced porketta) roast, at its best, is hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry deli-style pork roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or in three mini-sandwiches, convenient for sampling the places three sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $-$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fireroasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Scalina315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-andmatch housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higherpriced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$Tobacco Road626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, 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. $$Top Burger109 NE 1st St., 305-379-3100Inside this better burger spot, dcor is so charmingly 1950s retro you almost expect to find the Fonz leaning on a jukebox. What you actually find: hand-formed, hormone-free, 100% Angus patties (or alternatives like veggie burgers, a lightlybreaded chicken Milanesa, and all-beef hot dogs) on toasted buns, with fresh-cut French or sweet potato fries. Welcome surprises include an assertively spicy/tangy BBQ-like secret sauce; prices that, while not 1950s level, rival those at junkfood joints; and old-school service -the kind that comes with a smile. $ Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710 Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/dinner destination mainly by default. This replace ment, from restaurant empire-builder Richard Sandoval, brings downtown power dining into this decade. As the name suggests, you can go bullish with steakhouse fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) rodizio experience. But the places strongest suit is its pan-Latin small plates -upscaled refinements of classic favorites: crisp corn arepas with short rib, guacamole, and crema fresca; fluffier cachapas pancakes with tomato jam; more. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but resto lounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistro lounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$ Tuyo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former prot gs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Wok Town119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (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. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restau rants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ B Sweet20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453At this homey neighborhood jewel, located in a former apartment building, husband/wife team Tom Worhach and Karina Gimenez serve up warm welcomes and playfully inventive breakfast, lunch, and snack fare: bacon-wrapped egg and cheese cups; pressed Philly steak panini; an elegant yuzudressed smoked salmon, grapefruit, avocado, and arugula salad. But the must-eats are sweets, housemade by Worhach, formerly executive pastry chef at the Mansion at Turtle Creek and similar gourmet palaces. One bite of his decadent yet impossibly light white-and-dark chocolate mousse cake will hook you for life. $-$$ Basanis3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red-sauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSBengal2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurant-starved stretch of Biscayne Boulevard, this spot serves the same sort of simple but satisfying Italian fare (antipasti, soups, salads, pizzas) as its older sibling, South Miamis Blu Pizzeria, plus burgers. The thin-crust, pliable pizzas, though lacking burn blisters, are brick-oven cooked, as are blues, unusual calzones (like the blu oceano, fatly filled with mozzarella, prosciutto crudo, arugula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 181800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Bloom2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5443Miamis most innovative art district is the perfect setting for this hip hangout, whose mad-genius menu proves that food is indeed one of the creative arts. Reinvented Latin/Asian street foods from chef Ricky Sauri (ex-Nobu) include spicy Spam-topped rice cakes; tuna tartare in seaweed tacos; a reina pepiada arepa, whose traditional mild chicken filling is replaced by shredded duck, avocado, tangy-sweet tamarind sauce, and Japanese mayo; an especially elegant Korean bibimbap; a vegan shitake-pumpkin tamale with nutty, cheesy natto sauce. For liquid art aficionados: cocktails like the eye-popping Tequila Beets (featuring roasted beet juice). $$$Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supreme ly satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last ParisBrest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ Cafeina297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant2004 Biscayne Blvd. 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Crumb on Parchment3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/ caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Cypress Room3620 NE 2nd Ave., 305-520-5197Deer and boar heads on wood-paneled walls juxtapose with crystal chandeliers at this tiny fourth restaurant in Michael Schwartzs burgeoning empire, evoking feelings of dining in a century-old millionaires hunting lodge -in miniature. Many dishes are similarly fun fantasies of 1920s Florida fine dining, pairing yesteryears rustic proteins (including wild game) and veggies with preparations that are ultimately refined interpretations of the past: antelope/wild mushroom gnocchi; French onion soup with a sort of gruyere tuile float instead of the usual gooey melt, served on a lacy doily. Dont miss the royal red shrimp, or Hedy Goldsmiths desserts. $$$$$ The Daily Creative Food Co.2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crispfried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$


84 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Egyptian Pizza KitchenShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050Pizza, 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. $$The Embassy4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-8446Dont come to this embassy for passports. The name is short for Embassy of Well-being and Debauchery. You will, however, feel transported to Spains gourmet capital, San Sebastian, after sampling ambassador Alan Hughess cunning pintxos (complexly layered Basque-style tapas). From a self-serve bar, choose from a changing selection of skewered stacks; brie, homemade fig jam, and twizzles of silky jamon Serrano; roast tomato, goat cheese, and anchovies on buttery garlic toast; many more. Small plates, to-die-for desserts like floating island with lychees, and weekend brunch items demonstrate similar mad-chef skills. $$-$$$ Shops at Midtown Miami 3552 NE 1st Ave., 305-482-1832When kids are sick, you take them to a doctor. If your inner child feels feverish, though, the cure is Felecia Hatchers handcrafted, vegan-friendly, natural and organic frozen treats -popsicles reinvented for grown-ups. At this literal mom-and-pop shop, Hatcher and husband Derek Pearson offer more than 25 changing flavors, some spiked (like locally sourced mango with bourbon), others just sophisticated (pineapple basil, strawberry balsamic, chocolate banana). No artificial flavors, no refined sugars. Particularly playful inner kids can customize with coatings ranging from nuts to truly nuts: pop rocks, potato chips, and more. $ Georges Kitchen & The Loft3404 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-9199Veteran Miami restaurateur George-Eric Farge raises the sophistication bar at his new two-story restaurant/lounge. But the real star is Michelin-starred chef Steven Rojas, who combines French technique and personal creativity for dishes like Idiazabal cheese churros with romesco sauce, a green pea pot de crme jar with bacon marmalade (accompanied by butter-fried baguette slices for spreading), soy-glazed hamachi crudo with ginger gelee, and capersprinkled short rib tartare, the meats richness cheekily upped by poached bone marrow and caviar. Brunch and lunch items are equally ingenious. $$$Gigi3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach RitzCarlton) 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 house made pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ Harrys Pizzeria3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; woodoven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jean Pauls House2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373Jean Paul Desmaison, original chef/co-owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables, has chosen a decidedly less tony, more transitional neighborhood for this venture. But inside his renovated bungalow, ambiance is stylishly cozy, and the creative contemporary North/South American fusion cuisine is as elegant as ever. Best bets are dishes influenced by Desmaisons native Peru, including crispy pork belly braised in pisco with silky sweet potato pure, and a beautifully balanced nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian) salmon sashimi that does the impossible: tame leche de tigre, Perus infamous tigers milk marinade. $$$-$$$$ Jimmyz Kitchen2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the 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 Latina3509 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-9655At last, an authentic Venezuelan arepera (purveyor of home made arepas, with a variety of meat, cheese, and veggie fillings) that isnt out in the boonies -and decidedly isnt a dive. With colorful dcor concocted from recycled objects, this space, though small, has truly eclectic, Midtown style. The signature corn cakes, crisped outside and fluffy inside, put sodden supermarket specimens to shame. And cachapas (softer, sweeter corn pancakes folded around mozzarella-like fresh cheese) or bollarepitas (cheese-stuffed deep-fried corn cakes, with tangy nata dip) may be even tastier. $-$$La Provence2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Lagniappe3425 NE 2nd. Ave., 305-576-0108In New Orleans, lagniappe means a little extra, like the 13th doughnut in a bakers dozen. And thats what you get at this combination wine and cheese bar/backyard BBQ/enter tainment venue. Choose artisan cheeses and charcuterie from the fridges, hand them over when you pay (very little), and theyll be plated with extras: olives, bread, changing luscious condiments. Or grab fish, chicken, veggies, or steak (with salad or cornbread) from the hidden yards grill. Relax in the comfie mismatched furniture, over extensive wine/beer choices and laidback live music. No cover, no attitude. $$ Latin Caf 20002501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively richtasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican GrillShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwesternstyle fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepitacrusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemoncrusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948 Chef/co-owner Dena Marino calls MCs food modern Italian -neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this place is one of our towns hottest tickets. But tasting tells the tale. Marinos food incorporates her entire culinary background, from her Nonnas traditional Italian-American kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarellos famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$ Mercadito Midtown3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Mikes at Venetia555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoe string frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maplebasted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, 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. $$-$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818 With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/ restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/ pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$Pieducks3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548 Behind this Wynwood warehouse faade youll find pure Southern roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbecue from pit master Myron Mixon. Oddly, considering Mixons many BBQ championships, the cue can be inconsistent. Our favorite choices: St. Louis ribs, tender without being falling-off-the bone overcooked, and enjoyably fattier than baby backs; vinegar-doused pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$ Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to 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. $$Primo Pizza Miami3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant most everywhere. Today many places now offer authentic Italian or delicate designer pizzas. But a satisfying Brookyn-style street slice? Fuhgedit. Thankfully thats the speciality of this indoor/ outdoor pizzeria: big slices with chewy crusts (made from imported NY tap water) that arent ultra-thin and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medium-thick -sturdy enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Sakaya KitchenShops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue 305-576-8096This chef-driven, fast-casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop). But why quibble about words with so many more intriguing things to wrap your mouth around? The concept takes on street-food favorites from all over Asia, housemade daily from quality fresh ingredients. French Culinary Institute-trained Richard Hales does change his menu, so wed advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken wings and Chinese-inspired, open-faced roast pork buns with sweet chili sauce and homemade pickles. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soupsto-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Custom-sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, especially for those who enjoy taste-testing a plate pairing Italys two most famous prosciuttos: Parma and San Daniele. But homemade pastas are also impressive, as are hard-to-find regional entres like fegato alla Veneziana, which will turn liver-haters into lovers. $$-$$$ Salsa Fiesta2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-freshdaily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Shokudo World Resource Caf 4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resources caf was better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The indoor/outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan-Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light housemade momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/Nepalese steamed dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions. Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$-$$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/ fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tony Chans Water Club1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Wine Vault MiamiShops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include chorizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from worldfamous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$Balans Biscayne6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhoodfocused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Blue Collar6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$Boteco916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$DeVitas7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ East Side Pizza731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/ chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern-inspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Garden of Eatin136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for 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. $


86 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Go To Sushi5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Iron Side Caf7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-759-0551Located in the Little River business (meaning warehouse) district, inside an art complex that looks like just another factory, this eatery is easy to miss. But it shouldnt be missed. Both the cozy interior and more expansive terrace provide picturesque settings for artfully plated, seriously organic and locally sourced fare from Nuno Grullon, original exec chef at Metro Organic Bistro. Particularly recommended: tuna tartare with a unique spicy lemon dressing; ossa buco featuring flavorful grass-fed beef from Gaucho Ranch right down the road. Saturday BBQ/gallery nights are especially hip. $$-$$$Jimmys East Side Diner7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and 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. $-$$La Cigale7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweetsavory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a fullfledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless bone less half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$ Sweet Saloon7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999At this dessert/snack/cocktail bar, from the owner of Moonchine, youll find live and DJ entertainment, too, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.-assuming you can find the place, that is. Its above the pan-Asian eatery, up a hidden back staircase. Asian savory snacks include dumplings, edamame, krab rangoons, satays. Desserts range from homey American (NY cheesecake, mini cupcakes) to continental (strawberries melba, housemade Belgian waffles, a shareable chocolate fondue/fruit platter). Actually, some cocktails double as desserts (a Godiva dark chocolate martini) or Asian savories (infusion jars of Stoli and lemongrass). $$Uvas6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $NORTH BAY VILLAGEThe Crab House1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Oggi Caffe1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey traditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If youve wondered about the much-debated difference, heres where to test the taste. $-$$Shuckers Bar & Grill1819 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 kickoff-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. $-$$Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS NORTH BEACHCaf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Who says old dogs cant learn new tricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28 seats), the Cea familys now-sprawling trattoria has added inventive chef Carlos Belon and modern menu items, including fiocchi rapera (pear/cheese-filled pasta purses with truffled prosciutto cream sauce), an unlikely (soy sauce and parmesan cheese?) but luscious Italian/ Japanese fusion tuna carpaccio, and fresh-fruit sorbets. But traditionalists neednt worry. All the old favorites, from the cafs famed beef carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$-$$$$ Lous Beer Garden7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels poolpatio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several house made sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/ sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys executive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$The Wine Market908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/ outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooeycheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$ NORTH MIAMIAlaska Coffee Roasting Co.13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$Bagels & Co.11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hot-smoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingre dients such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of the infamous Luther: a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Cane Sucre899 NE 125th St.,305-891-0123From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and home made sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Caminito Way1960 NE 123rd St., 305-893-8322Open since 1999, this bakery-caf is particularly known for its European-influenced homemade Argentine pastries. So come early to pick from the widest variety of savory empanadas (plumply stuffed and admirably delicate -no leaden crusts here) or sweet facturas (Argentinas most popular breakfast items). They sell out fast. What some might not know is that despite its small size, Caminitos also crafts tasty big food: elaborate salads; hefty baguette sandwiches, like choripan sausage with chimichurri; pastas; major meat or poultry entres. For lighter lunches, try tartas (quiches), also perfect party food. $-$$Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically 1035 N. Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33136 | 305-961-7887 www.TheCornerMiami.com | facebook.com/the.corner.miami.ave OPEN LATE


88 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSsucculent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$City Slickers807 NE 123rd St., 305-891-6565If you hear hoagie and instantly think $5 footlong, this health-minded gourmet sub shop will be a revelation. Instead of processed proteins and sad pre-prepared toppings inside factory-produced rolls, you get fresh-baked white, grain, or sundried tomato breads generously stuffed with quality meats (including rotisserie turkeys/chickens and rare roast beef made in-house), sparkling-fresh veggies, and more than a dozen imaginative dressings. Choose a signature sub or build your own. There are also signature or DIY salads and homemade soups, plus craft beers or wines to accompany.Evios Pizza & Grill12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699Family-owned and operated, this indoor/outdoor pizzeria is also family-friendly, right down to the size of its NY-style pies (sold whole or by the slice), which range from large to roughly the diameter of a ferris wheel. And toppings, ranging from meat-lovers to veggie-loaded, are applied with awe-inspiring abundance. Since tastes do vary, the menu also includes a cornucopia of other crowd-pleasers: burgers (including turkey with a unique mustard-spiked cranberry sauce), entre-size salads, burritos or quesadillas, wings, hot or cold subs and succulent self-basted lamb/beef gyros with tzatziki. $ Fish Fish13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124Heres what makes this elegantly warm restolounge and seafood market not just an irresistible neighborhood draw but a worth-the-drive dining destination: Both local and cold-water fish and shellfish, including stone crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nachlass own Florida Keys plant, that are always fresh, never frozen (except some shrimp). For home cooks, the market offers all delivered-daily catches on the menu. But dont miss chef Oscar Quezadas simple and perfect preparations, including lightly battered, crispy tempura shrimp; sophisticated fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheapo fish); bracing ceviches; and, for carnivores, shepherds pie topped with ethereal whipped potatoes. $$-$$$$Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-tenbuck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Il Piccolo Caf2112 NE 123rd St., 305-893-6538Talk about a neighborhood institution. The owners of this longtime Italian eatery remember frequent visits from Miami native Michelle Bernstein and her parents -when the celebrity chef was a kid. The place is still child-friendly, and though the piccolo space is indeed small, portions are prodigious. Most dishes will evoke nostalgia, including our own favorite whitewine-sauce-drenched sin -lemony egg-battered veal piccata with capers and artichokes. But there are surprises not found at most old school red-sauce joints, too, like lunchtimes surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojomarinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Los Antojos11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombian-cuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Mama Jennies11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Piccolo Pizza2104 NE 123rd St., 305-893-9550 Pizzas at this spin-off from family-owned Il Piccolo impress even NYC visitors, thanks to recipes proprietor Hubert Benmoussa learned from an authentic Neapolitan pizzaolo. Other favorites here include subs on homemade baguettes and, surprising for a pizzeria, delightfully custardy quiche (Benmoussa is part French). But it would be unthinkable to miss the pies, especially our favorite Italia: subtly sweet tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, plus mixed greens and uncooked prosciutto on top -both pizza and salad. There are also nicely priced catering trays of finger subs, quiche squares, pizza bites, more. $-$$ Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Steves Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tiny Thai House12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646The space is tiny. The menu, which features Thai specialties but includes sushi plus Japanese appetizers and entres, is not. Despite the huge selection of sushi/Thai restaurant standards, though, dont overlook items harder to find in America, like floating noodle soup, a popular street food from Thailands boat-based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-rich beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll (tuna, salmon, crab, avo cado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to Chinese-American to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this nostalgic hangout. New owners have made some changes, including a dcor/ambiance upgrade (theres now a patio lounge, with music) and an expanded menu featuring contemporary comfort foods like fire-grilled pizzas with fresh toppings (homemade mozzarella, etc.), several salads, and veggie burgers. But timetested road food favorites remain: big beef burgers, hot dogs, and of course, Woodys famous cheesesteak, done traditional Philly-style with shaved ribeye. You can even get Cheese Whiz. To drink, there are nine draft beers plus old-school shakes. $$NORTH MIAMI BEACHBlue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ Chipotle Mexican Grill14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with 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. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -alto gether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$Christines Roti Shop16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Takeout packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland GuarapoJuiceBar 649 ne 79th st. miami fl 33138 | guarapojuicebar @ gmail.com786.452.1622 | FREE DELIVERY with min. $20 order.Open Mon-Fri 8AM-7PM; Sat 9AM-6PM featuringpower protein smoothies wheatgrass shots g remedies organic blend of fruit & vegetable juicesBuy 1 Large, Get 1 Small FREE Juice/Smoothie of the DayLimit one per order, please.live healthy | live right | live strong


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSfaux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ El Gran Inka3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popu lar after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futo maki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Kebab Indian Restaurant514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Kings County Pizza18228 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-792-9455If your feelings about Brooklyn-style pizza have been formed by Dominos flopsy-crusted, ketchupy, cheesefoody pies, stop here to sample a slice of the real thing. Admittedly, the crusts are not those of the coal-fired classics from Brooklyns legendary Totonnos or Grimaldis, but theyre similarly medium-thin and crisp -though not like a cracker; you can fold them for neat street eating, and they taste like honest bread, not cardboard. A variety of toppings are available even on slices. There are also whole pies with varied toppings. The large is humongous. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd. 305-949-8800 www.limefreshmexicangrill.comLike its downtown and Midtown siblings, this Lime Fresh serves up carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteriastyle space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your ener gies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$The Melting Pot15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$Oishi Thai14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly 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. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chilitopped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentictasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a vari ety 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 Square54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particu larly appropriate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingre dients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are house made. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied dailychanging menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal LadiesWho-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Tunas17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 www.tunasrawbarandgrille.com The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a new chef, Rolf Fellhauer, who spent 28 years at the famed La Paloma. He has added his touch to the menu, with delicacies such as Oysters Moscow, mussels Chardonnay, and Grouper Brittany. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after midnight, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$ Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin73 NE 167th St., 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this 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 yearold. She cleaned her plate. $$Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw r fntnb trrr rrffntbfrbtnn nfnr THAI & JAPANESE LUNCH SPECIALS from $7.99 Monday-Saturday SINGHA BEER 2 FOR $6 All Day Long through June305-758-05167941 biscayne blvd., miamiSee our extensive Thai & Sushi menu atwww.SiamRiceThaiAndSushi.comDINE IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY PARTY CATERINGOpen 7 Days for Lunch and Dinner FOLLOW US ON Mon-Fri 11:30AM 11PM; Sat-Sun 12:30PM 11PM


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS 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 grou per with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro1007 Kane Concourse 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Bettos Ristorante Italiano1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled, renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/effusively charming host of Surfsides neighborhood favorite Caf Ragazzi). Best make reservations. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for home made pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noodles with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauted medaillons with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$ L e Pine1052 Kane Concourse, 305-861-1059This upscale Lebanese restaurant serves dishes with the sort of understated sophistication that makes clear why Beirut was called the Paris of the East. Youll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites, but many have refinements that lift them above average: pita thats housemade, charmingly fluffy when warm from the oven; falafel incorporating flavorful fava beans with the usual ground chickpeas. Especially appealing are more uncommon items like crisp-fried cauliflower with tahini, fateh (a chickpea casserole iced with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/herb-filled sambusak pastries. Finish exotically with a hookah. $$-$$$ Open Kitchen1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chefcentered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with meltin-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast 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. $$BagelWorks18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of hand-sliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled pro tein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than handrolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ Blu Sushi600 Silks Run Rod., 954-744-4398Even hard-core sushi-bar addicts must admit that many such establishments suffer from a certain sameness. Not Blu. At this restolounge in the Village at Gulfstream Park, part of a mini-chain originating in southwest Florida, the specialty makis are outdone in outrageousness only by extravagant cocktails. Yes, there are California rolls. But why be bored when you have an alternative like Kin-SO: tempura king crab salad, tuna, and avocado with scallions, smelt roe, and tempura flakes, plus mayo and sweet eel sauce. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350 Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories including hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Fresko19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737Forget thick, dough-wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slathered with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy eatery eschews the starch/sugar-laden traditional tfavorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contempo rary as the restaurants dcor. Asian-influenced items, like wakametopped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infu sions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai 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. $$-$$$Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, Americanized-Cantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbeanstyle seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)SUNNY ISLES BEACHAlba17315 Collins Ave., 786-923-9305From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano, Sole resorts seaside Italian/Italian-American eatery has an irreverent retro Rat Pack vibe and a menu featuring naked ravioli from the Gnudi Bar, fresh seafood, homemade pastas, classic and contemporary pizzas, and old school red sauce joint entres, some upscaled. (When lobster Franaise is available, why settle for chicken?) Almond-sage butter-sauced butternut squash gnudi is a best bet. And meals end with another best bet: the Vinny D Split, a game enabling tables to win their meals for free. $$$$ Chef Philip Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/ potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily spe cials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/ raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale ItalianAmerican place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restau rant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$Piazzetta17875 Collins Ave., 305-918-6816You cant help feeling optimistic about a tourist towns food scene when its resort restaurants, which generally walk the middle of the road, get creative. And it doesnt get much more creative than this stylish restaurant and Italian market, which bills itself as a trip to an Italian-inspired little market square, but which, along with artisanal salumi plus pizzas and pastas, serves sushi. Particularly tasty: the native Neapolitan pizza chefs truffled taleggio and mushroom pies; meltingly tender braised short ribs; an impeccable market-driven meat and cheese platter. $$$Timo17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS


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