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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE January 2014 Volume 11 Issue 11 Names Matter The battle over Little Haiti


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COVER STORY 26 Names Matter: The Little Haiti Battle COMMENTARY 12 Feedback: Letters 16 Jack King: Media Follies 18 Urbania: A Fond Farewell 20 My View: John Hood vs. bus OUR SPONSORS 22 BizBuzz: January 2014 COMMUNITY NEWS 42 HistoryMiami Gets Big 42 Spence-Jones Gets Slammed 43 Dean Lewis Gets Ubiquitous NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 50 Jay Beskin: Aventura Lawsuits 52 Adam Schachner: Viva Metromover! 54 Jen Karetnick: Boosting Home Values 56 Mark Sell: Biscayne Landing Makeover 58 Ken Jett: Little Rivers Rising Water ART & CULTURE 60 Anne Tschida on MIAs Art Explosion 62 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 64 Events Calendar: Jazz at Gusman POLICE REPORTS 66 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 68 Jim W. Harper: El Portals Parks COLUMNISTS 70 All Things Animal: Frog Thing 72 Picture Story: Real Estate Boom 73 Your Garden: The Joy of Compost 74 Going Green: Grow Your Food 75 Kids and the City: What Are You? 76 Vino: Cheap-o but Pretty Good 77 Dish: A Rush of New Restaurants DINING GUIDE 78 Restaurant Listings: 288 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants RWBimini Management reserves all rights. Promotion & prices subject to change or cancellation. Limited time only. Taxes and resort fees not included. Price based on double occupancy. Based on space availability. Blackout dates apply. Must be 18 years of age or older. Must have valid passport. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Resorts World Bimini offers breathtaking water and marina views. Enjoy hours of nonstop gaming action at the brand-new, state-of-the-art casino featuring live-action table games such as Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Slots and the ONLY Sports Books near Florida. Nestled along the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Bahamas, Resorts World Bimini boasts beautifully appointed accommodations, six vibrant restaurants and bars, shopping village ISLAND PACKAGES From $406pp Ft. Lauderdale on Silver Airways.YOU BET... You can escape to Bimini, Bahamas just minutes from South Florida! 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 rfnftbfrfft nbb F OR A DVERTISING INFORMATION CALL 305-756-6200 20 43 52Serving communities along the Biscayne Corridor: Arch Creek East, Aventura, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Coventry, Design District, Downtown, Eastern Shores, Edgewater, El Portal, Enchanted Lake, Hibiscus Island, Highland Lakes, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Morningside, North Greynolds, North Bay Island, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Oak Forest, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Sky Lake, Sparling Lake, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands


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Harry to Jorge: Naming Rights May Go to the Highest Bidder, but Its Still a BribeIm glad we now have a quality art museum in Miami, as Anne Tschida pointed out in The People Who Bring You Art (January 2014). But it was originally located on Flagler Street to help revitalize that part of town, and failed to attract much attendance. Perhaps it would have been more successful on Flagler with better exhibitions. There was no need to build a new one, especially on Bayfront property. I guess they named the new one for undeserving luxury condo developer Jorge Prez because Barney Madoff, offer enough in the way of bribes. I and quite a few people I know will never visit this new museum as long as Jorge Prezs name is attached to it. Harry Emilio Gottlieb Coconut GroveSick of Basel? Take Two Aspirin and Read Anne TschidaI appreciated the perspective Anne Tschida took for the December cover story The People Who Bring You Art. Being inundated with Art Basel stories, it was a pleasure to sit down and read about the be shepherding the direction and growth of Miamis art world. It will be interesting to see what kinds of artists Diana Nawi can bring from her experience in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, or what Jesus Fuenmayor and Christian Larsen can do to help Miami develop as an authentic hub of Latin American art. When Miami gains a reputation for an arts scene that is more than Art Basel, we will have truly arrived. Cynthia Moore MiamiInstincts and the Digital NeanderthalBravo to John Dorschner for his entertain ing and very interesting interview with restaurateur Mark Soyka. I had no idea that the guy who loves to be a pioneer and who really has been a Miami/Miami Beach innovator is a self-professed computer/cell phone Neanderthal. Well, hes got great instincts, and thats what matters most in the survival game. I think. Name Withheld by Request Upper EastsideLights Out at MCMI too have seen those disruptive, environmentally offensive, grossly gigantic LED billboards on the side of the Miami Childrens Museum (Miami Childrens Museum Lights Up the Sky, January 2014). If youre driving across the MacArthur Causeway, how could you miss them? Visual pollution on that scale is not exactly the quality-of-life message we want to send to our kids. I remember gasping a few years ago in Venice at one of those plastic stretch billboards hanging from and obscuring completely any view of the Bridge of Sighs. Heres the heart of the matter: An hour later, I couldnt have told you who the advertiser was, but I still remember the eye sore. Take that to heart, Childrens Museum. I hope to read a follow-up by Erik Berkowitz and the museum do the right thing and get rid of the billboards. While I have no problem with adverbillboard on a multistory tower that can be seen miles away is not something we can turn off. Its the worst way to draw attention to a cityscape. And people who dislike the practice will never support the museum with their attendance. Please, Childrens Museum and board chairman Jeff Berkowitz, rethink this. There are ways to raise funds that will not draw the ire of so many critics many of whom are parents. Evelyn Reynolds-Romano BrickellWarning: This Bubble Will Bust GuaranteedThat was a great article by Christian Cipriani (Bubble Heads, November out all their stuckpositions fully, the second bubble burst will occur because of the overheat. But this time the country will not be able to afford to bail out the problem, and Americans will not accept another bailout for speculators and their get rich quick real estate schemes. Isee the condos going up in markets like Miami,and all I can ask myself is, What third-party analytical team opined returns for the investment exposures? ing is, in my mind, an incredible risk Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 14




exposure for the estimated returns. I am in the investment consulting anyone. For some reason, all these new ing schemes will let them get in and out before the next burst. I wish their global seed investors well, but the modeling is very bad for Americans in general because no true long-term value will be created from the new overheat and the second-wave real estate bubble burst. Have we not learned anything from the last crisis? Martin W. Porter Baltimore, MarylandA Bad Bend in the RiverRegarding your story on Manatee Bend Park (Nature in the Middle of the City, October 2013): As the assembled congratulated each other at its opening/dedication ceremony, not one of them actually made the effort to ob serve if the manatees were present too as if a plaque in a park sealed the deal. Unfortunately, the name Manatee speedboat raceway this stretch of the river has recently become after Elite Marina opened for business. Weekends look especially hazardous! Name Withheld by Request Upper EastsideBimini: Culling for Research and AccuracyIn my estimation, Cruising for Fun and ough and best-written of all the articles Ive seen on Genting, their Miami operation, Bimini SuperFast the Bimini situation. obvious he did a tremendous amount of research and, culling from it, was able to grasp the whole picture accurately. I think its excellent and will be sharing it with others. Lee Dettor Fort LauderdaleBimini: Does Miami Really Love the Gambling Industry?You cant turn around without thinking that Gentings Resorts Gambling World is inching closer to building its huge glitzy horror downtown. The new cruise ferry to Bimini? Genting no doubt has plans to dock that cruise ferry right alongside its future Miami casino. Why is Miami ready to open its arms to the gambling industry? People! Genting Group is based in Malaysia, which, oops doesnt have diplomatic ties with Israel or even recognize an Israeli passport! I guess its true that money is the international language that counts. Thanks Gerald Wasserman MiamiBimini: Genting Deserves Global ExposureIts a stunner that no criminal charges Gerardo Capo, Genting Groups Bimini partner and the guy who reportedly cracked open the islands aquifer (the residents only free source of freshwater) after dredging for more land. Why doesnt the Bahamian government care that he is alleged to have laid waste to North Biminis mangroves and marine life, or that the fertilizer needed to tend a planned golf course will probably run off and scorch what fragile native ecosystems remain? Bahamian law may be whatever the prime minister and his cabinet say it is so claims the islands general counsel but they must think that those who oppose them have no other recourse than the courts. The power of the people and the media can direct international attention to these so-called developments. These plans will destroy the revenue streams of local businesses, kill employ ment opportunities for local residents, and irreparably harm the environment. Sanita tion levels have already dropped, according to the story, along with the water supply. Bimini may attract more tourists but Resorts World and its Bahamian polit ical supporters will likely be the only ones get off a Genting-owned ship or plane and be driven to a Genting-owned hotel, play on a Genting-owned golf course, and eat in Genting-owned restaurants. You can kick and scream until Christ comes, and it wont mean anything, said Biminis general counsel. I hope that a public campaign will bring an end to his governments arrogance. Name Withheld by Request Fort LauderdaleCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12


Commentary: MIAMIS KINGBy Jack King BT ContributorWhat a year its been in the news media! Unfortunately, most of the news out of the news media has not been very positive. The downward spiral continues. Our used-to-be-beloved Miami Herald is still in free-fall, and there doesnt seem to be any obvious solution to the papers problems. The real losers in this are the people of Miami, who are less-informed citizens as a result. Its not all the Herald s fault, either. When the McClatchy Company in 2006 bought the Herald s parent, Knight Ridder, they grossly overpaid: $4.5 billion in cash and stock. Ever since then, Mc Clatchy has been cutting costs and gutting the staff to pay down that colossal debt. This has created a vicious circle: a smaller staff leading to less news coverage leading to fewer subscribers leading to fewer advertising dollars. The endgame here seems to be business failure pill to turn it around. That, however, is not a bet I would take. With todays anemic Herald we have far less local news coverage than in the past, leaving city governments to do oversight and no fear of exposure. It used to be the task of the alternative media to nip at the heels of the big guys, publishing occasional investigative stories that made the big guys look really bad. At Miami New Times this used to happen about once a month. Now were lucky to see it once a year. New Times also has been plagued by circulation cutbacks and shrinking ad revenues. Staff reductions keep editorial quantity and quality pretty low. Like the Herald which constantly borrows stories from the Sun Sentinel so too does New Times borrow from its sister weeklies in Its apparent that New Times over changes in its marketing strategy, which is now taking them full bore to the Internet. Unfortunately, this direction has led them more into social media and entertainment than into real news. Television news in Miami has always been an oxymoron, but it has gotten worse. (As if it could!) Right now you cant produce television news unless you have multiple police scanners running 24 hours in your newsroom. If your appetite for news is limited to auto accidents, shootings, airplane crashes, people getting arrested, lost dogs, and PR shots from the school board, then local television is right up your alley. A 20-member news staff night. Its the kind of news that you banter about around the water cooler at work. When they do get a real news story on television, its usually because the news director read about it in some oldfashioned print publication like well, like Biscayne Times This type of television fare is often referred to as if it bleeds, it leads news, and it pretty much had its beginnings here turned upside down by stations changing casting version of musical chairs, WSVN, Enter an innovative station owner (Ed Ansin) and an inventive news director (Joel Cheatwood), and the next thing if it bleeds, it leads station. Every news reporter had a police scanner in his car, and they were on the road around the clock. Channel 7 skyrocketed in the ratings. It wasnt long before every station in Miami was monitoring police scanners. The news race was on a race right to the bottom. The Internet has had a profound impact on the news media. Sometimes its positive, sometimes negative, but making it work with high-quality content and wide distribution, along with getting paid for your work, has not been easy. About a dozen years ago I closed up my newspaper and thought about going into the online business. I wanted to specialize in local news. Turned out that getting advertising was hard, really hard. So I went sailing instead. Now the blogosphere is here, but quality news reporting, for the most part, is not. In greater Miami, there may some 25 people who do some investigative work and post their information online. None of them is making enough money at it to survive. They have replaced possibly 200 full-time reporters who were being paid by the mainstream media. Bloggers are not answer to our problems, but it seems like theyre all we have right now, with precious few exceptions. ( Biscayne Times !) The blogger downside, of course, is that individuals can spew out incorrect information without having anyone challenge them. So how do we foster quality news reporting by people who are reasonably compensated? If we dont answer this question, well have local governments running amok. Feedback: A Year of NewsWhen it comes to the news media, it was all bad Courtesy of Knight Foundation


Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorThe risk you run with a monthly column is that its actually written about two weeks before deadline. Thankfully, my writing is more about ponderous ideas and personal stories than current events. I mention this because a lot can happen in a week or two, and for my wife and me, perhaps this month more than ever. house December 31. Many months of stress, uncertainty, lost opportunities, collapsed deals, and the type of anxiety liable to leave me with PTSD will all boil down to the very last day of 2013. The inspection is over, interest rate locked, appraisal (begrudgingly) accepted were even approved for the loan. But as Im sure every Biscayne Times reader knows, a real estate deal isnt over until the ink dries. With so much that could still go wrong between now and the closing, I announce with some hesitancy that this will be my last installment of Urbania. As of January 1, I will no longer be a resident of the Biscayne Corridor (unless, of course, I still am). We looked throughout Miami Shores and Biscayne Park, but prices were rising too aggressively for houses on marginal blocks that needed considerable work. wanted to stay close to the water and the heart of Miami, we had to take our money and go inland. Were set to land in West Miami, which looks a bit like the Shores or Biscayne Park, with leafy streets and cute houses from the 1940s. Ours has a big yard and vines growing on the faade. Along with training for a triathlon, Ill add learning Spanish to my list of 2014 When I started working for the BT as editor in 2005, I moved right to the heart of Edgewater, on NE 26th Street. My friends, most of whom I met through DJing and music, were hanging out in the area and moving there one by one. Midtown. Nirvana. Blue. Cit. Restau rants were opening here and there, like The Daily. Indie clubs like PS14 and the Vagabond rolled the dice on serving locals. The Design District was actually for design, and Wynwood was then the Hollywood production. Watching the exciting changes unfold will always be one of my best memories. Skip Van Cel owned the BT at that time. A squat, boisterous man with with his passion for the Biscayne Corridor. He quickly convinced this northern transplant that it was the unpolished It was such a privilege to cover Miamis mid-2000s boom years. With no preconceptions, I moved here on a whim and started writing. I got a degree in All Things Miami in about four months, from culture to crime, people to politics. I remember being at city hall parties with Johnny Winton, Linda Haskins, Manny Diaz, Joe Arriola, and that entire chaotic cast of characters who generated headlines as unfathomable as the citys pace of growth. These were perfectly Miami times, driven by bravado, charisma, and a touch of insanity. And for all the wrong that happened, being here felt so right. Even after I left full-time writing to go into the ad industry, I stayed with the BT as a freelance reporter and welcomed Jim Mullin as publisher and editor when he bought the paper from Skip. Jim ran Miami New Times for years, and I knew I was going to learn a lot from his considerable experience. What I didnt expect was the opportunity to have my own page each month for a deeply personal, boundless column on anything tied to Miamis new urban experience. Ive amassed several years of Urbania columns. A few were pretty inconsequential, but Ive done some writing that makes me very proud especially topics that got a big reaction, like God and guns. Im grateful to have been given the chance to connect with 75,000 people each month. If I ever learn Spanish, the skys the limit. Looking back on eight years of writing for this paper, one thing is clear: I love Miami. I believe in Miami. At times this city pains me. It can be brutal, unfair, and lonely. It can be greedy, tacky, and shortsighted. Inequity stings like sunburn when I see the absolute worst people have the best luck. And dammit if everyone isnt prettier than me. But underneath, my ever-churning feelings are hope and love. Miami is still one of the most exciting, interesting, and incomparably beautiful places on earth. Not one day goes by that I dont admire the sun, think of the sea, and deeply breathe in our salt air. Im lucky to be here, lucky to write here, lucky to call this place home. Thank you for reading. Feedback: A Love Letter to MiamiIts time to bid farewell to UrbaniaPhoto by Danielle Ondarza


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Commentary: MY VIEW By John Hood Special to the BTDont move. Dont move. Help is on the way. Hard to say which of those clichs a cat like me is less likely to still since forever; in the second, theres not a helping hand in all the land that can make much difference to a fella who cant (or wont) help himself. Add the fact that I was lying face between the Fillmore Gleason and New World Symphony, on night #1 of Art Basel, and well, youll understand why I didnt wanna not move. Actually, you might not understand my opting outta inaction at all. Why? Dade Metrobus, thats why. And most folks wouldnt have moved a muscle, even if they could. Of course, Im not most folks. And I refuse to let some bus get in the way of me and Alabama Shakes, let alone the opening of Aqua (for whom I work) or Kendrick Lamar (with whom I was slated to speak). I had places to be and obligations to meet, and theres no way I was gonna be the guy who said, Sorry, but I got hit by a bus. So I snapped to in the only way I knew how by making sure the culprit didnt get away. Stop that driver! Three young Baselites Meghna Prasad, Polina Gurtovaya, and Sam H. Snyder down from New York for the fes tivities, witnessed the crash. And according to them, it was a combination of shock and awe that overcame them in the aftermath. you were okay, recalls Prasad. When you started shouting about stopping the bus driver, I thought you were mad. By then the driver had stopped and was unloading the bus, she continues, which provided an audience who Im sure thought you were mad too. I was mad, naturally. Not mad crazy, as Prasad suspected (though theres always that), but mad as hell about having my night interrupted in such a spectacularly dreadful manner. Gurtovaya, who saw it from start to at the mad cat before her. I saw you riding your brand-new shiny bike and the bus coming right at you, she remembers. Then it hit you and drove about another 20 meters, dragging you and your bike along with it, somer with the rotation of rear wheel of the bus. I screamed. It seemed like you were under the bus. I got very scared, because it seemed like youd be dead. I was shocked that you stood up and shook off dust from Indeed, my Lazarus act began with stopping the culprit and segued into concern about my threads. My best blue suit was ir you); there was no way I wasnt gonna try Prasad found the back of the link, and I found its front. I also made haste to retrieve my hat before that too suffered some ignominious fate. My cigarettes made it through; so did my Zippo. And by the time Id taken a second drag off a much-needed smoke, the cavalry arrived. Okay, not exactly the cavalry, but between Miami Beachs Finest and Bravest there were enough lights and sirens to evoke Custers Last Stand. In hindsight, sive; then again, when 911 gets a call about a body befalling a bus, I suppose Last Stand is more rule than exception. Fire Rescue were on point. My left hand was road-ripped and swelling to an ugly black and blue. Other than that, I appeared to be unscathed. So thats what I told the team sent to save me. The about letting me loose without at least a cursory look-see, but once Id uttered the magic AMA (as in, leaving Against Medical Advice), they really didnt have a choice. Fortunately (for them), my phone started ringing before I could come to what might have been left of my senses. Unfortunately (for me), even the smartest Nexus will have its wits dimmed once its collided with a big dumb bus; so ring was all it did. Through the shattered glass, though, the device did display the caller. It was Sigi from the Fillmore, surely wondering why I wasnt there for Alabama Shakes. Ever the courteous concertgoer, I took note of the digits, then asked Prasad to call him back with the whats what. Sigi, whos seen it all and done even more, was apparently nonplussed by my run-in with the city bus. Reached the next surprises me with you, John Hood. Feedback: Struck by a Bus During BaselAnd living to laugh it off


22 Our Sponsors: J ANUARY 2014By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorOnce again its the month for making New Years resolutions. And for breaking them. According to numerous surveys, most are kaput by Groundhog Day, February 2. Thats why New Years resolutions same year after year, according to the Mirror a UK newspaper that recently published a list of 2014s 50 most popucut down on alcohol. the Mirror is very obviously not a Miami paper. But youd be surprised how many other resolutions are those youve made, and broken, every January, because Heres one that has gotten easier to keep every year, considering how rapidly unique stores, restaurants, arts operations are springing up in BT territory: Support your local businesses A recent U.S. study of retail economics calculated that if every American family spent only $10 a month in locally based places, the return to local economies would be $9.3 billion. This months advertisers are making that resolution easy to keep, with all manner of exciting events, opportunities, and offers you dont wanna refuse. Getting oneself in shape looking/ feeling better in some form is always near the top of everyones good intentions list. Personally, the forms we prefer are those where experts do our self-improvement for us, as Hannah Lasky does with her transformative haircuts and coloring at Hannah & Her Scissors (611 deal this month takes 2014 quite literally: Bring two friends and its 14% off for you. Spending more time with friends and family is actually on the Mirror s Top 50 list, so this deal is actually a twofer for keeping your resolutions. That also goes for TruCutz tending last months Big Guy-Little Guy deal: With all adult haircuts (already a bargain at only $16), boys under 12 get a cut free. Oh, attention all experienced barbers: TruCutz is now hiring to handle all the action at their new location. Check out the photos in this issues ad for Estrel Wellness Centers (1160 see how they can effortlessly transform the rest of your appearance, below the hairline. Fast weight loss programs utilize meopathic sprays and nutritional products no exercise! Medical esthetics services include 3D Sculptaderm, a system using radio frequencies for face and neck lifting, body contouring, and more. The ads coupons offer discounts, too. At new advertiser ChiroSPA ries and lower back pain with massage plus cutting-edge physiotherapy stimulus modalities, including ultrasound, ArthroStim, and other stuff that all sounds like magic to us. ChiroSPA also offers exercise and weight-loss programs. Call to schedule a grand opening special deal: a free massage and demonstration of the latest chiropractic techniques. Offering two grand opening deals this month: Big Fish 305-373-1770), a new Italian seafood eatery on the Little River thats an updated and more romantic reincarnation of the famed original Big Fish on the Miami River. This month BT readers get a free glass of wine with every entre, and $10 off checks of $25 or more. For a description, see in this months Dish column, page 77. Up the road a bit, in North Miami, fresh seafood market/restaurant/lounge Fish Fish 565-9765) is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a special Florida Keysinspired menu from chef Oscar Quezada, who spent many years at Islamoradas Lazy Days. Weve never understood why conch, practically the Keys signature seafood, is so rarely found on Miami menus, but this one has two items: lightly-battered conch fritters with chipotle remoulade, and cracked conch fritters either fried with lime aioli or sauted with Key lime butter sauce. Resist those, we dare ya. One key reason why its easier to farmers markets in recent years, given that a decade ago there were almost none. Exception: those run by Claire Tomlin of The Market Company (www.themarket, who introduces a new market at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. As well as fresh produce from vendors like Paradise can grow your own, plus locally produced honey, cheeses, and more. Admission to the market, by the north gate, is free, as is parking. Does eating better include drinking better? In Miami, naturally. Laurenzos Italian Market (16445 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-944-5052) makes this no prob with its January 50% off wine sale, a selection from existing and new wines that, according to the BT s editor/publisher, who Continued on page 24BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible


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Our Sponsors: J ANUARY 2014be responsible, are very nice bottles and truly great prices. No doubt youve noticed this issues massive insert from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (www.sobefest. com for tix), February 20-23. Its 64 pages long, so were not even pretending we can add to the detailed info. But we do want to point out that there seem to be more causeway this year, including Medi anoches & Mixology at Wynwood Walls (hosted by Anne Burrell, with sandwich curation by local blogger Burger Beast). There seems to be more local celeb par ticipation, too, including Fried & True, a fried chicken seminar with homeboy/ festival founder Lee Schrager. Lee is also involved in a fab crossover event with another advertiser, 2014s Miami International Film Festival MIFF isnt till March 7-16, part of the programming is his Culinary Cinema with real food. For tix, including a panel discussion featuring food critic Ruth Reichl: If one of your dreams is to start your own home-based business, details that make you appear truly professional are vital to success. A P.O. box does not impress. A real street address does. You can have that safely with a mailbox rental at Roadrunner Packing & Shipping Owner Elizabeth Yelins January special: three months free with a one-year rental. Want to teach yoga? Inner Balance Studio its intensive 200-hour, Yoga Alliance-ap proved teacher training program, starting in March. For details, call or go to www. Check out this issues ad, too, for a separate introduc tory deal: $30 for 30 days. How about a career in real estate? Returning advertiser Weichert Realtors/ Best Beach Real Estate (3933 Biscayne with the Best Real Estate School of Floridas Midtown campus, can prepare you for that with a four-week sales associate course starting January 13; check out this issues ad. Buying real estate is complicated even in ones own country. So imagine how prospective clients from France and other French-speaking countries (a growing market in Miami) feel trying to do so in a place where both the language and the real estate industry are very different. Alwaysinnovative MC2 Realty (5701 Biscayne bridge that gap with the newly formed Fed eration des Professionnels de LImmobilier de Miami, an alliance of prominent French local brokers that pairs French-speaking South Florida Realtors with Frenchspeaking international buyers, according to MC2s Marie-Charlotte Piro. Another announcement: After 25 successful years in property management and publishing (the elite-lifestyle South Florida Opulence magazine), CSA International and Horizon Publishing have formed Opulence International Realty (2060 N. Bayshore Dr., www. Opulence, the newest luxury brokerage and consultsimply executing transactions, in-house services include tax and immigration division, wealth management, concierge services, and other offerings not usually found within one real estate company. Speaking of luxury real estate: Our apologies to Zachary Belil a broker at Douglas Elliman (1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 917-319-4627 or zachary. who, prior to relocating to Miami, was a top producer in New Yorks luxe residential market. Zack attributes his success to several philosophies, including do things correctly, pay attention to details. We should have done the same last issue when we printed incorrect contact info for him, and resolve to try to do better. More outdoor activities, another popular resolution, is a no-brainer for residents of new advertiser 151 at Biscayne (14951 Royal Oaks Lane condo complex self-billed as Luxury By Nature. Formerly Oaks Towers at Biscayne Landing, the completely renovated, oversize twoand three-bedroom units are luxe inside, too, but its the location and the Intracoastal Waterway, and acres of trails and other outdoor recreational opportunities) thats unbeatable for those wanting to get back to nature. Furnishing your new place isnt easy the month after Decembers excessive gift-giving, which is why the current huge clearance sale at Ascot Teak Furni ture s warehouse (13443 NE 17th Ave., BizBuzzContinued from page 22 Recherchons agents immobiliers francophones expriments Now recruiting experienced RealtorsVisit our new Morningside storefront at 5781 Biscayne Boulevard 1060 Brickell Avenue 2bedroom $465,000Great opportunity to own TODAY in Miamis most desirable avenue. Why wait for pre-construction? This 2 bedroom has beautiful wood oors and great pool and city views. Luxury condo with all amenities.Emma Sorrente 786 762 2602 Vizcayne Penthouse for Rent 3be/3ba $4500/monthWhat a view! 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11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., is fortuitous timing. Everything must go because, after 15 years in North Miami, Ascot will be relo cating to Midtown Miami, with new stock, For parents, many New Years resolutions involve their kids. If youd like to give your secondary-school-age offspring a boost to future success, the entrance exam for Mon signor Edward Pace High School (15400 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-7223) is scheduled ment courses; 56 dual enrollment credits with FIU and St. Thomas University; signa ture academics in areas including computer technologies, mass communications, and visual/performing arts; and more than 100 extracurricular activities. Astonishing news from Wynwoods new Metropolitan International School of Miami (3465 NW 2nd Ave., 305576-6070): As director of athletics, the groundbreaking private school has landed Arantxa Snchez Vicario, the Spanish former world #1 tennis player (four Grand Slam singles titles, multiple silver and an inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, much more). Shes also a mom of two young kids to boot, so parents in Mets age range (currently preschool; elementary school starts in August). Community involvement and activism is an important lesson for kids. So we applaud Allison Academy 940-3922) for what the private, grade 6-12 schools founder/director, Dr. Sarah Allison, humorously calls our big deal in January: participation in National School Choice Week. Students and faculty will walk from Allison to North Miami Beach City Hall on January 29, to raise public awareness of the need for effective education options. A photo nonpartisan/nonpolitical effort. If youre resolved to spend more quality Thats the date of the 13th annual Flagler Fest & Antique Car Show, hosted by the Downtown Miami Partnership From 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Flagler Street will be closed off for an estimated 3000-4000 downtown walking tours, programming at the Gusman, childrens activities, and more. Now is the right time to investigate sponsor ship possibilities. For details contact DMA director Eddie Padilla at 305-379-7070. Art Basel is over. But art events that are possibly even more fun arent. Welcome new advertiser International Fine Art Ex positions (239-949-1411 or Owners David and Lee Anne Lester also own and operate SeaFair million mega yacht which is relevant lery, the site of the Miami International Art Fair 2014 January 17-20. The elegant boutique exhibit of groundbreaking 21stcentury art also includes meet the artists events, food demos, open bar cocktail par ties, a cruise. Thats capital F Fun.. And tix are only $10 advance/$15 door for one day, $25-$30 VIP for all days. your accumulated oddities, and follow Antiques Road Show from city to city, getting everything appraised? Visit the 53rd annual Original Miami Beach Antique Show (239-732-6642 or www., the worlds largest indoor antique show nearly 2000 dealers January 30-February 3 at the Miami Beach Convention For an appraisal (free, but only one per attendee), the day to come is February 1, noon to 6:00 p.m. Sign up for an appointment online. and challenging New Years resolution, Do more for charity, is no prob considering that this issues two charity events put the fun back in fundraiser. First, Cristina Butler, the younger half of the mother/daughter team from Imburgia Realty ( wants other pet lovers to reserve January 26, Laws, a 1950s-themed happy hour that animal rescue program of which shes president, and Legal Services of Greater Finally, looking ahead to Valentines Day: Rather than spending the romantic occasion at an overcrowded eatery with public celebrating the night before, Febru Hearts, the single largest fundraiser for Miami-Dade Colleges Museum of Art + Design (600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-2377700). General admission of $75 includes unlimited hors doeuvres/cocktails, live performances, and a curated silent auction. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.


Haitian Creole is a mixture of French and various West African languages. Its the most widely spoken language in Haiti, yet French ment and legal documents. But at least its legal now to speak Creole on the radio in Haiti. Back in the 1960s, it wasnt. JeanMarie Denis, also known as Jan Mapou, was well aware of that. He used to host a radio show in Port-au-Prince that featured folk stories read on the air, in Creole. The subject matter wasnt controversial. But this was the time of Franois Papa Doc Duvalier, one of Haitis most brutal dicta tors. Even reciting fairy tales in Creole on the airwaves could get you in trouble. The regime was concerned that by talking to the people in Creole, we would start opening their eyes and theyll under stand whats going on, Mapou says today. On April 6, 1969, at 8:00 a.m., Mapou was arrested by the Tonton Macoutes, Duvaliers personal militia, and thrown into a cramped cell with two dozen other men in the infamous Fort Dimanche prison. There he listened to the sounds of prisoners being shot in the courtyard. I was there for four months and four days, he says. How did I get released? I couldnt tell you. On August 13, they just opened the door and said, The president said you can go. That year Mapou caught a plane for New York. Forty-four years later, he continues to promote Creole and Haitian culture in his adopted country through his artistic group (Sosyete Koukouy), his plays, his dance performances, and his poetry. A resident of Miami Shores, Mapou owns property in Little Haiti and runs a Creole-language bookstore, Libreri Mapou, at 5919 NE 2nd Ave. culture is entering a new stage preserving the name and character of Little Haiti, an area just west of Miamis Upper Eastside that for decades has been the center of the Haitian exile experience in South Florida. Little Haiti is here to stay, Mapou vows, and it will always remain Little Haiti. On the surface, Haitian culture and the name Little Haiti seem secure in this part of Miami. A statue of Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture stands at NE 62nd Street and NE 2nd Avenue. Theres a 12-acre, city-owned soccer 6301 NE 2nd Ave. The Caribbean Marketplace, a failed experiment at creating a tourist attraction for Little Haiti, is being renovated, thanks to a $900,000plus investment from the city. Behind the market sits the 20,000-square-foot Little rent space to provide arts and afterschool programs for the community. Haitian-owned shops, stores, restaueasy to spot along commercial corridors like NE 2nd Avenue and NE 54th Street. There are also plenty of churches in Little Haiti whose congregations are predominately Haitian, the most well-known being Notre Dame dHaiti Catholic Church. Any Haitian, even if theyre not from Miami or Florida, if they come from they come is Little Haiti, Mapou beams. They ask their family members: Take me to Little Haiti. They want to mingle with their own people, he says. They want to be surrounded by their culture. They want to shop in the Haitian businesses, and eat Haitian food. I met a Haitian who was that time he had not been able to eat Haitian food. But Miami is changing. In the downtown area, developers have hatched plans to build some of the tallest skyscrapers in the southeastern United States. Wynwood is transforming from a land of artist studios and galleries into a hub of bars, restaurants, and tech startups. Developer Craig Robins and French-based luxury retailer LVMH are gutting swaths of the Design District with the intention of turning it into South Floridas ultimate high-end shopping destination. Motels from the 1950s and the sprawling Biscayne Plaza Shopping Center are Continued on page 26 Names MatterHow do you dene a community? Who gets to dene a community? Should it be Little Haiti or Lemon City?By Erik BojnanskyPhotos by Silvia Ros


28 being renovated in the Upper Eastside. In the midst of all this activity is Little Haiti, which is also changing. Over the past few years, a growing number of warehouses in the area have been transWithin the past decade, as many as 35 non-Haitian-owned businesses have opened between the FEC railroad tracks and NE 2nd Avenue. That trend may accelerate as developers and business owners scout for cheaper alternatives to the Design District and Wynwood. At the same time, a growing number of Haitian-owned businesses, unable to cope with rising rents and slowing sales, are closing. The protracted reconstruction of NE 2nd Avenue has been blamed for the woes of various businesses along that road, both Haitian-owned and not. But the main culprit has been the dismal economy, which hit Little Haitis residents especially hard. Many of them worked as low-level service employees, and they still serve as the main customer base of Haitian businesses in Little Haiti. When people cant buy a pastry for 60 cents, things are bad, says Leaman Bien-Aime, owner of Lakay Tropical Ice Cream at 91 NE 54th St. Another indicator of change: The green Welcome to Little Haiti signs the city once planted at intersections along NE 2nd Avenue and N. Miami Avenue have disappeared during the road construction and havent come back. People seem to think that they need to do more otherwise theyll lose Little Haiti to the developing part of the Design District and Buena Vista area, says Faid herbe Fedo Boyer, owner of the transla tion service CreoleTrans at 375 NE 54th St. By lose, Boyer means a future in which most Haitian-owned businesses have closed, Haitian-themed wall murals have been painted over, and references to a Little Haiti within the City of Miami vanish. To prevent that from happening, Mapou and other Haitian-American business owners and activists have decided, as Boyer puts it, to do more. Theyve organized themselves as the NE 2nd Avenue Partnership, and theyre the boundaries of Little Haiti. Then Little Haiti as a neighborhood, with borders clearly marked by new signs. nated Little Haiti will be promoted as a cultural-tourism destination. The idea was discussed, twice, in Miami City Commission meetings last fall, thanks to Michelle Spence-Jones, who at the time was the commissioner for District 5, which includes Little Haiti. During the October 24 city commission meeting, several prominent Haitian community members made speeches about Haitians contributions to Miami and the United States, but in the end there was no clear direction given to city staffers on how to proceed. activists remain undeterred. They vow to lobby her successor, Keon Hardemon, to continue where she left off. Im committed to Little Haiti because its the heart and soul of the Haitian di aspora, says Gepsie Metellus, executive director of the Sant La Haitian Neighbor hood Center. Little Haiti is where the Haitian people fought for acceptance, and it was a battle of epic proportions. storm of opposition. An assortment of landlords, business owners, homeowners, and local historians have coalesced around efforts to block the creation of an vary. For one thing, its unprecedented. do create zoning districts and borders for service areas, but they dont set boundaries for named communities. Thats left to those living in and developing a particular area. Not neighborhoods, says Paul George, a history professor at Miami-Dade College, Little Haiti. The area referred to as Little Haiti is generally located within the Little Haiti NET district, one of 12 neigh borhood enhancement team zones designed by the City of Miami. The Little Haiti NETs boundaries are from 36th Street to 84th Street, and NE 4th Avenue west to NW 6th Avenue. This territory includes communities such as Buena Vista East and West, the Design District, Bellaire, Brentwood, Edison, Oakland Grove, Little River Gardens, the Little River Business District, and Lemon City. Another reason for opposition to an many people who own land or buildings in the area want to preserve or reclaim old neighborhood names that were in Little HaitiContinued from page 27 Little River neighborhood Lemon City neighborhood Buena Vista neighborhoodNW 82 ST Little River NE 79 ST 195 I -95 I -95NE 79 ST NE 71 ST NW 62 ST NW 59 ST NW 54 ST Design District WynwoodEdgewater Upper Eastside Model City Biscayne BayBISCAYNE BL VD NW 2 AVE NE 2 AVE NE 4 CT N MIAMI AVE N MIAMI AVE Unofficial Little Haiti Continued on page 30 Map by Marcy Mock


Continued on page 30


use long before Haitians began arriving in the 1970s. Look, many ethnic groups back to the 1600s have lived, worked, and prospered around this stillHaitian community is only one of many, declares Bennett Pumo, a prominent landlord in the Little River Business District, an industrial section between NE 2nd Avenue and the FEC railroad tracks, from 62nd Street to 72nd Street. Pumo adds: You would think this group [the Haitians] would honor the many groups before them, and support the historical names and heritage prior to their most recent arrival. Silvia Wong, who has run a fooddistribution business in the Little River Business District for the past 25 years, points out that Haitians are actually leaving Since Ive been in Little River so long, Ive seen the ongoing exodus of Haitians whove been leaving Miami for North Miami and other areas, she says. Weve been told that Haitians have been leaving the area at two percent to three percent per year for the past 15 to 20 years. You can see from the recent federal census that the fastest-growing population in District 5 is Hispanic. how many Haitians live in Little Haiti because the U.S. Census doesnt count Haitians as Haitians. Instead they are either black (a racial category shared with other groups, such as African Americans) or West Indian (ancestry that includes Haitians, Jamaicans, Bahamians, and other islands of non-Hispanic still a large Haitian population living in Little Haiti, although theyre no longer the majority. Out of 33,800 people living in eight census tracts within the Little Haiti NET dis as West Indian, according to a U.S. Census survey taken between 2008 and 2012. Gepsie Metellus admits that Miamis Haitian enclave has shrunk in recent years, but she insists that a predominately working-class Haitian community exists north of 54th Street. That area, she for many Haitians arriving in the U.S. This is where they come and begin their and to all those wonderful things this country is known for.Before there was Miami, there was Lemon City. Settled in the years following the Civil War, Lemon City was once the most populous community in a sparsely populated South Florida. It sprawled, too. A Miami News article from September borders as NE 60th Street to NE 72nd Street, and from Biscayne Bay westward. Lemon City used to mean all the land from the bay west to Opa-locka and Hialeah, according to the article, but that was before Miami was Miami. City was founded because it was never an actual city. As author Thelma Peters noted in her 1971 book Lemon City: Pioneering on Biscayne Bay: 1850-1925 : Though Lemon City was a port, it never was a port of entry; though it called itself city, it had no local government, no no newspaper, no zoning, no garbage pickup, no sewer, no water system, and, until 1909, no electricity. Yet as a pioneer community it functioned well. It had a a library, a livery stable, and an active community improvement association. Peters did acknowledge that Lemon sonville (Lemon City Library, founded (Lemon City Methodist Church, now (Lemon City School, started in 1886). Until the latter half of the 19th Century, there were few non-Seminoles living in southern Florida, except for Key West. The federal government aimed to change that. In 1842, soon after the end of the Second Seminole War, Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act, under which a white man could claim 160 acres of Florida land so long as he lived there. Back then, the future Lemon City was simply known as Section 18. John Saunders, his wife, Natalie, and his seven children settled Section 18 as homesteaders in 1876. Saunders, a white Bahamian, worked as a laborer in a starch mill, as a farmer, and a sailor, but for some reason he was known as John Saunders the Jailer. How he got the name of Jailer is not known, Thelma Peters wrote, but it helped distinguish him from another John Saunders who lived at Elliotts Key. 148 acres. On 100 of those acres, Saunders grew orange, mango, coconut, and lemon trees. Within a few years, he sold 12 acres of his land to Eugene Harrington for $400. Harrington promptly subdivided that land and sold the parcels Harrington snagged $500 from Key West investor Charles Moffat. That acre of land, incidentally, was on the bay. The deed of sale between Moffat and Harwas mentioned in the public record. The date: December 28, 1889. In 1892, Lewis Pierce set up a large steamboat wharf just south of todays Legion Park, at Lemon Avenue, now dockage for vessels in Miami was not at the FEC dock in downtown Miami, where the American Airlines arena is, notes historian Seth Bramson. It was actually in Lemon City. Three years after the wharf was completed, the U.S. Census listed Lemon City as the second most populated community in Dade County. Back then, Dade included what are now Broward and Palm Beach counties. West Palm Beach, with a population of 1000, held the No. 1 spot. Like everywhere else in the southeastern United States, Lemon City was segregated. Three black communities once existed there, according to Peters: Boles Town (located west of todays N. Miami Avenue by NE 57th Street); Avenue and 68th Street); and Nazarene (between the railroad tracks and NE 2nd Avenue, south of NE 71st Street). Most of Lemon Citys black inhabitants were migrant Bahamians and their descendants, known for their skill at growing crops in coral rock soil. Several churches and lodges catering to black residents were started in Lemon Citys Knightsville. St. James A.M.E. Methodist Church in Liberty City was founded in 1906 in Knightsville. So was Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church, Absent organized law enforcement, Lemon City saw its share of crime. Jerome Sands, an old-timer raised in Lemon City, told the Miami News that his teacher, Ada Merritt, would excuse Little HaitiContinued from page 28 Continued on page 32


32 her students from school whenever there was a murder. We had about 20 of those holidays a year, he said. Railway workers, many of whom were convicts leased by the FEC from the State of Florida for $2.50 a month each, got most of the blame for crime and violence. As the Miami News article put it: Gamblers and loose women followed the crews, and Lemon City began feeling the pinch of economic expansion, bloodshed and killings. In 1896, Henry Flagler built his railway through Lemon City and south to the small settlement by the Miami River. Up until the time Flagler brought his railroad at the urging of Julia Tuttle in 1896, the area around the Miami River did not attract community development as did Lemon City and Coconut Grove, wrote Florida State University professor Ron Blazek in the journal Tequesta But a wave of development followed after Flagler gathered 368 adult males, including 162 black rail workers under his employ, to vote for the incorporation of the City of Miami in July 1896, according to the 1993 book City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami written by Alejandro Portes and Alex Stepick. By 1900, Miami had a population of 3000 people. By 1904, 4500 people called Miami home, at least in the wintertime. As Miami grew, so did Buena Vista, a settlement just south of Lemon City that had sprouted from a pineapple plantation during the 1910s. In 1924, Buena Vista incorporated as a city. But one year later, Miami annexed both Buena Vista and Lemon City. Soon afterward, Thelma Peters wrote, the Lemon City railroad station was phased out, the post the school was given a new name. Some say annexation by Miami marked the decline of Lemon City. In the 1980 Miami News article, John DuPuis, son of prominent developer, doctor, and businessman Dr. John DuPuis, said the area started disin tegrating in the 1930s. Thats when the saw mills and starch plants started shutting down. By the time of his inter view with the newspaper, DuPuis said few old-timers were left. None of the descendants of the original settlers live in Lemon City, he noted, and I dont blame em for leaving.Florida was a Spanish colony when an army of African slaves led by Toussaint Louverture crushed French forces on the western portion of the island of Hispaniola. On January 1, 1804, the French colony of SaintDomingue came to an end, and the independent nation of Haiti, the second in the Western Hemisphere, was born. From the beginning, Haitis economy and politics were unstable. France threatened to invade once again unless Haiti paid it 150 million francs as reparations. The United States, meanwhile, refused to trade or establish diplomatic relations with Haiti. Formally recognizing a nation created by a bloody slave uprising was unthinkable for a nation dependent on slavery. Led by President Abraham Lincoln, independence in 1862. That recognition, however, didnt stop the American government from intervening militarily in Haiti 17 times between 1862 and 1915. From 1915 to 1934, U.S. troops were a constant presence there. During its 212-year history, many of Haitis leaders came to power via violent coup dtats. Franois Papa Doc Duvalier, on the other hand, came to power in 1957 by the ballot box (albeit rigged), thanks to support from the Haitian military. Duvaliers Tonton Macoutes killed or tortured the dictators opponents while extorting tribute from Haitian businessmen and peasants. Thousands of Haitians, unable to prosper under Duvalier, left their homeland. Many of them were members of Haitis educated middle-class. We all left because we couldnt stay in Haiti, says ice-cream shop owner Bien-Aime, less from school. We got less from politics. One day my father said, We dont have any future here. We have to go. They didnt go to Miami, at least Frances former colonies in Africa. New York was the most popular U.S. destination for Haitians during the 1950s and 1960s. Says bookstore owner Jan Mapou: New York was the economic engine. When Papa Doc died in 1971, his 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude Baby Doc Duvalier, took over as president-for-life. Political repression, corruption, violence, and economic conditions worsened. By the end of the decade, Haitian peasants could, and in greater numbers. For a time they settled in the Bahamas, working as laborers. But when the number of refugees increased, Bahamians shut the door. Then: Just like Christopher Columbus, Bien-Aime laughs, we discovered Miami. According to City on the Edge 60,000 Haitians arrived in South Flor ida between 1977 and 1981. Instead of arriving by plane, as many of the New York migrants had done, most came in glers. The bodies of those who didnt make it sometimes washed ashore on South Floridas beaches. In response to pleas from Miami tion and Naturalization Service launched Little HaitiContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34 Courtesy of HistoryMiami


a Haitian program in 1979 that sought to deport Haitians as soon as possible. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration sent Coast Guard cutters to patrol Haitian waters around the clock so that Miami-bound boats could be intercepted at sea before reaching U.S. jurisdiction, according to City on the Edge Challenging this policy was the Hai tian Refugee Center. The organization was founded in 1972 by the National Council of Churches to provide comfort and shelter for Haitian refugees. After lic priest, was named director of the HRC in 1979, the organization became renowned for leading street protests lawsuits in federal court. Both strate gies worked, and U.S. policy started to budge. In time, tens of thousands of Haitians were granted residency. (The Haitian Refugee Center dissolved in 2003. Jean-Juste, who returned to Haiti for 15 years, died of leukemia at Miamis Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2009. He was 63 years old.) But it wasnt just poor Haitians from the island who were coming to Miami. Middle-class Haitians came from New York to join the entrants released from INS custody and those who managed to slip in undetected, wrote Portes and Stepick. These more prosperous Haitians usually didnt move into the old Lemon City or Little River areas. Instead they bought houses in other parts of the county. One exception was Buena Vista, where Haitian professionals purchased single-family homes, sometimes on the same block as residences that had been converted into rooming houses for Haitian laborers. Middle-class Haitians did, however, pick the Lemon City area as a place to conduct business. In 1974 there were 34 Haitian-owned businesses in Little Haiti. By 1989 there were more than 300. All Haitians, no matter their education or economic class, were deemed ignorant boat people by many South Floridians, according to City on the Edge Worse, Haitians were often victims of unfounded rumors that they were disease carriers. The federal government played a part in this prejudice. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration identidecisions were eventually reversed. (Later studies showed that AIDS was introduced to Haiti from the U.S., not vice versa.) But the damage had been done, Stepick wrote in a 1990 report for the U.S. Census Bureau. Many Haitians lost their jobs and negative stereotypes South Florida population. It was in this environment that Viter Juste, who had moved from New York to Miamis Buena Vista neighborhood in 1973, sought to create an identity for Miamis Haitian enclave. He published at 7830 NE 2nd Ave. He was having a conversation with a reporter in the late 1970s, recounts his son, Carl Juste, a Miami Herald photographer. He always admired how the Cubans were able to come to Miami and retain their identity. So he said, The Cubans have a Little Havana, why cant the Haitians have a Little Port-au-Prince? Viter Juste wrote a letter to the Herald proposing the idea. But Little Port-au-Prince was too long for the headline. Herald editors used Little Haiti instead. The rest is history, but Viter Juste several other Haitian business owners dreamed of a Little Haiti commercial sector that didnt just cater to Haitians but also to tourists interested in experiencing Haitian culture. Its up to us now to make something out of the community, to bring people into it, he told the Herald in 1984. If we succeed, were going to be sailing on the high seas. The Haitian Task Force hoped to community organization, formed in 1982, managed to snag a $740,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to provide low-interest loans for Haitian busi nesses. The task force obtained another $30,000 grant to help paint the faades of Haitian businesses. The most ambitious task force plan was to transform an empty furniture store at 5925 NE 2nd Ave. into the Miami version of Port-au-Princes landmark Iron Market. Over the course of several years, the groups members managed to raise $1.2 million in grants and loans from foundations and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was the promise of the Caribbean Marketplace that inspired Mapou to open his bookstore. Mapou came to Miami-Dade in 1984, after his employer, Kinney Parking, transferred him from JFK Airport in New York to Miami International Airport to supervise the companys garage operation here. To tell you the truth, they put me in a desert, Mapou laughs. No friends. No family. I was alone. Mapou became friendly with a director of the Haitian Task Force. The director, who knew of Mapous poems and plays, encouraged him to set up a Haitian bookstore in the Caribbean Little HaitiContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36


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Marketplace. Contacting his friends from New York and utilizing his own personal collection, Mapou had 300 books in stock. 1991, there were 20 small businesses operating from booths inside, include LiLakay Tropical Ice Cream. Unfortunately, the Haitian Task Force was neither a good landlord nor competent at bookkeeping. When the group failed to pay the marketplaces bills, the Ford Foundation cut off funding, and the federal government demanded that $200,000 be returned. In response, the Haitian Task Force dissolved itself. In 1997 the city Both Mapou and Bien-Aime blame the inexperience of Haitian Task Force board members and staff for the Caribbean Marketplaces failure. They charged too much money, Mapou says. I was charged $300 a month and I charged one dollar for a book, and I sold a book once in a blue moon. Fortunately, both Mapou and Bien-Aime kept their day jobs. Mapou bought a building on the same block as the marketplace and a vacant lot across the street Bien-Aime bought a strip mall on NE 54th Street with free parking. In spite of his experience with the Caribbean Marketplace, Mapou campaigned for it to be reopened and, eight years ago, fought a proposal by then-Mayor Manny Diaz to tear it down. This is a step in the right direction, Mapou told the Herald in 2005. It will attract people. The dream is still there and they can realize it. (Miami this summer.) Little River landlord Bennett Pumo sees things differently. He calls the Caribbean Marketplace the perpetual failing market and cites the citys contribution to the project as $3 million and counting. Pumo adds that the market is just one of several investments made by taxpayers in the name of Little Haiti, including $20 million to build the Little Haiti Cultural Center and as much as $44 million for Little Haiti Park. So I ask, he concludes, should this one ethnic group claim ownership of seven named areas, for most of the Haitian-named improvements that were done with the tax money from all those before them?When poor Haitian migrants began settling in the area during the 1970s, they moved into dilapidated housing in a neighborhood plagued by violent crime, drug use, and prostitution. As noted in City on the Edge that didnt deter entrepreneurial Haitians from other parts of North America from starting businesses in the area. Before long there was enough economic activity that city documents and newspaper reports were interchangeably calling the area Lemon City and Little Haiti. Georgia Ayers never forgave them for it. A prominent African-American activist and historian, Ayers has long resented use of the Little Haiti label to describe the neighborhood her family once called home. Her mother and grandmother, the 85-year-old Ayers tells the BT were born in Lemon City, not in Little Haiti. I vehemently detest anyone naming Lemon City Little Haiti, she seethes. Haiti is across the water. Enid Pinkney, a board member of Dade Heritage Trust and president of the Lemon City Cemetery Community Corporation, says shes concerned that Lemon City and its residents contributions to the region, especially of its black community, will be completely forgotten. After all, Miami leaders had long forgotten about the Lemon City Cemetery, the black residents, once located at NW 71st Street and NW 4th Avenue. In the 1950s, a YMCA was built on top of it. Rediscovered in 2009 during the construction of an affordable-housing project, the old cemetery yielded the remains of 525 people, including Pinkneys grandfather and Ayerss grandfather. The people dont know the history of this community, Pinkney says. The lack of knowledge brings disrespect. Protecting the Little Haiti name, Gepsie Metellus insists, doesnt mean erasing Lemon City. Nobody is saying Lemon City should be wiped out, she says. We understand the value of history. Little River property owner Wong points out that Little Haiti has long been viewed as a crime-ridden area best avoided. Names matter, she says. People tell us that out-of-town investors and potential new business owners have many choices when they investigate potential investment opportunities. Many people still associate Little Haiti with its appearance in Grand Theft Auto the topselling video game, and remember the wars between rival Haitian gangs from several years ago. Regardless of the areas name, crime is still an issue. According to Little River landlord Pumo, car burglaries are rampant, as well as the theft of metal, electrical services to many business, streetlight wiring, manhole covers, safety rails, water meter covers, and even awnings ripped from walls, which are all taken to the scrapper. Fred St. Amand, a prominent HaitianAmerican who owns the Pax-Villa Little HaitiContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38


38 funeral home at 54 NE 54th St., is quite aware of the areas crime problems. After his funeral home was broken into a few times, he started carrying a pistol, just to let them know Im as crazy as they are. But St. Amand vows to organize against any attempt to change the name from Little Haiti. You have some interest groups who want to take it out because they feel embarrassed, says St. Amand. But were and let it happen. Peter Ehrlich could be considered a member of one of St. Amands interest groups, though its not embarrassment that motivates him. Ehrlich, who owns four redeveloped warehouses near NE 3rd Avenue and 59th Terrace, dislikes the idea of a neighborhood name being imposed by the city. We prefer people to feel free to use the historic names as they are now, he says, without making any changes. On a recent afternoon, Ehrlich gives a tour in his black SUV of an area of warehouses east of NE 2nd Avenue along NE 59th Terrace and NE 59th Street. He owns the ones painted white. We only use white semi-gloss paint, he explains. this area, Ehrlich points out. Theres no trash on the street, either. The warehouses, those owned by Ehrlich and others, arent just storage facilities, but rather Since 1998, Ehrlich, an Upper Eastside resident, has been investing his time and money in this section of Lemon City. In the early days, he says, he contended with homeless drug addicts and armed robbers. But he also had to deal with illegal dumping, much of it done, he alleges, by Haitian-owned rag shops that sorted through piles of clothes for material they could sell to Haiti, and then simply dumped the rest, sometimes right on the public right-of-way. The rag shops on Ehrlichs block have since been replaced by new tenants. You see how clean it looks? he asks. I couldnt achieve this if the Haitians were still here. Ehrlich is Mapous nemesis. He maintains that Mapou and most of the Haitian activists clamoring for an Miami. Mapou, on the other hand, ac cuses Ehrlich of not only wanting to eliminate the Little Haiti name, but of wanting to drive out the Haitians. Hes a bug! Mapou says of Ehrlich. It was Ehrlich, he asserts, who made the expansion of Notre Dame dHaiti Church at 110 NE 62nd St. more costly because he complained that oak trees on the site might be damaged by the construction. In the wake of that complaint, the church was forced to spend more funds redesigning its plans. Imagine that the people of Little Haiti put their pennies together, for struggling very hard to build that church, where 2000 or 3000 people worship every Sunday and he tried to stop it. The churchs construction plans threatened the lives of nine majestic oak trees more than a century old, Ehrlich counters, adding that other Miami activists were concerned about the fate of the trees at Notre Dame. Many of those trees, he adds, will probably die in the next Little HaitiContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40


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Ehrlich cant help but wonder why the church doesnt leave Little Haiti. That would be smart, he says. They should be in Miramar or North Miami, closer to where their customers live. Like other critics of the Little Haiti name, Ehrlich stresses that Haitians are migrating out of Lemon City and Little River, a fact hasnt been lost on Haitian entrepreneurs. Between 2010 and 2012, the Miami Herald reported, about 90 new Haitian-owned businesses opened in North Miami, a city with a large Haitian population. Ehrlich isnt shy about pushing the Lemon City name for the area. Aside from the historic implications, he be lieves, like Silvia Wong, the Little Haiti label scares away potential investors. In order to bring more businesses here, he says, it has to be Lemon City or Little River. One of Miamis biggest businesses is tourism, but some non-Haitian property and business owners scoff at the notion that Little Haiti could ever attract tourists. Yet hundreds of people, Haitians and non-Haitians alike, journey to the Little Haiti Cultural Center every third Friday of the month for an event called Big Night in Little Haiti. Foundation, Big Night in Little Haiti fea tures Haitian musicians, Haitian art, Haitian food, and Haitian-brewed Prestige beer. Adam Ganuza, a Rhythm Founda tion production coordinator, doubts a mere name change will make the area any more or any less economi cally viable. What will make a startup company locate to an area is going to be the environment fostered in the com munity, he says. He does admit that he prefers the name Little Haiti. Big Night in Lemon City sounds like the worst clown show you can imagine, he says, adding, The name Lemon City would make a lot more sense if there were still lemon trees. Jan Mapou intends to make sure he wont disappear like the lemon trees of old. Even though hes still in the red businesswise, he vows not to sell his store or the vacant land across the street from Libreri Mapou that he uses for parking. Just two months ago, he says, a man with a cigar told him he wanted to buy his building. Mapou: I said, What about my books? He said, Oh, you can take your books. Just tell me how much youre interested for your building and land. I told him I have no need to sell it and I want to stay here until I die, and then my son and my daughter and my wife will take over. He said, Mapou, you can make millions from the land across the street, and I said, I know that. Thats the reason why I bought it 15 years ago. And I have no interest in selling it. Feedback: Little HaitiContinued from page 38 has 305-758-7505Licensed & InsuredINSTALLATIONS / REPAIRS EXTERIOR DECKING INSURANCE CLAIMSCall today for a FREE ESTIMATE!FINAL MONTH! Sanding & Refinishing $1.75/sf (min. 1000 sf) with this ad. Exp. 1/31/14. Serving Miami Shores & South Florida for over 15 years. Miami Shores Holistic Health, Inc. Kim Krause, AP, DOMLicensed Acupuncturist305-999-5527 9999 NE 2nd Ave., Ste. 300 Miamis Newest Bicycle ShopSales, Accessories & Repairs 9538 NE 2nd Ave. Miami Shores, FL 33138 Mon-Sat A unique wellness & weight loss centerHome of the $50 WORKOUT PROGRAM: Dr. Jared Rose 8325 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami305-834-7900ChiroSPAHealth. Balance. Beauty. Miami ShoresAREA MARKETPLACE 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.


42 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORA Priceless InheritanceHistoryMiami acquires much more space and massive photo collection BT ContributorWith the recent grand opening of the Prez Art Museum Miami, its time for Miami to turn its attention to the next puzzle piece falling into place. Beginning this month, HistoryMiami will embark on its long-awaited expansion. Not only is the museum gaining more space and new programming, it is also receiving one of the most exciting acquisitions an institution could want for its permanent collection. Before the relocation to Museum Park (ne Bicentennial Park), PAMM was housed at the Miami-Dade Cultural Center (101 W. Flagler St.), next door to HistoryMiami. It was called the Miami Art Museum up until the move, and before 1996 it was the Center for Fine Art. This is the space being inherited by HistoryMiami, which, until four years ago, was called the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. ered establishing a presence at Museum Park, too. It had been offered 25,000 square feet at the new science building (still under construction) in addition to retaining the old location. However, after the administration quickly realized the sexier bayfront site didnt satisfy all the museums needs. By expanding into the old MAM building instead, the museum could effectively double its footprint to 80,000 square feet without splitting operations between two sites. It would also gain better use of the plaza area for events. The decision to stay was a clear no-brainer.BT photos by Silvia Ros Continued on page 48 BT Senior WriterOn December 3, 2012, Miami City Commissioner Michelle federal court that was so long, it had a table of contents. The 117-page complaint alleged that Miami Mayor Toms Regalado and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle had engaged in a conspiracy to frame Spence-Jones with the crimes of theft and soliciting a bribe, charges Spence-Jones ultimately defeated. included 757 accusations and 19 claims for damages such as false arrest, mali of emotional distress, and racketeering. It was such an interesting read that the BT printed an 11,000-word excerpt of the suit (Magic City Madhouse, March 2013). A year after the suit was submitted, U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks dismissed it, meaning it cannot be brought to court again. In a 67page ruling, Middlebrooks ridiculed Lawsuit Gets Whacked as Political ManifestoMichelle Spence-Joness civil case is dismissed permanently Continued on page 46


Special to the BTDean B. Lewis has quietly become the architect of Biscayne Boulevard. Now 52 years old, he has overseen the restoration of the iconic Vagabond Motel and has designed several new structures along the Boulevard. On the drawing boards are at least another half-dozen Boulevard projects, most of them in Miamis Upper Eastside. In the background, hes become plugged into the inner workings of city regulations, working to create zoning that is helping to fund the Boulevards revi talization of MiMo motels. For two years he was the design chair of the MiMo Bis cayne Association. And hes now chair Review Board, which advises city plan ners on major projects such as Midtown Miami and Brickell CityCentre. Hes become a master at working within the citys codes, which include a 35-foot height limit in the Upper Eastside. He thinks that height restriction is wrong and will eventually be changed. In this, as in all his endeavors, he backs up his argu ments with lessons learned during the decade he spent working in Paris. Biscayne Times: Why did you go to Paris? and then abroad in Italy. I think the highest form of education for an architect is travel. Washington, D.C., but when the economy was tanking in 1989, I decided to get regis tered in Europe, so I went to Paris. Did you speak French? I had three three years of high school French, and that prepared me for a sixmonth total immersion course in France. in giving me the time to do it. For those drawing, not saying much. But Im now six years. One of the main projects was the auditorium in Dijon, France. I also worked on projects in Lebanon, Egypt, and Italy. Did working with European zoning requirements help shape your thinking? Absolutely. In France they have centuries of history. You learn to appreciate where theyre coming from. The public space is more important than the private realm. Its less about designing a beautiful environment and then making it a beautiful expression to serve the needs otherwise its just sculpture and abstract. Eventually you wanted to apply those lessons back in the States? especially at Arquitectonica, which is really a family practice. I always wanted to start my own practice, and Miami seemed a good place. I had relatives in northern Florida, so it wasnt too far from them. We came here in 2001. My wife [Martine, whom he met in France] trained at LEcole du Louvre, and she does interior design and is a real estate agent, so we have a synergy in our practice. Id say about 20 percent of our work is still in France. Did your French experience have a Yes. Almost every project we work on is not a simple site. Almost all have issues, need special approvals. Weve kind of come to specialize in that domain. A lot of colleagues stay away from zoning variances, special approvals. A lot think going to an historic board is taboo, while I appreciate going to an historic board. Mine is not necessarily the most fruitful path for an architect to choose, but I think its one of the most intriguing. But your practice didnt have any easy start? Some years ago, a person on commented: Dean Lewishas had this bad luck of creating wonderful designs for developers who later sell the project to a second party. The second developers have mostly turned to Kobi Karp to design [something] less expensive to build. So youve done quite a few paper projects? In 2006-2007, we had an economic meltdown that a put a stall on a lot of our projects, most of which were high-rise. the speculative market. Everybody and their neighbor came down with a developer weekend experience I called drop out when the economy turned. Id ect, and they didnt always tell us that. What do you think about critics who say MiMo is an invented concept to promote the Boulevard? The Boulevards Design DoctorArchitect Dean B. Lewis seems to be everywhere, refreshing the old and inventing the new Continued on page 44 BT photo by Silvia Ros


44 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORI dont agree. Its a mid-century phethe coming of age of the automobile, as opposed to walking. You needed a strong architectural statement that people could take in quickly. When I lived on NE 74th Street in the 1980s, Id give directions by telling people to turn when they saw the three naked ladies at the Vagabond. Quite a few people thought that sculpture was tacky or kitschy. Fair comment? You have to remember that kitschy was always part of MiMo. It was the splitsecond attraction, that second glance as you go by in the car: Oh, look at that! That is a classic method throughout Europe when you arrive at the corner. The mermaids are iconographic. It goes back to the great villas in Italy and throughout history. A Vagabond renovation was stalled for years. What got it going again? ing sat in a gutted state for years, and it was really a diamond in the rough. It was on the demolition list, the unsafe-structures list. The Stephens [a motel at 6320 Biscayne Blvd. thats another Lewis project] is now in the same boat. The catalyst for the MiMo restora tions is the new zoning code, Miami 21. I assisted the city in writing into the code a transfer of air rights. The new code allowed owners of historicdistrict properties to sell their air rights to developers who wanted to build taller buildings. That gave the owners of the MiMo motels money for renovations. Avra Jain [developer of the Vagabond] ity of the concept. Jain has other Boulevard properties. Are you going to be involved with those renovations also? Im working with her on most of her Boulevard restorations, including the Royal Motel just north of the Vaga bond. Stephens Motel will no longer be a motel. Its going to be a new retail center with a modern curve glass faade in the center, while the two historic bookend buildings will remain as center building. Motel and the Bayside Motor Inn, plus commercial projects at 3650 N. Miami Ave., Regions Bank renovations at 36th ing at 5555 Biscayne Blvd. For other owners along the Boulevard, weve done a commercial building at 61st Street, and were working on the Morningside Carls Motel El Padre near 59th, plus the River Motel at 105th that will have 120 suites, restaurant, gym, and an elevated pool terrace. Will the Boulevard eventually become more pedestrian-oriented? In the Upper Eastside, the Boulevard is plagued with a compromise between the pedestrian and the Florida Department of Transportations desire to move Boulevard ArchitectContinued from page 43 Images courtesy of DB Lewis Architect


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Continued on page 49problematic and it will always be. Its important to remember that it was originally a suburban boulevard on the outskirts of downtown from the mid1920s to the mid-1960s, and these motels popped up as an option to the luxurious hotels of the Beach. Does a 35-foot height limit make sense for the Upper Eastside? I think that came out of a certain constitu ency a post-horse-and-buggy romanti [Marc Sarnoff], who at the time didnt realize the impact it was going to have. Now, weve designed some good-looking 30to 35-foot buildings, but truly, 35 feet is too low for a right-of-way of over 90 feet on average, from back of sidewalk to back of sidewalk. Even the writers of the Miami 21 zoning code foresaw a much taller density, in the 50to 70-foot height range, with terracing down, a transition to the [residential neighborhood]. We still believe thats viable today. With the right project, with the right transitioning, that can be done properly. The point is what we call the cube of light. When youre urbanizing a city, the buildings should be as tall as the right-of-way is wide, which still allows for daylighting equally of buildings on both sides of the Boulevard. That could be 80 or 90 feet high. In the case of smaller lots, it might be 50 to 55 feet. It was political pressure that brought it down to 35 feet. Nobody wants balconies and terraces overlooking [residential] neighborhoods. But at the same time youre building an urban corridor. There will never be a ADVANCE TICKETS & INFO: WWW.MIA-ARTFAIR.COM WWW.MIA-ARTFAIR.COMSeaFair Society Members Preview: (by invitation) Jan 16, 6pm-8pm Collectors Invitational: Jan 16, 8pm-10pm (w/priority ticket) Public Hours: Jan 17-18, 1-10pm Tickets: One Day: $10 in adv | $15 at door Location: Aboard SeaFair, Bayfront South r r r r r r f f f f f f f f f f n n r r t t


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR So what exactly is the museum get ting? Jorge Zamanillo, vice president of expansion projects, says that once the keys are handed over this month, the museum will immediately have at its disposal more than 12,000 feet of exhibi tion space, divided into two rooms. This will allow it to bring in larger traveling exhibitions that had been unattainable because of space constraints. Now the museum can book them and perhaps even schedule multiple shows at the same time. exhibition will open in the spring. new building, however, will be a free symposium, Lincoln and the Constitution, scheduled for January 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the old MAMs theater. Two weeks later the museum will host one of its most popular draws, the 21st annual Miami International Map Fair. This time, though, the fair takes place entirely on giving vendors more elbow room in a superior layout. Zamanillo divulges that the third currently displayed, will remain as is for the coming year, but that our plans are to redo those spaces and exhibits as we grow out onto the plaza. Indeed, the museum has already started harnessing plaza space. When the Bob Marley Messenger! exhibit opened in October, the museum hosted a big kickoff party with live reggae music, Jamaican food, and even a cash bar out on the plaza. The cost of the expansion is expected percent of it coming from county coffers. The other 60 percent is being raised through internal funding efforts. The best part of this, Zamanillo says, is that, so far, there are no planned increases in the entrance fees. Its part of the whole package of visiting HistoryMiami. Were now offering more options. Were planning, in our existing space, some exciting changes in the family education center and expanded research in the archives library. Two of those expansion projects belong to the museums photo archives. An online image store soft-launched in October. Rebecca Smith, head of special collections for HistoryMiami, is excited about the new store, even though it is an overwhelming task. Were doing what we can to bring things online, but it goes very slowly, admits Smith. We have more than a million images to put online, but were only getting 50 to 100 online per month. Its daunting. We need a lot of money to really do it. Smith also has great news about collection. The former Miami Herald photojournalist is donating his entire colnegatives, slides, physical newspapers, metal plates, cameras, other memorabilia, and even digitized versions of his images to the museum. sessing the lifes work of one of worlds most accomplished photojournalists, his contribution will no doubt encourage more photographers to donate their collections, making the museum one of the nations top image repositories. Weve been collecting [photographs] unknown as well as the famous. Some of the best stuff comes from unknown people, but the Tim Chapman collection is going to be great. It is nowhere near ready for public access, but were working furiously. Its a very important collection. Hes very mindful of posterity. In the future, its going to get a lot of use. Some 20 years ago, Chapman learned that archivists at the Miami Herald were more inclined to discard photographs That prompted him to negotiate a deal with the paper that allowed staff photographers to retain their work. Chapman stashed away many thousands of items in piles of boxes at his home. Now more than 300,000 of his prints in the museum. The donation was a real coup for HistoryMiami, and it was made possible by the expansion. In my will, it was always going to go to the museum anyway, Chapman tells the BT but I wanted to make sure they didnt have a problem with space. I dealt with Dawn Hugh [the museums archive manager] before. She is a respected archivist and shes actually a very nice person. She loves history. Besides that I love Dawn, it needed to stay in Miami. When Hugh told him that the museum was expanding, Chapman decided to make the donation now, before he died. HistoryMiami wasnt the only suitor vying for Chapmans oeuvre. The University of Miami and Florida International University, among others, were hoping to gain the cache as well. In addition to his condition that HistoryMiami must follow his instructions for handing the materials, Chapman wanted the public to have easy access to his work. As a photographer, youre a historian of little pieces of moments of time that represent history, he says. Of more than 10,000 Herald assign ments he has already turned over to HistoryMiami, he feels his work at the Peoples Temple in Guyana, commonly referred to as Jonestown is the most and a handful of reporters who got into the jungle to photograph what happens to people who listen to madmen for religious or whatever reasons. Basically, 912 died and a third of them were children. They were murdered. Without photographs, would you believe that 912 people killed themselves? A lot of these images have never been published. I want that put in a special place. Feedback: Miami Herald HistoryMiamiContinued from page 42




48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Continued on page 49 rfnrtbft tt rff nttbbf f ttf b r nr bf bf rfb rfb frff ff f f f rff r f f fff Featured Artists rf 50 Works on Paper f n n Spence-JonesContinued from page 42Spence-Joness allegations against Rundle, Regalado, assistant state attorney Richard Scruggs, and investigator Robert Fiedler, calling it a political manifesto by a disgruntled criminal defendant that lacks merit and vividly demonstrates the reasons underlying prosecutorial immunity. Middlebrooks also wrote, The unavoidable truth is that given her own behavior, Ms. Spence-Jones cannot reason ably claim to have been treated unjustly. But the judge didnt just dismiss Spence-Jones case before it could reach a jury. In dismissing it with prejudice, he also stated that all four defendants can demand that Spence-Jones pay for at least part of their legal fees because she raised a claim without substantial fact or legal support. That claim is related to her allegaand Mayor Regalado violated the state and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. According to her suit, the four defendants engaged in an enterprise when they conspired to arrest Spence-Jones in order to remove Regalados political Middlebrooks countered that the Spence-Jones suit fails to allege an illegal agreement to conduct acts of a sufa pattern of racketeering activity, and standing or damages. As a result, he ruled that the defendants are entitled to recover the fees and costs incurred in defending the Florida RICO claims. in July 2012, Spence-Jones claimed to be more than $175,000 in debt as a result of legal bills and a mortgage. But judge, is irrelevant. Quoting state statute, Middlebrooks declared that in awarding attorneys fees and costs under this section, the court shall not consider the ability of the opposing party to pay such fees and costs. Jos Quion, Regalados defense attorney, says he intends to bill the City of Miami for his services, since the mayor was sued by Spence-Jones in as well as his hourly fee, have yet to be determined, he adds. But will Regalado demand that Spence-Jones pay part of the bill? Were not there, yet, Quion answers. Neither Rundle nor her attorney in the civil case, Sandy Bohrer, could be reached for comment at deadline. Spence-Jones and her lead attorney, Ilann Maazel of New York, also couldnt be reached for comment. Spence-Jones, a former staffer for Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, was elected to the Miami City Commission in 2005 as the representative of District 5, which includes Overtown, Liberty City, and Little Haiti. On November 3, 2009, she was re-elected for a second four-year term. Regalado, then a city commissioner repre senting Flagami, was elected mayor. Ten days after the election, SpenceJones and Commissioner Angel Gonzalez were arrested and suspended from pleaded guilty to the charge of exploitaistent, ghost job obtained by his daughter at a construction company. But Spencelently obtaining a $50,000 county grant In January 2010, a special election was held to pick a replacement for SpenceJones. She ran in that race and won. Crist suspended her again after new a $25,000 donation to a charity from developer Armando Codina, solicited in 2006 by a Spence-Jones staffer, in exchange for her support in extending the Brickell Avenue street name north over the Miami River so Codina could use it for his Metropolitan Miami project. But the State Attorneys two chief witnesses, Codina and former MiamiDade County Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler, recanted previous testimony and claimed prosecutors had lied to them about Spence-Joness activities. A jury ultimately acquitted Spence-Jones of the bribery charge in March 2011. Five months later, Rundle dropped the theft charges, and Spence-Jones reclaimed her seat for the remainder of her term, which ended November 27, 2013. In her suit, Spence-Jones claimed that the criminal prosecution was designed to remove a powerful voice of the African-American community


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Boulevard ArchitectContinued from page 45 Spence-JonesContinued from page 48 with a reputation for independence and loyalty to her constituents and replace her with Richard Dunn, a Regalado ally. The suit also alleged that Regalado and Rundle shared political interests, staff, cial relationship. Judge Middlebrooks opined that Spence-Joness suit is full of politi cal intrigue but short on evidence of prosecutorial misconduct. The com plaint lumps the defendants together, makes conclusory and abstract allega tions about fabrication/concealment of evidence, and hides rather than illumi nates the facts giving rise to the claim, he wrote. This is an effort to disguise how implausible and fanciful the claims actually are. Even if there were some evidence, Middlebrooks pointed out that Florida law affords state attorneys broad immunity from suit. That immunity, the judge noted, is important in allowing prosecutors to do their job. As for Regalado, the judge ruled that other than assertions of conspiracy, there is no factual allegation that the mayor played any role in either the initiation of charges against Ms. Spence-Jones or her suspension by the governor. Quion, Regalados attorney, called Middlebrookss opinion a strong order that sees through all the smoke and reached the right result. Rundle hailed the judges decision in a press release as a very nice Christmas gift to prosecutors throughout Florida and the entire United States. Political consultant Christopher Norwood, a Spence-Jones appointee to Miamis Education Advisory Committee, doubts the ruling will make SpenceJones less popular in Miamis black comhe says. I cant overstate the number of people in her district who have engaged the criminal justice system. Very few of them have the opportunity to challenge the process, and she did that. A lot of people love her for that. Sean Foreman, a political science professor at Barry University, says the lawsuit has already outlived its purpose to voice her frustrations. He notes that at was about to run for a third term until the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that she was term-limited out. It was like a sideshow for the election and the future of Spence-Joness career, Foreman says of the lawsuit. I think she some sort of way to remain in the political process. Feedback: perfect solution. The MiMo Association was in favor of more height at least in the 55-foot range. Are you thinking of Paris, where many Thats exactly it. Otherwise, youre back to suburban sprawl, and youre forced to surface-park your project, like a suburb, because I cant build multi-story where parkings in the building. Now you have to have three parking spaces for every 1000 square feet a tough demand to meet Theres quite a bit of excitement about architecture in Miami these days. Not only Arquitectonica but also Frank Gehrys New World Center in Miami Beach and Herzog & de Meurons Prez Art Museum Miami. Has Miami reached a golden moment for architecture? Its at a very important tipping point. Miami is growing up. This all goes back to Carl Fisher and George Merrick and higher sense of awareness. They wanted more interesting spaces, better architec ture. And weve learned to build in a hur ricane zone. For a while after [Hurricane Andrew] ravaged Homestead, you had a to new building codes]. But now weve learned what to do. Many architects are interested in working here and sophis ticated buyers are willing to pay for that. Whats happening with your own practice? We have ten architects and engineers that includes a team that does plumbing, electrical, and mechanical engineering. We have a dozen projects going right now. Were kind of in the groove. This is our moment. Feedback:


50 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR ALaw & Order & AventuraThe city protects its manager, continues a feud with an HOA, and helps a fence-jumper in distressBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorIt takes a long time for lawsuits to wend their way through the court complaint, the defendant states that the plaintiff hasnt made a case. The plaintiff amends the complaint to surmount the defendants objections. The plaintiff or defendant, or both, then claim in a motion for summary judgment that there are no important facts in dispute, and that the moving party is entitled to win based upon the law. If the judge denies the motion for summary judgment, there is endless discovery to for admissions of facts, interrogatories, depositions, notices to produce. On and on it will go until if, on the eve of trial, the parties settle; or if not, the actual trial. The trial is supposed to settle the matter, unless the losing party believes that the trial judge made an error that affected the trials result. Then the losing party appeals the verdict. There are the notice of appeal, the appealing partys brief, the respondents brief, the appealing partys reply brief to the respondents brief, and then the oral argument before the court. Almost 14 months ago, Katherine Murphy, the former principal of the Aventura City of Excellence charter school, persuaded a jury of her peers to award her $155 million against the City of Aventura and city manager Eric Soroka for harassment and unjust termination that ruined Murphys health and reputation. It was one of the largest verdicts ever against a municipality, and the fourth-largest jury verdict in the United States in 2012. The verdict included $500,000 in punitive damages assessed against Soroka trial, though, the judge overturned the jurys verdict and left Murphy with nothing. Of course, the judges ruling supported the citys defense that neither the city nor Soroka had engaged in any impropriety. To Murphy and her lawyers, the decision of the appeals court. BT photo by Jim W. Harper


Curiously, this past July 17, the Aventura City Commission did something that belies its own position. Someone is nervous and wants to hedge his bets. By a vote of 6-1 (Mayor Susan Gottlieb in the minority), the commission amended Sorokas employment agreement to provide that in the event that he loses the punitive damages portion ($500,000) of the appeal, the city will pay for any amounts assessed against him. In other words, if the appeals court in fact, that he costs the city tens of mil by ensuring that he will never be out of pocket for even one cent. Aventura tax dol lars will be hard at work for its residents! city is a defendant concerns the proposed development of a residential high-rise on one of the two spoil islands just northeast of Williams Island. The Williams Island tending that Aventura failed to follow its own ordinances when the city manager de termined back in 2006 that developer Gary Cohen could construct a 16to 20-story building on property he owns. Aventuras original city commission, of which I was a member, zoned the island for single-family detached houses, but if Cohen could prove to the city in 1999 that he had vested rights for a higher density, then the city would be obligated to respect those vested rights. The Wil liams Island HOA contends that the city managers determination of vested rights in 2006 was seven years too late. Accord slam dunk for both Aventura and Cohen. Well, so far neither the city nor Cohen has scored a single point. Aventuras motions to dismiss the HOAs complaint and for summary judgment have been denied. The parties will now slug it out through the discovery process. In November a different lawsuit was a member of Aventura royalty, Jeffery Soffer. Jeffery is the son of Donald Soffer, who is the son of Harry Soffer, the founder of Turnberry Associates. Jeffery has been much in the news recently for his buy-out of his Dubai partners interest in the Fontainebleau Hotel. The lawsuit for $100 million in damages was brought by the heirs of tax lawyer Lance Valdez, who allege that Jeffery was Valdez and others were passengers. The chopper crashed and killed Valdez in the Bahamas in November 2012. Jeffery is not a licensed helicopter pilot. The suit also alleges that, in an attempt to avoid personal liability to the Valdez family, Soffer conspired with certain of his employees to persuade Valdezs widow to accept an insurance settlement of $2 million and to sign a that Soffer was piloting the craft. Since the litigation process for this lawsuit is only just beginning, the proceedings may seriously distract Jeffery from his recent efforts to persuade the Florida legislature that it should grace the Fontainebleau with legalized gambling. Finally, heres a story about the Aventura Police Department that could make Ripleys Believe It or Not! An Aventura resident inadvertently leaves his wallet on a bench at the Wa terways Dog Park at closing time. After the park is locked, the resident real izes he doesnt have his wallet, which is essential for an out-of-town trip early the next morning. The resident calls the available to retrieve the wallet. The police responder replies that the police depart ment doesnt have the key to the park, and that the resident will have to wait until the morning when the park reopens. The resident asks, The police department does not have the key to the park? The police department responds, We do not have the key to the park. The resident then states that he cannot wait until the park reopens and informs the operator that he intends to jump the fence to get his wallet. Three squad cars kind enough to shine a spotlight on the pathway from the fence to the bench. his wallet, and then jumps back from the Aventura tax dollars hard at work for its residents! Perhaps from now on, Aventura will leave the key to the park under the doormat. Feedback:


52 Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNRenaissance by RailMiamis growth is linked to its metro routesBy Adam Schachner BT ContributorI once asked a friend for advice on BT photo by Adam Schachner SUCCESS STARTS HERE DIGITAL ENROLLMENT


an interview with the BT We think its been a major contributor to the renaissance downtown. According to Scurr, the expansion study is just getting started, and is coinciding with Brickell and downtowns or number of stations for extending the lines has yet to be determined; however, the enthusiasm for growth is pervasive among planning organizations. Upon opment Authority, the whole system is under consideration, says Scurr, the Brickell and Omni loops. Exploring the possibilities for access southward to Brickell, and north toward the arts districts, is an encouraging sign of Miamis growth. The path itself is alight with indicators that the county has our transit interests in mind. One example of such boosts in the citys get-around mentality was the renovation of the Museum Park Metromover Station, formerly the Bicentennial Park Station. The new station, which shuttered for more than a decade. Trams used to zip through it as though they were bypassing a piece of urban wasteland as they shuttled between the Omni and the condos at 11th Street Station. But the resurgence in area activity, especially the opening of the Prez Art Museum (PAMM) in time for Art Basel, made Metromover access and the renovated station a priority for local transit. The restoration of the Museum Park Station cost $2.4 million, most of which came from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the countys Peoples Transportation Plan (PTP) sales surtax. These resources provided for form, and the allocation of other resources to bring the platform back to life. Transits omnipresent PTP funding has been used in a number of Metromover projects, according to Scurr. We have dollars, he says. No federal funds were available for that type of expenditure. Fleets, potential expansions, and revitalized stations all harken back to the increase in ridership, a municipal morale booster that has inspired some radical changes in the system. Most noteworthy was Novembers abrupt removal of most of the seats from the shuttles on each of Movers three loops. The motivators for this change are multifaceted, as are the responses to the decision. BT that the initiative is a pilot program that will assess the degree to which opening car space will accommodate increased ridership. Were thinking about big events downtown, she said. With seasonal draws like Ultra Music Festival, the Heat games, and Bayside attractions, and the likelihood that the PAMM and Frost Science Museum will become popular draws, the need to maximize space for transit riders is essential. Still, these capacity accommodations have met with mixed reactions. While the growth in ridership does suggest that these changes are positive, commuter activists like Barbara Walters of the Transit Action Committee (TrAC) have concerns. I think people are upset, she says, because we have a lot of retired people or pregnant women who would like to have a seat. The unannounced changes raised eyebrows at TrAC as an indicator of communication issues between the county and the commuters. They should have reached out, Walters maintains. They should have let people know and gotten a consensus. Consideration for riders needs is an noting that the number of seats left in each are options for those in need of seating. tions at its Facebook page (www.facebook. com/transitmiami) as well, and on Twitter. with its social media have been impressive, as the Twitter moderators have been quick to respond to inquiries and complaints regard ing late trains, scheduling failures, and other commuter-related comments. This is a time of rapid change downtown, and the Metromover is an essential nient setting for residents and visitors. It Look at all of the developments at city center, notes Scurr of the Citizens Independent Transportation Trust. All of it is occurring right along the route. Feedback: ZACHARY BELILMy only purpose is to deliver exceptional service and successful results. Call me today for all of your real estate needs.917.319.4627 | zachary.belil@elliman.comSpecializing in the neighborhoods of


54 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA M I SHORE SThe Year of R ising Property ValuesA little front-yard maintenance will go a long way By Jen Karetnick BT ContributorThis time of year its easy to make promises to ourselves that we really dont have any intention of keeping. After all, most of them involve willpower, and most of us have very little of that. And the other ones require an inlay of cash, for gym memberships and such, and especially after the holidays, money is something many of us also lack. Still, making resolutions is a useful exercise. The process allows us to cataour faults. For 2014 Im not as interested in looking for ways that only I can improve. as a whole can reform. Perhaps reform is too harsh a word; Miami Shores has always been a lovely place to live. But like any other city or town, it has its drawbacks. And its our duty, as residents, to help craft the village the way we want it. For starters, I think we all can agree that while the housing market has come back tremendously, our property values still arent where they should be. I know this because we spent all of last year entire year. original asking price, back in 2000, and Wells Fargo eventually turned us down after an eight-month, back-and-forth, send-us-more-documents wait. Our second attempt with a different, more cooperative (and less corporate) bank was fruitful. The house and land were valued closer to what they are came through last month. Happy early holidays to us! However, given the delay, the mortgage was set at a higher rate than when we started the process. As a member of a community, Id like my friends and neighbors to avoid the same frustrations. So how can we collectively raise the value of our homes, and thus the value of the village? Well, if we want to prosper, and appeal to other prospering folks, we have to appear prosperous. One way is not just to keep up our lawns, but to actively work on them. When I drive around Miami Shores, Im always impressed by those homeowners whose properties are gorgeously landscaped. And then a little disapproving of that one guy on the street whose lawn is mostly dirt with patches of green dotted


by a scraggly sea grape. Or I was, until I took a close look at my own lawn. The mangos and sapodillas are way overgrown, the grass has been chewed off the swale by car tires, and the palms that died in the cold snap several years ago are still standing, albeit topless. We have weeds that I cant identify, ravenous and little trees have sprouted in bizarre places, like the gutters. In short, I was that guy, in a manner of speaking. The old adage that you have to spend money to make money is true, at least with property maintenance. But in the case of keeping in check the jungle that was your lawn, it doesnt have to be expensive. Tree-trimming and lawn-care services seem desperate for work Ive had several solicitations in the past few months, and everyone seems to be willing to undercut the last guy. To wit: My dog walker found a guy named Israel, a fruit tree expert, doing work down the street. Knowing that wed been wanting to curb the mango and live oak growth for some time, he arranged for Israel to walk around the property. That very afternoon, a woman coldcalled me about the same subject. I told her I was thinking about hiring someone who would do it for $100 per tree; she promptly offered to do the work for $50 per tree. In the end, we hired a company that priced the whole acre at $2000 and had was done in two days. The last time we ago, it cost us $5000. The willingness our decision rent company, which just demanded a $75 increase per visit. Sure, Id be happy to give them more than a 50 percent raise as soon as I get that same gift from my bosses. While you can keep your own lawn from becoming unkempt and report neighbors who have let theirs go to the code cops an issue weve so far avoided foreclosures in your neighborhood are another matter. You may not think someone elses misfortune affects you, but in fact it does. Because banks compare your house with similar ones in the area, homes in foreclosure and vacant lots are going to lower the value of your property. According to a study done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, property value decreases by at least one percent if a nearby home is in foreclosure. In addition, foreclosed homes have the tendency to look, or actually be, neglected and in disrepair. We have the misfortune, accordassessor, of living next to a long-term foreclosure and a vacant lot thats been for sale for several years. But there are ways to prevent these areas from appearing shabby. For example, I know its almost irresistible, but using that vacant lot for personal parking for your family and your guests contributes to what some Realtors call low-priced characteristics. In other words, its not just rude, its ghetto. Park your (running, well-maintained) vehicles in your own driveway, where they belong. In addition, just because a house hasnt been lived in doesnt mean you can decorate its lawn with doggie turds. While the nitrogen in canine waste products can actually act as a fertilizer in small amounts, a lot of it can kill a lawn. Finally, realize that even though the neighbor has left, you still have neighbor responsibilities. Find out how you can help maintain the property, even if its just by reporting code violations or picking up trash. Keep a watch for vandals, squatters, and illegal activity. And help sell the property by talking about it to friends who are looking to rent or own its also well documented that those who live on the street of a foreclosure have the most active interest in getting it sold. Think of it this way: Every Good Samaritan deed you do for somebody else, even if its performed anonymously, is something youre also doing for yourself, and for your community. Feedback: The old adage that you have to spend money to make money is true, at least with property maintenance. But it doesnt have to be expensive.


56 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIRename, Reposition, ReinventThose two condo towers at Biscayne Landing? Get ready for a big makeover By Mark Sell BT ContributorIf youre among the 160 or so souls renting from management at the twin Oaks Towers at Biscayne Landing, your unit may be already up for sale. The 25-story twin towers you see east of 151st Street and Biscayne Boulevard are in the midst of a great effort to rename, reposition, and remodel. The adjoining mammoth Biscayne Landing project may not be far behind. From now on, the towers will be known as 151 at Biscayne. Sales prices will range from about $240,000 for the 1600-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath units on the lower than $350,000 for the 2000-square-footplus, three-bedroom, three-and-a-halfof the ocean and the Sunny Isles skyline. countertops, and giant master bathrooms. iStar Residential, a division of the publicly traded REIT iStar Financial, recently took over the foreclosed units and retained its DevStar Realty partner to manage the repositioning and sales of its remaining inventory. A green screen fence now surrounds roughly two acres on the south side of the towers. On December 20, crews attached renderings of the planned pool, tennis court, and U-shaped clubhouse, ness center, a 2100-square-foot clubroom, That $4 million amenities package will be funded by a special assessment averag ing about $11,000 per unit, give or take. In addition, iStar is putting in about $300,000 of its own money, starting this month, to change the elevator cabs to stainless steel, freshen up the existing common areas, add landscaping, and build an improvised guardhouse. That guardhouse will go up at the corner as you drive in, by the green screen fence, as a precursor to a more permanent, air-conditioned structure. Security guards have had to stand up regardless of weather. The price point is attractive for homebuyers, said DevStar Group principal George Helmstetter in a news release. In an interview, Helmstetter adds that the units are selling below replacement cost, and well below the $450,000 average price Boca Developers Courtesy of DevStar Realty rfntbb bbrrbrr br877.771.2670 gutter cleaning roof washing pressure washing window cleaning


offered for the units before going under in the Great Recession. This is way cheaper than Sunny Isles, Helmstetter says. Its one of those rare opportunities that exist in Miami. The Oaks and North Miami have lagged behind the redevelopment phase. Thats about to change. DevStar repositioned the 346-unit Paramount Bay complex in Edgewater and the ultra-high-end, 18-unit Ocean House development in Miami Beach. Those units went on the market in 2011 and sold out in 18 months. Helmstetter predicts that the 160 units will sell out at least as quickly. The speed of Miamis condo absorption rate over the past three years has surprised nearly everyone. So what happens to the people renting at The Oaks towers, who constitute the vast majority of the residents? Probably nothing for now, says Helm stetter. Buyers will have the option of purchasing vacant units or tenant-occupies, and Helmstetter says that DevStar plans to start by steering buyers to vacant units. Rents at the towers for new leases run from about $1750 a month to better than $2500. Beyond that, it will be up to the buyer. We have plenty of inventory without tenants in our portfolio, notes Helmstetter. Helmstetter expects the remodeling and 2015, in rough synch with the last of the sales. The Oaks Tower or 151 at Biscayne, if you will is crammed with people, with occupancy well north of 95 percent. Condo association management is posting messages of growing urgency ordering people to pick up after their dogs (they often dont), to avoid skateboarding where people pass through (ditto), and to ration parking for holiday visitors (the garage is jammed). The crowd of residents is a decent, if rather funky mix, running the gamut from families with pets, medical interns and res idents, FIU students rooming together, and professional people. (Yours truly among them.) Over the past three years, the cars in the garage have gradually drifted more upscale, though hardly garish. With the strong rate of condo absorption, Biscayne Landing is showing signs of a rethink by the Oleta Partners developers, helmed by the Swerdlow Group, which is handling the retail and much of the infrastructure, and the venerable LeFrak Organization of New York, which is slated to build 4500 or so residential units in this 20-year, billionthe largest major piece of undeveloped land in urban South Florida. LeFrak is an old hand at building on contaminated sites, transforming the Jersey City skyline with the waterfront Newport development. LeFrak and iStar have a history together, and you can soon expect a master association to coordinate the development of all 194 acres of the Biscayne Landing/Oaks site. Biscayne Landing proposals have changed over the past year, from the placeholder plans of early 2013, which emphasized midrange workforce rental housing and repelled North Miamis Planning and Zoning Commission, to a more upscale, amenity-rich vision. Oleta Partners vice president Herb Tillman says that a senior-living-facility operator is back in the picture to develop the eight vacant acres between the current Oaks towers and Biscayne Landing Boulevard, and that work on the spine road, connecting it to NE 143rd Street and Biscayne Boule vard, should start in earnest in March. The dicey issue of moving 194,000 site, which the city commission ordered in November, remains unresolved. The city commission is scheduled to revisit the subject at its January 14 meeting. At those meetings, Michael Swerdlow, with his white mane, craggy face, gravelly voice, and blunt manner, has been largely absent. Instead, Oleta has been represented Tillman, Swerdlow Group president Brett Dill, and Oleta Partners vice president Michael Tillman, who is a director at the LeFrak Organization and no relation to Herb, as far as either can tell. Still onboard with the project are the Cherubin Brothers, who plan to build a hotel, and former Miami Mayor Joe Celestin, an contract with the City of North Miami and Oleta Partners to supervise the project. However the kaleidoscope changes, Biscayne Landing will remain in the news either until the tides claim it or its ground lease with the city expires in nearly 200 years. Feedback:


58 Neighborhood Correspondents: UPPER EASTSIDEResolved: Lets Get Serious about Rising Sea LevelsA ten-year relocation plan may be in the cardsBy Ken Jett BT ContributorHappy New Year! I know myself too well to make resolutions. I still enjoy too many alcoholic beverages and carry around too many pounds, and Im not going to set myself up for failure on Day One of the year. That being said, this year Im compelled to make one exception. I resolve to relocate from South Florida within the next ten years. This way, Ill get the best return on my property investment. There are good reasons for this, in cluding recent media coverage of sea-lev my own assessment of area preparedness. More than a year ago, in Septem ber 2012, Biscayne Times senior writer Erik Bojnansky provided readers with a glimpse of what the Biscayne Corridor will look like with rising sea levels (see Lost in a Rising Sea online at www.bis A month ago, WLRNFM, partnering with Miami Herald News, broadcast a weeklong awareness project, Elevation Zero: Rising Seas in South Florida. Much of the press and audio can be found at and includes the town-hall meeting at which legisla tors and policymakers addressed local preparedness issues. Although they were The most widely used and, some say, conservative projections of sea-level rise come from the Army Corps of Engineers, which calculates a three-inch to seveninch rise by 2030, and just over a twofoot rise by 2060. These numbers are accepted by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, a collaborative of public agencies from Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties. It has created a framework and put forth initiatives to drive policy and action for climate-change response. Several municipalities have enacted pledges to support the compact. Surprisingly, the City of Miami is not among them. The plan is available online at contains guiding principles that havent yet been enacted, owing to lack of time, budget, or political will. (In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, its interesting to note, New York City created a $19.5 billion project designed to protect residents and property. Will it take a hundredyear storm that devastates our area and cripples the insurance industry before we begin to take the issue more seriously?) Photo illustration by Marcy Mock 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.


Given strict building codes to mitigate damage from hurricane-force winds and tidal surge, we may have a bit of a of the storm-water systems, and when I see that the ocean side of the Little River Canal water-control dam is three inches higher than the freshwater side, I dont need a science degree to know that we have an infrastructure problem. And what about the water tables we cant see? What about the safety of our water supply? We may not want to think about these things, but wed better. With the release of the latest report, in October, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it looks like our building code safety cushion will be completely ripped out are considered in future Army Corps projections. To give you a tickler, what if the projections are doubled? I dont want to weave conspiracy theories, but projected sea-level mappings arent publicly available. One would think that their publication might create public support to fund response mechanisms. Perhaps their release would have a negative effect on real estate prices and development? When municipalities and property owners dont know whats in the maps, it would seem theyre free of legal responsibility to warn future homeowners or developers about the perils of invest ment. I wonder where Realtor members of local task forces are on this issue. For that matter, why arent the task forces made up primarily of scientists? The public has its head stuck in the proverbial sand, but that sand is eroding. Despite differences in detail, all scientists agree that sea levels are rising. So what are your plans? Will you ignore the issue until its a problem in your backyard? Will you have to respond to various interests? Will you wait until we have more data? Will you build on stilts or buy a boat? There is some good news were having the conversation, at least, and atten tion is focusing on sea level rise. Weve had years of work on hurricane damage mitiga tion, and this may help to some degree. My house is on the Dixie ridge, so while I could lose access to services and potable water, were good for at least a six-foot rise. Thats small consolation to my friends who would face evacuation. try to accommodate them. The county prides itself on its stormwater master plan, which has given us the large pump housings are being installed as adaptive responses to the tidal woes of Miami Beach. The countys Comprehensive Development Master Plan has incorporated climate change consideration and language, but again its a plan, not implementation. The bad news is that the public remains poorly informed about the seriousness of these concerns. Recent media coverage may breathe some life into public awareness, but will it be enough to sustain the push for real and reasonable responses from local, state, sive master plans consider sea level rise for future land-use mapping? What areas can be saved through adaptation? When will building codes be modi mapping determinations expose localities to potential legal threat? Does that potential threat permit localities to keep the public uninformed? If my property becomes sub merged under shallow ocean water, can the state seize it? When will municipal budgets If the area has been waiting for jobs (pay attention, Republican leaders who didnt attend the summit), it seems that industry could boom with mitigation efforts. These issues offer up many opportunities for inno vation; rather than looking for Dutch dikes, maybe we should be looking to science and technology, and for ways to adapt through architecture and construction. But before work begins, we must have task-force groups made up of scientists and specialists who understand the issue. Politicians and lobbyists who a combustible mixture of ignorance and power that, to quote Carl Sagan, sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces. I encourage you to resolve this year to become educated about sea-level rise, talk to scientists, and demand that political leaders do more than talk. Feedback: MISO@thebass kicking off the Bass Museum of Art's 50th AnniversarySunday, January 26, 2014 | 4pmBass Museum of Art, Miami Symphony Orchestra and City of Miami Beach Arts in the Parks present a concert on the lawn in Collins Park. Bring a blanket, picnic and the whole family to enjoy a FREE al fresco performance by the Miami Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eduardo Marturet.


60 Culture: THE ARTSArt Takes OffMIA produces one of the most vibrant art and performance programs in the nationBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorAt Miami International Airports gate D8 on this Friday in midDecember, travelers are readyWithout warning, a group of percussionists whip out drums and maracas from their travel bags and begin performing in the middle of the passageway, accompanied by a The unsuspecting audience begins to smile, then clap, and them take out cell phones and ees at kiosks join in, gyrating to After a few minutes, the impromptu concert is over, to be repeated several more times at different gates over the next a series of Musical Happenings, partially funded by a Knight Foundation grant, to take place at the airport one of the numerous cultural and artistic events that are now taking place at MIA, which operates one of the most vibrant airport cultural programs Previously, you might have encoun Opera, who literally sat next to passengers been treated to a short dance courtesy of performances, airport visitors may have pieces, or wandered through one of the permanent, fall under the Fine Arts and Dade Aviation Department, almost single-handedly guided by the divisions crowded) gate to position the drummers It is in fact a sculpture from New York artist Paul Villinski, called Airchair which incorporates a found wheelchair gers rushing through transit could be someone usually thought of as limited in mobility and bound to a chair, cruising Nearby and also in the North Terminal, just before ascending an escalator to the sky train, locally based artists Roberinstalled a huge, colorful wall sculpture to make Miamis airport experience a culturally uplifting one, exposing complicated process that has taken years, but which today is a very palpable reality, The art can be found in changing program; through commissioned pieces from the county-funded Art in Public Places; and in the musical and perforThis month and through February, if youre at MIA, you may want to check out the group exhibition Inventory Its About Time, which was curated by Theres an eye-catching mirror-and-glass is joined by several other Miami-based Airchair Harmonic Convergence Photos courtesy of Miami-Dade Aviation Department


artists, including Michelle Weinberg and Concourse E. cluded one featuring the unique Florida at-risk teens. called Foreverglades The Everglades: River of Grass Harmonic Convergence matter the culture or continent. Thanks than Florida? Got Any Jacks? Michele Oka Doner created A Walk on the Beach also for the of shells and other marine life, ated Ghost Palms from stained glass cut in the There is much more art from Miami, but all of it threaded toFeedback: Peace & Love


62 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIESALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-286-7355 Through January 3: Resonance with Maria Sultan, Nino Liguori, Anya Rubin, Susan Kaufman, Dario, Santiago Betancur Z, and Luis Jimenez 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 Through February 8: Contracture by Pablo Siquier 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through February 23: Sceneries by Esteban Pastorino Diaz 151 NE 40th St., Ste 200, Miami 305-860-3311 Through January 1: New Tendency and Beyond with various artists 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 Through February 1: Geometry and Mannerisms with Raul Lozza, Carmelo Arden Quin, Jesus Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz Diez, Jao Galvao, Lygia Clark, Mateo Manaure, Omar Carreno, Lolo Soldevilla, Sandu Darien, Francisco Sobrino, Julio Le Parc, Rafael Barrios, Volf Roitman, Jos Mijares, Rogelio Polesello, and Gregorio Vardanega BAKEHOUSE ART COMPLEX 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Through January 11: Together We Fly with various artists Two of a Kind with various artists 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse Through January 13: Peace Off Mind by Frank Haines and Christopher Garrett BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 Through January 26: Dream Catcher with Jos Cobo, Emilio Garcia, Simona Janisova, Stella Rahola Matutes, Pablo Lehmann, and Zhanna Kadyrova 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856, Through January 19: wipala / annic? by William Cordova and Glexis Novoa BRISKY GALLERY 130 NW 24th St., Miami 786-409-3585 Experience with various artists BUTTER GALLERY 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 305-303-6254 Ongoing: HOX by Douglas Hoekzema Sym City by Yuri Tuma 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 Through January 26: Present Tense Future Perfect with Sadie Barnette, Wyatt Gallery, Deborah Grant, Sheree Hovsepian, Duron Jackson, Simone Leigh, and Liz Magic Laser, curated by Teka Selman 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 Through January 23: Spider Galaxy by Carlos Amorales Asile Flottant by Rirkrit Tiravanija 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 Through January 31: Open by Xaviera Simmons 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through January 25: Criminal Aesthetic Fashion at the Skyscraper Club by Anna Galtarrosa and Daniel Gonzalez 100 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 January 1 through February 28: Trued Surface by Lynne Golob Gelfman DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 Through January 24: Stage by Shen Chao-Liang 187 NW 27th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Summer and Winter at the Same Time by Jos Vera Matos Sympathy for the Devil by Claudia Joskowicz EMERSON DORSCH 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 January 11 through February 21: Ouroboros by Beatriz Monteavaro Chimera by Saya Woolfalk 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 Through January 16: Burning As It Were A Lamp by Enrique Martinez Celaya GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 Call gallery for exhibition information 8375 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Through January 11: I know the master wasted object by Cristine Brache HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 Through February 1: Espionage with various artists 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 Through February 1: KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 Through January 30: Click by Carla Arocha and Stephane Schraenen (Arocha+Schraenen) 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 Through January 8: The Sinners by Armando Romero 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 January 18 through February 20: BOG-MIA by Virginia Poundstone Nobody Knows Me Better Than You by Alan Gutierrez Hill of Tents


Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS MICHAEL JON GALLERY 122 NE 11th St., Miami 305-521-8520 Through January 10: Newz! by Math Bass MINDY SOLOMON GALLERY 172 NW 24th St., Miami 786-953-6917 Through January 23: Focus Korea with Kang Hyo Lee, Minkyu Lee, SungJae Choi, Ree Soo-Jong, HunChung Lee, Wookjae Maeng, and Sungyee Kim ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 Ongoing: Pablo Gentile, Jaime Montana, Jaime Apraez, and Patricia Chaparro PAN AMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 Through February 1: For One Night Only by Ricardo Brey PRIMARY PROJECTS 151 NE 7th St., Miami Through January 24: Contender by Kenton Parker 72 NW 25th St., Miami 305-576-1645 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 SPINELLO PROJECTS 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 Call gallery for exhibition information TUB GALLERY 171 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-0610 Through February 3: Recent Works, Transitory Identities by Sandra Ramos UNIX FINE ART GALLERY 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres Through January 9: The Colors of Life by KwangHo Shin and Marcello Lo Giudice WYNWOOD WALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 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 Hayuk, and Lady Pink ZADOK GALLERY 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737 Through January 3: Videomorphic: New Works 2013 by Peter Sarkisian Through January 4: Songs of Freedom by Maria Magdalena Campos-PonsMUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITSARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 Through January 12: Between Walls by Juan Lopez, curated by Susan Caraballo ARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA PROJECT 924 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 Through January 19: Experiments in Geometry and Other Projects with Xabier Basterra, Rosemarie Chiarlone, Peter Hammar and Alex Trimino, and Regina Jestrow and Laz Ojalde BASS MUSEUM OF ART 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 Through February 23: Time with various artists Through March 16: ESL by Piotr Uklanski 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 Through February 23: Permission To Be Global/Prcticas Globales: Latin American Art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection with various artists DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 Ongoing: Looking at Process: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists Through February 8: Cristina Lei Rodriguez FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FROST ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through January 26: Things That Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way by Manuel Mendive Through February 2: Tracing Antilles by Humberto Castro 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 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 MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 Through January 11: Mirror Stage by Liliam Dominguez Through March 29: Rituales en Haiti with various artists MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 Through March 9: Angel Without You by Tracey Emin PEREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-375-3000 Through February 23: The Craft of Modernity by Amelia Pelaez Bouchra Khalili Through March 16: According to What? by Ai Weiwei Through April 20: Yael Bartana Through May 1: Americana: Selections from the PAMM Collection with various artists Through May 25: A Human Document: Selections from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry with various artists For Those in Peril on the Sea by Hew Locke Through July 27: Image Search: Photography from the Collection with various artists Through September 28: Monika Sosnowska THE MARGULIES COLLECTION 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 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 Through August 1: Chinese: 28 Contemporary Chinese Artists at the Rubell Family Collection with various artists THE WOLFSONIAN FIU 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach 305-531-1001 Through January 31: From Italy to the Americas: Italo Balbos 1930 and 1933 Seaplane Squadrons by Italo Balbo Through May 18: Bust of a Doctor by Gideon Barnett The Birth of Rome with various artists Rendering War: The Murals of A. G. Santagata by A. G. Santagata Echoes and Origins: Italian Interwar Design with various artists Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to Melissas PickImpeccably in sync with Chinas rise to prominence within the international art scene, 28 Chinese is the Rubell Family Collections newest labor of love. The exhibition surveys ten years of contemporary Chinese art, all of which was collected during research visits to various regions of China and the artists studios. Many of these artists have never been shown in the U.S., so take this opportunity to glimpse some burgeoning talent. Melissa Wallen Inner Rainbow


64 Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Culture: EVENTS CALENDARMusic Under a Tropical SkyThere couldnt be a better month or venue for listening to music outdoors than Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) at the second GardenMusic Festival from Monday, January 6, through Sunday, January 19 starting at 7:00 p.m., the chamber music ensemble Sixth Floor Trio will play concerts that range from jazz and bluegrass to classical, often in ways that reveal the origins of each genre, and with guest musicians and singers joining in. A childrens concert is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 18. Table seating costs $20; tent seating costs $10; lawn seating $5 (with discounts for Fairchild members); Time for Miamis New MuseumThe long-awaited Prez Art Museum is stunning. Even better, every second Saturday admission will be free. On Saturday, January 11 the museum will host a family-friendly teaching workshop, where you can learn about cyanotype, an early photographic process that produces cyanblue prints, sun prints, in which images emerge from treated materials exposed to sunlight. The class will take place outside, on the terrace, with an incredible view of the bay and our burgeoning skyline. Then participants can tour the numerous inside galleries that house the inaugural shows of the museum. Its a true Miami jewel. For details, visit River Trip in the City the Oleta River appeared about 500 B.C., in camps set up by the Tequesta Indians. Federal troops used the waterway during the Second Seminole War; Seminole Indians themselves used the river to move from the Everglades to Biscayne Bay. You can take in this historic waterway with park naturalists during the Oleta River Canoe Tour (1855 NE 135th Gusman Gets Gussied Up for JazzThe lobby of the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St., Miami) is just as remarkable as the theater hall, which is why its a wonderful location for listening to an evening jazz concert downtown. On Wednesday, January 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the Othello Molineaux Quartet will transform the ornate lobby into a jazz lounge, in conjunction with the Miami Jazz & Film Society. (Molineaux is acclaimed for his mastery of steel drums.) Free admission, drinks available; Ritual Expressions of HaitiOver a period of four years, Spanish photographer Cristina Garca Rodero traveled to Haiti and documented religious ceremonies and rites, often involving water, and the African traditions that evolved into vodou. extra additions has come to the MDC Museum of Art + Design at the show in the United States, is co-presented by various Spanish organizations. Rituales en Hait includes more than 100 photographs and will run through March 29 Free; Do you enjoyBiscayne Times?freeThank You!Producing and distributing a high-quality print publication is expensive. Thats one reason so many newspapers and magazines have folded in recent years.


Culture: EVENTS CALENDARSt., North Miami) on Sunday, January 12 starting at 10:00 a.m. Youll paddle through more than history; the area manatees. The Eco-Adventure tour costs We Are Deco other treasures, too, including Scrabble and Monopoly, and Legos and Lincoln Logs. Shirley Temple, Mickey Mouse, and Superman captured kids hearts at the time. This years Art Deco Weekend Friday, January 17, through Sunday, January 19 pays homage to that history. and the Art Deco All-Star Band, backing event is sponsored by the Miami Design Preservation League, 1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. For tickets and tour times The Play Children Can Believe In Peter Pan Wendy and Tinker Bell, but also the evil Cap the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura) on Thursday, Janu ary 23 + Theater = Novel Night singer Miriam Makeba, nicknamed Miriam explores the tenect and MDC Live Arts. The original Omar Sosa. On Friday, January 24, and Saturday, January 25 at 8:00 p.m. To Catch an Outdoor Screen To Catch a Thief Soundscape Series, at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 29 Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to Songs of Love and ExileThe background to Verdis tragic opera Nabucco might top the an slaves oh, and there is love story in there, too. From Saturday, January 25, through Saturday, February 1 NOW OPEN IN MIDTOWN MIAMI 2691 NE 2nd Avenue. Miami, FL 33137 786.600.3910


66 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannApple Products Easier to Come By3900 Block of NE 2nd Avenue Crumb on Parchment restaurant has been called a hidden gem and a place to be in the Design District. Unfortunately, being so hidden can lead to problems. The owner found the rear door of the restaurant open one morning; this prompted a call to police and their ballyhooed K9 unit. Two Apple iPads and an iPod were stolen from the premises. Perhaps the restaurants name belies its reliance on high-tech gizmos. We hope they have all the accounting information backed up on old-fashioned paper. It did take a true crumb of a person to take what didnt belong to him.Prissy and Delicate Thuggery500 Block of NE 3rd Street Criminals have all sorts of needs and seemingly will take what they can. Here we have whats called the poor mans score. Victim heard a noise emanating from the bathroom, which jolted her to full attention. She carefully opened the door and found the bathroom window open and all items on the sill missing. She looked out the window and saw those toiletries neatly lined up in a row on her lawn, but with no one in sight. It seems the perpetrator had second thoughts once he heard the victim but had lined up his loot beforehand in a dainty effort to pick just what he needed. No arrests have been made.Back Shed of Doom500 Block of NE 62nd Street It just seems that if one has a back shed, it becomes a veritable smoke signal, inviting our criminal element to stop by. Homeowner made her rounds in the late evening and saw a man in her shed, rummaging through her stuff. We do wonder what valuables can be found in a shed, but thats beside the point. She confronted him, and the thug pushed her to the ground, jumped the fence, and left. It is unknown if any items were taken, but perhaps building a jail in the backyard would be more appropriate for Miami homeowners. Entering the Criminal Black Hole401 Biscayne Blvd. Security guard witnessed a man prying open the door of one of Bayside Marketplaces kiosks and removing materials. Realizing hed been spotted, the man ran for it, sprinting westbound and carrying a multicolored bag that likely could have been picked up by GPS. He eventually found an elevator and the doors closed before security could grab him. He was not seen again, but a


bracelet that probably fell from his bag was recovered. Where did that elevator lead? The police report doesnt say. Has a secret gateway now been found?Invest in a Spare Key at Home Depot5600 Block of N. Bayshore Drive Its nice to have guests stay over, but these visits should not come at the expense of your security. Instead of providing a spare key to her visitor, this victim just left her front door unlocked. Yes, its a sad state of affairs when we must anticipate that potential crooks will check all the doors in a neighborhood, but thats our reality. Victim was horriitems, including expensive jewelry, missing. So not only was the door unlocked, but her bling was in plain view. This just shouldnt happen, but it does every month. Buy a key, and hold off on those new earrings from Zales.Future YouTube Star?6000 Block of NE Miami Court Everyone wants to be a star, it seems, and the people of our great city are not exceptions. Luckily, there are plenty of cameras around to document their shenanigans. In the middle of the afternoon, as CCTV cameras rolled, a man entered the victims porch and was repeatedly asked to leave the premises. This angered the maniac, who lunged toward the owner and began kicking the door, breaking part of the hinges in an attempt to cause havoc. Victim eventually won by closing what was left of the door. Ofthe incident. The video? Easy evidence for the jury, and maybe something for 13-year-olds to laugh at once it goes viral.Just Cant Get Over That Rainbow600 Block of NE 61st Street Heres another incident involving those shiny Apple products and an unlocked door. This all happened in about 15 min utes. Victim went to the store and pur posely left her door open, thinking she was in Kansas. When she returned, she saw a man leaving her apartment. She screamed, which caused him run and jump the fence (they do that so well). Victim discovered that two Apple computers were taken. Maybe this incident will force victim to seek out a brain, as did the Scarecrow from Oz, or at least realize that her Yellow Brick Road needs better security.Future of Social Security8300 Block of NE 3rd Court Washington legislators may assure us that alls well, but rumblings by our senior citizens tell us otherwise. While the usual age of a Miami thug is 16 to 24, outliers do exist. Two men in their 60s broke into a home, then turned on the lights in order to grab some loot. (We gather that, at They rummaged around and carried out a old school! They havent been arrested at press time, but with ageism and dwin dling retirement income, it appears that our seniors are turning to entrepreneur ship, and tax-free at that.Time to Phase Out Old Miami Staples600 Block of NE 80th Street This has happened before in Crime Beat, and were sad to write it, but some things no longer work. Jalousies were great way back when, but the new Miami demands strong windows (maybe a moat as well, jalousie was removed from a front door and the thug made entry, stealing what he wanted. While we love the look of jalousies, the criminals have declared victory on this front. At least invest in an alligator; you can put him in the shed.Yellow Bandits1600 Block of N. Bayshore Drive Its hard not having a car in Miami, especially if youre a tourist. This victim hailed a cab, and the driver loaded arrival at the victims hotel, the driver only pulled out four bags, then drove off. Victim made multiple calls to the cab company but says he was ignored and did not receive assistance. He told police that the driver had no intention of returning the bag. Hmmm, how does he know that? Maybe hes a lousy tipper? Who knows, as it could be a rogue driver, or perhaps just another rude tourist adjusting to what he believes Miamians should act like. If anything, keep your bags in the back seat. Feedback: Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom 305.423.0017


68 Columnists: PARK PATROLFriendly, Shady, BumpyEl Portal exempli es restoration ecology for the birds at leastBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorIn a shaded spot across from an ancient archaeological site, a concerned resident of El Portal posted a notice. Was it a warning about hidden danger or a threat to stay away? Tacked to a towering oak tree in the front yard, the notice was handwritten on a clear plastic bag, with an item inside, and it read, Glasses Found. Sure enough, inside the bag was a pair of black-rimmed glasses. Huh. Can you believe that such people still exist in Miami? How many people in your neighborhood (including you) would have thrown an abandoned object into the trash? This neighborly gesture tells you something about the little Village of El Portal: It is a neighborhood set apart. With slightly more than 800 households, El Portal has friendly, eclectic residents, an extensive canopy of mature trees, and even a hill. Yes, a hill A hill in South Florida is as common as trustworthy neighbors. The hill of El Portal is the oldest designated archaeological site in MiamiDade County and was dedicated in 1925. The Daughters of the American Revolution planted a sign here in 1949, and today the site is called the Sherwood Forest Indian Mound. Tequesta Indians lived here centuries ago and used it as a shell midden and burial site. Nearby on private property exists a small cave that was likely carved by the natural Little River before it was channelized into its modern form. This Indian Mound was also the highest point in the county before it was raided for building material. Today the mound is not much more than a bump in a circular road, surrounded by houses with lush landscaping. With no curbs or public parking, the only means of access is by foot. This area in the villages southeastern corner is not very car-friendly, as it features very narrow and winding streets that discourage quick commutes. It is, however, signature El Portal: friendly, shady, bumpy. Does it become creepy at night? Ive never heard of any bad vibes, says Eugene Donaldson, a resident of the Indian Mounds circle since 1983. He says the village has remained very stable for 30 years. Change is only in the sense of new, younger people coming in, he adds. El Portal was historically the place where property values least went up and least went down. People move here to live here. And thats fantastic. In December, Donaldson participated in the areas annual tradition of decorating a Christmas tree that neighbors place on top of the mound. Its just a spontaneous gathering in this area, he says. The Christmas tree, propped up by two cement blocks, was not particularly attractive, but the story behind it makes you feel that Charlie Brown may have been involved. The mound itself lacks visual appeal, but the story behind it sends the imagination running wild. The way of life of the lost Tequesta tribe is one of Floridas greatest mysteries. Many drivers know El Portal from its Bird Sanctuary signs and the peacocks that can be seen walking across the roads. Longtime resident Donaldson says the burgeoning peacock population is relatively new, but the villages longstanding protection of its trees has migrating birds. The villages southern border along the Little River logically attracts bird gatherings, and properties around the Indian Mound feature one of the areas best collections of mature oak trees. But otherwise this small scrap of land functions as an oasis surrounded by concrete or grass jungle. Bordered north and west by the manicured homes of Miami Shores and sliced on the east by the FEC railroad and Biscayne Boulevard, El Portal is northern Miami-Dades version of Coconut Grove, without the commercial element. The Village of El Portal may appear green, but in reality, its public park space is minuscule. Each of the three parks within El Portal the Indian Mound, Sherwood Forest, and the Tot Lot measures only about one-tenth of an acre, for a total of three-tenths of one acre of park space. There is no public space for For the villages sport of choice, bird watching, a pleasant location is Sherwood Forest Park. Renovated last year, it is located one block west of the Indian Mound. Sherwood Forest Park was apparently the former location of a factory BT photos by Jim W. Harper PARKS OF EL PORTAL500 NE 87th St. El Portal, FL 33138 305-795-7880 Hours: Sunrise-sunset Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: Yes Picnic pavilions: Yes Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No YesPark Rating I-95 I-95NE 79th StBiscayne Blvd El Portal N Miami Ave




70 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALCo-kee Anyone?How I came to appreciate the Zen of coqu By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorSo there I am, standing on the trail path in El Yunque National Forest, a tropical rainforest about an hours drive east of San Juan, Puerto Rico, surrounded by giant ferns, ancient trees, and undergrowth. Ahead of me is a little bridge, wet with waterfall spittle, and beneath the bridge lie rocks in varying that glisten indifferently. I dont generally regard waterfalls in that doesnt erase the fact that the rocks at the base of this little miracle of nature and, in the way that the sea lion consid ers a salmon its dinner, those rocks know anyway. I mean, why would they?) Still, lots of travelers and locals hike the trail to take a dip in the plunge basin of La Mina Falls or stand under the roar ing runoff, much like two turista boys frigid downpour crashes onto their heads, thoughts of mortality.) sign. That cheery reminder, just to my right, looms above me in an area that took 30 min the term moderate is open to interpretation.) scenario at all times, and perhaps most important, Im not a coqu. The coqu, a brown tree frog measuring national animal of Puerto Rico. It must really like the sound of its name because the only sound a coqu knows is c All night and when it rains, the inces sant c-kee, c-kee c-kee mating chant echoes across Puerto Rico. The c is a warning to rival males and the kee is an invitation to females. The sound likely rfntb b tbtbb b tb rfb r nntbrnnbnb rn rn btbfb beautiful 56 18 rfnftbtbffntfbrnf f f n fr nnfBT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith


served a lazy biologist well, since the name is clearly an onomatopoeia. Guess it beats Itty, Bitty, Chirpy Head. Heres the thing about the coqus. Now, I dont have anything to support this, but Im quite certain that a coqu, despite not knowing how to swim, quite certain that the coqu never worries about anything. Dont worry, be happy should be the coqus theme song, and its call to arms. Actually, that might be Dont worry, be co-keeee ! live in El Yunque. They need to stay there, too, because that climate is the only one in which they thrive. (Well, they do okay in Hawaii, also; we know this because a more coqus. Now considered an invasive pest, eradication programs are in place to their young? Perhaps not totally unrelated, Im the types annoy me; the endlessly cheery, chirping human is guaranteed a spot on my own eradication list. However, the coqu is Hurting a coqu is akin to mugging the sun, and anyone who does so should based Puerto Rican specialty) meat with a piln Whap! Whap! Whap! The one exception to this rule is the ever-curious, coqu-licking canine. where I purchased many things coqu, the cashier explained that she must tongue, and rehydrate them under a See, the coqu doesnt drink water. In one the nearest Lubriderm and ChapStick. Well, as you can imagine, this coqu COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: T.M.Est. 1980 quickly in the coqu-heavy area where the dent coqus, the dogs owner likes them. and the park employees eyes bugged out, qus throat bubble. No! she exclaimed. Frankly, I call BS on that absolute be cause I spied a book on poisonous plants into a Puerto Rican boa. The rarely seen they arent there. Some people prob ably spot them, only to be squeezed and swallowed alive, and whole. This might explain why there arent many sightings. Back to the coqu. Only the males sing some can vary their pitch and salsa dance remaining landlocked, the coqus are oddly adaptable. For example, the resort where we stayed hosted coqus aplenty. On Saturday night, as the poolside music began booming, the coqus got hopping. many coqus strong: The usual cute and inquisitive co-kee was replaced by some maniacal mating call, an energetic KOHKEEEE!!! The coqus even matched the Coh-Kee! Coh-Kee! Coh-Kee! Co-kee! (pause) Co-kee! (pause) Co-kee! must be able to keep up with the other locals. I suppose the coqus even drink the signature liquor, too. And why not? Rum and Co-kee anyone? Feedback:


72 Columnists: PICTURE STORYBy Paul S. George Special to the BTMiami was at the height of its To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ Feedback: Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami, X-0198-1HistoryMiami The Boom Before the BustA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami


Columnists: YOUR GARDEN Compost Your Container PlantsStock up on some sand, tooW By Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorThis past month Ive been planting vegetables, condiments, and various spices at home in anticipation of a bumper crop in the next couple of months. No home kitchen should be without its own supply of great-tasting organic vegetables, and I certainly intend to use as much space as possible in my own home landscape. Ive been planting everything into containers so that the plants are less vulnerable to snails and other grounddwelling pests. It is also easier this way to control the competition from nearby plant roots, which would certainly grow to take advantage of the great soil and extra moisture retained in the organic matter. I tested this method a few years ago when I had to plant an organic garden from a bare landscape. I bought large containers and sank them about halfway into the ground for stabilization, and South Florida supplier. Id never purchased compost from this supplier before, and I was quite pleased with the quality of the product after the dump truck had deposited its load. This was very meaning that the pile didnt heat up (it wasnt actively decomposing), and when I grabbed a handful and squeezed it, water didnt maintain its compressed shape but crumbled a bit, which is another good sign to check for. post is still producing nice vegetables, although there are fewer of them because the soil hasnt been replenished with more compost and the available nutrients are being used up. Instead of buying a truckload of compost, which would be far too much for my garden, I went to a local garden center and bought several bags of organic compost. The bags had nice color photos of healthy plants, so I was certain I was purchasing a good product. I hauled the heavy bags home and into my backyard, got everything tomy planters so I could begin planting. To my great disappointment, the compost was put into the bags. It was mucky and held a lot of water. Nonetheless, I planted sweet potatoes and various other plants into it, just to test it and whenever it rained, the soil grew waterlogged. I ended up losing all those plants. So I went back to the garden center, bought another brand of compost, again with great color photos of healthy plants on the bag. This time I also bought sever al bags of coarse sand. When I got home and opened the bags with the compost, I found a better product, but it still wasnt Id anticipated this, which is why I mixed the compost with the sand at a ratio of approximately 50:50. The plants are now growing well, and were already harvesting some when recipes call for something fresh from the garden. Whether were growing vegetables in containers or trees in the landscape, we must pay attention to whats happening underground. Often I can look at the top of a trees canopy and note that a portion or even all of the branch ends are looking thin, in terms of the foliage. That is usually a symptom of a problem underground that is affecting the roots. Its critical that roots have access to oxygen, nutrients, and moisture; when the soil has been compacted or water logged, the roots will die. When this happens to small plants in containers, the result is almost immediate. When it happens to a large tree, it means death to the tree as well, though the process can take years. Even so, the symptoms will almost always be visible to a know ing horticulturist. Recently I was inspecting a new construction site and noticed that the workers were throwing about a wheelbarrow load of some type of organic soil into the holes they were digging for the installation of trees. They reminded me of the practice I followed years ago, when I was in college and working for a landscape company. Id asked my boss why we were doing that, and hed said it was to provide nutrients for the plant (or tree) and we always followed that up by adding fertilizer on top of the root ball, once the plant was in the ground. Stop! Current industry best-manage ment practices and standards, all based on some good research and science, tell us this is a waste of time and money. And my personal experience tells me that all this extra stuff thrown into a hole is liter ally just that money thrown into a hole. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski


74 Columnists: GOING GREENCelebrate Our Local RootsGrowing your own food own shouldnt be illegalBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorCity Forces Homeowners to De stroy Veggie Garden is an ani mated video, posted online by about a couple living in Miami Shores ( Guess what the The couple, Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll, wanted to grow vegetables the past 17 years. Miami Shores says the garden violates city code, which was amended this past May to prohibit such gardening practices; they apparently the couple $50 per day, at which point Ricketts and Carroll ripped out their vegetable garden and planted a plastic civil rights. Are Miami Shores bureaucrats truly Aesthetics aside, the central issue This right needs protection in highly urbanized areas like ours. Local produce Miami Shores, spent an experimental year eating only local produce (and nearly looks great and tastes even better. to generating your own electricity: The powers that be may not like it, but it the New Oxford American Dictionary locavore a cally. The more locavores, the better. More people are waking up to smell the arugula, and business models are the center hosts monthly dinners that blend local or sustainable ingredients which was recommended as an alterna which also contained coconut. in Miami, Schmidt says that a culture like eating knowledge, and it tastes good. Fast Food Nation As the obesity epidemic among children shows, it tells us that something has gone ter other countries, people spend a much greater something we should encourage across Food & Drink. The group has given its While celebrating recently at the etarianism, this venture gives meat eaters Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) choose the most local and organic options. on their own property has lost its way. Find your way home by eating more This is our home. We should be eating it up. Send your tips and clever ideas to: Feedback:


Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY Is Ethnicity Just a Social Construct?What do we tell our kids when were really Heinz 57?By Crystal Brewe BT ContributorYesterday my nine-year-old came home and announced that we had to do a report on where our family is from. Ugh Not another one! Last year there was a celebrate your country. We were the only family that Catawba tribe of the Carolinas that my family has been claiming roots with for as long as I can remember. one is always surprised to learn that he is actually Norwegian. His family is full of for costumes of my culture day and was largely just hearsay passed down My mother married a Sicilian when morsels of their culture. I claim this as a my heritage day. culture. Herein lies my conundrum: Can bloodlines or the culture with which we When the teacher recently sent home a paper doll for Hispanic Heritage Month doll to represent which country our help of the personal genetics company 23andMe. Who needs blood or water ancestry along many branches of our mapped our family history. You can imagine my disappointment and trace both their maternal and paternal maternal ancestry. While I was disappointed that sci was in rapture at what the results did This means the argument I used at role of Pocahontas in the high school play meaningless. You can imagine my grand Suddenly my family tree has branches school with corned beef and cabbage for Feedback: 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.


76 Columnists: VINO By Bill Citara BT ContributorTwas the night after Christmas, and all through the house, / Not a creature was solvent, not even a mouse; / The credit cards maxed out, the bank account bare, / I scrounged neath the sofa for loose pennies there. Then all of a sudden I heard such a bustle, / I ran to the window to check out the hustle; / A giant black limo, an evil black stone, / Was parked at the curb in front of my home. Then what to my desperate eyes did appear, / But a gray-suited banker, his mouth in a leer; / There was ice in his manner and greed in his eyes, / And he Now Visa, now Mastercard, Amex, and Diners! / More interest, more fees, no cheer for these whiners! With that he returned to his black limousine, / His leer now a grin that was faintly obscene; / Still, I heard him exclaim or rather larrup, Merry Christmas, you sucker, now time to pay up! So okay, maybe I did have a little too much brandy in my eggnog. But along with the holiday hangover of too much shopping, fruitcake, champagne, and boozed-up eggnog comes the inevitable onslaught of credit card bills and bank statements reminding you that your account is now roughly the size of a pimple. In keeping with the post-holiday spirit, this month Vino decided to shop even more cheaply than usual, busting our typical $12 limit down to $10. Actually, it was more complicated than that. Supermarket and liquor store shelves are lousy with cheap wines that are insipid renditions of higher-quality Chardon nays, Cabernets, Merlots, and Pinot Noirs. So we expanded our reach beyond the usual vinous suspects and tried to come up with a few wines that were both a little different and a lot affordable. They dont come any more different and affordable than a Romanian wine, the 2012 Recas La Putere Feteasca Neagra That countrys premier red wine grape, Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden) makes a wine of bracing fruity-earthy intensity, as the La Putere certainly bears out. Its a wine of impressive balance and complexity for $10, with layered aromas of toast and mushrooms, black olives, and black cherry-berry fruit, all of which carry over to the palate. In much the same vein is the lostfound grape of Chile. The 2012 San Elias is an excellent value at $10, delivering Carmnres characteristic earthy, olive-y, black n blue fruit in a big, juicy, fruit-forward package that begs to be accompanied by a rare steak fresh off the grill or a big slab of barbecued ribs. Rather more delicate and less fruitforward is the 2012 La Vieille Ferme a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault from Frances Rhone Valley. Here the smoky, olive-y, earthy tones take center stage, augmented by a hint of peppery spice, which make for a wine of both subtlety and heft. Finding a decent, affordable California Cabernet Sauvignon isnt easy, but the 2011 Leaping Lizard Cab nails both price and quality. Small-lot fermentation gives it vibrant redand blacktoast and olives give it complexity, and relatively low alcohol (12.5 percent) makes it easy on the palate and ideal for casual sipping. affordable California Chardonnay, and though the 2012 Curran Creek comes close, it doesnt quite get the cigar. It does offer Chardonnays requisite pear, citrus, and green apple aromas ing Lizard tastes better than its modest price tag, the Curran Creek tastes like, well cheap Chardonnay. Not bad, but even at $8.99, you can probably do better. With the 2011 Massimo Sauvignon Blanc for example. It serves up all the classic tart, bracing, lemon-lime and made in the Marlborough region of New Zealand but is a little richer, a touch fuller-bodied. So if you like that style with a bit of restraint, this is the wine for you. Also crisp, refreshing, and very representative of its type is the 2012 Stellina di Notte Pinot Grigio Its a mouthful of minerals and citrus and herbs, as Italian as a testosterone-red Ferrari, though affordable even to those of us visited by gimlet-eyed bankers the night after Christmas. Accounting and Income TaxStudents, Singles, or Married with W-2sTaxes for just$45*Promotion Expires 4/15/2014Taxes for just$115*Promotion Expires 4/15/2014Self-Employed Independent Contractors Freelancers INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE TAXES Bookkeeping Payroll Form New Corporations Notary PublicMiami Financial Center12573 Biscayne Blvd. N Miami, FL 33181786.329.995022 years in South Florida English & Russian spoken For Post-holiday Penny PinchersRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less


Columnists: DISHInto the Growing SeasonFood news we know you can use Photo Cendino TemBy Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorWith the New Year come all manner of predictions from food writers about the newest restaurant trends, upcoming projects from various chefs, and so on. So no need to bore you with more. But for all of you who feel like you might scream if you have to read one more description of some trendy eaterys fare as local, sustainable, organic, ad nauseam, or watch one more humorlessly full-of-himself young chef try to win a TV cooking competition with liquid nitrogen-frozen this and that, heres one Tweet you might have missed a couple of months ago from chef Danny Serfer of Blue Collar (6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305756-0366) regarding his future restaurant plans: Our next project will focus only on nonseasonal, endangered stuff and outdated techniques. OPENINGS Verde (1103 Biscayne Blvd., 305-3758282): At the new Prez Art Museum Miami, a New American restaurant with a menu emphasizing foods that are local, seasonal, sustainable, and the rest of the modern mantra; see Dining Guide for details. One more thing: Currently the waterfront eatery is lunch only except for Thursday nights, so dinner diners had best reserve. Museum admission is not required. Big Fish (620 NE 78th St., 305-3731770): Featuring upscale Italian-accented seafood, this renovated space on the Little River is run by Danilo Cacace, one of the guys behind the restolounge Big Fish on the Miami River in the latters latter years, after its original time, in the late Fish Mayaimi. If chef Andrea Chiriattis spaghetti alle vongole is available, grab it; clams. Also grab a table on the outdoor waterfront deck formerly small and scary, now totally rebuilt, expensively and expansively. In Midtown Miami, occupying the former Sustain space but totally renovated, new Italian tapas hotspot Bocce Bar (3252 NE 1st Ave. #107; 786-2456211) shares ownership with Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill next door, and also shares Sugarcanes chef Timon Balloo; see Dining Guide for details. Except this one: Servers say the bocce court out front has been underused so far. Samba Brands Managements concept is Eat. Drink. Play. The court is real, and its for you, diners! iSushi Caf (3301 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-548-8751) brings something long missing to Midtown Miami: a menu similar to those at Japanese take-out joints in both offerings (nigiri and maki combos, sushi party platters, simple small plates like edamame, seaweed, etc.) and prices: low in fact, considerably cheaper than supermarket sushi thats been sitting around for days. Bonuses: ambiance thats fast-casual rather than fast food; sushi thats upscale restaurant quality. From Port of Call Restaurants Group, POC Modern American Cuisine (600 Silks Run Rd. #1210, Hallandale Beach; 954-391-7229) is the Village at Gulfstream Parks newest eatery. While the groups other restaurants are nontraditional buffets (Eurasian, with snazzier-than-normal dishes), this POC is a sit-down, self-described tapas-style take on high-end fare. But food is still East/West-inspired, with chef Benjamin Huselton turning out mighty upscale tapas (such as duck breast with foie gras pan sauce) and sushi chef Kevin Z, formerly from Nobu NYC, covering the East with small plates like uni tempura with spicy mango mousse. Note: Lunch fare is simpler, more burgers-and-bentos. Blackbrick (3451 NE 1st Ave. #103; 305-573-8886). Creative Chinese spot in Midtown Miami from Sakaya Kitchens Richard Hales; see new Dining Guide listings for details. But heres a little side dish: Haless Dim Ssam a Go Go food truck is currently catering lunch/ early dinner for the Mandarin Oriental, with a special menu of items from both Blackbrick and Sakaya, until construction is completed on Gaston Acurios La Mar the overdue replacement for Caf Sambal, now set to open in February. After more than seven years as chefs at KNR Hospitality Groups upscale glamspot Quattro Gastronomia Italiano on South Beach, the Carro twins, Fabrizio and Nicola, are now working for them selves on our side of the puddle. With mixologist Cristiano Vezzoli, theyve opened Via Verdi Cucina Rustica (6900 Biscayne Blvd., 786-615-2870), in Uva 69s former space. While the twins remain involved at Quattro, theyre majorly hands-on in Via Verdis kitchen, crafting remarkably low-priced regional Italian-inspired dishes with personal re gnudi baked in a sea of melted burrata. The pricing is positively inspirational: $5 Looks like a good year for dining out in BT territory. Crave more food news? See BizBuzz, page 22. Send me your tips and alerts: Feedback:


78 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAijo1331 Brickell Bay Dr.,786-452-1637Hidden within Jade condo, this sleek Japanese fusion resto lounge (whose name means love) is also a jewel. Foodloving 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 Mediterraneaninfluenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Atrio1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6529Admittedly, the Conrad Hotels top-end restaurant has had its ups and downs since its early days as one of the few exciting fine-dining restaurants in the Brickell/downtown area. But Atrio is ready for rediscovery. Despite Brickells recent restau rant explosion, few venues are as spectacularly suitable for a sophisticated breakfast, lunch, or dinner for grown-ups whod rather not shout over DJs. Panoramic views of Miami from the 25th floor are now matched by locally oriented dishes, including a mango/lime mayo-dressed lobster sandwich, crisp-skinned snapper with grapefruit salsa and basil aioli, a bracing orange tart, even citrus butter in the bread basket. $$$-$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$Banana & Leaf234 NE 3rd St., 786-431-5548Ever get tempted by the convenience of supermarket sushi boxes, but feel uneasy about freshness and disgruntled about sparseness of fillings? In the grab-and-go containers here, raw fish glistens and makis like a plump snow crab roll have a satisfying seafood-to-rice ratio. If youd rather, dishes on the larger custom menu arrive almost as fast. There is also limited, tasty Southeast Asian fare. Most unbelievable: Prices beat supermarket sushi by far. $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 Colombianinspired, 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 mixand-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, unpretentiously inventive touches, from small plates (housemade potato chips with blue cheese fondue) to large (a long-bone short rib chop with truffle popover; South Florida bouillabaisse). More than 30 craft beers accompany. $$-$$$ Blue 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. $$ Bonding638 S. Miami Ave., 786-409-4794From trend-spotting restaurateur Bond Trisansi (originator of Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro), this small spot draws a hip crowd with its affordable menu of redesigned traditional Thai dishes, wildly imaginative sushi makis, and unique signature Asian fusion small plates. Highlights include tastebud-tickling snapper carpaccio; an elegant nest of mee krob (sweet, crisp rice noodles); blessedly non-citrus-drenched tuna tataki, drizzled with spicy-sweet mayo and wasabi cream sauce; greed-inducing bags of gold, deep-fried wonton beggars purses with a shrimp/pork/mushroom/waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$ Bon Fromage500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numer ous 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. $$ Brasileiro801 Brickell Bay Dr., 786-502-3829Fittingly, the indoor/outdoor bay-view space in the Four Ambassadors, occupied by Miamis first Brazilian rodizio restaurant back in the early 1980s, is now home to a 21stcentury upgrade. For insatiable carnivores and fans of Latin Americas best dinner show, theres the traditional parade of tableside, sword-wielding gauchos carving all-you-can-eat meats, including must-not-miss medium-rare picanhas, delectably fat-capped sirloin. For more modern and/or light eaters, prepared dishes by Gully Booth, one of Miamis best-keptsecret chefs, include goat cheese croquettes, stuffed dates, and crab cakes Martha Stewart once proclaimed the best shed eaten. $$$$Brother Jimmys BBQ900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J evidently didnt hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmys opened more than 20 years ago. Miamis location is actually the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the slow-smoked pulled pork butt tastes righteous -no interfering glop, just hot sauce-spiked vinegar to balance the fab fattiness. Theres other cue, too, including big (not baby back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$-$$$Bryan in the Kitchen104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-fromscratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very Frenchfeeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 288.rf ntbnf nttnf tnt f f t tff nff ff NEW THIS MONTH MIAMIBRICKELL / DOWNTOWNThe Island Bistro605 Brickell Key Dr., 305-364-5512In the space that was formerly Fabiens, this bistro has nearidentical lunch and dinner menus of French-inspired food: Basque-style shrimp pil pil, salmon with beurre blanc, steak au poivre. But theres now an espresso-rubbed steak, too, tie-in to an added Panther Coffee Bar serving pastries and other light bites from early morning. That, plus a new lounge with daily happy hours, makes the place feel less formal and more like a casual contemporary hangout. So do daily specials, including Thursdays Shells & Bubbles, a bargain seafood/champagne feast. $$-$$$Verde Restaurant & Bar1103 Biscayne Blvd., 305-375-8282Located in the Prez Art Museum Miami, this indoor/outdoor bayfront bistro, a project of restaurateur Stephen Starr, serves elegant, eco-friendly fare to match PAMMs green certification. (Museum admission not required.) Seafood crudos shine: hamachi sashimi slices flash-marinated in a subtle citrus/ponzu emulsion and enlivened by jalapeo relish; a sprout-topped, smoothly sauced tuna tartare with lemon and horseradish flavors substituting for clichd sesame. Light pizzas topped with near paper-thin zucchini slices, goat cheese, roasted garlic EVOO, and squash blossoms virtually define farm-to-table. And doughnuts with Cuban coffee dip are the definitively local dessert. $$-$$$MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTBlackbrick3451 NE 1st Ave. #103; 305-573-8886Inspiration for the Chinese food at this hotspot came from authentic flavors Richard Hales (from Sakaya Kitchen) encountered during travels in China, but the chefs considerable imagination figures in mightily. Example: Dont expect General Tsos chicken on the changing menu. The Generals Florida Gator, though, is a distinct possibility. Dishes less wild but still thrilling, due to strong spicing: bing (chewy Chinese flatbread) with char sui, garlic, and scallions; two fried tofu/veggie dishes (one hot, one not) savory enough to bring bean curd maligners (and confirmed carnivores) to their knees. $$-$$$ Bocce Bar3252 NE 1st Ave. #107; 786-245-6211A bocce court outside plus interior dcor imported from Italy, floor to ceiling, serve notice that this eaterys shareable small plates (salumi/cheeses, pastas, and composed antipasti featuring perfect produce) are thoroughly Italianinspired. But all are elevated by inventive twists from chef Timon Balloo, of adjacent Sugarcane. Vegetarian dishes especially impress: creamy polenta with a poached egg, savory rapini, and shaved truffle; crispy artichoke with mustard-seed aioli; Thumbelina carrots with mascarpone and pistachio granola, a dish that magically makes the common root veggie a mouthful of wonderfulness; 25 yearaged balsamico ice cream. $$$SuViche2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-960-7097As its fusion name suggests, this artsy indoor/outdoor eatery doesnt merely serve a mix of Japanese sushi and Latin ceviches but a true fusion of both, largely owing to signature sauces (many based on Perus citusy/creamy acevichado emulsion with Japanese spicing) that are applied to sushi rolls and ceviche bowls alike. Additionally there are some popular Peruvian-fusion cooked dishes like Chifa (PeruvianChinese) lomo saltado, served traditionally, as an entre, or creatively in springs rolls). To add to the fun, accompany your meal with a cocktail from Miamis only pisco bar. $$-$$$ UPPER EASTSIDELa Tour Eiffel7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014This cute restaurant/crperie serves three meals, from traditional French breakfasts of croissants/baguettes and jam, or heftier ones including pain perdu (real French toast), to dinners featuring a chefs special $28.90 two-course meal of classics: country pt, Provencal fish soup, bold boeuf bourgignon, creamy-rich poulet la Normande, a moules/ frites that even comes with a glass of muscadet, and many more starter/entre choices. But definitely dont miss the crpes, served all day in both sweet and savory varieties -the latter made correctly, for a change, with heftier buckwheat flour. $$-$$$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSCeviche 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 wild card. 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. $$ Chophouse Miami300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Cipriani465 Brickell Ave., 786-329-4090Derived, like all Cipriani family restaurants worldwide, from legendary Harrys Bar in Venice (a favorite of Truman Capote, Hemingway, and other famous folks since 1931), this glamorous indoor/outdoor riverfront location in Icon has two abso lutely must-not-miss menu items, both invented at Harrys and reproduced here to perfection: beef carpaccio (drizzled artfully with streaks of creamy-rich mustard vinaigrette, not mere olive oil) and the Bellini (a cocktail of prosecco, not champagne, and fresh white peach juice). Venetian-style liver and onions could convert even liver-loathers. Finish with elegant vanilla meringue cake. $$$$$The Corner1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or creative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is transforming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout. The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets (the latter from Om Nom Noms cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti) ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the Crazy Madame, Frances elaborate Croque Madame (a bchamel sauce-topped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon and caramelized onion. $-$$ 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. $$$Doraku900 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-4633Happy hour comes twice daily (after work and lunch) at this second location of a popular South Beach sushi, pan-Asian, small-plates restolounge, bringing discounted prices on treats like rock shrimp tempura with spicy aioli. Regular prices are reasonable, too, for seafood flown in daily, and makis displaying solid creativity rather than gimmickry. Especially enjoyable are items accented by Japanese ingredients rarely found in Americanized sushi bars, like the Geisha Rolls astringent shiso leaf, beautifully balancing spicy tuna, pickled radish, and rich eel sauce. A huge sake menu, too. $$-$$$Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for noncarnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eos485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Originally opened by Michelin-starred New Aegean chef Michael Psilakis, Eos changed upon the chefs departure into a more familiar Mediterranean resort eatery, minus Greekinspired innovations. Now inspiration comes mainly from Spain and Italy, with nods to Morocco and Latin America. Best bets include a tasting platter of Spanish cheeses and cured meats; a pistachio-garnished salad featuring Serrano ham, figs, and arugula; crispy parmesan risotto balls with prosciutto and smoked tomato dip; and olive/smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken. At lunch burgers and upscale sandwiches are added. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influ ences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$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. $-$$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shu mai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the per fect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trade mark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Jamon Iberico Pata Negra Restaurant 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Largo Bar & Grill401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$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. $-$$ La Provence1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated inte rior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$LEntrecote de Paris1053 SE 1st Ave., 305-755-9995If menu choices makes you nuts, this place, originally a Parisian eatery with locations in Brazil, is the restaurant for you. Theres only one prix fixe meal offered: an entrecote steak with a famed creamy sauce of 21 ingredients (here, predominantly curry), accompanied by a walnut-garnished mixed greens/tomato salad and shoestring frites, plus a crunchy-crusted baguette. Your only choice is how you like your steak precision-cooked. la carte desserts are indeed extensive; avoid stress by choosing a macaron flight of mixed flavors. $$$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. $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. $$$$-$$$$$Lunch American Style221 NW 1st Ave., 305-379-1991 Tasting the country, one place at a time is this lunchrooms motto. Wed recommend bringing friends for a tour of many regions favorite foods, most creatively interpreted. Theyre also crafted with homemade ingredients ranging from freshbaked breads to the house-smoked pastrami on a Big Apple sandwich. The Nawlins poboy (featuring crispy-fried shrimp and horseradish remoulade) is also highly recommended. Try to make room for Iowa fritters (mouthwatering fried corn puffs with remoulade dip), too. To accompany: changing craft beers. $-$$ 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 varietie s 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 Caf364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSMomi 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. $$$MPP Brickell141 SW 7th St., 305-400-4610Tasty Peruvian eateries arent rare in Miami. Peruvian fine-dining restaurants are. In the tastefully toned-down but still glam space formerly housing And, this second location of Limas popular Mi Propriedad Privada specializes in familiar flavors presented with seriously upscaled preparations, plating, and prices. But many ceviches, tiraditos, and starters (like espe cially artful layered/molded mashed potato/seafood causas, or clever panko-breaded fusion causa makis) come in trios for taste-testing. And ceviche lovers score on Tuesdays, when all-you-can-eat costs the same as a trio. $$$-$$$$$ My Ceviche1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-960-7825When three-time James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee Sam Gorenstein opened the original My Ceviche in SoBe, in 2012, it garnered national media attention despite being a tiny take-away joint. Arguably, our newer indoor/outdoor Brickell location is better. Same menu, featuring local fish prepared onsite, and superb sauces including a kicky roasted jalapeo/lime mayo), but this time with seats! What to eat? Ceviches, natch. But grilled or raw fish/seafood tacos and burritos, in fresh tortillas, might be even more tempting. Pristine stone-crab claws from co-owner Roger Duartes George Stone Crab add to the choices. $$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 fourcourse 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 freshgrated wasabi to each mind-reelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily deco rated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sau sage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultrafresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-and-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$Ozzi Sushi200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-goround? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pashas1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Pega Grill15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Perfecto Gastro1450 Brickell Ave., 305-372-0620This transplant from Barcelona features dcor that mixes rustic and urban, plus modern music and traditional tapas (the Spanish, not global, kind). Must-have: imported 5J jamon Iberico de Bellota from acorn-fed pata negra pigs -lusciously marbled, tender yet toothsome, the ultimate in cured hams. But other tapas like the salmorejo en vaso (a creamy, pumped Andalusian variation on gazpacho), papatas bravas (crisp-fried potatoes with spicy aioli), fuet (Catalan salami, similar to French saucisson sec), and crispy prawns are pretty perfecto, too. $$-$$$$ Perricones15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most 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. $$Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingredients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Porketta43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034Warm, juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herb-stuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced porketta) roast, at its best, is hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry deli-style pork roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or in three minisandwiches, convenient for sampling the places three sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $-$$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, tarragoninflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$


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 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 ANTSRajas 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 steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$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. $$$Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-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. $-$$ Stanzione 8787 SW 8th St., 305-606-7370 Though Neopolitan-style pizza isnt the rarity it was here a decade ago, this is Miamis only pizzeria certified authentic by Italys Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This means following stringent rules regarding oven (wood-fired), baking time (90 seconds maximum, here closer to 50), tomatoes (imported San Marzano), olive oil (extra-virgin), even flour (tipo 00, for bubbly-light crusts). Toppings do exceed the three original choices served in 19th-century Naples, but pies like the Limone (fresh mozzarella, pecorino, lemons, arugula, EVOO) prove some rules should be broken. $$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 sausage-stuffed 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. $$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the musthaves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/ spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contempo rary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempurabattered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$Temaris1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-836-2747In Japan, temaris are ornamented hand balls, used since the Seventh Century for sport and as good luck folk-art objects. At this Japanese/Latin hot spot, temaris are reinterpreted, both playfully and artfully, as beautiful, bite-size sushi balls (each about half the size of normal nigiri): vinegary rice topped with sliced raw fish or beef, plus nipples constructed from several of the eaterys dozen-and-ahalf 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, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Top Burger109 NE 1st St., 305-379-3100Inside this better burger spot, dcor is so charmingly 1950s retro you almost expect to find the Fonz leaning on a jukebox. What you actually find: hand-formed, hormone-free, 100% Angus patties (or alternatives like veggie burgers, a lightlybreaded chicken Milanesa, and all-beef hot dogs) on toasted buns, with fresh-cut French or sweet potato fries. Welcome surprises include an assertively spicy/tangy BBQ-like secret sauce; prices that, while not 1950s level, rival those at junkfood joints; and old-school service -the kind that comes with a smile. $ Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/dinner destination mainly by default. This replacement, from restaurant empire-builder Richard Sandoval, brings downtown power dining into this decade. As the name suggests, you can go bullish with steakhouse fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) rodizio experience. But the places strongest suit is its pan-Latin small plates -upscaled refinements of classic favorites: crisp corn arepas with short rib, guacamole, and crema fresca; fluffier cachapas pancakes with tomato jam; more. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tuyo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former prot gs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Wolfgangs Steakhouse315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-487-7130Proprietor Wolfgang Zweiner worked for decades at Brooklyns legendary Peter Lugers before opening the first of his own much-praised, old-school steakhouses in 2003, which explains the quality of the USDA prime-grade steaks here -dry-aged on premises for bold, beefy flavor and tender but toothsome texture. Prices are prodigious but so are portions. The 32-ounce porterhouse for two easily feeds three or four folks curious to taste the difference. Plentiful sides include a bacon starter favored by those who love Canadian bacon over pork belly. Personally, just the simple, superb steaks leave us happy as clams. $$$$$Wok Town119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai BenAmi (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Customcooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robatagrilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ B Sweet20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453At this homey neighborhood jewel, located in a former apartment building, husband/wife team Tom Worhach and Karina Gimenez serve up warm welcomes and playfully inventive breakfast, lunch, and snack fare: bacon-wrapped egg and cheese cups; pressed Philly steak panini; an elegant yuzudressed smoked salmon, grapefruit, avocado, and arugula salad. But the must-eats are sweets, housemade by Worhach, formerly executive pastry chef at the Mansion at Turtle Creek and similar gourmet palaces. One bite of his decadent yet impossibly light white-and-dark chocolate mousse cake will hook you for life. $-$$ Basanis3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red-sauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$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. $$$Bin No. 181800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$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. $$Buena Vista Deli4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ The Butcher Shop165 NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120Unbelievable but true: At the heart of this festive, budgetfriendly 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, customcrafted 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 buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant2004 Biscayne Blvd. 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf compo nent nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$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


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS 13488 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD NORTH MIAMI, FLORIDA 33181786-732-3124FISHFISHMIAMI.COM@FISHFISHMIAMI 1 N 7 F ALL DAY ALL DAYHAPPY NEW YEAR! JOIN US THIS MONTH AS FISH FISH TURNS ONE!!! ENJOY OUR CELEBRATORY MENU WITH THANK YOU PRICES M ARKET E ALL NIGHT ALL NIGHT R E E E R STARTERSCONCH FRITTERS.$10Chunks of Conch Gently Battered and Lightly Fried Served with Chipotle RemouladeSAUTEED CALAMARI PLATE.$9Gently Prepared in a Garlic Butter SauceROCK SHRIMP CEVICHE.$12Sweet Bundles of Shrimp, Steamed and Marinated in Lime and Jalapeno Juice. Served Amongst Fresh, Seasonal FruitsTHE WEDGE.$9Classic Wedge Topped with House Made Bleu Cheese Dressing, Sliced Grape Tomatoes, Slivers of Red Onion and Baby Rock ShrimpCHEFS SEAFOOD DELIGHTSCOLOSSAL SHRIMP PLATTER.$23Grilled or Lightly Panko Fried. Served with Lime Aioli Sauce and House Made Cole SlawCATCH DU JOUR, ANY WAY.$21Blackened, Grilled or Broiled. Served with a Small House SaladCRACKED CONCH PATTIES.$20Lightly Fried with Lime Aioli Sauce on the side or Sauteed and Served with Key Lime Butter SauceSHRIMP AND SCALLOP SKEWERS.$30Two Skewers with Tomatoes, Onions, Mushrooms and Bell Peppers Served over Rice basted with Garlic Butter SaucePAN SEARED COD.$19With Brown Butter Sauce. Served with Basmati RiceSURF N TURF.$428oz. Lobster Tail and 8oz. Teres Major Tenderloin Steak served with Chefs Mashed Potatoes or Shoestring FriesFINISHING TOUCHFRESH FRUIT SKEWERS.$72 Skewers of Pineapple, Watermelon, Oranges, and Fresh Berries with a Chocolate Dipping Sauce HAPPY HOUR ALL DAYAT THE BAR WITH BIG BAR BITESOYSTERS/SHRIMP/CLAMS/MUSSELS/SPINACH DIP and more!LIVE JAZZ ON SATURDAY NIGHTS from 9PMEXPRESS LUNCH TUES-FRI 11AM-3PM: Under $20, Out In 40! Fish Fish All Day/Fish Fish All Night:


86 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS veggies with preparations that are ultimately refined interpre tations 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. $$$$$ Daily Melt3401 N. Miami Ave. #123, 305-573-0101Masterminded by Chef Allen Susser, the concept is to bring diners the comfort of homemade grilled cheese -like moms, if mom hadnt usually burned the bread and improperly melted the cheese. The Melts custom grill press browns/melts sandwiches perfectly every time. Additionally, Susser tested numerous all-American cheeses (no imports or artisanal products) for gooey goodness. Mom probably also didnt create combinations like cheddar with green apples and Virginia ham, or allow a simple signature grilled American cheese to be dressed up with truffle butter. Accompaniments include roasted tomato soup, chopped salads, and sweet melts like smores. $The Daily Creative Food Co.2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, gar nishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $The District190 NE 46th St., 305-573-4199At the house whose original restaurant tenant was One Ninety, dcor has been renovated dramatically from shabby to chic, and the pan-American gastropub cuisine also matches a more mature Miami. Horacio Rivaderos dishes reflect both Latin and American influences with considerable creative flair and fun. Favorites: lobster tacos with pickled cabbage, aji Amarillo escabeche, and crisped shallots; luscious lamb tartare, featur ing toasted pignolias and mustard oil; and the Black Magic mousse, with vanilla/sweet potato drizzles, housemade marshmallows, and a pistachio cookie. $$$-$$$$El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crispfried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ Enriquetas Sandwich Shop186 NE 29th St., 305-573-4681This Cuban breakfast/lunch old-timer actually serves more than sandwiches (including mammoth daily specials )-and since reopening after a fire, does so in a cleanly renovated interior. But many hardcore fans never get past the parking lots ordering window, and outdoors really is the best place to manage Enriquetas mojo-marinated messy masterpiece: pan con bistec, dripping with sauted onions, melted cheese, and potato sticks; tomatoes make the fats and calories negligible. Accompany with fresh orange juice or caf con leche, and youll never want anything else, except maybe a bib. $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 butterfried 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. $$$Gigi3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach RitzCarlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and house made pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ Harrys Pizzeria3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; woodoven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wingshaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ 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 creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$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


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSat this 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. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948Chef/co-owner Dena Marino calls MCs food modern Italian -neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this place is one of our towns hottest tickets. But tasting tells the tale. Marinos food incorporates her entire culinary background, from her Nonnas traditional Italian-American kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarellos famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$ Mercato4141 NE 2nd Ave., 786-332-3772Adjacent to Dena Marinos hot hangout MC Kitchen, the contemporary Italian chefs artisanal market and breakfast/ lunch caf is for diners wanting a quicker (but not fast-food) sit-down meal, or inventive take-out. Pressed for time? Try a pressed sandwich like Marinos Italian Cubano (porchetta, prosciutto cotto, Swiss, pickles, and Dijon mustard dressing, on ciabatta). Along with hot or cold sandwiches, theres a wide variety of homemade breakfast pastries, breads, cookies, and fresh-baked quiches, plus salads and a daily-changing soup. Market items include exotic jams, craft beers, and Marinos private label EVOO. $-$$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: genu inely 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; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply pankocrusted 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 downhome buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$ 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. $-$$ Pashas 3801 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548Behind this Wynwood warehouse faade youll find pure Southern roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbe cue from pit master Myron Mixon. Oddly, considering Mixons many BBQ championships, the cue can be inconsistent. Our favorite choices: St. Louis ribs, tender without being falling-offthe bone overcooked, and enjoyably fattier than baby backs; vinegar-doused pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$


88 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS 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. $$Sakaya KitchenShops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue 305-576-8096This chef-driven, fast-casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop). But why quibble about words with so many more intriguing things to wrap your mouth around? The concept takes on street-food favorites from all over Asia, housemade daily from quality fresh ingredients. French Culinary Institute-trained Richard Hales does change his menu, so wed advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken wings and Chineseinspired, open-faced roast pork buns with sweet chili sauce and homemade pickles. $$ 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. $-$$Shokudo World Resource Caf 4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resources caf was better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The indoor/outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan-Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light housemade momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/Nepalese steamed dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions. Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$-$$$ Soi Chinese Kitchen645 NW 20th St., 305-482-0238No chop suey. No kung pao anything, either. In fact, anything on Sois menu that sounds like something from a normal Chinese eatery wont be: char sui ribs come with delicate corn pancakes, wonton soup is kafir lime broth with a mushroom/ truffle-butter-stuffed ravioli, lo mein is housemade noodles with pork belly and sous vide 63-degree egg. Basically its contemporary Chinese fine dining fare similar in creativity and quality ingredients to ultra-upscale Hakkasans, but served by a tiny take-out joint (with a few patio tables and counter stools) at neighborhood prices. $$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. $$-$$$Thea Pizzeria-Caf1951 NW 7th Ave., 305-777-3777Just over the border from artsy Wynwood, this ultra-cool caf (whose interior features a 30-foot Italian glass floral mosaic) isnt what youd expect to find inside one of the medical/lab buildings in Miamis sterile Health District. But the owner is Thea Goldman, former founding partner of Wynwoods pioneering restolounge Joeys, which explains both the stylishness and the menu, highlighted by imaginative wood-oven designer pizzas, plus artisan charcuterie/cheese platters, creative salads, and housemade salted caramel gelato. Not your typical hospital food. Call ahead regarding dinner. At this writing, its being served Fridays only. $$-$$$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. $$Tony Chans Water Club1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpewrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Wine Vault MiamiShops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include chorizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from worldfamous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with uniqueto-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$ rrfrnfttb t t f bbbn bnfntt b bb bnfnn btnnn bbt bnrfrb


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS Balans Biscayne6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhoodfocused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maplegarnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Biscayne Diner8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-9910 At this architecturally mixed-era diner (signage: 1960s Jetsons; building: 1930s urban-gritty), the menu is equally eclectic. Example: The entre section includes meatloaf, but the other half-dozen dishes are Italian. Hefty burgers are always terrific. Otherwise, the chef seems most excited by experimentation, so the blackboards Daily Specials are the interesting way to go, whether the item is an ambitious quail or a fresh-baked old-fashioned pie. If we could stop stuffing ourselves silly on the big, fat, breaded onion rings, we could tell you more. But thats not gonna happen. Blue Collar6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$Boteco916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$B & M Market219 NE 79th St., 305-757-2889Dont let the rustic look of this mom-and-pop Caribbean market/eatery, or its ungentrified location, scare you. Walk to the kitchen in the back of the market, order, and then either eat-in (at two tables) or take-out some of Miamis tastiest, and cheapest, West Indian food. Celeb chef Michelle Bernstein is a longtime fan of the jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, and pigeon peas and rice cooked in coconut milk. Rotis rule here; the flatbreads come plain or, better yet, in curry chicken, goat, or remarkably full-flavored vegetarian versions. $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 avo cado). 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. $-$$ East Side Pizza731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $Fiorito5555 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-2899While owners Max and Cristian Alvarezs description of their eatery as a little Argentinean shack is as charming as the brothers themselves, it conveys neither the places cool warmth nor the foods exciting elegance. Dishes are authentically Argentine, but far from standard steakhouse stuff. Chef Cristians background at popular pop-up The Dining Room becomes instantly understandable in dishes like orange and herb-scented lechon confit (with pumpkin mash, pickled cabbage salad, and Dijon mojo) or sopa de calabaza, derived from Argentinas peasant stew locro, but here a refined, creamy soup. Many more surprises -even steaks. $$-$$$ The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeasterninspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Garden of Eatin136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Iron Side Caf7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-759-0551Located in the Little River business (meaning warehouse) district, inside an art complex that looks like just another factory, this eatery is easy to miss. But it shouldnt be missed. Both the cozy interior and more expansive terrace provide picturesque settings for artfully plated, seriously organic and locally sourced fare from Nuno Grullon, original exec chef at Metro Organic Bistro. Particularly recommended: tuna tartare with a unique spicy lemon dressing; ossa buco featuring flavorful grass-fed beef from Gaucho Ranch right down the road. Saturday BBQ/gallery nights are especially hip. $$-$$$Jimmys East Side Diner7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSMinas 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. $$Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese homecooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a fullfledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless bone less half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$Sweet Saloon7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999At this dessert/snack/cocktail bar, from the owner of Moonchine, youll find live and DJ entertainment, too, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.-assuming you can find the place, that is. Its above the pan-Asian eatery, up a hidden back staircase. Asian savory snacks include dumplings, edamame, krab rangoons, satays. Desserts range from homey American (NY cheesecake, mini cupcakes) to continental (strawberries melba, housemade Belgian waffles, a shareable chocolate fondue/fruit platter). Actually, some cocktails double as desserts (a Godiva dark chocolate martini) or Asian savories (infu sion jars of Stoli and lemongrass). $$NORTH BAY VILLAGEOggis Caffe1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Paprika1624 NE 79th St., 305-397-8777 This exotically decorated restaurant, serving Mediterranean cuisine from North Africa and the Middle East, has several unusual features, including Friday-night belly dancing and a hookah lounge. Food menus also feature appealing, unusual choices (zaatar-spiced seared lamb loin carpaccio with chickpea pure; stuffed boureka puff pastries; mussels in creamy saffron sauce) along with familiar hummus, kabobs, more. Lunchtime sandwich standout: merguez (intensely spiced lamb sausage) with tzatziki, hummus, salad, and fiery harissa sauce, on fresh pita. $$-$$$ Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey traditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If youve wondered about the much-debated difference, heres where to test the taste. $-$$Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)NORTH BEACHCaf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Who says old dogs cant learn new tricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28 seats), the Cea familys now-sprawling trattoria has added inventive chef Carlos Belon and modern menu items, including fiocchi rapera (pear/cheese-filled pasta purses with truffled prosciutto cream sauce), an unlikely (soy sauce and parmesan cheese?) but luscious Italian/Japanese fusion tuna carpaccio, and fresh-fruit sorbets. But traditionalists neednt worry. All the old favorites, from the cafs famed beef carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$-$$$$ Lous Beer Garden7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels poolpatio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several house made sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/ sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys executive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooeycheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$NORTH MIAMIAlaska Coffee Roasting Co.13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$Bagels & Co.11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hotsmoked 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


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and home made sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Caminito Way1960 NE 123rd St., 305-893-8322Open since 1999, this bakery-caf is particularly known for its European-influenced homemade Argentine pastries. So come early to pick from the widest variety of savory empanadas (plumply stuffed and admirably delicate -no leaden crusts here) or sweet facturas (Argentinas most popular breakfast items). They sell out fast. What some might not know is that despite its small size, Caminitos also crafts tasty big food: elaborate salads; hefty baguette sandwiches, like choripan sausage with chimichurri; pastas; major meat or poultry entres. For lighter lunches, try tartas (quiches), also perfect party food. $-$$Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically 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 worth-the-drive dining destination: Both local and coldwater fish and shellfish, including stone crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nachlass own Florida Keys plant, that are always fresh, never frozen (except some shrimp). For home cooks, the market offers all delivered-daily catches on the menu. But dont miss chef Oscar Quezadas simple and perfect preparations, including lightly battered, crispy tempura shrimp; sophisticated fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheapo fish); bracing ceviches; and, for carnivores, shepherds pie topped with ethereal whipped potatoes. $$-$$$$Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supple ments. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-tenbuck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Il Piccolo Caf2112 NE 123rd St., 305-893-6538Talk about a neighborhood institution. The owners of this longtime Italian eatery remember frequent visits from Miami native Michelle Bernstein and her parents -when the 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 sauce-drenched veal piccata with capers and artichokes. There are surprises not found at old school redsauce joints, too, like lunchtimes surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojomarinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Kings Chef476 NE 125th St., 305-895-7878While authentic Chinese fine dining fare is best eaten fresh from the wok, Chinese take-out is almost a separate genre with its own standards -prime being how its tantalizing scent fills the inside of your car. Even basic bargain-priced Szechuan beef combination platters from this humble establishment do that so well, youll find yourself taking the long way home. There are surprises one wouldnt expect, too, including a wide variety of tasty tofu dishes -spicy ma po, General Tso-style, honey garlic, many more -and other savory vegetarian treats. $-$$ Mama Jennies11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American bellybusters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$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. $$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS 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 pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Piccolo Pizza2104 NE 123rd St., 305-893-9550Pizzas at this spin-off from family-owned Il Piccolo impress even NYC visitors, thanks to recipes proprietor Hubert Benmoussa learned from an authentic Neapolitan pizzaolo. Other favorites here include subs on homemade baguettes and, surprising for a pizzeria, delightfully custardy quiche (Benmoussa is part French). But it would be unthinkable to miss the pies, especially our favorite Italia: subtly sweet tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, plus mixed greens and uncooked prosciutto on top -both pizza and salad. There are also nicely priced catering trays of finger subs, quiche squares, pizza bites, more. $-$$ 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 boat-based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-rich beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll (tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $NORTH MIAMI BEACHBlue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ 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 execu tive 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. Takeout packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland 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, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ El Gran Inka3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popu lar after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly takeout 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 valuepriced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stirfried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweetfleshed 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-andmatch 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-feta-packed 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. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$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 surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genu ine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a TEL:305-754-8002 www.schnitzelhausmiami.com1085 N.E. 79th Street / Causeway, Miami, FL 33138 ORIGINAL BAVARIANBIER GARTENOPENDAILYFROM5:00PMTO11:00PMFRIDAY& SATURDAYTOMIDNIGHT


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSBangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chilitopped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentictasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the mustnot-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$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 family-friendly restaurant featuring classic Italian dishes plus steakhouse fare, all in prodigious portions. For an ultimate Miamian/Italian fusion experience, arrive by boat at 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. $$$ Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are house made. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied dailychanging menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal LadiesWho-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin73 NE 167th St., 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six yearold. She cleaned her plate. $$Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro1007 Kane Concourse, 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Bay Harbor Bistro1023 Kane Concourse, 305-866-0404Though small, this ambitious European/American fusion bistro covers all the bases, from smoked salmon eggs Florentine at breakfast and elaborate lunch salads to steak frites at dinner, plus tapas. As well as familiar fare, youll find atypical creations: caramelized onion and goat cheesegarnished leg of lamb sandwiches; a layered crab/avocado tortino; pistachio-crusted salmon. A welcome surprise: The bistro is also a bakery, so dont overlook the mouthwateringly buttery croissants, plumply stuffed empanadas, or elegant berry tarts and other homemade French pastries. $$-$$$Bettos Ristorante Italiano1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled, renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/effusively charming host of Surfsides neighborhood favorite Caf Ragazzi). Best make reservations. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noodles with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauted medaillons with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$ 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 chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (exCasa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast spe cials, 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 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. 1/31/14$5OFF HAPPY NEW YEAR! THAI & JAPANESE LUNCH SPECIALS from $7.99MonSat


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTSwinner, 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. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vege tarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories includ ing hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American resto lounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Fresko19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737Forget thick, dough-wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slathered with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy eatery eschews the starch/sugar-laden traditional tfavorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contemporary as the restaurants dcor. Asianinfluenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pine apple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$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 restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$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, co-founder 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, AmericanizedCantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Named after Ernest Hemingways fishing boat, this eatery, helmed for its first decade by chef Scott Fredel, is now under new ownership. The menu is a mix of classic dishes (grilled skirt steak with chimichurri and fries; chicken parm), todays trendy favorites (sliders, tuna tartare), and pastas including linguine with shrimp, tomato, basil, and garlic in Alfredo sauce. But executive chef Frank Ferreiros focus remains fresh seafood, like pan-seared colossal scallops with sauted spinach, fried onions, roasted corn, and champagne butter sauce. $$$Sicilian Oven20475 Biscayne Blvd., 305-682-1890Dont think that square-shaped doughy pizza is the specialty here. Oven is really the operative word, referring to the open kitchens impressive-looking, open-flame wood-burner, and for our money the places thin-crusted pies are the way to go. Toppings, applied amply, range from traditional ItalianAmerican (like made-in-Wisconsin Grande mozzarella) to popu lar (fresh mozz, even balsamic glaze); crust options include whole grain and gluten-free. Other must-haves: arancini (deep-fried rice balls stuffed with mozz and ground beef) and cervellata sausage with broccoli rabe. $$ 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 avocado, 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)SUNNY ISLES BEACHAlba17315 Collins Ave., 786-923-9305From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano, Sole resorts seaside Italian/Italian-American eatery has an irreverent retro Rat Pack vibe and a menu featuring naked ravioli from the Gnudi Bar, fresh seafood, homemade pastas, classic and contemporary pizzas, and old school red sauce joint entres, some upscaled. (When lobster Franaise is available, why settle for chicken?) Almond-sage butter-sauced butternut squash gnudi is a best bet. And meals end with another best bet: the Vinny D Split, a game enabling tables to win their meals for free. $$$$ Chef Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily spe cials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeawayfrom-home found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/ sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale ItalianAmerican place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Mozart Caf18110 Collins Ave., 305-974-0103This eatery (which serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner) is a kosher dairy restaurant, but not the familiar Old World type that used to proliferate all over New Yorks Lower Eastside Jewish community. Dcor isnt deli but modern-artsy, and the food is not blintzes, noodle kugel, etc., but a wide range of non-meat items from pizzas to sushi. Our favorite dishes, though, are Middle Eastern-influenced, specifically Yemenite malawach (paratha-type flatbread sandwiches, savory or sweet), and shaksuka (nicknamed eggs in purgatory; the spicy eggplant version will explain all). $$-$$$ Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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. $$$Preservation18250 Collins Ave., 305-974-0273 Restaurant trendsetters, anyone with a back-to-the-land ethic, and lovers of food history and culture will especially love this rustic-looking places focus: proteins and produce, housepreserved via curing, pickling, and smoking. And its no novelty act. Dishes arent all preserved, but rather use preserved items to accent fresh ingredients: a Cobb salad with fresh greens, tomato, and egg, plus house-smoked bleu cheese dressing, chicken, and bacon; smoked tomato soup with fresh basil mousse; smoked short rib Benedict for brunch. A variety of jarred preserves and pickles are available retail, too. $$-$$$. Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill17630 Collins Ave., 305-682-1243Sushi may well have been served in Sunny Isles before this longtime neighborhood favorite opened, but Sumo was the neighborhoods first sushi bar to double as a popular lounge/ hangout as well as restaurant. Ladies nights are legend. While Thai and Chinese dishes are available, as well as purist nigiri, few can resist the truly sumo-wrestler-size maki rolls, the more over-the-top, the better. Our bet for biggest crowd pleaser: the spicy Pink Lady (shrimp tempura, avocado, masago, cilantro, and spicy mayo, topped with rich scallop-studded dynamite sauce. $$-$$$ Timo17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a woodoven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ NOW OPEN 7 DAYS FROM 11AM PARTY WITH US FRI & SAT till 2AM Lunch, Dinner & Happy Hour Specials DAILY *Must present all coupons. Not valid with other offers. Tax not included. ** ORDER ONLINE **(Delivery charge Call for delivery area)


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANTS


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