Biscayne times ( July 2013 )


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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE Building on the Past An amazing discovery in downtown Miami November 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 11 Issue 9


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COVER STORY 26 Building on the Past Literally COMMENTARY 8 Feedback: Letters 18 Jack King: Election Forecasts 20 Urbania: Our New Real Estate Bubble OUR SPONSORS 22 BizBuzz: November 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 44 NE 2nd Avenue: Either Paris or Bangladesh 44 After the Fall of Shuckers 45 The Center for Great Apes Turns 20 NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 56 Adam Schachner: Miamis Flood Zones 58 Jay Beskin: Go West, Aventura! 60 Jen Karetnick: Hard-core bingo 62 Mark Sell: A New Publix for North Miami 64 Ken Jett: No Place for Rude Politicians ART & CULTURE 66 Anne Tschida on Arts for Learning 68 Galleries + Museums: Introducing Melissas Pick 71 Events Calendar: Amazing Manganiyars of Rajasthan POLICE REPORTS 72 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 74 Jim W. Harper: Everglades National Park COLUMNISTS 76 All Things Animal: Sure You Want Turkey? 78 Picture Story: The Sears Uptown Boom 79 Your Garden: Pretty Peppers Pack Punch 80 Kids and the City: Enough With Homework! 81 Going Green: What Makes a Green Car? 82 Vino: On Turkey Day, Try Ros 83 Dish: Blame It on Cilantro DINING GUIDE 84 Restaurant Listings: 290 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants ...IM IN FOR THE ULTIMATE GETAWAY RWBimini Ship registry Panama. Management reserves all rights. Promotion & prices subject to change or cancellation. Limited time only. *Excludes weekend day cruises. Taxes/fees for declared items not included. Offer is capacity controlled subject to availability. Dining cover charges apply. Must be 18 years of age or older for evenin g cruises and to gamble in international waters and in The Bahamas. Applies to new individual bookings only. $25 fee for each checked bag for every 50 lbs. Passport not required for evening cruises. Must have a valid government-issued photo ID. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 10PM 4AM Fridays & Saturdays $49pp R/T Dine. Dance. Play. Aboard Bimini SuperFast One-way cruises from $59 and resort accommodations from $159 for a studio. 9AM 7PM Starting from $99pp R/T Sailing 7 Days Discover Bimini with Nonstop Casino ActionBUY ONE, GET ONE 50% OFF IN NOVEMBER* PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr bArts Editor r tnrt t t rr r n nn 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 rfnftbfrfft nbb F OR A DVERTISING INFORMATION CALL 305-756-6200 20 45 71Serving 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




Bimini: Whats Being Hidden?Erik Bojnansky did a nice, balanced job on the Bimini SuperFast cruise ship 2013). Its a relief to see a well-reported story for a change. As a former South Florida Business Journal reporter, Ive been frustrated by the lack of transparency on this project. That has always signaled to me the need to take a closer look, as we used to joke when launching an investigative piece. Is this the only story youre going to write on Gentings Bimini plans, or are you as intrigued as I am about whats in the master Heidi Daniel Arlington, VirginiaBimini: Follow That Story and the Money clear, unbiased report I have read about the Bimini SuperFast and the Genting gambling operation. I hope you continue to follow the story and the money. Biminites have no voice. Promised jobs went to outsiders. Shortsighted building destroyed the and diving destination. A Prime Minister, who works in secret, has failed to protect the island. As we repeatedly learn, development has lasting consequences. Developers who dont consider the land or the people damage both. Please continue to follow this story. I live in Washington, D.C., but my husband and I honeymooned in Bimini 30 years ago and have vacationed there with our kids many times during the past a month ago. Katy Kelly Washington, D.C.Bimini: Big Hotels and Dire ConsequencesThis article, Cruising for Fun and is no way such massive, destructive development can occur on this fragile, small island without dire consequences for the island, the resident communities, that Bimini supports. We at Mangrove Action Project are shocked by this hypocritical move by the government, which just a year earlier had declared support for a Marine Protection Area for North Bimini. Now, after months of foot-dragging by the government, we see the lines drawn in the sand are for Bimini SuperFast cruise lines, not a well-merited MPA. With this massive development plan including a big hotel, a large jetty, and golf course Bimini will rapidly deteriorate to become that Island in the must wonder what the attraction will be for tourists. For surely what was once beautiful and inspiring in and around Bimini will have died and been buried along with any need for that long promised MPA! Alfredo Quarto, executive director Mangrove ActionProject Port Angeles, WashingtonBimini: Predatory Maneuvering and Breathless DamageAnother excellent piece of reporting by Erik Bojnansky about the Genting they prefer). Bimini is a tiny island, only seven miles long, and already Genting owns 750 acres of it, including a hotel and casino, with plans (that, along with environmental reports, the Bahamian government wont release) to build a 1000-foot pier, airport expansion, another hotel, a monster casino, and golf course. The maneuvering that Bojnansky tracks in his story isnt surprising, I sup pose, given the predatory nature of the gambling industry and Gentings global gaming empire. But the scope of Gentings appetite for tiny Bimini, so conveniently close to Miami, and the inevitable econom ic and environmental damage it will cause to residents, take my breath away. Lori Menendez-Bravo North Miami BeachJoan Wont Waste Her Time but Badaboom!I wont waste my time refuting the points made by Christian Cipriani in his column Baby Boomers and the Land of If he believes that Boomers gave this nation the plague and all they (Gen Y) did was catch it, why was there no menPerhaps its because they are Y-ners. Joan Dunn Miami ShoresCommentary: LETTERS Continued on page 14


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Aventura Petty? Thats Being KindAfter reading Jay Beskins column 2013), I think its interesting, to say the least, that a community with many Holocaust survivors would have as one of its main goals the censorship of its town history, when a noted historian is writing a book about the towns history. What Isnt censorship more of a Nazi trait than one of a town with a large Jewish It seems that nut jobs like Mayor Susan Gottlieb, city manager Eric Soroka, and Aventura Marketing Council executive Elaine Adler think that by hiding Aventuras faults, nobody will believe the town isnt perfect. Actually, that town is full of crap, especially when it comes to its poor of interest in building more, along with having better competitive sports programs to produce athletic talent. The educational history of Aventura is also kind of checkered, as the town educators. Whats next for the city of Kenneth Newman North MiamiHere Is My Open Letter to Biscayne TimesAs a good Catholic boy growing up in western New York, I knew that there wasnt any thing worse one could do made it into for the host we took during communion. As usual, with my hands in prayer, I would walk back to my seat and my mouth and try to swallow. No, there wasnt anything worse one That was until I moved to Miami, went to Publix, and bought a loaf of Cuban bread. As far as I am concerned, that bread is the foundation of all Publix stores products, prices, and service. Miami Beach included. to immediately tell her to head directly to Wynn Dixie if she loved cheap better yet, she could really slum it at El Presidente for the best of last years throwaways. Sorry, I grew up shopping at Wegmans, a supermarket chain that originated in economically depressed Niagara Falls. Wegmans was once rated the second-best place to work in the U.S., second only to Google. Supermarkets like Whole Foods, Mylams, and Fresh Market cater to the ignorant impulses of nouveau riche consumers new to the area who simply cant say. Anything at all. It just has to look thought her little article was an apology, off like some half-baked sarcasm directed toward Publixs recent renovations. Then I wondered why the paper I give more credibility to than the Miami Herald (which isnt really saying much) would publish this type of typing exercise. WTF! Is Biscayne Times hard up for com mentary, or did they really just miss the funny, sarcastic, informative, enlighten ing, or even commentary with a clear point. This was nothing more than the midnight ramblings of a fat old public school teacher chased from Publix! Bon appetit Jen! Much like our children, I think perhaps it is time we should monitor our local school teachers access to keyboards, and expect more from local publications. PJ Mills El PortalCorrections trict 5 election, a former District 5 commissioner who went to prison for bribery politician was Miller Dawkins. In the same issue, some mysterious computer goblins caused the month of Sep stories, North Miami City Council Blind We regret the Dawkins error but still Jim Mullin EditorCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 10


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Commentary: MIAMIS KINGBy Jack King BT ContributorHere it is November and we have another election upon us. This one is mostly about the City of Miami. The mayors race is on the ballot, but nobody seems to give a damn since Toms Regalados only chal lenger of consequence, Francis Suarez, dropped out after his campaign staff ers were caught in an illegal absenteeballot scheme. But fear not, theres more political fun. District 5 has been Miamis black district since voting districts were instituted about 15 years ago. But that has changed. Earlier this year, district boundaries were redrawn to comply with federal voting-rights laws. That resulted in hundreds of Upper Eastside residents being transferred from District 2 to District 5. Today, according to the U.S. Census, District 5 is 68 percent black and 30 percent Anglo and Hispanic. How that will play out at the polls remains to be seen. Interestingly, all candidates for the District 5 commission seat are black, but they range from old school to new wave. I never tell anyone who to vote for, but I will give you my preferences, starting with the least desirable and moving up. The Rev. Richard Dunn has served on the commission several times, mostly by appointment, though he did win a special election in November 2010. He has been endorsed by Com missioner Marc Sarnoff, which scares the hell out of me. What will go on here is that Sarnoff will have his money guys donate to Dunns campaign, and if Dunn is elected, Sarnoff will have two votes on the commission. Thats a big deal when there are Next on the list is Keon Hardemon, a young, bright, well-educated man who comes from a family of Liberty City power brokers. I try not to judge people by what their families have done, but the Hardemons have played loose and fast in the political arena. I attended one of the candidate forums and couldnt believe some of the things he said. It was like being transported back to Liberty City circa 1993. If Hardemon wants to have a place in local politics, he The world has changed, and so must Mi amis predominately black communities. Robert Malone is another well-educated young man, but he lacks political savvy. Somewhere down the road hell be a political player, but not right now. That brings us to Jacqui Colyer. After the candidate forum, I listened to her chatting with an audience member. Shes tough, politically savvy, and driven. In electing her, District 5 has a chance to move far ahead of the citys other districts. If I lived in District 5, she would get my vote. (Memo to Jacqui: When you are elected, hire Robert Malone as your chief of staff. He needs some political seasoning.) The District 5 race will most likely result in a runoff election November 19. The last item on the ballot is an up or down vote on a proposal to develop part of the Coconut Grove waterfront. Im sure youve heard that Grove residents are against it. That is true, but there are reasons. I think just about everyone in the Grove agrees that the waterfront could use a facelift at the very least. Its not the facelift we oppose. Its how the city is going about it. Let me explain. use that word loosely), it included three garage (on the waterfront) with 1500 parking places, and 100,000 square feet of retail space. It didnt take long for the outrage to a look at the plan, which was really just a rendering with some numbers on it). The fourth plan showed up at city hall the same day the commission was to vote on it. Almost all the commissioners were thoroughly confused as to what they were seeing and what they were about to do. So they did what every confused politician does they punted. It went something like this: Im not sure about this project, so let the people decide when they vote on it. Sarnoff was really in favor of it. Anycirculated. Nobody, including the citys My guess is the developer does. The city is now losing or has lost money on the Knight Center, the old Miami Arena, the American Airlines Arena, Parrot Jungle (Jungle Island), and of course Marlins Park. Not a great track record. The verbiage on the ballot doesnt really have no idea what well be voting on. Heres a plan for you: Lets scrap the whole thing and start over. That makes much more sense. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Not Here To Tell You How To Vote, ButForget the mayors race, take a look at District 5 and Coconut Grove


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Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorMiami is back on the real-estate roller coaster, only this time I seem to be on it, too. This wasnt my plan, mind you. I bought a condo in 2008, after the bubble worked with assured me that I paid a price so low it was basically the cost of construc tion. It really couldnt go any lower! A three-year experience turned into And then this past March I got married, and my wife reluctantly moved into what she considered my bachelor pad in the hood. Edgewater boomed a little, and then boomed some more, but it will be decades before it fully transforms into a middle-class waterfront community. As the lessons of 2007 grow foggy, our city has returned to an overheated market of unsustainable price distortion. The media continuously report on the in May, headlines were about soarwere; the peak was fake. By July the Miami Herald was reporting double-digit rises in both sales and prices. Now cash investors willing to overpay are skewing the market against people looking for a primary residence. Welcome back, irrational exuberance. The bizarre world of home prices doesnt just exist in Miami. New York, San Francisco, London many cities suffer from fantastical free-market manipulations. Im perplexed by the idea that the same goods and experiences can vary in price so dramatically, and so quickly, simply because someone is willing to swoop in and pay more. And that person may exist today, but not tomorrow, or by tomorrow be joined by thousands more. The speculative, emotional nature of it all is astounding. Yet Miami is in a league of its own. Contrary to the image of our oversexed metropolis, here price and value wont even hold hands, let alone maintain a steamy connection. From parking spaces to movie tickets, cocktails to entres, price has nothing to do with value. Miami is where the ugly beauty of capitalism goes for cosmetic surgery. Those of us who live and work here giggle depressingly at the true gap between salaries and living costs. The median annual salary in Miami three-bedroom house will have to spend at least $250,000 (with 20 percent down) Schools that arent mediocre, a neighborhood that isnt dangerous, a house dare I say that isnt old and decrepit. suburb well west of I-95, where youll drive an hour in and out of the city every day on high-risk, congested highways. Single-family homes along the Biscayne Corridor that were selling for $250,000 in 2010 are now listed for at least $350,000. I feel like the Western Union operator in Coming to America who tells Semi, as hes requesting pocket cash from the king of Zamunda: As long as youre asking, why not just make People are throwing their homes on the market just to see what bites. My wife and I visit these houses, one after another, laughing at what Realtors call they should say is: Heres an overpriced And enough with Realtors who claim to be real estate experts. People with a deep, high-level understanding of the complex market forces at work on property valuations dont become real estate agents; they work in real estate investment. A residential Realtor is someone who knows neighborhoods and a purchase. There are thousands of these talkative salespeople walking around Miami, ready to say anything to close a deal at the highest tolerable price. We were looking at a house in El Portal when I brought up the recent home invasion robberies to a Realtor. She told me that those were distant incidents and that the street we were on is quiet and safe. We were standing on NE 89th Street the very street where Diana and Alejandro Amador were held hostage in August with their six-year-old daughter while thieves robbed their house. Steve Jobs was well known for his re admire this sort of relentless, fact-free op timism, were it not coupled with pressure quickly and emotionally. So on well go, viewing house after house, all the while doing our best to ignore every move in the Realtors play Im sure to receive after this is published), and to deftly navigate Miamis latest heatup knowing that a cold bucket of water is waiting to douse our heads. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Bubble HeadsLets get real about the real-estate fantasyBT photo by Silvia Ros


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22 Our Sponsors: N OVEMBER 2013By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorYou know it. All Miamians know it. But no matter how many times you tell those from northern climes, people who dont live in Florida never seem to realize that hurricane season runs through the end of November. Thats why this month, even before the possibility of storms comes to an end, the other annual onslaught high tourist season and its storm of visitors will have inevitably begun. And of course, the late-Novemberthrough-December holiday season has, somehow, already started. Got a lotta planning to do. Wherell you go to get your BT advertisers are offering this month. Among many November special Leung Medical and Dental Care the must-not-miss for all who want to make sure theyre healthy North Miami Beach location (16200 NE 13th Ave., 305-760-2950), November 23. Starting at 10:00 a.m., activities include more for the whole family. To whip your home into chic shape, check out the once-a-year-only annual fall sale at Farreys Lighting & Bath (1850 and contemporary ceiling fans, bath and kitchen products (faucets, sinks, cabinet/ door hardware, more), plus less artful but state-of-the-art ventilation products. The sale runs November 2-9 except for Novem ber 3 (the showroom is closed on Sundays). To maximize your yards party poten tial, new advertiser Gator Pools & Spa (305-222-2220) will design and construct your new dream pool with free under water colored lights for BT readers men tioning this issues ad. The fully licensed/ insured company also does maintenance, repairs, and renovations. And to ensure you look fabulous at all the seasons events, take advantage of Novembers offer from Hannah & Her Scissors 10% off hair services for new customers. Hannahs hair products, customized with a stylish portrait label, make great gifts, too. During an interview last month, homeboy celeb chef Douglas Rodriguez, revealed his favorite market: longtime BT advertiser Laurenzos Italian Center In fact, hed just been to Laurenzos farmers market to buy pomegranates for his restaurants daily special cocktail. Family member David Laurenzo had never mentioned celebrity clientele to us, but it turns out that Laurenzos supplies ten wellknown local chefs, and ships to homes and movie locations of other celebs, including Johnny Depp and Jack Nicholson. Eat like the stars this month with Laurenzos Thanksgiving turkey dinner; go to www. laurenzomarket.com to order. At Bagels & Company its 25-year anniversary, owner David Cohen is also making Thanksgiving effortless for you and your own company with his complete cooked turkey dinner for ten; $175 ry-pineapple relish, sweet potato pudding, green beans, baby carrots, 19 fresh-baked rolls, and two pies (apple and pumpkin). Prefer to prepare the turkey yourself, but want one thats something extraordi Proper Sausages (9722 NE 2nd juiciness your grandma waxes nostalgic about and youve likely only dreamed sausages, to make your own), cranberry sauce, and other accompaniments, too. How about a delicious (and healthy, too) Thanksgiving feast from one of our Whole Foods Market (North Miami 305-892online to order from a cornucopia of specialty items. The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is famous for its sales and infamous for its shoving crowds of dealseekers at big-box stores. Instead, if you know anyone who wants a bicycle under the mobs at friendly Bike Nerds (9538 the just-awarded Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce 2013 Best of the Shores promises even more stress avoidance to the lucky bike recipient: two free tune-ups (a $100 value) with any bike purchased or special-ordered. And about that Xmas tree: Welcome to new advertiser A1A Midtown Lawn & Garden (2600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-9199). Any time of year owner Eric Coalla is able Continued on page 24BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible


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24 Our Sponsors: N OVEMBER 2013to offer wholesale prices on a full range of plants and trees plus soil, mulch, and sod because they come from his own two South Florida farms, cutting out the Christmas trees, fresh-cut and delivered to you the day they arrive (estimate: around November 20) for longest life. A Grand BT readers: $10 off $50 or more, $20 off $75 or more. With Art Basel coming up, its not surprising that several new and old Biz Buzz submissions this month come from arts-oriented advertisers. A newbie thatll make it a cinch to buy gifts for even those who seem to have everything: Design Shop who are also both architects, have stocked the store, located in the 55th Street Station complex, with a selection of unique items concepts from cutting-edge serious to seri ously funny. (Bet your hardest-to-shop-for friends dont have a designer bird feeder discount of 30% to readers who mention the BT makes gift-buying cinchier still. Antiques collectors: Need a little holiday Elite Decorative Arts a famed auction house that holds the record for the highest-priced jade piece ever sold in Florida (a vase for more than $1 million), is seeking consignments for its huge upcom arts. Call to have your collectibles included. Naturally, you can spend a little or a lot of holiday cash there, too. Go to www.Elite Auction.com to view typical wares. Highlight your holiday tables with edible art from returning advertiser Pastry Is Art (12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305formerly executive pastry chef for some of South Floridas snazziest hotels, has excit ing news: Shes about to become a reality Bakery Boss Rissones decadent desserts have always dazzled, and now the rest of the business sometime in January, but in the meantime, stop by to see the renovations and pick up some sensational sweets. Stop in for a swift, savory snack in the same neighborhood at Fish Fish seafood restaurant/market has just started lunch. Translation: Dishes are between minutes maximum. Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grille (165 NW 23rd St., Miami), now open seven days from 11:00 a.m., has expanded its Friday-Saturday hours till 2:00 a.m. Theres also a new extended happy hour, with a special light-bites menu. If you favor a happy hour that mixes pleasure and business, youre not alone: Majestic Properties s Majestic Mon for the real estate and design communities, are back by popular demand. This months p.m., enjoy DJed music, half-price drinks, and free hors doeuvres from Chef David Brachas kitchen. In Wynwood, word from Metro 1 Properties (120 NE 27 St., 305-571-9991) is sented both buyer and seller, a seven-parcel portfolio went for $8,500,000. Metro has a half-dozen other multi-million-dollar com mercial and residential sales or lease deals working, too. Whew. More business: Check out this months ad from new advertiser Burk Investments for some intriguing money-making pos sibilities. Burk is a full-service real estate ing investment properties: an ocean-view Miami Beach residential property with two units (one to live in, one to rent), and a downtown French restaurant a swell spot, in fact, thats in the BT s Dining Guide. For details call Alexander Burkhardt Enough business. Start off this months more pleasurable offerings at new adver tiser Oasis Bodyworks cializing in Swedish, deep tissue, Shiatsu, and sports massages and offering them every day till 11:00 p.m. With this months ad, get $10 off an hour-long session. Relaxed and detoxed, youll be ready to tackle Miami-Dade Colleges annual Miami Book Fair International even the intensive Miami Writers Institute work shops. 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on November 22, are Writing YA: Struc Spanish). For info and registration: www. A book fair event kids wont want to miss: Eighteen second-graders from W.J. Bryan Elementary Museums Magnet School (1201 NE 125th St., 305-891-0602), inspired by a tour of the Bass Museums Egyptian Exhibition, wrote and illustrated a book, Judnique and Dalysis Defeat Seth Theyll be signing copies on November 22, 10:30 a.m., at the fairs Paint Box tent. November is Miami Live Music Month, a holiday you can celebrate at the sixth annual Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest November 16, 7:00-10:00 p.m.. This years theme: A Tribute to the Great Women in Jazz, featuring live singers/players performing the songs of Ella Fitzgerald, (Heritage Park, 19200 Collins Ave.) or be square. For more info: www.sunnyisles beachjazz.com. Latin music lovers wont want to miss Yamaha Concert Series at St. Marthas (9301 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-0005), now celebrating its tenth anniversary: a recital by soprano Sandra Lopez and pianist Paul Posnak, featuring Posnaks original arrangements of the canciones and zarzuelas of Ernesto The recitals ticket price ($10-$20) includes a post-concert wine reception. For details: www.saintmartha.tix.com. Everybody loves a parade, and the City of Miami Beach has one this month thatll make you want to stand up and salute: a ing at 9:00 a.m. from Washington Avenue and 17th Street. The parade, with bands and veterans groups, ends at Flamingo Park Baseball Stadium (at Michigan Ave. and 15th Street) where, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, there will be a wreath-laying demonstration, and a picnic. For more info: www.miamibeach.gov/news. Though the Palette Miami Festival (5800 Biscayne Blvd.) is still a ways off tickets to the inaugural food, drink, art, and music fair, presented by Zig Zag Produc tions and Biscayne Times Featured: lotsa restaurants, beer/sake/wine tastings, plus a kids corner, street performers, and more. For tix: www.palettemiami.com. Want to e-mail to info@palettemiami.com. Numerous educational events this month include some classes at mind/ body studio Daily Offering Yoga (6901 Monday night, Yoga 101 is for both beginners and those wanting a refresher course. For more advanced students and teachers, Yoga Anatomy Training, the weekend of November 8-10, will increase your understanding of how yoga affects the body. Attention high school-age kids and par ents planning on attending the November 16 open house at Monsignor Pace High School (15600 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623changed from 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Yeah, that hour-and-a-half the extensive academic, arts, and athletics programs Pace offers. This month the Guardian ad Litem Program a new advertiser, plans to facilitate three volunteer training sessions throughout Miami-Dade County. The programs goal is to make sure that kids involved in the child welfare system have caring adults by their side to advoweareguardians.org. Welcome new advertiser Opulence International Realty (2060 N. Bayshore experienced, skilled Realtors to consider joining their team. Youll get great leads, high-level partnerships, high-tech market ing, and in-house specialists wholl create tunities. Maybe time for some travel, too. Hmmm. Speaking of travel, maybe the best way to cope would be to skip the high season/holiday preparations and just leave town, instead. Welcome new advertiser Bimini SuperFast (1-888-930-8688). Readers purchasing one of this issues advertised cruises get an additional for half price: a Bimini day cruise (to discover the island with nonstop casino action), a night cruise featuring dining, dancing, and gaming, or a one-way cruise with resort accommodations available the latter option open-ended, in case you decide to stay away till holiday season, or high season, is over. Something special coming up at your business? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes.com. For BT advertisers only.




It doesnt take Ryan Franklin much effort to slip into the reverie; to stand up from his crouch in the dirt and mud, wipe his hands on his dungarees. He looks southeast, between the buildings, to where Biscayne Bay lies rippling in the sun, and lets the concrete, asphalt, and glass recede through time. Now hes standing in a different world. The bay is still there, but its waters are lapping at the toes of his boots, and the shoreline around him is lush with plants and trees. What today we call the Miami River is also in front of him. A dugout canoe, carved from a single cypress tree trunk, rests on the shoreline next to him, rocking gently on the incoming tide. Inside it rests a hand-carved paddle and a wooden spear tipped with the bony barb from a stingray. thatched-roof hut made of sapling pine trunks stripped of their branches and thrust into postholes carved into the limestone bedrock, then bent over to meet in the center. Continued on page 28 Building on the PastThe largest Tequesta site ever found has revealed remarkable evidence of a sophisticated ancient society which will soon be bulldozed By Tristram KortenPhotos by Silvia Ros


28 Other huts are nearby as well, also elevated above the soggy ground. Theres a platform running among them; parallel rows of posts, with a walkway lashed to them so villagers can move from hut to hut. The dwell and north to the edge of the hardwood hammocks. Behind Franklin to the northwest is a burial mound where ancestors are laid to rest. But imagination cant hold against the intrusions of modern life. A cement truck grinds its gears as it rumbles by. An impatient driver zipping along in a white BMW honks his horn. Construction cranes hum and whir in the morning sky. Franklin, who holds a Ph.D. in paleoanthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, snaps back to the here and now, and crouches down to continue gently brushing away the dirt that covers artifacts at least 1500 years old. Theres not much time for these musings anyway. The clock is ticking. This ancient world will be uncovered just in time to be buried again. Its not hard to visualize this area back then, nothing else around other than these possible platforms and huts, right here where the bay and the river meet, says organization contracted by the developer of this property to investigate the site. It would have been amazing.This fenced-in lot along Biscayne Boulevards southern stretch (here called Biscayne Boulevard Way) has been the scene of a fevered scavenger hunt for the past year, as Franklin and a team of archaeologists and engineers quickly but carefully unearthed the remains of an ancient Tequesta village amid the shadows of high-rises. Bob Carr, the Conservancys founder and executive director, believes its the largest prehistoric site in Southeast Florida, and the largest Tequesta settlement ever found. Carr and his crew have been carefully excavating this two-acre portion of the site by hand, removing the topsoil down to the limestone bedrock. Thats where, earlier this year, they Building on the PastContinued from page 27 Continued on page 30


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the bedrock in a circular pattern that the scientists believe were the foundations for dwellings. Theyve also uncovered two parallel rows of holes running between the circles, which they believe are the rem nants of an early boardwalk used to stride discovery in Florida, Carr believes. The excavation also uncovered evidence that the Biscayne Bay waterline at the time reached all the way up to where the postholes were found. But the site, known as Met Square, is merely a portion of what lies beneath the streets of this part of downtown. Carr describes it as one slice of a pizza pie, only hinting at the full extent of the villages footprint. Sample material from the site that has been carbon-dated indicates the settlement is as old as 600 A.D. But Carr notes that theyre not done carbon-dating the site. He suspects it could go back to 500 B.C., based on some of the evidence hes seen. In either There are no records of what Tequesta villages from that time looked like, so this ologists had of the possibility they used boardwalks. Its a settlement system far more sophisticated and elaborate than we had imagined, he says. This is evidence of far more than simple stick structures. Miami-Dade Countys staff archaeologist, Jeff Ransom, concurs: This site County, or in Florida, for that matter. publicity around them has been so muted, have been caught off guard and not given enough time to debate the feasibility of citys planning department, which then is required to submit them to the Historic and Environmental Preservation (HEP) Board. Whether those reports have been adequate is now being questioned. Ransom, who once worked for Carr at the county, says hes concerned that the full impact of these discoveries has not been adequately expressed to city a plan for conserving them. Ransom was remedied in July. The more the county became aware greater the concern, Ransom says. Since then, the county has been working closely with the City of Miami to make sure any actions taken are in the best interest of the site. It was a worry shared by members of the citys Historic and Environmental Preservation Board at its October meeting. Board members complained keeping them informed about the result not allowing them the time to plan possible approaches, up to and including preservation. I can tell you the board regards this Board chairman William Hopper said. And they were concerned about the Building on the PastContinued from page 28 Continued on page 32


timeliness and depth of information we received, and the ability of the board to ensure that the right thing is done. Hopper and his HEP Board colleagues are scheduled to meet at Miami City Hall on November 5 at 3:00 p.m. (For more in formation, call 305-416-1453 or go to www. historicpreservationmiami.com.) State archaeologists are scheduled to visit the site soon and offer their own assessment. Local preservationists, meanwhile, have launched withering critiques. I think both the law (from what I know of it) and political pressure has beeneviscerating a critically important set of sites on the north bank of the Miami River to please developers, wrote Greg Bush, an associate professor of history at the University of Miami and vice president of the Urban Environment League, in a widely circulated e-mail on August 22. Its sad but perhaps typical in Miami that this has happened in this fashion. Where has the Herald coverage and other media been in this process? Bush is right that media coverage failed to encourage any debate about preservation, and that the time to rally support is mostly gone. (Bush referred to his e-mail when contacted for comment.) Looming like a skyscraper over any debate about preserving historical sites in downtown Miami is the cost of the lions, of dollars. The price tag for parcels like the Tequesta site keeps climbing as time passes and the developer invests in architectural and engineering plans. The the conversation from the start. Carr himself has come in for some scrutiny. I also question Bob Carrs role in allowing this to happen, Bush wrote. He is a great guy but Maybe Im wrong, but not enough questions have been asked overall as this has developed. HEP Board members picked up that sentiment in October, questioning wheth er Carrs dual job, as both consultant to the city and the archaeologist paid by the In his defense, Carr says his job is vate, assess, and report, all of which he has done in a timely manner. As for prohibiting anything from happening, he explains, hes not empowered to do that. Im not the regulator. Im the archaeologist, Carr says. I cant prevent make a determination on any of these important sites. Furthermore, he adds, there is no used its other archaeological consultant, Janus Research, along with state archaemend actions. The state archaeologists will provide their recommendations sometime before the next HEP Board meeting, Carr states. We have never reviewed our own work. The scrutiny that Carr, South Floridas most prominent archaeologist, is attracting now may derive from his previous role as the countys staff archaeologist, in which he was an advocate. That was decidedly different from his position now as a consultant. At issue is not only unique evidence of early architectural systems but also a treasure trove of objects, all providing greater detail about how some of the regions earliest inhabitants lived. limestone has been dissolved by water the excavators have found evidence of a well-fed community: shark bones, turtle bones, as well as mollusk shells. There are terrestrial animals, also: bones from deer and the now-extinct Caribbean monk seal and a wide variety of berry seeds and fruit pits. There were artifacts too: conch-shell blades for axes; chert arrowheads probably obtained through trade, given that there was nothing but soft limestone Building on the PastContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34 Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami


to work with in this region. In addition, Carrs team has uncovered piles of pottery shards and bone tools, such as ornamental hair pins, awls, and needles. Also perforated shells, likely used as thousands of artifacts. In sum, it is the detritus of a very large and bustling community that found this real estate as valuable and producHowever, time does not stand still, and this property is indeed exceedingly valuable. When the archaeologists are done excavating the site, and the engineers are done digitally mapping it, they will leave the circles behind. Then the long-waiting developers, Miami-based MDM Development, will come in with backhoes, front loaders, and cranes to complete what they hope will be a busapartments, hotels, a Whole Foods market, and a movie theater. be preserved. The easternmost series of postholes, called the Royal Palm Circle, will be cut out whole from the bedrock and put on display in the public plaza of the development so that we can marvel at how humans have sought to endure among the mosquitoes and heat for so many centuries.Carr, a slight man with the tousled gray hair and beard of someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, has navigated these debates before. He understands, even sympathizes with preservationists. But today he acknowl edges a balance that must be struck between property rights and historic preservation. At this point, he considers himself a realist. It would be great if we could have this set aside in an archaeological park in downtown, Carr says. But in the reality of Miami, the chances are very slim. So rather than see these features destroyed, Id rather see them put in a place where the public has access to them and can interpret them. Id certainly rather see it removed and preserved than destroyed. But county archaeologist Jeff Ransom is not so resigned. He believes there is still time for changes to be made in order to preserve the site. The developer could be asked to redesign plans to include the features within the plan, Ransom says. In other words, the site could be left intact, and the buildings would be constructed around it. This could be a heritage tourism site for Miami, he adds. This site is eligible for registry in the national register of historic places, and it also meets the criteria as a World Heritage Site. Bob Carr is a patient man. His job lends itself to taking the long view. He has worked diligently over the past three decades to unearth and preserve in some form South Floridas ancient past through the boom-and-bust cycles of South Florida development. He served as Dade 1979 to 1998, then became the countys historic preservation director in 1999. He has worked as an archaeologist with the State of Floridas Division of Historic Resources and with the National Park Service. In 1981 he helped draft the county ordinance, and the city ordinance that followed it in 1985, requiring that all development in areas designated as aran archaeological assessment of the site. Downtown Miami along the Miami has long been known as very archaeologi cally sensitive. It is not only the site of an Building on the PastContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36


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ancient Tequesta settlement, but of some of the earliest European settlements too. Fort Dallas was constructed here in 1836 as a cantonment during the Seminole Wars. Later, after the military abandoned the site, Julia Tuttle rehabilitated some of the buildings to make her homestead. This was not a mystery, Carr says. Everyone knew there was material under the land here. As early as 1869 an archaeologist from Harvard landed there and found some artifacts. Harvard Universitys Peabody Museum, sailed into Biscayne Bay on the yacht Azalea with the intention of exploring, Carr writes in his book Digging Miami published by the University Press of Florida in 2012. Wyman targeted Indian mounds at the mouth of the Miami River, and gave such precise coordinates that Carr is able to note exactly where his spade hit the ground. Wymans journal entries record large quantities of bones pottery birds, deer, shark verteb. Very common three chisels of conch shell. He also related battling rain, heat, and great numbers of mosquitoes in the process. For the most part, Wymans work failed to inspire his colleagues. South Florida never rose very high on 19thcentury archaeologys list of priorities. The region was too remote, writes Carr, to sustain lengthy investigation. In the 1890s, Henry Flaglers railroad made it easier to visit the area, but Americas academics didnt exactly rush to study ancient Indian culture. In fact, any evidence of sophisticated structures was immediately ascribed by many scientists to colonists from Atlantis, errant Phoenicians, or even Irish monks. Most of these scholars believed that the American Indians were not capable of building mounds, and that all ing, or thinking must have an Old World origin, Carr writes. If Miami was not going to be valued because of its past, Henry Flagler was going to make sure it would be valuable because of its future. Once his railroad line was built, Flagler wasted no time breaking ground on the Royal Palm Hotel, the lavish, sixstory structure that ushered in the age of South Florida tourism, which opened in 1897. The hotel featured electric lights, elevators, and a swimming pool. It had 450 guest rooms and a staff of 300, and it was built on top of the Tequesta village Building on the PastContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38


that Carr is excavating today. To 19th-century magnates and their laborers, however, Indian remains and artifacts were at worst an impediment, at best a curiosity. Workers found copious amounts of objects that they unceremoniously tossed aside, includ ing human remains. At one point the workers gave or sold human skulls to Girtmans grocery store on Flagler Street, where they were sold to tourists as souvenirs. The hotel was destroyed by termites and the hurricane of 1926, and its remains were just as unceremoniously covered over in 1930 to make way for the numerous iterations of downtown Miami to follow.Because of the areas documented history as an ancient Indian gathering site, Carr was alert for any opportunities to make inquiries under the ground near the Miami River. In May 1998, he was driving over the Brickell Bridge when he saw a wrecking crane demolishing the aged Brickell Apartments on the south bank of the river. The demolition was occurring in the middle of an area designated as archaeo logically important, which meant that an archaeologists presence was required by law. Yet the citys staff apparently had neglected to mention this to developer Mi chael Baumann, who nonetheless agreed to pause construction and hire archaeologists to monitor the site during demolition. County archaeologist John Ricisak and Carrs Archaeological and Historical Conservancy began assessing the site later that year. When they cleared about 19 inches of topsoil and reached the bedrock, they found what became known as the Miami Circle, a 38-foot-diameter circle carved out of the solid limestone. Nothing like it had ever been seen. Carr and others have hypothesized that the circle was a place of ritual, given the manpower needed to carve out the bedrock and the totemic nature of the items found there. Others, of course, including one that posited it was an alien landing pad. The discovery not only helped cement the importance of the citys archaeology ordinance, it also inspired the community to act. Rather than lose this unique piece of history, a public campaign was initiated to raise $26.7 million in order to buy the two-acre site and preserve it as an archaeological park. The long shadow of that act may have inadvertently affected future discoveries. Building on the PastContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40


Five years later, in 2002, MDM Development announced its intention to develop three parking lots downtown, between Biscayne Boulevard and SE 3rd Avenue, just north of the Miami River. aware of the laws requiring an assessment, and Carr and his colleagues were called in. We did an auguring study, where we dug holes in the parking lot, Carr recalls. They drilled down into the ground and pulled up samples of soil and rock, and they found numerous artifacts. We provided them with an assessment report, saying theres a site there, Carr says. At that point the developers knew that before they began building in earnest, they would need to set aside some time and money to pay for the archaeologists to excavate and evaluate. MDM has been cooperating with the various agencies for more than ten years, throughout the entire construction process, according to a statement from the compa ny, issued through spokesman Israel Kreps. Bob Carr and his team have documented to the HistoryMiami Museum. In 2004, MDMs workers began peeling away the asphalt, Carr says, in chaeologists would swoop in to assess a site while workers prepped another site for them. When the archaeologists area as construction crews moved back artifacts and food refuse, providing an ever more detailed picture about life in prehistoric Miami. But in 2006, when Carrs group began sifting through the ground in the lot they found it rich not only with artifacts, solution holes, depressions in the bedrock, that were each roughly 15 feet across. In each hole they found the fragmentary remains of about 100 people. Its a sign of how far weve come that instead of hawking the bones to snowbirds, the developer and archaeologists contacted the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes (actually, its required by state law now), and arrangements were made to rebury the remains at an undisclosed location. (Neither tribe is a direct descendant of the Tequesta. By the 17th Century, after contact with the Europeans, the Tequesta people were wiped out by disease, battles, and slavery.) Despite the discoveries, the sites lethal price tag, as Carr describes it, prevented anyone from thinking about preserving the site. Carr even inquired threshold in the number of graves that would trigger automatic preservation of Building on the PastContinued from page 38 Continued on page 42 Licensed Nutritionist Dina Garcia, RD/LDN will show you how.11098 Biscayne Blvd. Ste. 401, Miamiwww.VidaNutrition.com MyVidaNutrition@gmail.comCALL TODAY for a FREE Nutrition Consultation including a Body Fat AnalysisWith this ad or mention BT 786-479-4081 Raquel Vallejo forRAVADesignsHand-made wearable art & jewelry styling serviceswww.rava-designs.com By appt: ravadesigns@gmail.comstyle cycle new useReReal art! Real smart! Miami Shores Holistic Health, Inc. Kim Krause, AP, DOMLicensed Acupuncturist305-999-5527 9999 NE 2nd Ave., Ste. 300 www.shoresholistic.comWe Accept Insurance Call Today for a Free Consultation Miamis Newest Bicycle ShopSales, Accessories & Repairs 9538 NE 2nd Ave. Miami Shores, FL 33138 Mon-Sat 10a-6p786-332-3463www.miamibikenerds.com Miami ShoresMARKETPLACE Shop local! Support the businesses that make Biscayne Times possible, and tell them you saw their ad in the BT. For more information about Marketplace advertising like this, call Sandra Glorian at 305-756-6200.


the site. The answer was no. The archaeologists worked until 2007, when the great recession stalled backhoes from here to Los Angeles. For andormant as the loans for big construction projects simply dried up or died with the banks that folded. Without the developer to underwrite the dig, it wasnt until October 2012 that the archaeologists Parcel B, the last of the former parking lots MDM planned to develop. After the backhoes had scraped up Carr and his crew divided the parcel into quadrants, and began gingerly sifting through the remaining topsoil with hand trowels, and screening the dirt. The process was painstaking, and the developer wanted them out as soon as possible. brick foundation for the Royal Palm Hotels veranda. Then the team began tually they had cleared all the soil down to the bedrock. Then they began assessing all the different depressions and holes in the limestone to deter mine which were manmade. Ryan Franklin then plotted them on a graph. It was like the old game of making a picture by connecting the dots. When the map was complete, suddenly the patterns were apparent. Ryan was able to connect the dots, and thats when we realized there were circles, Carr says. Thats also when the pattern of two parallel lines, previously unseen in any Tequesta site, revealed itself. When we got to the 3rd Avenue Circle, it was sort of a eureka moment, Carr recounts.In late September, with their work concluding, Carr is at the site one morning with his team, including Franklin and a young Cuban archaeologist named Oscar Pereira. In Cuba I used to do communist archaeology, quips Pereira, hunched over one of the holes in the bedrock. Here I do capitalist archaeology. Nothing could be truer. Just as the type of work Pereira did in Cuba was ings and hotels, is completely guided by the demands of the marketplace. By September 27, the archaeologists had packed up their trowels, mesh screens, and maps. The civil engineers taking digital coordinates for a 3D laser map of the site. The loud grumble of engines waited in the wings to take over. Miami is a young city, and this youth is evident in its enthusiasm for the new. That comes at the expense of our past, say people like historian Greg Bush, when were unwilling to protect our heritage. Even if that heritage comes with a price. As Bush asked in his e-mail: Where were the civic groups and the rest of the concerned citizens when this site was found? It may just be, as Carr has noted, that a recession-wracked economy in a city a reality too challenging to overcome. Could some ancient artifacts really stop a billion-dollar development providing jobs and revenue? Preservation advocates certainly hope so. One lesson from modern wont stay buried forever. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Building on the PastContinued from page 40 Traditional Taekwon-Do Instruction NOW ACCEPTINGNEW STUDENTSAges 5-Adults, All levels of Experience. Free uniform and private introductory class with enrollment.786-493-409 5 9617 Park Drive Miami Shores, FL 33138786-493-4095Visit us online at www.chitkd.orgITF affiliated school with over 20 years instructional experience.


44 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORThe Road That Time ForgotFinal improvements to NE 2nd Avenue have been as bumpy as the pavement itselfBy John Dorschner Special to the BTA long section of NE 2nd Avenue has become a wretched study in contrasts between the City of Miamis political haves and its have-nots. Some stretches could be in Paris smooth streets, curbs, good drainage, bike lanes, and decorative lighting. Other parts feel like Bangladesh pockmarked and bumpy streets, with poor lighting, and puddles pooling in mud and gravel beside the curbless pavement. is that it simply decided to divide a 4.1-mile project into segments, without explaining why it chose to complete some sections and postpone others. The ritzy Design District, home to upscale shops such as Hermes and Pucci, with a powerhouse developer planning 2nd Avenue, from 36th to 42nd streets. Just north of that comes a hodgepodge of shops and restaurants, the middle-class Buena Vista residential neighborhood, and Archbishop Curley Notre Dame high school. The roadway there, from 42nd to 51st streets, is akin to a Third World street, with dark lighting and bumpy road con ditions that residents say helped cause the death of a nighttime pedestrian earlier this year. Buena Vista residents have become exceedingly vocal in complaining to politi cians that their area has been ignored. North of Buena Vista, starting at 51st Street and going up to 69th, comes another excellent section, with designer lamps and trees planted in the swale area. This stretch includes the sprawling campus of Miami Jewish Health Systems, Little Haiti, and the McArthur Dairy plant. North of that, from 69th to 79th streets, its back to Bangladesh. Its not one United States. Its two United States, complains Mohammed Siddique, who runs the Quike Foodmart on NE 2nd at 70th Street. People dont want to stop at a store when they see a street like this, he says, nodding toward the puddles that occupy the swale area in front of his store. Siddique drives down the avenue frequently and is livid at the contrast. Its been like this two years now, he says this problem? I dont understand.BT photos by Silvia Ros BT photos by Erik Bojnansky Continued on page 48 By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterIt was the second quarter in game four had just scored a basket against the San Antonio Spurs, the crowd cheered, and then it all disappeared, replaced by a plume of smoke and dust. This wasnt the scene at San Antonios AT&T Stadium. This was Shuckers Bar & Grill in North Bay Village on the night of June 13, 2013, when a 120-footlong wooden deck, which served as the restaurants outdoor dining area, suddenly gave way and fell into Biscayne Bay, sending 100 people, and assorted tables and chairs, into six feet of water. Today a yellow membrane prevents from infesting the rest of Biscayne Bay, while the restaurant itself, located on the Bay Inn & Marina, remains gutted. No one died that night, but at least two dozen people were injured, according to the Miami Herald So far, 13 lawsuits Miami-Dade Circuit Court. yet. Soon after the accident, the Grentner family, owners of Shuckers and the Best Western, submitted plans to build a new concrete deck, braced by concrete pilings. Citing the pending lawsuits, Grentner declines to comment to the BT but interim city manager (and former BT contributor) Frank Rollason says the building depart ment is actively working with the owner of Shuckers. The village is doing everything it can to help him get open, Rollason adds. Were not slowing him up. Open since the late 1980s, Shuckers (1819 79th Street Cswy.) has attracted a following among South Florida residents who appreciated the restaurants waterfront views, simple American fare (including such seafood dishes as conch es), and gritty atmosphere. Boaters could even dock their vessels by a 65-foot pier behind the restaurant and grab a table. It was a killer view, no question, says Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant who was at Shuckers the night of the accident. And the prices for drinks were all right. You can get tanked at a fraction of the cost on the Beach.After the FallWhen the deck at Shuckers collapsed, only two waterfront restaurants remained open, but that is about to change Continued on page 50


By Elizabeth Hanly Special to the BTPinecrest Gardens, the former Parrot Jungle, will be the site of a special anniversary celebration and fundraiser on Saturday, November 9. overseeing the festivities, which include musical performances, guest speakers, and an art exhibit and silent auction. Never mind that the apes will be made of cardboard: Each cutout represents one of the chimps and orangutans living at the Center for Great Apes, a primate sanctuary in central Florida that has its roots in Pinecrest. Miami native Patti Ragan, who founded the center, will highlight her work with primates and the sanctuarys achievements over the past two decades. The Center for Great Apes offers the possibility for a second act for 45 chimps and orangutans, many of whom were once stars in the entertainment industry. Michael Jacksons chimp, 33-yearold Bubbles, may be the sanctuarys most famous resident retiree, although 15-year-old BamBam, the orangutan that played Precious the Nurse on the ABC soap Passion also lives there. So does 42-year-old Popi, who starred as the girlfriend of the orangutan Clyde in the Clint Eastwood Any Which Way You Can Several of the chimps featured in Super Bowl commercials also live at the center. The list includes elderly circus veterans, like 53-year-old Marcos, who still performs such routines as clapping, bouncing balls, and kicking a drum. Most people dont realize that these primates can perform for only a hand ful of years, says Ragan. Then they become too powerful for a trainer to control. They may live another 40 or 50 years, she adds. Whats to become of them? These apes would never survive in the wild, Ragan says during an interview at the center, and rarely does a zoo have the resources to do the sort of rehab that many of them need. As if on cue, Knuckles, a 14-year-old chimp suffering from cerebral palsy, rides by in a golf cart on his way home from treatment with a volunteer physical therapist. (A link on centers website offers photos, birthdays, biographical information, and top character traits of all its residents.) These primates might have lived out their days in a medical lab or as part of a cut-rate roadside attraction. Instead, theyve found shelter at a 100-acre wooded sanctuary in the middle of an orange grove in Wauchula, Florida. It was 1984 when Patti Ragan began working with great apes. By then she was a successful businesswoman, but years earlier shed taught school in Miccosukee Indian Village, in the Everglades. She recalls after-school hours slogging happily through rivers of grass; those memories would help in her search for a sanctuary site. When a friend gave her a book on zoos and movements to make them more animal-friendly, she decided to volunteer at Zoo Miami. Nobody, not even Ragan herself, could have predicted what happened next. I didnt dream of growing up to be Jane Goodall, she says. But she was tired of the business world and looked back fondly at her time in Miccosukee country, where shed felt at the root of things. After considerable soul searching, she traveled to Borneo in 1984 to volunteer with Birut Galdikas, Ph.D., who became one of Leakeys Angels, along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, working in the wild on primate studies. There, Ragan tracked wild orangutans and worked to prepare orangutan orphans to return to the wild. years later, she expected it to be for a short time; she planned to return to the Borneo orangutans. But she received a call from Parrot Jungle, asking her to care for Pongo, a local orangutan orphan. For more than a year Ragan cradled the infant as she fed him his bottle. She So Thats Where Bubbles Ended UpMichael Jacksons former pet is one among many primates enjoying a new life at the Center for Great Apes Continued on page 46 Photo by Patti Ragan Photo by Brian Kennedy


46 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORcarried him about in a Snugli, trying to simulate as closely as possible the nestling environment in which baby apes cling to their mothers, and which is so necessary in the early development of great apes. Pongos owner was planning to sell him to the circus, although Ragan didnt know it. Shed imagined a lovely life for him at a zoo. As fate would have it, around the time when he was to leave her care, the little guy, as Ragan still calls him (he now weighs 270 pounds), became seriously ill. In the space of two weeks, he suffered around 200 grand mal seizures. A local veterinarian couldnt determine the cause of the seizures, but Ragan didnt quit. A network of friends at Miami Childrens Hospital saved the ape, diagnosing meningitis and treating him under cover, as it were. Pongo regained his health but now had nowhere to go because of his health and other issues. Meanwhile, as Ragan searched for a home for him, she was hearing stories of other great apes in need. She decided to build a sanctuary for them. purchased in Wauchula, this after shed visited nearly 300 properties and had one near-closing that collapsed after local residents realized just who their neighbors would be. Ragan eventually used every business contact she had to pull together a group of several hundred supporters. Meanwhile, she poured all her savings into the project. As the story of the Center for Great Apes spread, animal trainers who could no longer care for their primates came to Ragan for help. Many of the apes who arrived at the center werent even able to recognize fellow apes as their own kind. So Ragan set up a reorientation center, as well as a detox center for animals that arrived addicted to alcohol and cigarettes. Such addictions, she says, made them easier for trainers to control. The Center for Great Apes is located off a dirt road that ends in a gate. For all the chimp chatter and the long call rumbles of the senior orangutans, this is a world of deep quiet. The sanctuary isnt open to the public; in this way, the apes have the best opportunity to return to their natural way of life, Ragan explains. Twelve domed enclosures, between three and four stories tall, are situated amid a lush forest of hardwoods and fruit trees. They re semble high, domed houses with mesh walls, and at the center of each one is a maze of logs, a sort of jungle gym for climbing. an approximation of branch-to-branch swinging, hang down from the ceilings. Hammocks hang from the sides of the en closures. The animals toys, which include hard hats, garden gloves, tutus, cardboard boxes, and plastic tubs, magazines, and books, are strewn hither and yon. Each domed enclosure is linked with the others by chutes in an elevated, milelong, mesh tunnel system that winds through the sanctuary. In those chutes, the apes come as close to lingering in the treetops as captivity allows. The sanctuary also has a special-needs habitat and other buildings. Because these animals were raised by humans, most of them relish human contact. No staff member would miss one of the apes birthday celebrations. The habitats are decorated with streamers and piatas, and presents and treat boxes are scattered about for discovery. There are cakes, too, covered with raisins, peanuts, and grapes. Ragan has extended her work beyond the sanctuary and seeks to meet people who can no longer keep the great apes as pets. One orangutan arrived at the center after living for ten years in a small cage in a garage. More than 35 pounds of feces were matted in his coat. He was so afraid of people that a sanctuary staff member had to lie down beside him and begin the scrubbing with a toothbrush. Ragan refuses to judge any former owners. After all, I raised Pongo, she says. I understand how easy it is to fall in love. Once that happens, one doesnt always consider the consequences. Its important to me that anyone with an ape in dire circumstances, for whatever Center for Great ApesContinued from page 45 Continued on page 52 Photo by Marilyn Magill




48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Shuckers competition in North Bay Village has dwindled over the years. Only about a dozen food-serving establishments including a Quiznos sandwich shop and a Dunkin Donuts currently operate along the Kennedy Causeway, also known as the 79th Street Causeway, the main thoroughfare of this square-mile community of three Biscayne Bay islands. Alvin Blake, a 48-year resident of North Bay Village and a former city commissioner, remembers a time when restaurants lined the entire causeway. We were like a restaurant row, Blake recalls. At its height, during the 1960s and 1970s, NBV was home to The Place for Steak, Nick & Arthurs, Billys Stone Draw places that not only had good food but also featured performers like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. (Martin even owned a NBV restaurant at the time, Dinos.) NBVs restaurants and nightclubs attracted large crowds and trouble. Mobsters frequented the establishments and occasionally killed one another there. One infamous example was when Anthony Big Tony Esperti gunned down Thomas the Enforcer Altamura at The Place for Steak in 1967. Prostitutes also frequented the area, so much so that a Miami Herald edito rial commented in 1968 that the strip prostitutes per foot than any series of dives east of Las Vegas. It is easy to get shot there and easier still to get robbed. Aiming to shed its sin city image, clamping down on the nightclubs and prostitutes. By the 1980s, NBV had evolved into a bedroom community of blue-collar workers, retirees, and families. Business for many of NBVs old causeway restaurants waned. Soon highrises were replacing restaurants. During the early 2000s, the L-shaped White Star Plaza, which once housed several restaurants on the south side of Kennedy Causeway, was torn down and replaced by the 19-story Lexi condominium. Except for Oggi Ristorante and a couple retail spaces are empty. Another residential tower will likely replace The Crab House, a buffet-style restaurant that operated at 1551 79th Street Cswy. for 37 years until this past June, when the eatery was closed down and fenced off. A company called B Developments had bought the 1.9-acre property for $7.6 million two months earlier. Sebastian Barbagallo, a director of B Developments, says his company plans to knock the restaurant down and build something else in its place. Were still developing the program, but mostly its going to be a mixed-use project with some residential and some retail on the B Developments also bought a 1.4acre waterfront parking lot just west of Shuckers for $6.2 million in May. That lot was used by Shuckers customers prior to the accident. Barbagallo says B Developments is exploring the possibility of building a condo-hotel there, although Shuckers Continued from page 44 Continued on page 52


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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORSiddique isnt sure to whom he should complain. Hes been thinking of writing a letter to Sen. John McCain of Arizona a guy hes seen on TV, but who is more likely to be spending his days thinking about Syria than NE 2nd Avenue. Rich Raimann, president of the Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood Associa tion, has a much more focused idea about whom to talk to. Earlier this summer, resi dents of his homeowners group barraged city and county politicians with letters. That campaign led to a meeting on July 30 between city and county staffers and Buena Vista residents about what they wanted to see along their stretch of the avenue, Raimann says. The residents demands included trees and a new stoplight at NE 46th Street. Restaurant owners along that stretch noted the need for wide sidewalks so they could have outdoor seating and street parking something the area sorely needs because residents on the side streets are irate about restaurant patrons blocking their driveways. Residents also emphasize the need for better street lighting suggesting it might have saved the life of the pedestrian who died. Raimann, a real estate agent, says he wants to make clear that he isnt angry that the Design District got its section redone two years ago while Buena Vista waited. He understands the street renovations were rushed through in time for Art Basel, the annual December event that brings a lot of money to the city. Were not at odds with Dacra, he says of Craig Robinss company that has huge plans to develop the area. I completely understand why the Raimann adds. But its two years later. Weve waited long enough. He says its been very unclear why there have been delays on improving the other stretches. Everybody is passing the buck. The county does have an expla nation, involving a lengthy series of events, starting with voters approv ing a half-penny transportation tax back in 2002 and continuing with Obama stimulus funds that became available in 2009. Frank Calderon, communica tions manager of Miami-Dade Countys Public Works and Waste Management Department, says the NE 2nd Avenue project from NE 20th Street to NE 91st Street was part of the adopting ordinance of the Peoples Trans portation Plan on how to use the tax money. That means it was in the fundamental plan to persuade voters to shell out an extra half-penny in sales tax. NE 2nd Avenue improvements were thrown in as a sop to northeast Dade residents as the western county was offered a huge eastwest Metrotrail extension, and central Dade was supposed to get a Metrorail line running up NW 27th Avenue to the Broward County line. County leaders eventually admitted that the plan had overpromised transportation improvements to voters. The east-west and north-south Metrorail extensions may be decades away, if they ever get built. For NE 2nd Avenue, however, the county fairly quickly built the northern section from NE 84th through NE 91st Street the Little River commercial area and the village of El Portal. Calderon says the City of Miami asked the county to let it handle the avenue within city boundaries from NE 20th Street to NE 84th Street. The sections that have been improved used funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, generally known as the Obama stimulus package, money handed out to boost the economy and create jobs. Plans for other areas including the Quike Foodmart section and Buena Vista are slogging through the bureau cratic process, according to the county. Those sections are still under design by the city, Calderon notes in an e-mail. The city is currently developing of-way section maps, plans, and typical sections for county staff to review and approve. At this time the city has not provided a schedule, as they recently selected a new consultant After a half-dozen queries from a reporter, the city recently respond ed with a statement from spokeswoman Marcia Lopez. The program was divided into segments, she said in response to a question about why some stretches looked Continued on page 54 NE 2nd AvenueContinued from page 44


Continued on page 54


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORit will accommodate Shuckers future parking needs. We talk with Chris [Grentner], he beams. We have good relations. Barbagallos company bought the two properties not long after the North Bay Village City Commission created the Bay View Overlay District in January. Within that district, which covers waterfront parcels along Kennedy Causeway, developers can now build up to 340 feet in height, says Jim LaRue, NBVs planning consultant. Before the districts enactment, developers could only build up to 240 feet on those parcels. The new buildings wont just be residential. The overlay district requires developers to include commercial retail in their plans. We need to retain the businesses, LaRue explains. We dont want to lose that. That is what keeps a thriving urban center. reason, feels comfortable talking with us. She worries, however, about the sanc ing the resources to create an adequate endowment for it, which is one reason for the November 9 fundraiser and celebra tion in Pinecrest, where her story began. A $50 donation includes the opportunity to hear more of Ragans fascinating ney Steve Wise will attend, as will Bill Ingersoll, a primatologist featured in the Project Nim The evenings music will be provided by guitarist Harry Hmura, who has played with blues legend Muddy Waters and is involved with the foundation Music for Apes, which supports ape rescue and sanctuaries. A silent auction will feature portraits of the apes, as well as the apes own art creations. All proceeds, both from the donations and the sale of the artwork, will go directly toward the care and feeding of the Center for Great Apes residents. For more information or to purchase tick ets, go to www.centerforgreatapes.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Center for Great ApesContinued from page 46 Photo by Brian Kennedy ShuckersContinued from page 48 Continued on page 54




Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORFollowing the Shuckers accident and The Crab House shutdown in June, just two waterfront restaurants remain on the waterfront. Trio on the Bay, located at 1601 79th Street Cswy., still serves meals from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Thereafter, the 23,000-square-foot restaurant is rented out to club promoters for events. Prior to Trios opening in 2011, Nick & Arthurs, Billys on the Bay, Barchetta on the Bay, Rogers, and Landrys operated at that location. Pleasure Emporium owner Michael Pulwer was interested in turning the restaurant into an adult club featuring steak dinners and nude female dancers in 2009, but backed out following opposition Benihana, meanwhile, has been serving sushi and teriyaki steaks inside its templeshaped, two-story restaurant at 1665 79th Street Cswy. since 1973. Jeannie Means, vice president of marketing for Benihana, promises that her company has no plans to close the place. I can assure you that no changes are intended or planned, she says. Benihana, a chain of 95 restaurants around the world founded by the late Hiroaki Rocky Aoki, has gone through major upheavals. Last year the Doral-based company was bought by the Angelo, Gordon & Co. Private Equity Group for $296 million. While the takeover was being negotiated, Cole Real Estate, a Phoenix-based real estate investment trust, bought the North Bay Village restaurant and one acre of land for $4 million in August 2012. But dont expect to see bulldozers rip ping apart Benihana any time soon. Beniha na signed a 20-year lease for the restaurant, the restaurants owners to buy the land. Until recently, the Best Western hotel was also for sale. Barbagallo says the Grentner family took it and the restaurant off the market just three months ago. We were never in negotiations, Barbagallo adds. Real estate consultant Zalewski, who is also the founder of CondoVultures. com, doubts there will be many new high-rise towers built in NBV in the near future, excepting the 285-unit Blu at North Bay Village, now under construction. Any new project proposed in NBV wont break ground until 2016 or 2017. By then, Zalewski reasons, the development boom will be softening. Barbagallo admits that NBV has its challenges. Right now its a transit area, he says. People drive by at 50 miles per hour. They just dont stop. Yet Barbagallo is hopeful that the restaurants B Developments will build on the causeway beneath its new projects will get some of those commuters to slow down. Its very important to create a destination, he says, to develop something very nice. Zalewski, a North Beach resident, is more interested in the prospects of Shuck ers reopening. I hope they open in time for the NBA playoffs in April and May, ably be the safest place around. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com NE 2nd Avenue Continued from page 50 ShuckersContinued from page 52good and others were bumpy messes. She offered no further explanation. She said the stretch from NE 42nd Street to NE 51st Street including Buena Vista is 90 percent designed and construction is expected to start in early 2014. The segment from NE 20th to 36th streets is 20 percent designed and construction could start in late 2015. The part near Quike Mart from 69th to 84th streets is 60 percent designed and also has construction expected for late 2015, two years from now. For many, the street improvements cant come quickly enough. Its hurting us, says Yami Contreras, a staffer at Emilio Robba, an upscale shop selling high-priced illusion flowers, meaning artificial, such as a bundle of tall stalks of ersatz bamboo that go for $1260. The store is in the 4200 block of NE 2nd Avenue, just north of where the nice stretch of Design District road ends. Contreras suspects that many shoppers stop when they get to the curbless road with its gravelly swale and puddles, and dont visit her store. Says Contreras: We dont underFeedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com




56 Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNWalk the LineScience and performance art combine to picture Miami under waterBy Adam Schachner BT ContributorIve heard one sentiment repeatedly from residents, scientists, and activ ists concerned with climate change and sea-level rise: Miami will set a global example, either through action or inaction. This month, November, nationally renowned artists and Miamis concerned residents will collaborate to overcome our glacial approach to confronting sealevel rise. The High Water Line/Miami project is a citywide visualization of rising tides. On Sunday, November 17, participants will make their way downtown, using industrial chalk markers to create a con tinuous line to mark anticipated scenarios for sea-level rise. Well start on 36th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, marking the six-foot sea-level-rise line all the way south into Brickell, explains organizer Marta Viciedo. A similar event will take place on Miami Beach on November 13 and 14. Combining performance art and civic engagement in both projects, participants will express their hopes for a Miami thats willing to adapt to the climate challenges it faces. Viciedo made a local impact this past March, bringing together Buena Vistas Purple Line mass transit installation (See the BT s All Aboard for the Future). Shes no stranger to combining artistic endeavor and civic-mindedness. This is in many ways what Purple Line was about, she says. Collaborative urban art demonstrations, where it takes the community to make it happen. High Water Line was conceptualized by New York artist Eve Mosher in 2007, after she began reading reports, especially a study done by Columbia University with several federal agencies, about the increasing likelihood of more frequent and more disastrous storms hitting the region. Mosher was eager to communicate the reality of sea-level rise, from grim melting Arctic ice. One Bush admin istration report on climate change, she recalls, softened the language [of environmental impact], introduced uncertainty, and framed it as an eco The Columbia report, published in 2001 by the federal multi-agency Global Change Research Program, described a New York City metropolitan area, which also includes New Jersey and Connecticut. Mosher adapted the reports data and created a walkable map of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the High Water Line project began. Using a pushable chalk dispenser like those that mark the 70-mile path through New Yorks at-risk areas, marking the high-water line and BT photo by Adam Schachner NOW OPEN IN MIDTOWN MIAMI 2691 NE 2nd Avenue. Miami, FL 33137 786.600.3910


engaging onlookers as she strolled. The project took her about six months. I was pleasantly surprised by the great awareness of climate change, Mosher tells the BT Out of the hundreds of people I talked to, only one didnt believe in climate change, and one didnt believe it was caused by humans. Then in 2012, the stark reality of Moshers High Water Line message was realized during Hurricane Sandy. She recalls watching the storm via social media (fortunately, she didnt lose power) and seeing the water levels rise. Although the ferocity of a storm like Sandy had been predicted in 2001 was witnessing what I had marked worse, actually. Sandys storm surge brought images of a perilous future most of us dont want to confront. Yet Miami has had similar experiences. prospect of a watery future was on June the phone as she was trapped in her car Road and 5th Street on South Beach. That torrential downpour dumped at least ten inches of rain on the Beach in the citys drainage system, which sends rain runoff into Biscayne Bay. (The pho tograph accompanying this column was shot on April 3, 2013, in South Beach, with Conversations about slow drainage and high tides are now commonplace, but we seem to brush past the true alarm and go straight to annoyance. As recently as dismissed the South Beach phenomenon South Floridas Tidal Flooding. The report nods to rising sea levels, but more as a rust hazard for the undersides of automobiles than a portent of struggles ahead. Theres a lot more than the moon to account for in our gradual inundation, and whether we wish to blame the tides or lame sewer lines, we have challenges to confront. While mapping our route, we were talking to some old-timers who were born and raised in Miami Beach, explains Heidi Quante, a national organizer for High Water Line. They said things are different on Alton Road. Theres more water than ever. Miami Beach is just one canary in the coal mine, and while its streets may have been transformed into canals occasionally over the years, todays frequent more pertinent than the lunar cycle. The same goes for the City of Miami, which published its climate action plan, the MiPlan, in 2008. The plan, which mostly addresses limiting greenhouse gas emissions from city buildings, makes passing reference to sea-level rise. Robert Ruano, the former director of tives during the drafting of MiPlan, clarplan was not as much about adaptation as it was about mitigation. Sustainability is for the next iteration. The update has yet to be developed. High Water Line/Miami has arrived at the perfect time to address our climate concerns. Anything that gives notice or highlights the issue is a good thing, says of Sustainability, whose department helped provide the upcoming project with reference materials and contacts. Organizers have concentrated the largest portion of High Water Line/ Miami in downtown, instead of the Beach. A key part [of the project] is to show that water will not only be coming from the east, like many assume, says Quante. A lot of water will come from the Everglades and the Miami River, which is an equal-opportunity disaster. At its heart, the High Water Line/Miami Moshers original experience. The project organizers are eager to dispel the doom and gloom of climate change, and to talk instead about Miamis resilient population. Theres tremendous potential to help this young, hungry workforce adapt its city before it is too late, says Quante. If you view this as an opportunity, it is far more hopeful and inspiring than sticking our heads in the sand. Volunteers are welcome to help chalk Miamis high-water lines. For more information, contact Marta Viciedo at marta.viciedo@gmail.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Medical Services LEUNG HEALTHCARE LEUNG HEALTHCARE $10 FLU SHOTS$39 ValueWe accept HUMANA GOLD PLUS, CARE PLUS, MEDICARE, AND OTHER MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS Florence Foucauld, MD Gilbert Leung, MD Maria Mustelier, MD Nasiruddin Nazarally, MD Gabriel Nelson, MD Nadine Cantave, MSN, ARNP-BC Marites Montes, MSN, ARNP Sophia Yen-Zhoo Tong, MD We offer Humana One dental coverage PPO or HMO from$12.99 per monthFREE Humana $200 Daniele Koch, DDS Steven Rindley, DDS Rafael D. Simbaco, DDS Alberto Suarez, DDSHMO and PPO insurance plus private pay for qualified patients 305-944-9388 305-899-1406 954-921-5553 Rafael Simbaco, DDS Nasiruddin Nazarally, MD Florence Foucauld, MD Gilbert Leung, M.D. Alberto Suarez, DDSTogether We Enhance Your Quality of Life COME IN AND MEET SOME OF OUR FRIENDLY STAFF


58 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR AAventuras N ew FrontierThe city is moving west, if only in name, whether you like it or notBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorGo West, young man, declared Horace Greeley more than 150 years ago, and the modern-day developers of Aventura have adopted his sage counsel. Westward ho! may be the more apropos reference for Aventuras urban expansion, inasmuch as the play by that name, written by Thomas Dekker and John Webster in 1607, was a satire about the westward expansion of London. The latter phrase originated among the drivers of the water taxis that took people up and down the Thames between old and new London. The westward growth of Aventura, by contrast, is not following a natural waterway. And by degrees, the hub of the city is moving farther from the waters we know. To be sure, some 23 percent of the city is water, with its bays and waterways, so we are not in risk of turning into a sub-Saharan dust bowl. Yet longtime residents cannot help but experience an odd sense of disorientation when they drive west on Ives Dairy Road, well past I-95, getting almost to U.S. Route 441, and still see the city name shining on the marquee announcing a grand new housing development: Aventura Isles. This is not intended as a criticism of any sort, or as an endorsement. Its simply an observation. Within the South Florida region, municipalities are frequently faced with the quandary that Hamlet asks himself. Forgive the liberty taken here, but what they ask is this: To beach or not to beach? Even cities like Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville, with glorious frontage along the Atlantic, and with bays and canals, generally extend several miles inland. Their residents will see these waterways only when they undertake special outings for that very purpose. Thus South Florida village elders are always grappling with just how much they should use their beaches towell to shore up their reputations. When the City of Hallandale decided to change its name to Hallandale Beach back in 1999, many of us in city government were inspired to ponder the wisdom of that move.


Hallandale does have a little stretch of beach along A1A, but its hard to see the city. And compared to Aventura, Hallandale is a dry patch, with less than eight percent water. the hotels in Hallandale Beach have expe rienced a discernible uptick in occupancy in the years since the whole town decided to identify itself as one big beach. If anything, Aventura might have been a better candidate for adding Beach or Cove or Lagoon or Fountains or Falls or Springs or Bay anything with a wavy, watery, After all, Aventura means adventure, and the name evokes some spirited or ro mantic quality associated with both tropi cal and nautical images. A boat named Aventura for instance, might be captained by a swashbuckling pirate, a dashing yachtsman, or a fearless explorer. On the other hand, a place called Hallandale that derives its name from a guy named Halland hardly suggests excitement, mystery, or some other dramatic scenario. Adding Beach to it is like adding the title of duke to a fellow named Smith. To me, Aventura was always the exotic girl on the beach, and Hallandale was the average Joe friend who was land, of course). As far as tourists are concerned, they seem to think that South Florida is all one big beach, divided roughly into two tinations, even within those two regions, are rebuffed by the visitor from the Just show him the sand and the water and right now, if you dont mind. live miles or worse, miles and miles away from the water, they begin to think you must be a huge loser. For them, Aventura is still a fun destination because theres water and beauty aplenty, even when they cant actually see the ocean. This new reality that is Aventura-atRoute-441 comes as a bit of a jolt to both locals and outsiders. In our minds, the ad venture never ventured quite so far inland. What would our gallant captain be doing so far from the sea, unless his dreams had run aground? Is there a Wild West there, a treacherous territory full of torment and treasure, a trove of untapped potential for the American Dreamer? that there is, apparently. The houses keep springing up and the businesses are opening alongside them. The California Club strip mall on Ives Dairy Road, long underap preciated and underutilized, is suddenly coming into its own, with new stores inject ing renewed life. The parking lot seems more full each time I pass, and there is a distinct buzz of progress in the air. Clearly, the success of that area will spell greater overall success for Aventura, building up both the citys population and its tax base. People will discover more residential and commercial options, and the road to Dolphin Stadium will exude a greater energy. Before long, the Califor nia Club movie theater may even be seen as a real alternative to the one at Aventura titudes about these venues have improved. Still, the adjustment is likely to take us a while. Some day in the very near future, I know Ill have a friend living in Aventura Isles, giving me directions on how to visit: Get off the I-95 on Ives Dairy Road and go west Ill glance down at the scratch pad where I faithfully copied his words and wonder to myself: He couldnt have said to go west, could he? Then Ill probably remind myself of the Americans who did go West, from Davy Crockett to Sam Houston and John Wayne persecution and the Gold Rush prospectors looking to get rich quick to the Dust Bowl From our founding, theres been a great pulse and push along the east-west axis of this country and, for the most part, it has strengthened those who traveled along its track. We like the feeling of the Atlantic at our backs, with gentle wisps of breeze from the sea pushing us onward to greatness. So the adventure of Aventura can keep moving westward without eroding the charm of its waterways. There will be no desecration by desiccation. Well take the gusts from the sea and the gusto it brings, and well continue, westward ho! Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com SERVICE BEYOND EXPECTATIONS 877-771-2670 gutter cleaning roof washing pressure washing window cleaning call today for a FREE estimate www.windowgang.com FULLY INSURED AND BONDED


60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA M I SHORE SI ts Friday Night and the H igh R ollers A re H ereWho needs a downtown casino when St. Marthas has bingoBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorWhile Miami developers and citizens scream and shout, pro or con, about the possibility of casino action in our near future, Ive dis covered a way to scratch my gaming itch right here in my own neighborhood. Bingo! Thats right, B-I-N-G-O. Im not talking about the name-o of the farmers dog, either. Im talking about the rampantly competi tive, high-stakes games that take place at St. Marthas Parish Hall every month or so. From expect for me to go down quietly in defeat. Okay, perhaps rampantly competitive and high stakes are hyperbolic. The church, in conjunction with St. Roses, actually sponsors Family Bingo groups within the parishes. The games occur roughly every month, and according to the woman seated behind us with her two kids, its bad manners to gloat over your wins and bemoan your losses. Oops. I attended a recent Family Bingo Night that was organized by the Mens Emmaus Group in order to raise money for its annual retreat. Every Bingo game card costs a dollar (you can get a new card for every game or stick with the same one, but you still have to pay up). by church members, sets you back another four bits. Scratch-off lottery tickets that have been custom-designed for the event are two dollars, and every one is a winner for some kind of food or drink, also donated by members. Junk-food addict that I am, I was more than thrilled, for instance, to win as well as plenty of real home-cooked food. We saw trays of baked ziti and chicken pot pie (the specialty of a member of St. Marthas), along with salad and rolls. Theres even dessert in the form of cupcakes. If you dont feel like dishing bowls of peanuts and pretzels, compli mentary with your entrance, that adorn the round tables where you sit. classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature.


Im not sure how much money any of these groups can actually raise, given that the entrance fee is only $5 and have free admission. There were perhaps 20 players, and at least 5 of them were players, but one gentleman informed us that the night was oddly unattended, and that usually the hall was full. Yet I guess once the competition heats up, the money does roll in. My husband and I were nearly gloating at the Bingo cards were the cheapest forms of dining and entertainment weve had in years, but we still managed to drop $80. prizes. They included items that seemed tailor-made for me: a fancy, electric as seen on TV section); a trivia game about food and dining; and a huge media umbrella, donated by the church member also calling the game. The autographed pictures of Deco Drive s Lynn Martinez and Luis Aguirre ing the umbrella more than made up for that disappointment. It should be impossible for me to lose, accidentally turn inside out, or crush in the seat mechanisms of my car, which is where all the compact umbrellas seem to except for losing at Bingo. In other words, I won the $3. But only because another woman won the same game, so we had to split it. Otherwise, I would have been $6 in score. Together we earned ourselves a tenYou might well wonder why my husout-of-place Jews, went to a Catholic that obvious, as one member consistently tried to persuade my husband to go on the retreat. But really, why would we support a religion not our own? The truth is that there are myriad reasons, starting with the fact that Im hardly a bigot. In fact, some of my best friends are Catholic. Im fortunate that they tolerate me in return. Kidding aside, Im very comfortable in churches. I used young and, in the more recent past, during stay on my feet, let alone go out with the hubby for an evenings entertainment. A neighborhood, I mean it really is only The biggest reason for my churchgoing foray, however, is that Ill play anything, anywhere, anytime, for any reason (except, lets be honest, board games with children). I dont have a gambling games that I dont play. But I was raised on competitive solitaire, tesy of both my card-carrying grandmas, one of whom used to hop on the bus to Atlantic City with a bag full of quarters for the slots. to compete, be it against other players or the more I play, the more money you raise. Its a win-win. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Together we won a ten-spot or as one would say in Family Bingo parlance, two platefuls of chicken pot pie.


62 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIOut with the Old, in with the NewAfter 54 years of shopping pleasure, the Publix at 127th Street may soon bid farewellBy Mark Sell BT ContributorIf you think shopping is already a pleasure at the 127th Street Mall Publix, just wait. If all goes as planned, it will eventually get even better, after it gets worse. Should the Publix dream come true, sometime around 2015, crews will tear down the store building and the deserted medical center behind it, and move an ex panded, brand-spanking-new Publix to the south side of the mall property, facing north. U.S. 1 Fitness will get a new building in the northwest corner. The businesses in the Publix building H&R Block, Manleys Jewelry, General Nutrition Center will also get new quarters in the north building. Meanwhile, shoppers will get a clear view across the parking lot to the Johnson & Wales University buildings, especially the big parking ramp with the basketball court on top. Pedestrians walking along NE 17th to Johnson & Wales and the City of North Miami will not have to look at Publix loading docks. Under the plan, those will front the north side of 127th Street, just behind the red-bricked Wells Fargo build ing Johnson & Wales campus have quietly worked on this for about a year and sprang the news widely at the October 16 North Miami Board of Adjustment meeting. Its not a done deal, but Publix has more clout than it used to. It bought the ground land lease, including the shopping center and former medical-imaging building in the back, at foreclosure about three years ago, and that lease has about 45 years to go. As customers know, the market is getting tired. It opened in May 1959 and is therefore one of Publixs oldest stores in South Florida. Its an old store in desperate need of getting remodeled, says Publix spokeswoman Nicole Krauss. The new store would be 49,000 square feet, rather than 41,000. That compares with 45,000 square feet at the relatively new Biscayne Commons Publix (14641 Biscayne Blvd.) and 51,000 square feet at the expanded Miami Shores Publix (9050 Biscayne Blvd.). The Whole Foods just south


of NE 123rd Street, opened in May, is 36,000 square feet. Reaction to the plan is divided, both on the Board of Adjustment and in the com munity. In fact, at the October 16 meeting, the board rejected 4-3 Publixs request for a number of variances, and then reversed itself and decided to reconsider later, in hopes that its next meeting would include a workshop. The biggest bugbear among the variances is that the expanded new store would not face the street, as city code mandates, but would sit sideways. Developer Bernard Barney Danzansky, president of Equity Development Group in Boca Raton, said that if the city wont grant a variance on the positioning of the store, the deal is off. He has built 13 Publix supermar kets. This would be number 14. Kenneth Each, the former North Miami police chief and current planning commissioner who owns three properties on Emerald Drive right across from Johnson & Wales, loves the plan. I have looked at the back of that shopping center for the past 30 years and it is despicable. It is absolutely a disgrace, Each told the Board of Adjustment. He said the Publix markets in Miami Shores and Surfside face sideways to the street, and that Johnson & Wales did a beautiful job in closing the turning it into a landscaped brick walkway. He therefore asked for a variance to this tired, old, dilapidated property. Ellen Abramson, a Keystone Point This is insane, she says. Youd see the Johnson and Wales parking garage with the basketball court on the roof. And you couldnt just walk to Publix from the stores. Youd have to go across the whole parking lot. The northern end would just turn into a strip mall. Youre asking for blight. After the Board of Adjustment reversed course and agreed to reconsider at the December workshop, Danzansky wasted no time making his case. The following night, he met with the Keystone Point Homeowners Association, where his plan was generally well received. For most tenants in the adjacent four-story Wells Fargo bank building, all these big plans were news. Those happen to include Board of Adjustment member and lawyer Holly Cohen, who voted against the plan, and Councilwoman Carol Keys, a fellow attorney who appointed Cohen to the board. Although Danzansky said that notifying tenants was not typical this early in the process, he would be glad to do so between now and the next Board of Adjustment meeting, tentatively on for 6:30 pm, Wednesday December 18, at North Miami City Hall, but subject to change. Biscayne Landing update: At the October 22 North Miami City Council meeting, Oleta Partners executive vice president Herbert Tillman gave his usual smooth presentation on developments at Biscayne Landing, though the subject was rough: contaminated soil. Yes, he said, Oleta Partners had trucked CityCentre construction site to Biscayne Landing with the permission of the MiamiDade Department of Environmental Re sources Management (now called the Depart ment of Regulatory and Economic Resources, or RER), which authorized a shipment of 300,000 cubic yards in February and ordered a stop in May when it found aluminum levels well above permissible limits. said, had been put into lakes, although Oleta Partners had paid $1.7 million for quantity anywhere else, as it was being commandeered for a runway project at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport. He but said that is not so unusual. Vice Mayor Scott Galvin then caught everyones attention when he said he got a call from Oleta Partners developer Michael Swerdlow, who told him that the city said Oleta would have to pay North Miami $1 million to keep the conshould pay it. Galvin told him No. City manager Stephen Johnson said that hed brought this up to Swerdlow as a tax, and apologized profusely for not telling the whole council about it. This chould be a teachable moment. Communications between management and council are spotty, and the city manag er should keep each member fully, and not selectively, posted, and return calls without fear or favor, whatever the likely vote. This is causing needless trouble on the dais. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


64 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEStep Up to the Podium If You D areThe Miami City Commission gives new meaning to bully pulpitBy Ken Jett BT ContributorFlorida received nationwide coverage over the suicide of bullied youngster Rebecca Sedwick. Recent events at Miami City Hall also tering to our image. On September 26, while discussing a proposal to rename parts of District 5 as Little Haiti, Commissioner Michelle month, said, Im not gonna get into the mud or lie in the mud with the pigs. Her response to e-mail messages shed received from people who were spewing venom about Little Haiti and Haitians was to lecture the city hall audience on how distasteful it all was. Yet she suggested that some venomous Miami residents were pigs! Pot meet kettlekettle meet pot. I dont condone insults about Haitians or anyone else, but I do recognize the dif ference between squelching bad behavior and censoring free speech. Spence-Jones has had a longstanding practice of dis missing legitimate concerns while refus ing to engage in frank discussion. She avoids democratic debate by playing a culture card, which allows this tactic both diversional and annoying. I suspect she wouldnt have invoked mud and pigs had the comments been directed ethnicity. Had she received e-mails about, say, Wynwood, its unlikely she would have railed against the pigs who were saying degrading things about Wynwoodians. This is more support, in fact, for reconsidering this idea to rename historic neighborhoods, but thats another column. We often make allowances when private citizens say stupid or off-putting things, or get crazed about issues they hold dear. Its somehow less of an affront when they use vulgar language while factor in any number of rationales: our rich heritage of freedom of thought, the individuals lack of understanding, the heat of the moment. But I, for one, draw the line at namecalling, bullying, and degradation of the citizenry by those in positions of power and authority. sitions. I expect them to be well versed in disarming a tense and uncomfortable situation with grace and professionalism. (Stop laughing and keep reading!) I expect to see professionals in action who shock and awe with their interper sonal skills. I expect more interpersonal resourcefulness than we may see in their Saint Martha Yamaha2013-2014 Concert SeriesPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director TO LECUONA WITH LOVE Soprano SANDRA LOPEZ and pianist PAUL POSNAK feature Posnaks original arrangements of the canciones and zarzuelas of Ernesto Lecuona Siboney, Malaguena, Siempre en mi Corazon from their new CD.Sponsored by Dade County Cultural Affairs and The Children's Trust Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.SANDRA LOPEZ & PAUL POSNACK TO PURCHASE TICKETS visit stmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or purchase at church office or at door.Meet the artists at our after-concert reception in the Atrium, included with your tickets.


constituents. I do not expect sermonizing, scolding, or throwing-down with the public. order to silence them. When I see this opposition from the public. all excluding public input. With these protections now enshrined Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 5 REASONS WE ARE THE BEST CHOICE!*N OT INC LUDI NG REBATES AND IN STORE ONLY.#1 #2 #3 #4 #5MOST EXPERIENCED & K NOWLEDGE ABLE STAFF LOWE ST PRICE G UARANT EE WE MEET OR BEAT ALL LOCAL PRICES*LARGE ST SEL ECT ION O F POOL & SP A PRODUC TS FA MIL Y OW NED & OPERAT ED F OR OVER 40 YEARS W E GUARANT EE T O K EEP YOU HA PPY!! 305-893-4036 Keeping Customers Happy For Over 40 Years S ALT CHLORI NATORS HEATERS LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR POOLCOMPUTER WAT ER A N AL YSIS FREE LET US SHOW YOU THE 3 STEP PROGR AM! HUGE SAVING S! UP TO $1500 MFG REBA TE OR 0% FINANC ING FOR 18 MON THSSAV E $500 OFF+ FREE I NSTALLATI ON ($195 value)*SAV E $300 OFF+ FREE I NSTALLATI ON*HEA T PUMPHeat your pool for $1.00 a day!G AS HEA TERSF ASTER HEA T UPS SAV E $500 OFF Heat your pool for $1.00 a day! SAV E $300 OFF F AS F AS F TER HE A T UP A T UP A S *N ot including electrical or gas installation or permits if required HE A T PUMP A T PUMP A G AS HE A TER A TER A S rfnt


66 Culture: THE ARTSKids Blossom When Immersed in ArtsMiamis Arts for Learning has grown into a teenage success storyBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorFar too often, we tend to associate the cultural arts with an elite community, a diversion for the leisure class. But symphonies, chamber concerts, dance performances, art exhibits these are not just forms of entertainment that only people with extra time and money can afford. In fact, innovations in music, dance, and the visual arts often take root in the street and develop from the ground up. From there, artistic expression can help break barriers and become a great unihave little voice, especially young people, Thirteen years ago the organization Arts for Learning/Miami, or A4L, was set up to facilitate arts education in Miami-Dade schools, with the understanding that the younger the pupils were exposed to a vibrant cultural life, the With initial funding of $150,000 and the tripartite backing of the national Miami-Dade public school system, and the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural to arts education across all the schools, from K through 12. That mission expanded quickly, recalls founding member and current A4L director Sheila Womble. We realized that after-school programs, preschool programs, and summer projects were also important, and were where the organization could have the biggest impact, particularly in the inner-city. Womble emphasizes that from early on, A4L stressed the importance of teachers, not just the children, in making the programs successful. It wanted professional and engaged members of the community to participate. Eventually actors, directors, choreographers, poets, and visual artists would be part of the learning equation as Arts for Learning expanded over the past decade. Today about 60 teaching artists are involved per year, and A4L offers development sessions for the teachers, along with a summer institute. As Womble points out, arts education is about much more than learning a craft or a discipline that may, on the surface, seem irrelevant in todays market-oriented world. When children are engaged, even having fun while interacting with art, they have a better chance of picking up many more intellectual skills that theyll need as they mature. For instance, one of the more popular art forms for learning is drumming its physical, its rhythmic, and therefore relatively easy to hold kids attention, she explains. But the history of percussion, which they also learn, incorporates the history of many of the worlds cultures; it has been used as a mode of communication, in ritualistic ceremonies, storytelling, and dance. Or how about hand puppets? When making these little creatures, children learn basic assembly and design skills. But what if the puppets are also examples of endangered species? Thats not a bad introduction to a topic that could seem hopelessly boring to eight-year-olds. Painting, moreover, may seem like a solitary undertaking, but it is known to Photos courtesy of Arts for Learning


be one of the most expressive art forms, especially for children with special needs or who have never really learned to communicate their hopes and fears. However, thats just one layer. The process of creation can help chil dren develop problem-solving techniques and critical thinking, says Womble, and this can help prepare them for the larger world they must navigate after leaving school. In recent years, A4L has concentrated on a summer internship program for high school students, those who indeed will be entering the real world soon. In 2012, A4L received a $75,000 pilot a program called ArtWorks. It was conceived as a six-week, paid summer internship for high school students from the area around Wynwood, the epicenter of contemporary art in Miami, and would therefore include the neighborhoods of Overtown, Liberty City, Wynwood, and Little Haiti. Although the students werent re quired to possess an art background, they did have to submit an application. After six weeks, they would leave with a portfo lio and rsum; knowledge of a complete artistic process, whether in dance, music, theater, or the visual arts; and, it is hoped, with an understanding of how to present themselves in further endeavors. The pilot program included 20 students. This year the Knight Foundation upped the funding, with a Knight Arts Challenge Grant for ArtWorks of $225,000. On July 31, the 30 interns from this summer topped off their six-week training with a showcase of dance and theater performances titled A Moment of Freedom, which took place man Warehouse. who has followed the output of the students whove gone through A4L programs during the past decade knows that its rarely amateur hour with them. Yes, theres incredible creativity and energy in much of what these teenagers and children produce, but also a high level of professionalism. What they bring important as the lessons they learn. Womble says the organization wants to expand the study disciplines offered instance. This means theyll need additional instructors the artistic tent grows bigger, involving more and more people from all aspects of Miami life. One former A4L instructor and supporter is artist and curator William Cordova, who was represented in the Miami, and culminate in a silent auction The list of artist works gathered for the auction is stellar, with such names as Lou Anne Colodny. These are not just important artists many of them have also been instrumental forces in the development of Miamis art community.


68 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS ADAMAR FINE ARTS 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Ste. 107, Miami 305-576-1355 www.adamargallery.com Ongoing: Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Sultan, Rene Rietmeyer, Djawid Borower, Brad Howe, Tolla Inbar, Zammy Migdal, Gretchen Minnhaar, Niso Maman, and Luis Efe Velez Through November 30: -D On and Off the Wall with various artists ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-286-7355 www.albertolinerogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ FINE ARTS 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through November 22: Sense of Mendicity by Danilo Dueas Insito by Bernardo Montoya ALMA FINE ART 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through November 17: A Place Away by Luis Paredes November 21 through January 31: Esteban Pastorino Diaz ART NOUVEAU GALLERY 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www.artnouveaumiami.com Through November 4: Photography by Roberto Lombada BAKEHOUSE ART COMPLEX 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Call gallery for exhibition information BAS FISHER INVITATIONAL 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse November 1 through 24: Urban Variants with various artists Reception November 1, 6 to 9 p.m. BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through November 2: Unraveling Puzzle by Jos Cobo November 7 through January 5: Dream Catcher with Jos Cobo, Emilio Garcia, Simona Janisova, Stella Rahola Matutes, Pablo Lehmann, and Zhanna Kadyrova BRIDGE RED STUDIOS / PROJECT SPACE 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through November 10: BRISKY GALLERY 130 NW 24th St., Miami 786-409-3585 www.briskygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information BUTTER GALLERY 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 305-303-6254 www.buttergallery.com Ongoing:HOX by Douglas Hoekzema Sym City by Yuri Tuma CAROL JAZZAR CONTEMPORARY ART 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com Through November 17: Palimpsest with Dona Altemus, Yanira Collado, Purvis Young, Gary Moore, Rick Ulysse, Salvatore la Rosa, Regina Agu, Lou Anne Colodny, Leslie Hewitt, and Gean Moreno, curated by William Cordova DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through November 20: All Inclusive! by Melvin Martinez DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 November 9 through December 31: Criminal Aesthetic Fashion at the Skyscraper Club by Anna Galtarrosa and Daniel Gonzalez DIMENSIONS VARIABLE 100 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net Through December 22: Overhead by Kevin Arrow Reception November 1, 7 to 10 p.m. DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through November 9: New Work by Peggy Levison Nolan November 21 through January 24: Stage by Shen Chao-Liang DOT FIFTYONE GALLERY 187 NW 27th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Call gallery for exhibition information ELITE GALLERY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 Through November 30: American Signs by Ramon Espantaleon Reception November 7, 7 to 10 p.m. If you dont want us, we want you (performance view) FOR ADVERTISING CALL 305-756-6200 WE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW!


Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS EMERSON DORSCH 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.emersondorsch.com Through November 16: Catherine Czacki and April Street November 23 through December 21: Ideas Are Executions by Siebren Versteeg and Dave Hardy FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through November 21: The Modern Prometheus by Timothy Buwalda GALLERY 212 MIAMI CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 516-532-3040 www.gallery212miami.com Through November 23: Fall Group Exhibition with Michael Perez, Matt Stock, Carol Reeves, Robin Noel Hiers, Enrique Mochado, Charlotte Harber, Artie Sandstone, Cema Mendes, David Haradin, Aaron Hill, Fred Love, Alicia Erminy, and Sean Murdock GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com November 7 through 30: Banter with Borden Capalino, Marianne Eigenheer, Brian Fridge, Nicolas Lobo, Nathlie Provosty, and Cordy Ryman, curated by James Cope GUCCIVUITTON 8375 NE 2nd Ave., Miami www.guccivuitton.net Through November 23: Rococo Chanel by Loriel Beltran November 30 through January 11: I know the master wasted object by Cristine Brache HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through November 22: RIVOTRILANHEDONIA by Aldo Chaparro JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 www.juanruizgallery.com Through November 16: Fractures by Victor Vazquez November 26 through February 1: Urban Ouroboros by Betsabee Romero KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through November 28: Oleo by Karmelo Bermejo KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through December 4: Lauras World by Sandro de la Rosa November 7 through December 4: The Sinners by Armando Romero Reception November 7, 6 to 10 p.m. KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through November 16: The Pull of Tide by Mira Lehr LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org November 9 through December 21: Intethe (Sketch for an Opera) by Nicholas Hlobo Reception November 9, 7 to 10 p.m. MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdcmoad.org Through November 2: Traveling Forms by Leandro Vazquez Through November 17: A Painter and Her Audience by Antonia Eiriz Elaborate Webs/Striking Exploits by Anne Austin Pearce and Sara Stites MICHAEL JON GALLERY 122 NE 11th St., Miami 305-521-8520 www.michaeljongallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information NINA TORRES FINE ART 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 Through November 20: Philippe Pastor NNAMDI CONTEMPORARY GALLERY 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 786-332-4736 www.nnamdicontemporary.com Through November 7: The Other City by Juan Logan NOW CONTEMPORARY ART 175 NW 25th St., Miami 305-571-8181 www.nowcontemporaryart.com Call gallery for exhibition information O. ASCANIO GALLERY 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com Through November 25: Spring Collection 2013 with Carlos Cabeza, Francisco Salazar, Nanin, Jorge Blanco, Hester, Anrika Rupp, and Victor Lucena Celebrating songs of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Peggy Lee, Anita O-Day, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. Featuring: Nicole Yarling, Wendy Pedersen, Paulette Dozier and introducing Ashlee Moss accompanied by The Melton Mustafa OrchestraA Tribute to f EllF i tld t i bueo Women in JazzFor online ticket purchases and more information, please visit us atSunnyIslesBeachJazz.comor call (305) 792-1706 Tickets available at: Sunny Isles Beach Visitor Center 18070 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 & Pelican Community Park 18115 N. Bay Road, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160Join Us for the 6th AnnualSunny Isles Beach Jazz FestNovember 15-17, 20136 yearsCelebratingBeneting: Organized by: Local Partners: The Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Tourism Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Melissas PickSince its inception as an artist-run gallery that eschews Miamis more glamorous impulses in favor asking critical questions, Guccivuitton has emerged as a source of vital, exciting artwork. Loriel Beltrans latest solo exhibition, Rococo Chanel, is a playful exercise in deconstructing images and objects. Beltran sets his sights on wealth, taste, and intention, transforming luxury advertisements, symbols, and kitsch into formal works of art. In an act appropriate to its subject matter, this exhibition will disappear right before the art fairs and their fashion-savvy sponsors come to town. Melissa Wallen Loriel Beltran, Figure, oil on


70 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 www.onceartsgallery.com Ongoing: Pablo Gentile, Jaime Montana, Jaime Apraez, and Patricia Chaparro PAN AMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through November 23: Vanitas by Jos Toirac and Meira Marrero P.S.H. PROJECTS 72 NW 25th St., Miami 305-576-1645 www.pshprojects.com Through November 10: Breaking News by David Palacios MADA New Media Festival: Raul Marroquin and Friends with various artists November 21 through January 26: Art & Toys with Flix, High ME, Chanoir, Carlos Zerpa, Blue & Joy, J Frield, Benito Laren, SFZ, Nina Dotti, Consuelo Castaeda, Muu Blanco, Luis Salazar, and Alfredo Salazar ROBERT FONTAINE GALLERY 2349 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-397-8530 www.robertfontainegallery.com November 9 through 23: Refresh by RYCA Reception November 9, 5 to 8 p.m. 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 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI GALLERY 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Ste 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art November 5 through 22: Human Nature and the Oblivion of Being by Sean Black Reception November 9, 2 to 9 p.m. UNIX FINE ART GALLERY 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres Through November 19: American Le-Trina by Williams Carmona November 23 through January 9: The Colors of Life by KwangHo Shin and Marcello Lo Giudice WALTMAN ORTEGA FINE ART 2233 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-576-5335 www.waltmanortega.com November 9 through December 10: Richard Butler Hybrid by Jorge Enrique WYNWOOD WALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Aiko, avaf, b., The Date Farmers, Faile / Bast, Futura, How & Nosm, Invader, Jeff Soto, Kenny Scharf, Liqen, Logan Hicks, Nunca, Os Gemeos, Retna, Roa, Ron English, Ryan McGinness, Saner & Sego, Shepard Fairey, Stelios Faitakis, Coco 144, Gaia, Interesni Kazki, Joe Grillo, Neuzz, P.H.A.S.E. 2, Vhils ZADOK GALLERY 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737, www.zadokgallery.com Through January 4: Songs of Freedom by Maria Magdalena Campos-PonsARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through November 3: On Location: Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art with Robert Huff, Kuhl & Leyton, Jorge Pantoja, David Rohn, and Roberto Visani Trough November 17: Correspondences by Marina Font and Amalia Caputo November 16 through January 12: Between Walls by Juan Lopez, curated by Susan Caraballo Reception November 20, 6 to 10 p.m. BASS MUSEUM OF ART 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through November 3: Rufus Corporation by Eve Sussman Time with various artists CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation) 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org Call gallery for exhibition information DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FROST ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through December 8: Eternal Cuba: The Darlene M. and Jorge M. Perez Collection at FIU with various artists Through December 31:Deep Blue by Javier Velasco Through January 5: Crisis and Commerce: Worlds Fairs of the 1930s with various artists From Africa to the Americas with various artists Through February 2: Tracing Antilles by Humberto Castro LOWE ART MUSEUM, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through February 9: Terrestrial Paradises: Imagery from the Voyages of Captain James Cook with various artists Through April 27: The Art of Panama with various artists MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 www.mocanomi.org Through November 3: Love of Technology with Luis Fernando Benedit, Ian Cheng, Jason Galbut, Lena Henke, Morag Keil, Oliver Laric, Ben Schumacher and John Keenen, Josh Smith, Jack Strange, Anicka Yi, Andrea Zittel, Calla Henkel, and Max Pitegoff THE MARGULIES COLLECTION 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www.margulieswarehouse.com Through April 26: The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse with Doug Aitken, Cory Arcangel, John Chamberlain, Willem de Kooning, Leandro Erlich, Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Isamu Noguchi, George Segal, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, and Franz West, curated by Katherine Hinds The Wisdom of the Poor: A Communal Courtyard by Song Dong Calzolari, Kounellis, Pistoletto by Arte Povera Paintings and Sculpture 1986 by Anselm Kiefer Foto Colectania Foundation, Barcelona, Spain, Chema Madoz with various artists THE RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 http://rfc.museum Call gallery for exhibition information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com


Culture: EVENTS CALENDARSound the Jazz Gong Saturday, November 9 A Culinary Tradition of Spanish Design Tapas: Spanish Design For Food Saturday, November 9 Flamenco for the New Millennium sors Templanza tablao created Templanza Sunday, November 10 Miami, We Are Sunk Burn: An Energy Journal Friday, November 1 Tues day, November 14 Music and Food in Little HaitiBig Night in Little Haiti free Friday, November 15 A Pretty Good Dogs Life Brunch for the AnimalsSunday, November 17 Two Blues Giants Wholl Rock the House Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang Thursday, No vember 21 Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Song and Dance From the Heart of Brazil Bal Folclrico da Bahia capoeira Friday, November 8 On a Slow Boat to Stiltsville Stiltsville, Key Biscayne, and Cape Florida Light House Sunday, November 10 Music Is Rajasthans Gift to the World The Manganiyar Seduction Friday, November 8


72 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannGirl Power Finds a New Niche100 Block of NE 84th Street Guess gender equality runs across the board now. Should we be relieved when all areas of our lives are affected by it? In this scenario, we have a home invasion, likely from a spurned lover. But here the spurned lover was a woman, who bashed down a door and pushed the male homeowner to the side. She then vaulted into the bedroom and attacked her intended target as that woman slept. Imagine waking up to that. The male homeowner intervened and called the police, but the intruder was soon long gone. No arrests have been made yet, but it does demonstrate that girl power has entered the home-invasion market. So be on the lookout. Miamis women are taking back their city.Smoker Makes a Remote Connection5800 Block of NE 6th Court The woman wasnt able to sleep, so she went to her garage to have a smoke (that wont help you sleep). This was in the morning hours, and just as she lit up, she saw her garage door open. Thinking she might have activated it accidentally, she hit the button to close it. But it opened again, and this time, she saw a pair of skinny legs and white tennis shoes on the other side! She screamed at the top of her smokers lungs, and the mystery garage-door opener ran off. The woman had lost the remote device a week before and it had now gotten into dubious hands. No arrests as of press time.Neighborly Deposits400 Block of NE 71st Street Burglars of late have been hitting this area, and the methodology has been similar, leading police to search for a single culprit. Entry to this home was made through a rear window and pilfered items the culprit didnt have a car to load the stolen items into, he used a neighbors yard as a safe house, leaving the goods there until the police arrived. In previous cases, he would have waited somewhere else until police left, then retrieved the items. This time the items were found because a neighbor witnessed the event; she can identify the subject if need be. Residents in the area may want to cut those lush bushes in their backyards to avoid future criminal deposits. Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom 305.423.0017


Deep Pockets (Literally) Lead to Just Lint400 Block of NE 82nd Street Its nice to have cash around the house in case we have one of those bank runs the right wing keeps warning us about. But $6000 in the pockets of your jeans? The burglar in this incident seemed to know just where those jeans were (no forced entry) and took the cash, plus a change jar for good measure, and a computer. The coins will likely pay for a getaway bus ride. No arrests by press time, but this incident occurred between the hours of noon and 5:00 p.m., which are actually banking hours.Stealing From the Ofce100 Block of NE 40th Street Even at work, one needs to be aware that people are watching for you to reveal some sort of inattentiveness. This person left her cell phone lying around and suddenly it was gone. She asked co-workers if theyd seen it, but none of them had. She called her number in an effort to track it and was He told her he was getting on the bus and hung up. Subsequent calls to him have not been returned.Keep That Phone on VibrateNE Miami Place and 62nd Street Think it through before you call someone. Maybe its not a good time. Maybe the callee is deeply involved in some personal business with consequences. In this case, the victim was approached by a hood asking for a dollar. The victim refused; the thug then asked to borrow his phone and was told the phone didnt work. The phone rang just then, however, and this angered the Boulevard scum. He threw the victim to the ground and cursed at him: Give me your f***ing phone! The victim surrendered the phone, and the thug ran off with it. This is a sad time in our city when badly timed calls lead to low-class thuggery.Background Check Fail5500 Block of NE 4th Court An employee at the News Lounge was seen loading boxes of liquor into his car, a 1998 classic Oldsmobile, no less. He had the temerity to load ten boxes into the trunk. A security guard approached him as he tried to leave, but the employee drove off. He did display a scrap of decency and called the owner to apologize, stating that hed only taken three bottles of liquor, as if that would be okay. Police will be searching for the man, and suitable replacement, for both the liquor and for the employee.Quick and Easy ScoreNE 79th Street and N. Miami Avenue Pumping gas is a drag, especially at this gas station with its army of panhandlers who confront you while youre standing there, pump in hand. In this incident, the victim placed his cell phone on top of his car. In a Biscayne minute, an opportunist on a bicycle pedaled by and grabbed the phone. With pump in hand, the victim couldnt take immediately action so the culprit made off with his property. Friends, please keep those things in your pockets at all times!Were Really Losing It, PeopleNE 18th Street and Biscayne Boulevard Some people bike their way around town. them annoying, its still their right. Others take public transportation, and in this incident, a perp tried to remove a bike from the bus rack. When a friend of the bikes owner intervened, the thief pulled a knife on him, got on the bike, and started to ride away. The bikes owner got off the bus, only to have the crooked cyclist pull a knife on him, too. Sosome cyclists we see may have just committed a crime, and maybe its okay to bump them off the road? You did not hear this from us.More Cell Phone Drama8 NE 1st St. The man walked into a store and demanded that his cell phone be repaired, right then and there. The clerk had other customers, which seemed to make this man extremely irate. Apparently he wanted to let the clerk know just how important he was. He grabbed a laptop rendering it unusable. The loon then ran out of the store; there was no camera for the clerks description. The shaken clerk was issued a case card. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


74 Columnists: PARK PATROLShark Valley: Open for Business AgainYou own Everglades National Park, so get out there and take advantage of it!By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorNational parks are expendable. Pointless. Un-American. Thats the message sent by the government shutdown in November that kicked out campers, furloughed employees, and barricaded hundreds of national parks and monuments across the country. your kids. Do not enjoy places that your hard-earned tax dollars paid for. This land is not your land. Among the nations casualties was Floridas grandest open space: Everglades National Park. The park and surrounding businesses would have hosted more than 20,000 visitors during this period, based on an annual visitation of nearly 1 million. Lost revenue easily totals several million dollars. But the loss was more than dollars and common sense. Fishing guides in the Keys had staged a protest to demand entrance into Florida Bay. Sorry, Charlie. Scientists traveling from Atlanta to conduct research were turned away. Too bad, Chad. Families that had planned and saved could not relax in the River of Grass. Later, alligators. Foreign tourists found the whole situation lost in translation. Coo! When national parks close, South Florida loses more than most regions, as it contains all three of Floridas national parks: Biscayne National Park in Miami-Dade County, Everglades National Park across three counties, and Dry Tortugas National Park in Monroe County. Combined with the vast Big Cypress National Preserve, nearly one-third of the land south of Lake Okeechobee enjoys federal protection. Wetlands once covered the entire region. Established in 1947, Everglades National Park is a remnant of the vast Everglades system that was chopped into pieces during the 20th Century for and development. Today the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan leads a state and federal water, with a price tag of at least $8 billion. Everglades National Park is a primary should enable its ecosystems to thrive. You can see restoration efforts under way Visiting Everglades National Park should be a rite of passage for every student and resident in South Florida. land-based vehicles coming from metro Miami, three main entrances serve the eastern half of the park, and one of them is a straight shot down Calle Ocho. Diving west on U.S. 41/Tamiami Trail/ Calle Ocho is like inter-galactic travel that offers an extreme transition. Within 30 miles, you move from ultra-urban overdevelopment to ultra-wilderness, where only Native Americans dare to live. The destination planet is the Shark Valley Visitor Center, and just west of it stands the satellite Miccosukee Cultural Center. To the north loom expansive Water Conservation Areas that appear similar to the park but are managed mostly by the state. The entrance to the park at Shark Valley is disappointing only if youre expecting some sort of Hallelujah Chorus and Jungle Book welcoming committee. Instead theres a small gate where you pay $10. The magic of Shark Valley, and of the park in general, resembles that of Disneyworld only in the effect of being completely shut off from the rest of reality. Instead of a choreographed rush of adrenaline, however, Everglades National Park offers a slow, percolating cleansing of solitude, quiet, and subtle beauty. Kids might not appreciate that part so much, but their hearts will be pounding soon enough. Alligators! Try not to step on one or roll over a living speed bump. Once scarce, these living dinosaurs have rebounded dramatically since their protection, and youre guaranteed to see several here. The 15-mile loop road into Shark River Slough, which has neither sharks nor a traditional river, offers one of the worlds best paved trails, period. A tram takes anyone there, but the able-bodied see it like a native. If youve lived here for years and have never done it, mark your calendar dom incarnate. At Shark Valley, two wheels propel you into another dimension. Leaving behind the safety of the crowd and the parking lot, you transform into a tenacious and tall predator, able to see eye-to-eye with the egrets that dot the landscape like smears of Photo Everglades National Park Photo Everglades National Park EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK: SHARK VALLEY36000 SW 8th St. Miami, FL 33194 305-221-8776 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: NoPark Rating Krome Ave SW 8th St


spilled paint. You hover above the gars and The highest point in Everglades Nathe reptile its ruler. representatives have proved that the their hands. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photos by Jim W. Harper BT photos by Jim W. Harper Photo Everglades National Park


76 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALAbout That Thanksgiving BirdLets hope you have good karma By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorThanksgiving ranks as one of my all-time least favorite holidays. I loathed it as a child, and as an Now, my reasons differ (for the most way I see it, Thanksgiving should be re However, no matter how distasteful I a holiday, there is one set of creatures for whom it certainly is even more distressing: the turkeys. (For more on the subject, and slaughtering of animals in the name other activity in which we engage. Its not like the target on the turkeys head is reserved only for Thanksgiving. variety gathered round the table. When 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten on sixth of all turkeys sold each year. Which brings me to my next quesyou know anything about the bird cranberry-sauced mouth? My guess is that unless you hunted you know how the bird lived before it was killed? No. No. No. You want to be grateful for something BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith


the new car, and the boob job. Just be grateful you live in this great land where the senseless slaughter of animals is not only acceptable, its also encouraged! Youd better thank that former bird, reduced to white meat or dark meat scraps on your plate. Wipe that giblet dribble off of your lower lip and think a minute. Better yet, bow your head and give thanks you are not one of those Since you likely didnt do your homework, Ill tell you what youre about to eat. Under your poised fork will probably be an Eastern Wild turkey. The Easter Wild is the most abundant of the Canada. You foodies might opt for a heritage turkey. The concerned carnivores will buy a free-range bird, though the term free range is a misnomer. Theres nothing free about a life limited to one daily outdoor visit and one or two gulps of fresh air. Convicted murderers, pedophiles, and rapists are entitled to more, especially if they demonstrate good behavior. No chance of good-behavior privileges for turkeys. Not much roaming on that range is happening, either. You wouldnt wish on your worst enemy the kind of treatment to which these birds are subjected. Of course, commercially farmed turkeys fare worse than others. Commercially raised turkeys are kept in concentration camplike conditions. This makes sense since theyre born to be killed and line your stomach before being crapped out of your system. A turkey younger than 16 weeks is called a fryer, while a young roaster is never-ending Holocaust. The birds are dowless buildings. Theyre not allotted enough space to stand without crowding, and literally stand on each other. As a result, they become stressed at each other, and some get pecked to get trampled after being overly mated, or gang-raped. 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 This no es bueno for the farmers, in an effort to deter this behavior, the benevolent turkey farmers use many methods to cut off the birds beaks via called beak trimming. Theres a euphemism for ya! The prisoner birds still manage to peck at each other, especially if a male is mistakenly tossed in with females. This is where the term henpecking derives. The turkeys also go blind from low light is induced by the farmers to help along feeding and growth. Charming. Most people reading this are likely not happy to learn these facts. In some minds, the roasted, headless carcass on the long table was reared in plumcolored, velvet-lined pens, fed chocolate sion. Thats right. And Santa Claus shops at L.L. Bean and the Tooth Fairy drives around in a convertible Audi TT. The story about turkeys may not be pretty, but its true. So what do a few millions of tortured turkeys matter, anyway? Its whats for dinner, right? Me? Im nobody. Im just one person with an opinion. Plus its not me that you have to worry about. Im just another Im not the one wholl be scratching on your bedroom door long after you slip into your bed, cozy and wrapped in your blankets and tryptophan-induced coma. Nope. That would be the Ghost of Thanksgivings Past. Or perhaps its more accurate to say, his dismembered talon carving the word REDRUM into your door, just as you carved up his carcass. There may be no Santa or Tooth Fairy. However! There is a Headless Horse, er, Turkeyman. No need to worry about that now, though. Theres a frozen bird just waiting for you to go elbow-up into his rear So pass the salt and pepper Pilgrims, and eat up! While you still can, that is. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


78 Columnists: PICTURE STORYBy Paul S. George Special to the BTM 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, # Matlack 205-10 beautiful 56 18 rfntbnb b t b br b the red threadbased on chinese folktales by stephanie ansin & fernando calzadilla directed by stephanie ansintickets $25 mtcmiami.org (305) 751-9550nov 20dec 22, 2013 Christina Jun in The Red Thread/Photo by Mitchell Zachs, 2011The Sears Tower: A Boom-Era SurvivorA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami


Columnists: YOUR GARDEN Peppers for Bedding or KitchenHow to cultivate the heat By Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorI have always enjoyed growing hot peppers. Whenever I used to go on a trip or just went to visit friends, the minute Id see a different kind of pepper a different species, color, or shape to the fruit Id collect it or a few seeds to grow back at Parrot Jungle. I had quite the collection. Unfortu nately, I wasnt able to put them on display. It seems all the fruit would get picked off, either by people who recognized the plants and wanted to take some peppers home for cooking, or by children who mistakenly thought the colorful fruit was candy. With some of the fruits so hot they could blister the skin, I couldnt risk planting these colorful ornamentals out in the garden. Instead, they were relegated to the nursery, where employees and friends could help themselves. There are 25 or so species of hot peppers in the genus Capsicum in the plant family Solanaceae This family is commonly called the nightshade family after the deadly nightshade plant. Native to South and Central America, this interesting plant group includes many species of toxic plants, such as Nicotiana which is the plant from which smoking tobacco is produced. Many years ago, we used pesticides that contained nicotine sulfate, which is very powerful and very toxic. Some important food plants are also members of this family: the potato, tomato, and eggplant. All these edible plants are native to the Americas. The black pepper we use as a condiment, however, is native to India and grows as a vine. It is not related to our hot peppers. The spice paprika is made from the ground dried fruit of Capsicum annuum In the United States it is produced from any sweet, brilliantly colored red pepper. In Europe there are distinct varieties of pepper that may or may not be pungent. Paprika is a Hungarian word, and this spice has been used in Hungarian cuisine since the 1500s. The red, green, or yellow bell peppers are varieties of Capsicum annuum that do not produce capsaicin, the chemical that causes the burning sensation in the other species or varieties of hot pepper. Chili, chile, or chilli powder is the dried, pulverized fruit of one or more varieties of hot pepper. It may include additional spices like cumin, peppercorn, Another well-known food product comes from a variety of Capsicum frute scens The Tabasco pepper was cultivated in the Mexican state of Tabasco in the 1800s when it was brought to Louisiana, where it was eventually grown for the production of Tabasco sauce. Its interesting to note that bird pepper is a common name for this pepper and other species and varieties of hot pepper. The wild species of Capsicum are eaten by native birds and the seeds subsequent ly dispersed to grow new plants. How birds can successfully eat some of these very hot peppers is a mystery. The heat from these wonderful fruits, as many of us know, can range from mild to insanely hot. This apparently depends on the cultivation of the plant, as well as the preparation. The heat is caused by compounds concentrated in the membrane that surrounds the seed. I have actually gotten blisters by carelessly handling some varieties of hot peppers. Remember, when you handle peppers, do not touch your face. and as many varieties, of hot pepper at home. I grow them in containers with welldrained compost as a soil medium. Theyre placed in almost full sun so that the plants remain compact and set many fruit. They can live two to three years in a pot before the plants start thinning out. I pull out the nonproductive plants and plant new hot peppers from seed to be assured of a vigorous productive plant. That seems to be the best way to grow hot peppers in our area. Have you seen those pepper plants with multicolored fruit? As the hot pepper fruit develop, they typically start out green, then turn yellow, and eventually ripen to a brilliant red color. But some species start out purple and then turn almost black when ripe. Others have fruit that always stay green. There are countless color forms and shapes of hot pepper, and its interesting to see the varieties that have been developed for the ornamental market. They can be striking as an accent bedding plant, espe cially those with multicolored fruit on them. Just remember, they can also be eaten by people in the know who collect them or by kids who mistake them for candy. Perhaps you have a parrot at home that enjoys eating them as a snack, too! BT photo by Jeff ShimonskiCapsicum, or hot pepper, is an attractive ornamental plant and a great JOIN US Yogarupa Rod Stryker, founder of ParaYoga and master teacher, will lead a series of dynamic classes that will expand your knowledge of Tantra and yoga.


80 Columnists: GOING GREENLooking for a Vehicle with a Small Footprint?Theres more to consider than mpgBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorTo buy or not to buy a hybrid. That is the question facing the car buyer whos intent on making an environmentally intelligent purchase. I had my mind set on one until a professor of environmental science found the assumption questionable. Whats the best, greenest choice when purchasing a car? Should you choose something used, or are the new anti-gas guzzlers worth the extra upfront costs? The easy answer from an environmen tal perspective is to avoid the purchase altogether. There is no clean car, says Leonard Scinto, an assistant professor in the Earth and Environment Department at Florida International University. But a lighter car could be a greener car. The car that weighs nothing is an increasing choice among young people across the United States, who are delaying the acquisition of a drivers license, moving into urban centers, and relying on the transportation of others, instead of their own wheels. This subtle shift signals a dramatic transformation of the American Dream away from the suburbs and back into cities that dont sleep. But in young cities like Miami and Houston, the car remains king, and public transportation functions as a slow-motion serf. Want to keep your job? Get a car to arrive on time. On an island not far from here, cars rise like phoenixes from the ashes of decades past. The Cubans have proved that cars can be reused, instead of trashed. Could vintage cars here reduce the demand for new materials? For me, that option is unaffordable, and I have placed my 1999 Subaru on hospice. Please, if someone out there can recycle my car, contact me. Otherwise it will get donated or traded in, and from there I have little hope that it will go anywhere but the junkyard. car? Target something greater than 30 mpg, suggests Scinto. There are plenty of websites to help me narrow the search, including Green Car Reports and fueleconomy.gov. Electric cars take the prize for reporttaken with a grain of salt. A number of these claims, like Tesla, have super high mileage, but if you look at the energy equivalents, its actually a lot less than that, says Scinto. He warns that electricity from old coal plants would equate to a dirtier fuel than natural gas. He recommends considering the ultra-clean diesels, which also achieve impressive mileage ratings. Prices, however, bring me back to reality, and in the wider picture there are major concerns beyond fuel consumption when considering a vehicles environmen tal footprint. Scinto sums it up this way: Its a lot more energy-intensive to build a Hummer than a Yaris. Hes impressed by the award-winning, ultra-light vehicle by Edison2. The street-legal vehicle achieved 108 mpg using conventional fuel. Hybrid cars achieve upward of 50 mpg and reduce carbon emissions if you drive sensibly. A two-hour comIn my book, electric and hybrid cars are still worth a good long look. The heavy lithium batteries are worrisome, owing to destructive mining practices in South America, and the laws of thermodynamics dictate that they only recapture a small percentage of energy from braking. In addition to fuel mileage, though, I want to start researching weight. A lighter car uses less material in its creation. Studies have found that manufacturing accounts for approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of a cars footprint. Some environmental guides suggest buying a car and keeping it as long a possible, and they also emphasize transportation habits that keep the odometer low. Walk, bike, carpool, and For me, the best compromise might be a new electric scooter for short trips and keeping my old clunker for longer commutes. Im really torn. Heres another idea from Scinto: A cheaper car could provide an opportunity to compensate for the cars environmental impact. Youve got to look at your overall mileage, he says. If you had the extra $5000 to $8000, could you put than money into urban reforestation? He also suggests that eating less meat could be just as important for the planet as fuelSo what car should you buy? Fuelable, so they deserve to rise to the top of anyones list. Shoot for more than 30 mpg. Consider the cars weight and intensity to manufacture. In this battle, a domestically produced car might win over foreign cars that require shipping. Then buy something youll want to keep. Like a house, a car is a major purchase that requires careful thought. But no car is perfect, and you cannot save the planet by buying one. Any salesperson who tells you that is selling you a real lemon of a lie. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY The Homework TreadmillWhat happened to after-dinner family time?By Crystal Brewe BT ContributorSomething happened to my nineyear-old in the three months that school has been back in session. She couldnt wait until it started; in fact, she wrote a two-page essay about how thrilled she was to be starting third grade. Like kids in many families, ours are in school from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Theyre involved in after-school activities and because both my husband and I work. Between the time we get home and bedtime, we have two and a half precious hours of family time. In one school year, that means we only get to spend 450 waking hours between Mondays and Fridays together compared to the 1620 hours they spend in school! During the week, our goal is to eat dinner together and talk about our days. Sometimes the kids play in the yard with for indulging in an hour or so of familyfriendly prime time television (remember Eight Is Enough and Family Ties ?), this is how my husband and I grew up, and we desperately want this time with our But heres the thing: Its 9:30 p.m. and we just sent one teary-eyed, frustrated, and desperately tired nine-yearold to bed. She spent an hour doing her homework in after-care and then started it up again when we got home. She only broke for dinner. Thats nearly three hours of homework! No bath, no dessert it was just too late. For years I thought my mom-friends with older kids were just moaning because homework time was cutting into their 50 Shades of Grey and Chardonnay time. Now I know their pain. Night after night, the homework has started to swallow up the simplicity we wanted for our family evenings. A University of Michigan survey of nearly 3000 families with children ages 6 through 17 found that the time spent on homework is up roughly 50 percent since 1981. Ah ha! Now I see. In 1981, I was able to be bored. Remember actually being bored? Do you think our kids will ever know what that being bored as a kid! These kids are already so programmed, they dont get recess anymore. Ive fretted about speaking up because were lucky to have been accepted to the school were in. We dont want the teach ers to think we dont appreciate them. Weve considered sending the homework back to the school not completed, with a thoughtful note about the situation. Weve considered bringing it up at PTA. At a loss for answers, I took to the streets and talked to other parents. Turns out, they are all pretty fed up. Several moms admitted that theyve even been doing some of the homework for their them about it anymore. Forget the precious family time. Now your kids report on deciduous trees is hell no! tise happens to be teaching and learning. of physics, he points out that the affective impact of all this homework is so strongly negative that student interest in school diminishes. Kids suffer classic burnout. parents talk to teachers, and that they be honest in their feedback. traditional garments of your assigned When theyre writing up the nightly homework, are they consulting with other teachers to see how much work is being assigned in Spanish or science or spelling? Are they considering the time spent with the children to be organized and thorough? We arent raising kids were raising adults. This is a big job, and it has to be collaboration between the parents and the teachers. Without a conversation, that becomes impossible. These teachers work hard, and we should support their efforts with as much collaboration as possible. A recent Duke University study and recommend that students only be as signed ten minutes of homework per night plication problems. Let me ask you, is it better to race through 40 multiplication problems or work through the underlying While I can certainly admit to a few memories of stressful nights begging my version of a report on Japan or plate tectonics or the Civil War, I cant remember it coming this early or this hard core. This holiday season, the best you can give a child is a is a For more information, visit: www.WeAreGuardians.org or call: (786)469-3864


82 Columnists: VINO By Bill Citara BT ContributorWe have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day 2013. Were thankful we live in a country where a bunch of raving nimrods cant shut down the government and hold its citizens hostage to. Oh, wait. Never mind. Perhaps our thanks should be more narrowly drawn. Were thankful for Thanksgiving Day itself, for the chance to gorge ourselves on a fat, slow, stupid bird that is invariably overcooked and dry as Saharan dust, but we like it just the same. Were thankful for mashed potatoes cies of our poor desiccated turkey. Were thankful for pumpkin pie, even though we only eat it once a year; and were thankful for cranberry sauce that we only have to eat it once a year. Were even thankful for Moms green-bean casserole, which reminds us how bad American food used to be and how good we have it now. And for us residents of Cork Dorkistan, were thankful for ros because its the wine that goes with just about everything also that Thanksgiving comes only once a year, because its a bitch pairing wine with a meal that includes just about everything. We should also be very thankful indeed for the French, who, despite their stinky cigarettes and rattletrap cars, make some excellent and affordable ros. For example, the lovely Tranquil lit 2012 Grenache Ros from Bernard Magrez. At an exceedingly reasonable ten bucks a bottle, this is a wine to buy pleasures to only the Thanksgiving table. It opens slowly, shyly, with delicate raspberry and citrus aromas that gain richness with time. fresh berries with a hint of orange, a includes seafood, this would be an ideal complement, though its just hefty enough to play well with turkey and trimmings. A bit sturdier is the 2012 La Vieille Ferme Vin Ros a refreshing blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. In the glass it offers aromas of ripe strawberries and raspberries, with a clean, citrus acidity. Flip those aromas, and thats basically the way it tastes, the citrus in the forefront and the fruit as supporting cast. Its another good seafood wine, and perhaps a better accompaniment to The odd, woody 2011 Ros des Acanthes on the other hand, well lump in with Gauloises and Renaults as French products most of us could do without. There are a lot more Spanish ross on the market nowadays, and theyre not too shabby either. I liked both the Nostrada 2012 Ros and the Cune 2011 Rioja Rosada. The Nostrada, which touts itself as an example of Spains new age ros winemaking, is more in the ripe, fruity international style than a hugely terroir-driven wine. But it does offer clean, bright, berry fruit that should appeal to even the wine-adverse, and is a pretty good deal at $8.99. The Cune tastes more typi cally Spanish, being made from 100 percent Tempranillo, with a slight dusky edge to its vivacious cherry-berry fruit and orange bodied than most, it has an almost creamy texture and can stand up to the heartiest Thanksgiving fare. Argentinas Maipe winery is usually a reliable source of modbut there was something a funky going on with its 2012 Malbec Ros An off bottle, or just a not-so-great year? I dont know. But it opened with musty, sour aromas competing with strawberry and raspberry scents; while in the mouth, the fruit tasted under-ripe, with an unpleasant sour orange acidity. It got a little better over time but, hey, time is short. Where goats do roam South Africa they make a rather interesting ros, the 2012 Goats Do Roam Its an intriguing blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvdre, and Gamay Noir that comes off as rather ally evolves into a more cohesive wine that will probably become even better a few months down the road where, of course, the goats do roam, thankful that they are not the ones being complemented by ross on Thanksgiving Day 2013. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Have a Turkey Day Ros Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less


Columnists: DISHBlame It on CilantroFood news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorLast month was one scary time, foodwise, and we dont just mean the seasonal candy corn whose main ingredients include wax. There line: F.D.A. Sees No Short-Term Effects of Arsenic in Rice. (Relieved much, rice-and-beans lovers? Betcha didnt even know about that seasoning.) October also brought another outbreak of the contamination-caused illnesses that have been happening nationwide all summer, caused not by meat or dairy products but, of all things, cilantro! And did you catch the Halloween epi sode of Chopped where competing chefs had to make an appetizer featuring con gealed pigs blood and licorice bat candies, an entre featuring dehydrated ant eggs and skull-shaped gummy candies, and a veal sweetbread/kale dessert? Even the winner had to say, The best thing I like about Halloween is November 1. Which is the day stores replaced candy corn with candy canes the start of Xmas/Hanukkah season and, less scary but more stressful, holiday gift shopping. Help is coming for lastminute shoppers in Decembers Dish: a rundown on some of the best made-inMiami food gifts Ive found this year. Meanwhile, theres one suggestion, from a just-opened place, below. OPENINGS Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine (4557 NE 2nd Ave., 305-396-6056) sounds familiar because it is. The brand-new shop, featuring elegant housemade chocolates plus reasonably priced wines and specialty teas, is owned by Claude Postel and Cory Finot, from the same blocks Buena Vista Bistro and Buena Vista Deli. Chef Claude, who comes from a family that has run patisseries in France for nine generations (centuries ago serving as chocolatier to French royalty; the antique candy molds displayed are family heirlooms), uses the old royal saffron. Who wouldnt want a beautiful box of bonbons under the Christmas tree/Hanukkah bush? The District (190 NE 46th St., 305573-4199) is covered in this issues new Dining Guide additions. But a tempting teaser we forgot: Executive chef Horacio Rivadero was Food & Wine magazines 2012 Peoples Best New Chef, Gulf Coast. Thats a popular-vote poll, so possibly more accurate than the Rising Star awards picked by F&W editors, who think Miami is on the Gulf Coast. CHEF SHUFFLES At reopened and renovated Area 31 (270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305424-5234), theres not only a new look but new executive chef: Wolfgang Birk, formerly head honcho at defunct Casa Casuarina and defunct Cooper Avenue. The restaurant, named for the United Nations Fishing Area 31(mid-Atlantic west to North Carolina and down to Brazil), still touts top-quality seriously fresh seafood, but so far Birks menus seem less seafood-centric in quantity than those of predecessors John Critchley and E. Michael Reidt (at lunch, only two of chef-driven entres, the new dinner menu includes a more trend-driven mixand-match section of grilled or seared seafood with choice of sauces. At db Bistro Moderne (255 Bis cayne Boulevard Way, 305-421-8800), Matthieu Godard has been rather abruptly replaced as executive chef by Jason Pringle, described in dbs press release as simply from NYCs Caf Boulud no mention of position (or of the whys/whereabouts of Godard, who came on at db in June 2012, and seems currently to have fallen off the face of the earth). Note: Mere months ago, exexec chef Jim Leiken left Palm Beachs Caf Boulud even more abruptly, with no replacement. Is something con tagious going on in Daniel Bouluds South Florida empire? Darn that tainted cilantro. CLOSINGS Shocking even staff, who were given no advance notice, the retro-beachy Hoxton which opened less than a year ago to critical and public raves for its menu of Northeastern seaboard classics, folded on October 22. Sadly, nostalgic New England-inspired eateries, even good ones (remember Ken Lyonss Cape Cod Room?), seem jinxed in this town. Box Park (1111 SW 1st Ave., 305-356-8385), the Hoxs just-launched adjacent sibling restaurant, which is more modern South Florida-oriented, remains open. Brickells long-lived location of Gordon Biersch a California-based chain, is gone. A press release cites adverse eco nomic conditions at that location. Under standable. Given the neighborhoods recent explosion of 21st-century hip eateries, its barely possible to remember that not long ago, this party-like-its-1985 brewery/ restaurant was the areas coolest (albeit by default, since it was about the only) nonseedy casual place to eat, drink, and hang at night. Yup. Scary. Hungry for more food news? See BizBuzz, page 24 Send me your tips and alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


84 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAijo1331 Brickell Bay Dr.,786-452-1637Hidden 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 high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Atrio1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6529Admittedly, the Conrad Hotels top-end restaurant has had its ups and downs since its early days as one of the few exciting fine-dining restaurants in the Brickell/downtown area. But Atrio is ready for rediscovery. Despite Brickells recent restaurant explosion, few venues are as spectacularly suitable for a sophisticated breakfast, lunch, or dinner for grown-ups whod rather not shout over DJs. Panoramic views of Miami from the 25th floor are now matched by locally oriented dishes, including a mango/ lime mayo-dressed lobster sandwich, crisp-skinned snapper with grapefruit salsa and basil aioli, a bracing orange tart, even citrus butter in the bread basket. $$$-$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrusdressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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 supermar ket sushi by far. $Bar Urbano1001 S. Miami Ave., 305-381-5901Hot, hip, Hispanic is a huge understatement to describe the street-smart urban flair of this tropical restolounge. After about 9:00 p.m., droves of high-energy young partiers make the place seem more Latin singles bar than eatery. Nevertheless, the largely but not exclusively Colombian-inspired, Latin/Caribbean comfort-food cuisine can be inspiring. Were partial to snacks like the arepa Colombiana, heaped with fresh white cheese, and the sinful chivito sandwich (steak, ham, melted mozzarella, and a fried egg). But there are also full entres like a bandeja paisa (Colombias belly-busting mixed platter of proteins and carbs). $$-$$$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! $$-$$$ Biscayne 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, unpre tentiously inventive touches, from small plates (housemade potato chips with blue cheese fondue) to large (a long-bone short rib chop with truffle popover; South Florida bouillabaisse). More than 30 craft beers accompany. $$-$$$ Blue 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 (4:00-8:00 p.m. daily) for bargain drink/ snack specials, and lots of locals. $$ Bonding638 S. Miami Ave., 786-409-4794From trend-spotting restaurateur Bond Trisansi (originator of Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro), this small spot draws a hip crowd with its affordable menu of redesigned traditional Thai dishes, wildly imaginative sushi makis, and unique signature Asian fusion small plates. Highlights include tastebud-tickling snapper carpaccio; an elegant nest of mee krob (sweet, crisp rice noodles); blessedly non-citrus-drenched tuna tataki, drizzled with spicysweet mayo and wasabi cream sauce; greed-inducing bags of gold, deep-fried wonton beggars purses with a shrimp/pork/ mushroom/waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$ 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. $$ Box Park1111 SW 1st Ave., 305-356-8385This sibling to The Hoxton (Northeastern shore-style) couldnt be more dramatically different in dcor (modern minimalist rather than time-trippy beach house) or food (Florida regional, rather than New England). If you want to try alligator thats more than mere novelty, its available fried with datil pepper sauce or in a rich gumbo with wild boar andouille. We find the home-cured charcuterie platter (featuring whipped lardo, duck prosciutto, amberjack jerky, wild boar finocchiona salami, more) perfect, especially accompanied by Brickell pickles, bracing housefermented local veggies. Menus change seasonally, and never bore. $$-$$$ Brasileiro801 Brickell Bay Dr., 786-502-3829Fittingly, the indoor/outdoor bay-view space in the Four Ambassadors, occupied by Miamis first Brazilian rodizio restaurant back in the early 1980s, is now home to a 21st-century upgrade. For insatiable carnivores and fans of Latin Americas best dinner show, theres the traditional parade of tableside, sword-wielding gauchos carving all-you-can-eat meats, including must-not-miss medium-rare picanhas, delectably fat-capped sirloin. For more modern and/or light eaters, prepared dishes by Gully Booth, one of Miamis best-kept-secret chefs, include goat cheese croquettes, stuffed dates, and crab cakes Martha Stewart once proclaimed the best shed eaten. $$$$Brother Jimmys BBQ900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J evidently didnt hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmys opened more than 20 years ago. Miamis location is actually the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the slow-smoked pulled pork butt tastes righteous -no interfering glop, just hot saucespiked vinegar to balance the fab fattiness. Theres other cue, too, including big (not baby back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$-$$$Bryan in the Kitchen104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-from-scratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ 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. $-$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 290.rf ntbnf nttnf tnt f f t tff nff ff MIAMIDoraku900 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-4633Happy hour comes twice daily (after work and lunch) at this second location of a popular South Beach sushi, pan-Asian, small-plates restolounge, bringing discounted prices on treats like rock shrimp tempura with spicy aioli. Regular prices are reasonable, too, for seafood flown in daily, and makis displaying solid creativity rather than gimmickry. Especially enjoyable are items accented by Japanese ingredients rarely found in Americanized sushi bars, like the Geisha Rolls astringent shiso leaf, beautifully balancing spicy tuna, pickled radish, and rich eel sauce. A huge sake menu, too. $$-$$$LEntrecote de Paris1053 SE 1st Ave., 305-755-9995If menu choices makes you nuts, this place, originally a Parisian eatery with locations in Brazil, is the restaurant for you. Theres only one prix fixe meal offered: an entrecote steak with a famed creamy sauce of 21 ingredients (here, predominantly curry), accompanied by a walnut-garnished mixed greens/tomato salad and shoestring frites, plus a crunchy-crusted baguette. Your only choice is how you like your steak precision-cooked. la carte desserts are indeed extensive; avoid stress by choosing a macaron flight of mixed flavors. $$$Lippi600 Brickell Ave., 305-579-1888Named after a 15th-century Italian painter, Lippi does have artful dcor and plating, but otherwise the moniker is misleading. The food is neither Italian nor, as some descriptions claim, Mediterranean-inspired. Its Philippe food -an extensive menu of mostly shareable small plates (a concept Philippe Ruiz pioneered at Palme dOr in the 1990s), inspired mainly by the chefs classic French technique and geographically limitless imagination. Standouts: weakfish ceviche with corn panna cotta and purple potato foam; lobster ravioli in aerated coriander-scented bisque. Everything is beautifully balanced and refined. $$$$-$$$$$ Perfecto Gastro1450 Brickell Ave., 305-372-0620This transplant from Barcelona features dcor that mixes rustic and urban, plus modern music and traditional tapas (the Spanish, not global, kind). Must-have: imported 5J jamon Iberico de Bellota from acorn-fed pata negra pigs -lusciously marbled, tender yet toothsome, the ultimate in cured hams. But other tapas like the salmorejo en vaso (a creamy, pumped Andalusian variation on gazpacho), papatas bravas (crisp-fried potatoes with spicy aioli), fuet (Catalan salami, similar to French saucisson sec), and crispy prawns are pretty perfecto, too. $$-$$$$ The District190 NE 46th St., 305-573-4199At the house whose original restaurant tenant was One Ninety, dcor has been renovated dramatically from shabby to chic, and the pan-American gastropub cuisine also matches a more mature Miami. Horacio Rivaderos dishes reflect both Latin and American influences with considerable creative flair and fun. Favorites: lobster tacos with pickled cabbage, aji Amarillo escabeche, and crisped shallots; luscious lamb tartare, featuring toasted pignolias and mustard oil; and the Black Magic mousse, with vanilla/sweet potato drizzles, housemade marshmallows, and a pistachio cookie. $$$-$$$$Sicilian Oven20475 Biscayne Blvd., 305-682-1890Dont think that square-shaped doughy pizza is the specialty here. Oven is really the operative word, referring to the open kitchens impressive-looking, open-flame wood-burner, and for our money the places thin-crusted pies are the way to go. Toppings, applied amply, range from traditional Italian-American (like made-in-Wisconsin Grande mozzarella) to popular (fresh mozz, even balsamic glaze); crust options include whole grain and gluten-free. Other must-haves: arancini (deep-fried rice balls stuffed with mozz and ground beef) and cervellata sausage with broccoli rabe. $$


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86 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSadded, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Ceviche Piano140 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414Owners 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. $$ Chophouse Miami300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ The Corner1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or creative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is transforming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout. The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets (the latter from Om Nom Noms cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti) ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the Crazy Madame, Frances elaborate Croque Madame (a bchamel sauce-topped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon and caramelized onion. $-$$ 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. $$$ Cvi.che 105105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-421-8800Just two words, Daniel Boulud, should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort food to run, not walk, to this restaurant. Downtowns db is indeed an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Matthieu Godard flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes. Especially strong are seafood preparations, whether sauced with a refined choron or lustily garnished with Provencal accompaniments like tender sea scallops with chickpea panisse. $$$-$$$$ D-Dog House50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ 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. $$$Dominique Bistro-Club1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-371-8859At typical restolounges, the resto part often gets the short end of the stick. But not at this chic but friendly spot, where Gerardo Barrera, an alumn of Pariss Le Cordon Bleu, plus his wife Dominque and her brother Jos Sigona, welcome diners with Frances best-known bistro classics: coquilles St. Jacques (tender scallops in mushroom/white wine sauce); a precision-cooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ 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 Greek-inspired 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 pistachiogarnished 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. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$The Filling Station & Garage Bar95 SE 2nd St., 786-425-1990This fun, locally oriented dive, opened in 1994, was hip more than a decade before downtown was. And its 2008 relocation to larger quarters, plus two subsequent expansions, signal that it has more than kept up with the explosion of newer neighborhood hotspots, without pretensions or yuppified prices. On the fresh, hefty hamburgers, true Miami weirdness is displayed in toppings like peanut butter or Nutella. Other standouts: tangy-spicy Buffalo wings; homemade tater tots; the oil pan (fried pickles and onion rings with two sauces); and an ever-changing list of craft beers. $-$$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$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 balsamicdressed 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. $$Half Moon Empanadas192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ 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 Singapore-style noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Jamon Iberico Pata Negra Restaurant 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Largo Bar & Grill401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$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. $-$$ La Provence1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/ salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal home land. $$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 charcute rie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$Le Boudoir 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 NOW OPEN 7 DAYS FROM 11AM PARTY WITH US FRI & SAT till 2AM Lunch, Dinner & Happy Hour Specials DAILY FISH DONE RIGHT! FISH DONE RIGHT! MARKET LUNCH DINNER AT HOME13488 Biscayne Blvd. PH: 786-732-3124 www.fishfishmiami.comSeafood more varied and fresh than any I have ever seen in Miami. Miami Herald LOCAL UNIQUE OCEAN-TO-MARKET Express Lunch Take-Away DeliveryFRESH SEAFOOD MARKET


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS


88 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSthe 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 minimacaroon 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. $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.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. $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 popu lar item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vege tarians 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. $$$MPP Brickell141 SW 7th St., 305-400-4610Tasty Peruvian eateries arent rare in Miami. Peruvian fine-dining restaurants are. In the tastefully toned-down but still glam space formerly housing And, this second location of Limas popular Mi Propriedad Privada specializes in familiar flavors presented with seriously upscaled preparations, plating, and prices. But many ceviches, tiraditos, and starters (like especially artful layered/ molded mashed potato/seafood causas, or clever panko-breaded fusion causa makis) come in trios for taste-testing. And ceviche lovers score on Tuesdays, when all-you-can-eat costs the same as a trio. $$$-$$$$$ My Ceviche1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-960-7825When three-time James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee Sam Gorenstein opened the original My Ceviche in SoBe, in 2012, it garnered national media attention despite being a tiny take-away joint. Arguably, our newer indoor/outdoor Brickell location is better. Same menu, featuring local fish prepared onsite, and superb sauces including a kicky roasted jalapeo/lime mayo), but this time with seats! What to eat? Ceviches, natch. But grilled or raw fish/seafood tacos and burritos, in fresh tortillas, might be even more tempting. Pristine stone-crab claws from co-owner Roger Duartes George Stone Crab add to the choices. $$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. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-andcheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$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


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 ANTS light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Perricones15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-caneat deals. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (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. $$Pier 9494 SE 1st St., 305-379-5652Tucked into The Village, a collection of courtyard eateries far from any waterfront, this ceviche bar specializes in fresh seafood dishes from chef/owner Alex Del Corrals native Peru, but also features famous Peruvian meat and poultry dishes (including a refined aji de gallina, chicken in aji pepper-spiced cream sauce). Emphasis is particularly strong on Perus penchant for fusion food, including traditional Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) rice or noodle stir-fries. But the chef also fuses classic and creative influences. Try contemporary causas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ 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 pioneer ing 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., 305-381-6025Roman-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, herbstuffed 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. $-$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/ bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horserad ish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-thetop playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$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. $$$Rosa Mexicano900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001 www.rosamexicano.comThis expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly -festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made table side. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$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 elabo rate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$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 dryrub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/ habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Stanzione 8787 SW 8th St., 305-606-7370 Though Neopolitan-style pizza isnt the rarity it was here a decade ago, this is Miamis only pizzeria certified authentic by Italys Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This means following stringent rules regarding oven (wood-fired), baking time (90 seconds maximum, here closer to 50), tomatoes (imported San Marzano), olive oil (extra-virgin), even flour (tipo 00, for bubblylight crusts). Toppings do exceed the three original choices served in 19th-century Naples, but pies like the Limone (fresh mozzarella, pecorino, lemons, arugula, EVOO) prove some rules should be broken. $$Sumi Yakitori21 SW 11th St., 786-360-5570If your definition of yakitori has been formed from typical Americanized sticky-sweet skewers, this late-night places grilled offerings, flavored with the subtly smoky savor of imported Japanese binchotan charcoal will be a revelation. Dcor is more stunningly stylish than at chef/owner Jeffrey Chans adjacent Momi Ramen, but cooking is equally authentic for items like skewered duck (served with scallion sauce), juicy sausagestuffed chicken wings, bacon-wrapped hardboiled quail eggs, or grilled hamachi kama (super succulent yellowtail collar). Supplemental dishes, including pork buns and sauted veggies, also excel. $$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$ r fntbftnnntftnt $100OFF ANY SMOOTHIE FREE KIDS KUP Buy any medium or large smoothie and get a kids kup free Some restrictions may apply. Can not be combined with any other offer. One per person per visit. Valid at these locations only. Expires 11-30-13 Some restrictions may apply. Can not be combined with any other offer. One per person per visit. Valid at these locations only. Expires 11-30-13 FREE SMOOTHIE E Buy any medium or large smoothie and get a free small smoothieSome restrictions may apply. Can not be combined with any other offer. One per person per visit. Valid at these locations only. Expires 11-30-13rnt fnt n t rrnt nn rnt nt tn Smoothie King smoothies are custom-blended with all natural ingredients, including real fruit and juices making Smoothie King a Healthy alternative to fast food. Whether your goal is to trim down, has a smoothie for you.We also offer over 25 smoothies that can be made under 300 calories. Just Say MAKE IT SKINNY!tttnntn rtntnnnrnftttttnnttn


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSTemaris1250 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. $$-$$$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, budgetpriced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meatsmoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Top Burger109 NE 1st St., 305-379-3100Inside this better burger spot, dcor is so charmingly 1950s retro you almost expect to find the Fonz leaning on a jukebox. What you actually find: hand-formed, hormone-free, 100% Angus patties (or alternatives like veggie burgers, a lightly-breaded chicken Milanesa, and all-beef hot dogs) on toasted buns, with fresh-cut French or sweet potato fries. Welcome surprises include an assertively spicy/tangy BBQ-like secret sauce; prices that, while not 1950s level, rival those at junkfood joints; and oldschool service -the kind that comes with a smile. $ Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/ dinner destination mainly by default. This replacement, from restaurant empire-builder Richard Sandoval, brings downtown power dining into this decade. As the name suggests, you can go bullish with steakhouse fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) rodizio experience. But the places strongest suit is its pan-Latin small plates -upscaled refinements of classic favorites: crisp corn arepas with short rib, guacamole, and crema fresca; fluffier cachapas pancakes with tomato jam; more. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/ truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, espe cially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tuyo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/ MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Wolfgangs Steakhouse315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-487-7130Proprietor Wolfgang Zweiner worked for decades at Brooklyns legendary Peter Lugers before opening the first of his own much-praised, old-school steakhouses in 2003, which explains the quality of the USDA prime-grade steaks here -dry-aged on premises for bold, beefy flavor and tender but toothsome texture. Prices are prodigious but so are portions. The 32-ounce porter house for two easily feeds three or four folks curious to taste the difference. Plentiful sides include a bacon starter favored by those who love Canadian bacon over pork belly. Personally, just the simple, superb steaks leave us happy as clams. $$$$$Wok Town119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ 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 (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-inyour-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 yuzu-dressed smoked salmon, grapefruit, avocado, and arugula salad. But the must-eats are sweets, housemade by Worhach, formerly executive pastry chef at the Mansion at Turtle Creek and similar gourmet palaces. One bite of his decadent yet impossibly light white-and-dark chocolate mousse cake will hook you for life. $-$$ Basanis3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood redsauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$Bengal2010 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: aru gula, 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


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS 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 shitakepumpkin tamale with nutty, cheesy natto sauce. For liquid art aficionados: cocktails like the eye-popping Tequila Beets (featuring roasted beet juice). $$$Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista 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 butterycrusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline buttercream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ The Butcher Shop165 NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120Unbelievable but true: At the heart of this festive, budget-friendly beer-garden restaurant is an old-school gourmet butcher shop, where sausages from classic (brats, chorizo) to creative (lamb and feta) are house-made, and all beef is certified USDA prime -rarely found at even fancy steakhouses. Take your selections home to cook, or better yet, eat them here, accompanied by intriguing Old/New World sauces, garnishes (like bleu cheese fritters), sides, and starters. Desserts include a bacon sundae. Beer? Try an organic brew, custom-crafted for the eatery. $$-$$$Cafeina297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so butteryrich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ 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. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf compo nent nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$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. $-$$ The Cypress Room3620 NE 2nd Ave., 305-520-5197Deer and boar heads on wood-paneled walls juxtapose with crystal chandeliers at this tiny fourth restaurant in Michael Schwartzs burgeoning empire, evoking feelings of dining in a century-old millionaires hunting lodge -in miniature. Many dishes are similarly fun fantasies of 1920s Florida fine dining, pairing yesteryears rustic proteins (including wild game) and veggies with preparations that are ultimately refined interpretations of the past: antelope/wild mushroom gnocchi; French onion soup with a sort of gruyere tuile float instead of the usual gooey melt, served on a lacy doily. Dont miss the royal red shrimp, or Hedy Goldsmiths desserts. $$$$$ Daily 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 allAmerican 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. $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. $$$ 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. $$-$$$ 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 caper-sprinkled short rib tartare, the meats richness cheekily upped by poached bone marrow and caviar. Brunch and lunch items are equally ingenious. $$$Gigi3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ 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; wood-oven 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. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wingshaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ 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 cre ative 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. $$-$$$Kouzina Greek Bistro3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-1825Across the tracks from Midtown Miami, this hidden-by-hedges spot features a patio with authentically festive ambiance and food by Alexia Apostolidi, also authentically Greek but known to locals for her critically acclaimed fare at defunct Ariston. The menu includes many mezes, both traditional (like tsatziki and eggplant spreads) and unusual (bacalao croquettes with garlic pure and roasted beet coulis; sesame-sprinkled manouri cheese envelopes), plus limited entres highlighted by cheese/ herb-crusted lamb at dinner and lunchtimes lamb pita wrap. Dont miss the semolina pure side -heavenly Greek cheese grits. $-$$$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 22 NE 3rd Ave, Miami (305) 374-0177 and MORE!


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS combination wine and cheese bar/backyard BBQ/entertainment 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. $$ Lemoni Caf4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$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. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948Chef/co-owner Dena Marino calls MCs food modern Italian -neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this place is one of our towns hottest tickets. But tasting tells the tale. Marinos food incorporates her entire culinary background, from her Nonnas traditional Italian-American kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarellos famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piade nas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$ Mercato4141 NE 2nd Ave., 786-332-3772Adjacent to Dena Marinos hot hangout MC Kitchen, the contemporary Italian chefs artisanal market and breakfast/lunch caf is for diners wanting a quicker (but not fast-food) sit-down meal, or inventive take-out. Pressed for time? Try a pressed sandwich like Marinos Italian Cubano (porchetta, prosciutto cotto, Swiss, pickles, and Dijon mustard dressing, on ciabatta). Along with hot or cold sandwiches, theres a wide variety of homemade breakfast pastries, breads, cookies, and freshbaked quiches, plus salads and a daily-changing soup. Market items include exotic jams, craft beers, and Marinos private label EVOO. $-$$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 maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$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., 786-391-1818With 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 home made 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. $$-$$$ 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. $ Palatino3004 NW 2nd Ave., 786-360-5200When longtime favorite Jamaican joint Clives fell victim to gentrification, few expected to find similarly skilled old-school Caribbean-American soul food in Wynwood again, especially not at old-school prices. But thats what this small, super-friendly mom-and-pop spot serves up: breakfasts like ackee and salt fish, fried dumpling and callaloo, or an egg/maple sausage/cheese grits combo; plates (with sides) of oxtails, curry goat, jerk chicken; richly crusted piquant chicken or meat patties that contend with Miamis best. Surprises include homemade pastries, and $1 ice cream cones in tropical flavors like soursop. $-$$ Pashas 3801 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548Behind this Wynwood warehouse faade youll find pure Southern roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbecue from pit master Myron Mixon. Oddly, considering Mixons many BBQ championships, the cue can be inconsistent. Our favorite choices: St. Louis ribs, tender without being falling-off-the bone overcooked, and enjoyably fattier than baby backs; vinegardoused pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$ 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. $$Sakaya KitchenShops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue 305-576-8096This chef-driven, fast-casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop). But why quibble about words with so many more intriguing things to wrap your mouth around? The concept takes on street-food favorites from all over Asia, housemade daily from quality fresh ingredients. French Culinary Institute-trained Richard Hales does change his menu, so wed advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken wings and Chinese-inspired, open-faced roast pork buns with sweet chili sauce and homemade pickles. $$ 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. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Customsliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, especially for those who enjoy taste-testing a plate pairing Italys two most famous prosciuttos: Parma and San Daniele. But homemade pastas are also impressive, as are hard-to-find regional entres like fegato alla Veneziana, which will turn liver-haters into lovers. $$-$$$ Salsa Fiesta2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ 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. $-$$Shokudo World Resource Caf 4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resources caf was better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The indoor/outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan-Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light housemade momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/Nepalese steamed dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions. Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$-$$$


94 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSSoi Chinese Kitchen645 NW 20th St., 305-482-0238No chop suey. No kung pao anything, either. In fact, anything on Sois menu that sounds like something from a normal Chinese eatery wont be: char sui ribs come with delicate corn pancakes, wonton soup is kafir lime broth with a mushroom/truffle-butterstuffed ravioli, lo mein is housemade noodles with pork belly and sous vide 63-degree egg. Basically its contemporary Chinese fine dining fare similar in creativity and quality ingredients to ultra-upscale Hakkasans, but served by a tiny take-out joint (with a few patio tables and counter stools) at neighborhood prices. $$Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Time for Wine2200 NE 2nd Ave., 786-409-4898This wine store/tapas bar is a labor of love, in a stretch of Wynwood that still needs lots of love, from businessman David Taboada -who positively radiates enthusiasm for his hobby. Dont be discouraged by the car lots and other unscenic surroundings. The ambiance inside is as casually hip as the wine selection, priced astonishingly well (many bottles around $10$15). Consume on-premises for a mere $5 corkage fee, waived at happy hour. To accompany, there are housemade traditional tapas, panini, and charcuterie/cheese boards, plus one substantial daily-changing lunch special. $$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, 786-691-2000 From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolatecovered 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 uniqueto-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. $$Balans Biscayne6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamycentered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Blue Collar6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$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, tapaslike 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. $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. $$-$$$ 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. $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 openface 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. $-$$La Cigale7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cho lesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$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. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Minas Mediterraneo749 NE 79th St., 786-391-0300Unlike most restaurants labeled Mediterranean, this one, decorated with restrained modern elegance, really does have dishes from countries surrounding all sides of the sea (though not necessarily from the countries seaside regions, as boeuf Bourguignon attests). Our favorites, like owner Yasmine Kotb, whose heritage is Egyptian-via-Texas, and her mom, the chef, are those featuring exotic Eastern/North African tastes -with twists. Especially fun: Egypts besara, a light fava-based hummus; falafel sliders in warm pita with Israeli salad, slaw, and tahini; and an unusual side of grilled kale with yogurt dressing and hazelnuts. $$Mi Vida 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 techniqueintensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with 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


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS 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. $-$$$News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/ soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ 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. $$$Sweet Saloon7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999At this dessert/snack/cocktail bar, from the owner of Moonchine, youll find live and DJ entertainment, too, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.-assuming you can find the place, that is. Its above the panAsian eatery, up a hidden back staircase. Asian savory snacks include dumplings, edamame, krab rangoons, satays. Desserts range from homey American (NY cheesecake, mini cupcakes) to continental (strawberries melba, housemade Belgian waffles, a shareable chocolate fondue/fruit platter). Actually, some cocktails double as desserts (a Godiva dark chocolate martini) or Asian savories (infusion jars of Stoli and lemongrass). $$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 coowns 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. $ Oggis 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, home made 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. $$-$$$Paprika1624 NE 79th St., 305-397-8777 This exotically decorated restaurant, serving Mediterranean cuisine from North Africa and the Middle East, has several unusual features, including Friday-night belly dancing and a hookah lounge. Food menus also feature appealing, unusual choices (zaatar-spiced seared lamb loin carpaccio with chickpea pure; stuffed boureka puff pastries; mussels in creamy saffron sauce) along with familiar hummus, kabobs, more. Lunchtime sandwich standout: merguez (intensely spiced lamb sausage) with tzatziki, hummus, salad, and fiery harissa sauce, on fresh pita. $$-$$$ 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. $-$$Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Who says old dogs cant learn new tricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28 seats), the Cea familys now-sprawling trattoria has added inventive chef Carlos Belon and modern menu items, including fiocchi rapera (pear/cheese-filled pasta purses with truffled prosciutto cream sauce), an unlikely (soy sauce and parmesan cheese?) but luscious Italian/Japanese fusion tuna carpaccio, and fresh-fruit sorbets. But traditionalists neednt worry. All the old favorites, from the cafs famed beef carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$-$$$$ Lous Beer Garden7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys executive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$ Cte Gourmet9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisianstyle brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ 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. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooey-cheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$ Alaska 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. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who pre fer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$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 ingredients 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 freshbaked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smokedfish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ 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


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSclassic 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. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Evios Pizza & Grill12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699Family-owned and operated, this indoor/outdoor pizzeria is also family-friendly, right down to the size of its NY-style pies (sold whole or by the slice), which range from large to roughly the diameter of a ferris wheel. And toppings, ranging from meat-lovers to veggie-loaded, are applied with awe-inspiring abundance. Since tastes do vary, the menu also includes a cornucopia of other crowd-pleasers: burgers (including turkey with a unique mustard-spiked cranberry sauce), entre-size salads, burritos or quesadillas, wings, hot or cold subs and succulent self-basted lamb/beef gyros with tzatziki. $ Fish Fish13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124Heres what makes this elegantly warm restolounge and seafood market not just an irresistible neighborhood draw but a worththe-drive dining destination: Both local and cold-water fish and shellfish, including stone crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nachlass own Florida Keys plant, that are always fresh, never frozen (except some shrimp). For home cooks, the market offers all delivered-daily catches on the menu. But dont miss chef Oscar Quezadas simple and perfect preparations, including lightly battered, crispy tempura shrimp; sophisticated fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheapo fish); bracing ceviches; and, for carnivores, shepherds pie topped with ethereal whipped potatoes. $$-$$$$Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-notmiss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$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 celeb chef was a kid. The piccolo space has since expanded, but the place is still child-friendly, and portions are still prodigious. Most dishes evoke nostalgia, including our favorite white wine/lemon saucedrenched veal piccata with capers and artichokes. There are surprises not found at old school red-sauce joints, too, like lunchtimes surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojomarinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowdpleasers. $$$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 pro digious 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. $$$Piccolo Pizza2104 NE 123rd St., 305-893-9550Pizzas at this spin-off from family-owned Il Piccolo impress even NYC visitors, thanks to recipes proprietor Hubert Benmoussa learned from an authentic Neapolitan pizzaolo. Other favorites here include subs on homemade baguettes and, surprising for a pizzeria, delightfully custardy quiche (Benmoussa is part French). But it would be unthinkable to miss the pies, especially our favorite Italia: subtly sweet tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, plus mixed greens and uncooked prosciutto on top -both pizza and salad. There are also nicely priced catering trays of finger subs, quiche squares, pizza bites, more. $-$$ 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 boatbased 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, avocado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $ Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ Chef Rolfs Tunas Seafood Restaurant17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 Known for decades as simply Tunas, this indoor/outdoor eatery, combining a casual vibe with some surprisingly sophisticated food, now has a name recognizing the culinary refinements introduced by Rolf Fellhauer, for 28 years executive chef at Continental fine-dining spot La Paloma. Additions to the predominantly seafood menu include chateaubriand or rack of lamb for two, both carved, with old-school spectacle, tableside. Owner Michael Choido has also renovated the interior dining room, and added the Yellowfin Lounge, which features an extensive selection of artisan beers. $$-$$$ Cholos Ceviche & Grill1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/ tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$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. Take-out 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 faux-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, espe cially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ El Gran Inka3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institu tion since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tunamelt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi 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 futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $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 305-758-05167941 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 Your purchase of $30+(excluding Lunch Specials) with this ad. exp. 11/30/13$5OFF THAI & JAPANESE LUNCH SPECIALS from $7.99 Monday-Saturday


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS(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. $$-$$$Julios Natural Foods Emporium1602 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-947-4744Vegetarians and vegans tired of settling for the one sad steamed vegetable entre tacked onto most menus will be in in pork-free pig heaven. Owner Julio Valderramas healthy global (though mostly Mediterranean, Mexican, and New American) menu of not-so-small plates, salads, sandwiches/wraps, and organic grain-based platters is so immense you could literally eat for months without repeating -or indulging in poultry and fish dishes. Cooking isnt cutting-edge, but unusual spicing keeps things interesting. Especially recommended: a signature veg-and-fetapacked zaatar flatbread; also slightly sinful sweet potato with butter and cinnamon. $-$$ Kebab Indian Restaurant514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$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. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar ItalianAmerican classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$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. $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 sur face-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. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genu ine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender saltbaked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$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 authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam 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. $-$$Soprano Caf3933 NE 163rd St., 855-434-9035Sicilian native Rocco Soprano, original proprietor of South Beachs Sopranos, has transformed this Intracoastal Waterway space, formerly the enoteca Racks, into an elegant but familyfriendly restaurant featuring classic Italian dishes plus steakhouse fare, all in prodigious portions. For an ultimate Miamian/ Italian fusion experience, arrive by boat at Sopranos dock, grab a table on the water-view deck, and enjoy a coal-oven pizza -perhaps the famous truffled white pizza, or our personal fave secchi: sopressata salami, zesty tomato sauce, provolone, goat cheese, and fresh fior di latte mozzarella. $$$ Sushi 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 ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popu lar, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American spe cialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/ noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and home made baked goods. $$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 modestlooking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/ sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$ Asia Bay 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. $$$ Bay Harbor Bistro1023 Kane Concourse, 305-866-0404Though small, this ambitious European/American fusion bistro covers all the bases, from smoked salmon eggs Florentine at breakfast and elaborate lunch salads to steak frites at dinner, plus tapas. As well as familiar fare, youll find atypical creations: caramelized onion and goat cheese-garnished leg of lamb sandwiches; a layered crab/avocado tortino; pistachio-crusted salmon. A welcome surprise: The bistro is also a bakery, so dont overlook the mouthwateringly buttery croissants, plumply stuffed empanadas, or elegant berry tarts and other homemade French pastries. $$-$$$Bettos Ristorante Italiano1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled, renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/effusively charming host of Surfsides neighborhood favorite Caf Ragazzi). Best make reservations. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noodles with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauted medaillons with a caperstudded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$ Le 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. $$$$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Anthonys 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 protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories including hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/ sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Fresko19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737Forget thick, dough-wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slathered with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy eatery eschews the starch/sugar-laden traditional tfavorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contempo rary as the restaurants dcor. Asian-influenced items, like wakametopped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$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 restaurant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flaketopped 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. $$-$$$La Montanara18855 NE 29th Ave., 305-974-0167A lushly vine-covered walkway leading to the door and back patio of this secluded but expansive restaurant serves notice that diners are in for an exclusive Italian experience. Ilario Giunchi, cofounder of Caracass famed original La Montanara, has brought much of the menu to this second location, including housemade pastas and creative carpaccios like a delicate crudo version of vitello tonnato. Whatever else you order, dont miss the signature mascarpone/prosciutto focaccias from the beautifully tiled stone pizza oven. Budgeting diners: Explore weekday lunch specials, which include sides. $$-$$$$ Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$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. Floribbean-style 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. $$-$$$Soho Asian Bar & Grill19004 NE 29th St., 305-466-5656 Do bring your pocket flashlight to this kosher restaurant. Considering the menus expansiveness, youll be doing lots of reading despite dim, lounge-lizard lighting. The stars here are small plates and over-the-top Asian fusion sushi rolls, like the Korean: short ribs atop a kimchee-garnished maki of pured avo cado, cuke, scallion, and sweet potato. But the menu of tapas and entres ranges from Japanese-inspired items to pad Thai, Middle Eastern kabobs, Chinese-American pepper steak, even all-American grilled steaks. Highlights: signature fried cauliflower with chili sauce, and an appealing house nut bread with three spreads. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) Alba17315 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. $$$$ Chef Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$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 specials 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. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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. $$$Preservation18250 Collins Ave., 305-974-0273 Restaurant trendsetters, anyone with a back-to-the-land ethic, and lovers of food history and culture will especially love this rustic-looking places focus: proteins and produce, house-preserved via curing, pickling, and smoking. And its no novelty act. Dishes arent all preserved, but rather use preserved items to accent fresh ingredients: a Cobb salad with fresh greens, tomato, and egg, plus house-smoked bleu cheese dressing, chicken, and bacon; smoked tomato soup with fresh basil mousse; smoked short rib Benedict for brunch. A variety of jarred preserves and pickles are available retail, too. $$-$$$. Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill17630 Collins Ave., 305-682-1243Sushi may well have been served in Sunny Isles before this longtime neighborhood favorite opened, but Sumo was the neighborhoods first sushi bar to double as a popular lounge/ hangout as well as restaurant. Ladies nights are legend. While Thai and Chinese dishes are available, as well as purist nigiri, few can resist the truly sumo-wrestler-size maki rolls, the more over-the-top, the better. Our bet for biggest crowd pleaser: the spicy Pink Lady (shrimp tempura, avocado, masago, cilantro, and spicy mayo, topped with rich scallop-studded dynamite sauce. $$-$$$ Timo17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ rfntbrbrnf ffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN *Must present all coupons. Not valid with other offers. Tax not included. Exp. 7/31/13** *


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