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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE June 2014 Volume 12 Issue 4 r




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COVER STORY 24 Priv ate Spaces: Its About Wabi-Sabi COMMENTARY 12 Fe edback: Letters 18 Ja ck King: Southerners Explained OUR SPONSORS 20 Bi zBuzz: June 2014 COMMUNITY NEWS 40 Miamis Center for Architecture & Design 40 It Takes a Village to Catch a Thief 41 New Developments Along the Corridor NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 50 Bricke ll / Downtown: Forgotten Park 54 Nor th Miami: Fiscal Armageddon 56 Uppe r Eastside: Its Time to Grill 58 Aventu ra: So Long, National Enquirer ART & CULTURE 60 Anne Tschida on a Cuban Experiment 62 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 64 Event s Calendar: Summer Shorts Returns POLICE REPORTS 66 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 68 Jim W. Harp er: Our Glorious Beaches COLUMNISTS 65 Pi cture Story: UMs Origin Story 70 Your Garden: Natures Sweetener 71 Pet Talk: Cats and Dogs and Peace 72 Going Green : Population Bomb 73 Kids and the City: Crystal Bids Farewell 74 Vino: Blend ed Whites for Summer 75 Dish: Sprouting New Veggies DINING GUIDE 76 Re staurant Listings: 297 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants RWBimini Book Now! 1-888-930-8688 www.rwbimini.comEnter Promo Code: RELAXR/T Day Cruises Include: Resort Tram Service, WiFi, Beach Chair, Towel & Choice of Snorkeling, Paddle Boarding or Kayaking. R/T Airfare from $251.50pp***BIMINI DAY CRUISESFrom $64.50pp** SAVE 50% *Prices are per person per night. 2 night minimum stay required. $45 pp rate is based on minimum of 4 guests in the room Sunday through Thursday. Weekday rate is valid Sunday through Thursday. Weekend rate is valid Friday and Saturday. Promotion is valid for new bookings only and is not combinable with any other promotion. Valid for stays through August 31, 2014. Blackout dates apply. **Excludes taxes and fees. ***Based on space availability. Valid for new bookings only. Service from FLL to BIM 3 days a week, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Prices are subject to change at any time and blackout dates apply. Resort credit is valid only for F&B, cannot be redeemed for cash, no casino value & expires at the end of guests stay. Resort Credits are per room and are only valid with a minimum three night stay.RESORT CREDIT PLUS UP TO $500PP* PER NIGHT $ 45 STARTING JUNE 13, 2014 PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr bArts Editor r tnrt t t rrr nn n r r nrn 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 40 50 70Serving 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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Good Cover, Good CoverageErik Bojnansky turned in a great cover story on the quirky past and questionable future for the Intracoastal Mall property under its new ownership (The Hunt for Waterfront, May 2014). The photo coverage gave a sense of how massive the beachfront condominium towers are in Sunny Isles. They literally overshadow the natural beauty of the shoreline. No more of that, please. As for the Dezers, they seem overawed by Trump fairy dust. I hope they grow to feel as much affection for North Miami Beach, which will have to live with their Intracoastal Mall development project long after they are gone. Dolores Cleeve MiamiA Business Owner RespondsJust curious: Which part of Jen Karetnicks column (Retail Rights and Wrongs, May 2014) was not mean-spirited? She writes that she paid the $101.12 that she owed my store in part to keepmy conscience clear and in part because I knew someday I would write about it. even by writing in her column that a small-business owner like me would have the audacity to try to collect money he is owed. I think that is very vindictive and shows a lack of impartiality as a journalist. If I had overcharged her by mistake, she would have expected the money back andI would have been happy to give it to her. I guess I should have eaten the misupon me for trying to make ends meet and run a business that depends on so Im sorry that she had a bad experience in my store that day in May 2013 because I was out at a funeral. Now I have to relive that episode, over one year later, by her trying to destroy my business and getting even with me. I usually go out of my wayfor my customers, and I would have done the same for her. I did try to call and reach her by thenumber she had on her invoice. I left several messages for her as soon as the mistake was realized (the next day) and a few days after,but did not receive a call-back. It was only when I was doing my sales tax calculationsthat Isaw an e-mail address. I contacted her by e-mail and got aresponse. I explained that Id left several messages onher home answering machine (which she said she never got) and that now time had passed So her clear conscience (as she put it) that she got by payingwhat she owed still entitles her tobe vindictive. I know I wouldnt have a clear conscience if Id written an article like that. I guess she has no problem sleeping at night. I have been so upset by this that I have lost many nights sleep. So I guess she got even, and then some. Sam Camhe Mostly Modern North MiamiUnclear and MisguidedIm writing in regard to Jen Karetnicks May column, Retail Rights and Wrongs. The intention behind Ms. Karetnicks rant, with all its puffed-up indignation, was unclear; nor did it educate or amuse. However, she did manage to demonstrate how mistaken and meanspirited she appears to be while not so subtly plugging her upcoming book. I am quite certain that Ms. Karetnick was aware of the accounting error (in her favor) and took advantage of the situation until she was called out, and then rightfully forked over the hundred bucks. Sam Camhe, the owner of Mostly Modern, is one of the kindest, most honest men I know. He is a small, inde pendent owner, a one-man retail opera tion, and he happened to be attending his brothers funeral during the incident. his absence. I do not know who Ms. K.s cadre of retail friends are who came up with the consensus that the store owner must eat a mistake, but I do question their moral code. And, yes, it is an issue of morality. Her column brings into play other issues, as well, like empathy or the lack thereof, community, and fair play. Shame on her for also dogging another small-business owner who was going out of business. Hard as it is for one to believe, I am sure that woman had a few things on her mind besides Miss Fancy Pants, who of course would gladly vintage luxury goods but then somehow Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 14




feel a creepy compulsion to kick the poor girl on her way out. Petty and despicable. Heres a little lagniappe for Ms. K. Check your face, girl, and right yourself, because youve got it all wrong. Very little is given for nothing in the world we live in. And lets be very clear: The reason your ass is kissed is because you clearly use your profession as a weapon or reward. And that is anything but professional. Its appalling. Those who share your misguided sense of entitlement and enjoy winning while watching others lose have always been on the wrong side of history, politics, and humanity. Perry Tortorelli JacksonvilleRemember Nature? Remember Biscayne Bay? Long, Long Ago....Thanks to Erik Bojnansky for drawing attention to the issue of public space in your recent article When Public Isnt Public at All (May 2014). Parcel B is one of our last remaining open spaces on the downtown waterfront. Sadly, Miami has a history of having such spaces be eaten up by buildings, often with little regard to open space for people, pets, and what passes (these days) for natural areas. As Richard Louv writes in his important book Last Child in the Woods (2006), our children and by exten disorder that needs more attention in our hyper-modern world. Check out his work and website. My one complaint about the article is that the Urban Environment League was text. Our organization has spearheaded many struggles to preserve open space on our waterfront since its founding in 1996 from Virginia Key Beach Park to the Miami Circle, Bicentennial Park, and now were battling David Beckhams plan to block off even more waterfront. Our forum less than a month ago (with Miami Neighborhoods United and the Downtown Bay Form) attracted a large audience and helped draw attention to the issue of Parcel B. It stimulated lively discussion, including commitments for open space and an open public design process from Com missioner Audrey Edmonson. We thank her for her efforts. Check out our website or Facebook page, and get involved in the UEL. Miami needs more people who engage beyond the Internet in advocacy organizations in the public interest. Otherwise, the public interest and urban open spaces may become a distant memory. Greg Bush, vice president Urban Environment League MiamiDissent Is Not YellowI would like to add to what Nancy Liebman said about the agreement with Cushman School to close a public street, in response to Ken Jetts column A Good Walk Spoiled (April 2014). It was not a unanimous decision by the MiMo Biscayne Association board for this street to be given away. As a board member, I was one of three dissenting votes and was completely against vacating the street to Cushman. The minutes from that last meeting record me as being the lone dissenter, but there were two other board mem bers who could not be present but who let it be known ahead of time that they were against the giveaway. We three thought that a guard gate school said it was seeking. Not surprising, then, that I support Ken Jetts viewpoint. We dont know the extent of any scholarships that Cushman awards, and it would seem that a public school without the prestige of Cushman would never be given this type of agreement by the city. Would they even dare to ask? My further objection to streets being vacated entity such as a school is the precedent it sets. Far from engaging in yellow journalism, as one letter-writer described Ken Jetts opinion piece, I feel Biscayne Times did a service by presenting, along with that opinion, facts the general public would not otherwise have known. Ginger Vela Shorecrest Oh, Chute!I noted with interest the two stories in your April issue about horse racing at Commentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12 Continued on page 16




Gulfstream Park (Race Wars by Terence Cantarella and Heres a Clever Way to Bring Slots to Miami by Erik Bojnansky) and mention of the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care Retirement Program (GPTARP). Inasmuch as I used to work for the great Joe T. at Gulfstream back in the 1990s, I enjoyed the detailed history the cover article gave. I have been handling PR for the horsemen for the past three years and actually wrote the Phil Combest op-ed piece referenced in the cover story. in the second piece, by Erik Bojnansky. State Rep. Rob Schencks name was misspelled, and the reference to the new part of the Gulfstream track is wrong. The GPTARP races actually took place in the seven-furlong chute, which has existed for the entire history of the track. It was not built especially for that purpose, as the article suggests. Jennifer Pierce, director of marketing and community development Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb, P.A. Fort LauderdaleA Response Is in OrderIt comes as no surprise that Biscayne Park Commissioner Fred Jonass April issue letter to the editor in response to Erik Bojnanskys Border Wars (March nem attacks, and a dearth of facts. To set the record straight, everyone on the prior Biscayne Park commission heard the idea of funding a few addirevenue to cover the area to be absorbed by Biscayne Park. But when village staff were asked to provide eastern area crime statistics to compare with our own, the report never materialized. Analysis would have shown if our police could cover the annexed areas without hurting existing service. be pulled from patrolling existing streets and current duty to keep homes, residents, and families safe and get bogged down in a crime quagmire outside our existing boundaries. The failure since annexation would ultimately cost more than the added revenue. Why didnt Jonas didnt discuss such data? Readers should visit http://nation. By locating southeast Florida and zooming in to Biscayne Park, it becomes obvious that our village is a relatively tranquil oasis with an average crime index (CI) of 33.5 and a personal crime index (PCI) of 24. (The website notes that an index of 100 is average; a CI of 120 indicates that crime in that area is 20 percent above the national average.) However, the eastern area is a relative war zone. The northern census block group that Jonas and the majority on the commission want to absorb has a CI of 282 and a PCI of 466. If the county cant adequately protect residents in this area, how can we? Jonas writes that the proposed annexation area has little in it that could and that given its zoning and purpose, it is quite well kept. Readers should drive through the area and the adjacent streets the county will likely force us to take on, and see for themselves. Why did Jonas fail to mention that former village manager Ana Garcia spoke about a post-annexation ability to clean up the area? And how can he state that the east currently has its own zoning and still believe that no tension will arise when a stricter Biscayne Park code takes effect? As to his claim that I worked to undermine the BP code, Jonas gives no examples. His assertion that I would overthrow it if I could perhaps originates from his own confused projections. Last, look at Jonass recent vote on the FPL concrete utility pole project being forced on us. And know that he recently agreed to cease commissioner e-mail broadcasts to notify village residents on this issue, apparently to limit the spread of resistance that arises when a huge concrete power pole threatens a residents front yard with decreased property aesthetics and value. Good code and good budget decisions can protect our residents. Lets start by asking Jonas to poll neighbors on his street and beyond to determine the number of us who support ties with Miami Shores, and who oppose FPLs concrete monoliths in our front yards before he again tries to fool the readers of Biscayne Times Bryan Cooper, past commissioner Biscayne ParkCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 14


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Commentary: MIAMIS KINGBy Jack King BT ContributorThe South Florida insanity of celebrity worship is hot right now. Beckham-mania, along with all, and our local politicians no doubt are hoping for the chance of a photo op and an envelope full of cash from Beckham and his boys. Hopefully, the locals will remember Marlins-mania long enough to tell the British carpetbagger to take a hike. Through all this, few have paid attention to two of north Floridas wonderful representatives whove made complete asses of themselves. We start with U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho, who during his last campaign sug gested that only property owners should be allowed to vote. At another campaign stop, he praised Gov. Rick Scott for reducing the number of early voting days to just eight. Yoho also noted that we used to have laws limiting the vote to property owners. However, he failed to add that Congress changed those laws because they were discriminatory, both racially and economically. Then we have one of Yohos north Florida sidekicks, State Rep. Charles Van Zant. Speaking in March at the Operation Education Conference in Orlando, menting Common Core are promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda. Their aim, Van Zant warned, was to attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. The Republican then apologized to the crowd. I really hate to bring you that news, he said, but you need to know. Common Core is not some hippy-dippy liberal idea. It came out of a group of cur rent and former governors led by Jeb Bush. Since Bush is not exactly a left-wing ideo logue, this begs the larger question: Where in the hell does this stuff come from? Both Yoho and Van Zant are graduates of the University of Florida. Ones an architect, the other a veterinarian, so youd think theyve got enough brain power to make reasonable judgments. What gives? I did some research on Common Core and found that it offers guidelines for learning math, reading, and science. What can be bad about that, you ask? Quite a bit, it seems. I recommend a new book, The In dicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness by Angie Maxwell (University of North Carolina Press). Her well-reviewed thesis is this: In the aftermath of the Civil War, the South was a mess. On his scorched-earth march through Georgia, General Sherman burned the innards out of the Confederacy, including its heart and soul, Atlanta. The plan was to reduce to the Confederacy to nothing so it could be rebuilt. But the plan didnt work. There was nothing left. The South stayed a small agrarian economy, with its people struggling. grade. The port towns grew, but everything else went backward. Whites blamed blacks for their woes. Blacks blamed whites for theirs. And there was no Marshall Plan for the vanquished. So for 50 years after the Civil War, South Bible by night. Thats how they obtained their reading and science skills. When people think of the Bible, they tend to regard it either as a book of family sagas, tales, and teachings that have great value, or as a book of compiled stories. Few take it literally. Well, everybody in the South did. It was all they had. In 1920, the State of Tennessee outlawed the teaching of evolution in its schools. In the preceding decades, Darwins theories had found acceptance educated lay people around the world. Finally, in 1925, a Tennessee science teacher named John Scopes agreed to teach from the evolution section of his classrooms state-required textbook, and to submit to arrest for violating state law. The strategy was to challenge Tennessee law; the American Civil Liberties Union, backed by local businessmen and northern newspapers, offered to pay legal fees for any teacher who would break the law. It worked. The Scopes Monkey Trial became one of the biggest PR disasters the South has ever seen. For months during the trial, national and international newspapers and maga zines examined every aspect of the pro ceedings. It was a years worth of humili ation, portraying Southerners as country bumpkins. And they went back to reading the Bible even more. The more insular they became, the more fundamental they grew. Thats why now, if you run for be anti-science, anti-intellectual, and anti-progress, and can only read certain books, the Bible among them. Maybe the biggest star of Scopes trial was William Jennings Bryan, who testipolitics from liberal to conservative and was the only three-time loser in presidential politics. Oh, yes, Scopes was found guilty. He admitted his crime on the stand. He never spent a day in jail. Feedback: The Southerner, ExplainedInsular, backward, fundamental: Is this Florida or Afghanistan?




Our Sponsors: J UNE 2 014By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorO And few expatriates from up north who move to Miami during this season, as we did, will ever forget learning what summer in Miami really means; the experience is burned into you literally. After an idyllically balmy winter weekend vacation 20 years ago, we impulsively bought two condos sight unseen (with the help of two friends who were decidedly not real estate professionals), and arrived in late June to degrees. We also found that one of the While moving our stuff into the second condo, a sudden torrential rain de scended (out of nowhere, it seemed; who from a drizzle-all-day locale knows about in-fast/out-fast tropical-type summer storms?), drenching everything includ ing a metal sofa frame, which slipped from our hands, smushifying a toe. It went on. Turning the van around and driving back to New England started to seem like the sanest idea. But that night, after the storm stopped and the bay breezes brought the heat down, we limped out for a walk and discovered the upside of Miami summers: theyre for locals. On this particular evening, it was about 50 neighborhood residents gathered to watch a movie that a popular restaurant/lounge was projecting on the wall of an adjacent parking lot a casual happening that wouldnt have been possible during the businesss frenetic high-tourism season. Numerous BT advertisers have timely special sales and other things planned this month to ensure you have fun in the sun (or storms). The Shops at Midtown Miami (3401 N. Miami Ave. #132, 305-573-3371) can too: summers Moonlit Movies, pre sented in lovely Fountain Plaza, are back. Wednesday at 8:00 p.m., and this summer the Shops will be hosting games before each movie at 7:00 p.m. This months schedule: Mr. Peabody & Sherman June 11, and Anchorman 2 June 25. Addition ally, for soccer fans, there will be special World Cup-watching parties almost every day in June on the covered outdoor dining patio area just east of the fountain, with drink/dining specials from adjacent restaurants and multiple TV screens provided by sponsor Coors Light. See this issues ad for days and times. World Cup madness and NBA Playoff partying are also highly encouraged at Taperia Raca (7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756). The casual-hip hangout/ tapas bar, from the guys behind nationally acclaimed Eating House, will be show ing all games on a huge new outdoor HD projector. Thanks, but all we want to see are the small plates and wine menus. To meet your Wynwood neighbors in air-conditioned comfort, surrounded by some truly cool art, come to the June 25 Wine Down Wednesday, designed by very locals-oriented C1 Bank (2632 N. Miami Ave., 305-702-6810) as a regular monthly wine-and-cheese mixer for businesses in the area. The interactive open houses are free, and fun. Hialeah Park Race Course & Casino (2200 E. 4th Ave., 305-885-8000, www.hialeahparkcasino. com), something thatll get residents in touch with their roots (and Miamis) instantly: a Willy Chirino concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of his at 8:00 p.m., but tickets ($15-$50) go on pated demand. What made it possible, that June day 20 years ago, for us to limp around and discover how great Miami summers can be when you live here, was emergencyroom care at new advertiser Mount Sinai Hospital Some wonder about quality of care in often-frenetic ERs, but trust us: Mount Sinai ER doctors actually did save my life by noticing, and taking time to investigate, certain symptoms having nothing whatever to do with the emergency. There are actually two Mount Sinai locations, with ERs at both: the well-known Miami Beach original (4300 Alton Rd., 305-674-2200), and Aventuras newer facility (2845 Aventura Blvd., 305-692-1000). At the time of my misadventures, Medi-Station Urgent Care Center (9600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-603-7600) wasnt around; Dr. Carlos Sanchez and his wife, Kathy, the hardworking couple who run the comprehensive, affordable walk-in clinic, are actually just this month sary. And youre invited! On June 27 at 1160 Kane Concourse, Suite 100-B Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154www.balharborbouari.com305-397-8841 305-397-8842 Come in for a FREE Consultation and get a FREE Vitamin B-12 shotBy Appointment Only.HCG Injectable 25 Days $329(reg. $549)HCG Oral 25 Days $299(reg. $439)Expires 7/31/2014 Get Ready For This SummerLose Weight!Lose 10-20 pounds in 25 Days!!Both HCG Programs Include: Continued on page 22BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible


22 Our Sponsors: J UNE 2 014in for the free medical screenings being given June 22-27. This month Biscayne Dental Center (14771 Biscayne Blvd., 305-945-7745) is also celebrating an anniversary, the practices third year in business. But dont send a gift. Instead theyre giving you three: 20 percent off any dental treatment, teeth whitening for just $299, and $600 off any orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign. And Leung Healthcare a multi-ofdental care, also has a June special offer for you: affordable teeth whitening and/ or implants. Call or drop in to the dental 2950) for more details. How we wish wed known, 20 years ago, what the Miami-born family running Busy Bee Car Wash (10550 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-5889) is telling you now: Summers rain and intense Rainwater doesnt clean; it contains sediments that hasten oxidation, rust, and corrosion. And not just people get sunburned. Cars do too! What helps are frequent car washes, which are entirely affordable, thanks to the Bees Unlimited Wash plans. June is also the month when, with school out for summer, you have to about sending them right back to school? Well, really, school summer camps, where learning is tempered by fun. At Monsignor Edward Pace High School (15600 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-7223), camps, which begin June 9, are not limited to high school-age kids; the age range is 6-18. Camp programs are offered in both athletics and more academic/ artsy-type enrichment: soccer, baseball, writing, even a geek week for computer enthusiasts. Go to for more info and registration. Miami Shores Presbyterian Church School (9405 Park Dr.) has an unusually toddler-friendly summer camp June 2-August 1 for kids 18 months to second grade. Activities include music, arts and crafts, cooking, sports, water during the workweek and, also a boon for working parents, hours are 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reasontoo. For info, contact Jessica Timmreck (305-759-2548). For kids 7-10, the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., 305893-6211, is offering three differently themed summer camps: Learn, Discover, Create: Building Blocks of Art, June 9-20; Discover! Nature in Miami, July 14-25; and Create! Imaginarium, July 28-August 8. For slightly older kids, MOCA has Teen Summer Intensives: Mocazine (a journalism program, where kids publish a literary arts journal) June 16-July 11, and Summer Studio, July 14-August 8. At Allison Academy (1881 NE 164th St., 305-950-3922), summer school starts June 16. If youre seeking an inspiring, culturally diverse education for your kids, heres a description that founder Dr. Sarah F. Allison sent us of a recent luncheon designed to teach students how people in the Second and Third Worlds live. To summarize: First-world students (11% of the worlds population) ate a nutritionally balanced meal with tasty choices (beef or chicken, risotto, mixed veggies, salad, chocolate cake or apple pie, choice of bev erage) at tables with linen tablecloths, sil verware, and glassware. Second Worlders (20%), at a plain table with benches, ate chicken followed by mostly starches plus cool water. Third Worlders (69%) ate rice, beans, and warm water from a paper bowl with one plastic spoon, and sat on lesson that sticks, eh? Also for kids, the Cartoon Networks Move II Movement tour comes to The Village at Gulfstream Park (501 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach) June 8, from noon to 4:00 p.m. The event offers a mindboggling array of phys ed fun: an obstacle race, the PGA of America driving range, a soccer shootout challenge, football running/passing drills, a timed basketball challenge (with prizes), and more. The tour is part of Cartoon Networks efforts to provide encouragement in the battle against childhood obesity. If youve already lost that battle, Jack son Health Care System is offering free bariatric seminars at Jackson North (160 NW 170th St.) on June 5, and at Jackson South (9333 SW 152nd St.) on June 12. To suits you (gastric bypass, gastric banding, gastric sleeve), register for either seminar at Writing about people exercising always makes us hungry, but also too tired to food shop especially too tired to shop for BizBuzzContinued from page 20 Great views from this oor-thru 1666 ft 2bed + den/2.5bath Enjoy sunset and sunrise vistas from the ocean to the city. Rarely available in Paramount Bay! A peaceful 6th oor condo overlooking quiet tree lined park with south views to the bay andKey Biscayne Bridge. Icon Brickell offers an amazing pool deck, fabulous spa and gym A gorgeous 1bed + den, 2bath unit with direct bay view. Modern kitchen and top of the line appliances. Amazing amenities in this ve stars condominium! Morningside beauty at 580 NE 58th Street! With new kitchen, terrazzo and wood ooring. Hurricane windows and Bahamian shutters inside. Upgraded plumbing, electrical, a/c and new roof. Gorgeous fully furnished 1 bed apartment with amazing bay views at Icon Viceroy. Large balcony facing east, designer furniture. Call now! An amazing opportunity to own in the upper east side. This 5-unit multifamily is near to all the new expansion on Biscayne Blvd. Great rental income. No vacancy.


WATERFRONT LIVING rfntrb frfntb tffrfbtrfrbrb rfrb rfrfntrbbf rfb rf b 305 903 2850 305 316 0660those who eat organic, which requires a lot stuff. The owning partners of Farms to You (305-677-9824, www.farmstoyou. com), Morten Due and Johnny Arroyo, have a more convenient concept: choose from four frequently changing, all-organic assortments (vegetable, fruit, fruit/veg, or juicing basket); choose your assortments size; choose delivery time. Then their driv ers bring your bounty to you. New: a selec tion of healthy grains that can accompany your produce order. S ummers no time to sweat over a hot stove and youll spend almost no time at the stove if you provision yourself at new advertiser Mr. Pasta (9725 NE 2nd Ave., 305-751-4300). Whatever you choose from the huge variety of superb stuffed and plain homemade fresh pastas (sold frozen, but with no discernable decline in quality), two minutes in boiling water is all the cooking required. No sweat regarding sauces, either; the shop sells those. Note: Yes, this is a new loca tion for the same Mr. Pasta whose original Miami Beach store has drawn foodies for many years, and from many miles away. If youd rather opt out of cooking totally, lovely light summer meals are served at new advertiser La Crme de la Crpe (14881 Biscayne Blvd., 305-3548882). With a menu including starters, soups, charcuterie/cheese plates, even a daily special entre, the cute crperie is almost more like a bistro. But dont miss the authentic Breton crpes, savory ones from white. Mention this issues ad for At Bagels & Company (11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435), David Cohen & Company have again extended their breakfast special: two eggs, home fries, bagel or toast, and coffee for $3.99. Just remember to present this issues ad coupon when ordering. Have time for a quick drink? At new advertiser Batch Gastropub (30 SW 12th Ave., 305-808-5555), itll come very quickly indeed, due to the places unique concept: cocktails made from scratch with fresh ingredients, but pre-made, so theyre on tap. If youd like to wait for the blazing sun to set thoroughly before venturing out, last call is 3:00 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday-Saturday. And dinner (great gourmet bar bites) is served until midnight. On Fathers Day, June 15, The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill (165 NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120) will be offering a deal on the traditional mans Black Angus a grade given to only 3% of beef produced in the U.S., and rarely offered outside of the most fancyschmancy steakhouses. There are new charcuterie/cheese plates priced nicely, Joe Blair Garden Supply (320 NW 79th St., 305-757-5554), in business since 1928 so they know the territory, is offering two particularly appropriate specials for a season where rainfall gets the grass growing like weeds: discounted-for-dads Toro lawnmow ers. The Personal Pace Recycler, whose automatic drive system senses and adapts to your walking speed, is $379.95 and, for those with space constraints, a cleverly foldable Recycler with Smart Stow is just $349.99. At Laurenzos Italian Market (16445 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-944-5052), David Laurenzo suggests that for Fathers Day you gift the King of the Castle/Condo/Single-Family Home with the King of Cheeses: Millesimato Reggiano Parmigiano. Hes laying in a large special specialty, made from the especially nourishing milk produced in the to regular Parm, its milder, rounder, smoother never pungent and aggressive so though unbeatable grated on pastas, its also an amazing table cheese. Our friends at North Miamis Whole Foods Market (12150 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-5500) send along news about a Whole Foods-sponsored entertainment opportunity you can enjoy without venturing from your couch: the popular food/wine/travel radio show Eat This, Drink That, Go! is now also a TV show, presented by Whole Foods. Featuring guests that are often from BT territory, the show debuts new episodes every Monday at 8:00 p.m. on ATT-U-verse TV and The Beach Channel. Finally, looking ahead, please note the ad for Luis Fernandez who is running for U.S. Congress as an Independent in District 24. Youll be seeing many more political ads as elections near, and while BizBuzz never tells readers who to vote for, we do urge you to vote after researching candidates positions Something special coming up at your business? Send info to For BT advertisers only.


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26 Have you ever wondered if those glossy, picture-perfect interiors shown in most magazines are actually inhabited by humans? They appear to be stage sets rather than homes. Homes are places in which real people eat dinner in front of the TV, sleep in beds without dozens of decorative throw pillows, kick off their shoes, and hardly ever put anything away as Among my personal interior-design pet peeves are photos of high-end kitchens. These gigantic spaces, easily the size of a one-bedroom apartment in a new Miami condo building, are always empty of anything to do with food preparation. At best, one perfectly placed lemon or an artfully arranged fruit bowl may grace the miles of oth erwise empty countertops. In these impossible kitchens, frying garlic or spilling gravy or leaving a tea kettle on the stove would be the equivalent of a capital offense. Does anyone live like that? Why would someone covet a living room so ill-designed for use that only Elastic Man could reach from the sofa to the coffee table to put down a drink? Why have shelves of books with dust jackets made of paper that matches the dcor? Is that supposed to make the residents look intelligent? Do children or grandchildren ever visit or live in these spaces? Would they want to if their parents or grandparents were always yelling at them not to touch anything? This lifeless, comfortless sterility is supposed to be aspirational. Its the look were supposed to be inspired to achieve in our own homes. Older generations, raised on a diet of shelter magazines whose raison dtre was selling expensive furnishings installed by expensive deco rators, are still cool with this, as are the nouveau riche who always seem to equate money with elegance. Younger, hipper generations and creative people of any age think its boring, old-hat stuff, and its totally off their radar. They prefer an approach to living spaces that better suits their vision of what really matters in their lives. While alternative decorating is hardly a new idea, its an idea that never goes away. cial bubble, a movement called PostMaterialism developed in Japan and Europe. In terms of interior design, it to showing informal photos of interiors in everyday use, off-beat living quarters, and furnishings that suited their owners eccentricities. In 2008, Nick Curry wrote in his blog for the New York Times s T Magazine : What would a post-materialist interiors magazine be like? It would probably avoid glossy, catalog-like spreads and apart ments that look like upscale hotels styled by celebrity designers. It would show more old stuff than new stuff, focus on dash rather than cash, put texture, personal ity, and patina above glitz, and aspire to Continued on page 28


28 the possible rather than the impossible. Thered be glamour, but it would be the wabi-sabi charm of the much-loved and the well-used. Personality would trump pomp. Take note of the Japanese term wabisabi whose roots lie in Zen Buddhism. Its not a decorating style, but a mind-set that values the underplayed, the patina of age, and those possessions you so love to use that they become worn and a tad shabby. In one of the many articles about Chatsworth, the grand ancestral seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, there was a photo of the current duke lying on a sofa in a palatial room, reading a book. The sofa is upholstered in red velvet so old and thread bare that most of the nap is long gone, but the duke seems perfectly content. A wabi-sabi home may be chic or charming, but it is never in your face. Wabi-sabi inspires comfort and ease, but never envy. Its casual and informal, but not sloppy or dirty. (You might be careful using this term with your kids. Messy rooms and unmade beds are not practicing the art of wabi-sabi living, even if the kids opt to interpret it that way.) What Biscayne Times proposes to do with Private Spaces is bring this postmaterialistic sensibility to Miami, a city obsessed with glittery faades. Every month well feature interesting people living in highly individual, everyday interiors. We will leave to other publications the gloss and glitz, the coldly impersonal, the celebrity designers in evening gowns. as refreshing as we do. In fact, if you for future columns, which will begin with the July issue. Send photos, tell us who you are, and well take it from there: For openers, we are going to show you a house and a condo, both creatively reimag ined to suit the lifestyles of their owners.There are rare cases when a home is so special that walking into it is akin to visiting the inside of the owners head. Before you even get through the front door of the abode that Michael Salmons created from a typical two-bedroom/one-bath Miami casita in this artist/designers personality. Three years after moving to Miami and looking at about 20 properties, Michael found his house in the Upper Eastside. It took a designers eye to recog nize the good bones of the 1950s structure under the fake hacienda paint job and additions, but the spacious backyard, with its free-form pool and tiny guest cottage, clinched the deal. The entire renovation, both exterior and interior, took only three months, practically a speed record by Miamis maana standards. The faade was cleaned up and a vertical brick panel was added to the side of the entrance to provide textural interest. New windows and a glass door were installed. Everything, both inside and out, was painted white. Since the rooms are small and he owns a lot of paintings, books, and sculpture, Michael kept the furnishings minimal. In the living room, a wooden Swedish sleigh coffee table sits in front of a beautifully worn leather sofa on steel legs from Danish designer Poul Kjrholm. Private SpacesContinued from page 26 Continued on page 30 2


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A classic (its still in production today) 1955 Tapiovaara wood slat chair in white completes the seating. The sofa faces a long wall of shelves and various sculptures. As shelves go, these are spectacular. They have the thickness and heft of an architectural element, but Mi chael, who designed them, claims they cost no more than Ikea ready-made shelf units. The trick, he says, is to forgo Home Depots offerings and have a carpenter make long, seamless, hollow shelves (like boxes) with interior braces to prevent warping. Paint them white and splurge on chrome store display-shelf hardware. (Feel free to copy this. Its a great idea.) Michael is also a gifted cook who entertains frequently. While a goodlooking kitchen was important to him, his biggest outlay went for top-of-theline stainless steel appliances. Continued on page 32 3 5 Private SpacesContinued from page 28BT photo by Jacqueline Doulis


FOR SALE $975,000La Playa Properties Group, Inc. 2275 Biscayne Blvd. Ste 1, Miami, FL 33137 LaPlaya@LaPlaya-Properties.comNow Recruiting Full Time Real Estate Professionals305-672-0773LaPlayaMiami La Playa Properties Group @LaPlayaMiami FOR SALE $2,799,000 ICON South Beach450 Alton Rd #903, Miami BeachAmazing direct East ocean front views in this 3 bed, 3 bath. Italian kitchen cabinets, stainless steel appliances, marble floors, & granite counter tops. Beautifully surrounded by the ocean! Beach club resort towel & cot service at the beach. With shopping, dining. Great for investors.Beach Club III1800 S Ocean Dr #1702, Hallandale PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $825,000Spectacular 3 bed, 3 bath direct bay unit with Downtown Miami skyline and Fisher Island views. Icon is a unique and contemporary residence condo in South Beach. This beautiful Philippe Starck creative unit has minimalist package with limestone floors in bathrooms and white cabinetry. The balcony is also 358 sq.Ft.One Miami West325 S Biscayne Blvd. #1123, Downtown Miami Amazing 3 bed, 2 bath SE corner unit with direct views of Biscayne Bay through Key Biscayne. Built by Florida's most prized developer & designed by Arquitectonica. Walking distance to American Airlines Arena and the Prez Art Museum. Amenities include world class fitness & business center, bayfront dining, pool & concierge. FOR SALE $449,000Edgewater Amazing Townhome 3 Story, 2.5 bath with huge open space on the lower 1st level. Located in the heart of the city of Miami, minutes away from Midtown, Downtown, Beaches, fine restaurants. Beautiful garden views. Building offers gym, pool and a social room.23 Biscayne601 NE 23 ST #TH-05, Edgewater FOR SALE $490,000Edgewater The views from this 1 Bed, 1 Bath unit of Downtown Miami skylines are simply Amazing. Modern kitchen, stainless steel appliances, cherry laminate wood floors, granite countertops and berber carpet in bedrooms. 23 Biscayne amenities include a full gym, covered secure parking, a swimming pool and more. Absolutely a must see, this won't last for long!23 Biscayne601 NE 23 ST #1501, Edgewater FOR SALE $412,000Beautiful one of a kind 3 bed, 3 bath, Barcelona model located in Cascada Isles of Monterra. Upgrades all throughout the home including double insulated impact windows, upgraded stainless steel appliances. Counter depth built in refrigerator w/water & ice dispenser. Wainscot on main floor & upgraded tiles. Recessed lighting, crown molding, stone back splash espresso wood cabinets & spacious kitchen. Immaculate home w/amazing view of a lake. Oversized 2 car garage with full paved drive way.Cascada Isles at Monterra 3061 Tortola Way, Cooper City 23 Biscayne601 NE 23 ST #901, EdgewaterEdgewater Amazing Miami Beach skyline and bay views in this 1 bed, 1 bath. Modern kitchen, stainless steel appliances, cherry laminated wood floors, granite countertops and carpet in bedrooms. Building offers gym, pool and social room. No pets. FOR SALE $260,000 FOR SALE $319,900Edgewater Quantum on the Bay is one of the hottest buildings in Miami's Edgewater area. This spacious 1 bedroom / 1 bath unit has gorgeous Biscayne Bay views from the 36th floor that you have to see for yourself. Enjoy living in the heart of it all, with Margaret Pace Park as your backyard. This building has 2 pools, spa, gym, restaurant and movie theater.Quantum on the Bay1900 N Bayshore Dr #3610, Edgewater PROPERTIES FOR SALE $265,000 Linette Guerra 305-915-0148Managing Rich Tallman 786-554-2353 Realtor Associate Linette Guerra 305-915-0148Managing Brokerlaplayamiami@yahoo.comRich Tallman 786-554-2353 Realtor Associate rich@laplaya-properties.comRich Tallman 786-554-2353 Realtor Associate Marc Ruehle 786-514-7080Realtor Associate Rich Tallman 786-554-2353 Realtor Associate Linette Guerra 305-915-0148Managing JUST REDUCED


32 For the cabinets, he chose simple stock white Ikea, white subway tile for the walls, and tiny, ceramic honeycomb The kitchen is open to a small dining area, and off that is one of the most charmingly creative rooms in the house, an airy sun room overlooking the garden. An antique French farm table on iron legs supplements the Saarinen tulip table in the dining area for large dinner parties. A thin wall between the windows over the table displays a collection of antique softball catchers masks that look more like scary sculptures than headgear. At one end, the iconic 1948 Eames lamp Michael built from a pile of driftwood pieces he collected on Costa Rican beaches. The wall next to it is hung with a witty collection of tiny antlers all these disparate elements together is a strong geometric pattern in black and white Italian tiles. In most of the homes of this vintage, a long hallway opening off the living room leads to the sleeping quarters. Typically there is a bedroom at each end and a bath in the middle, and its a dark and dreary space. Michaels solution is a showstopper. He papered the hallway with overlapping stripes of varied widths in brightly colored duct tape. (This is another great idea to copy.) The master bedroom is further example of mixing old and new with great apothecary chest with marvelous patina sits beneath the gardenfacing windows. The deep sill of the high windows over the bed display one of Michaels recent sculptures, a pastiche of painted cut-metal forms suspended in an open wood frame. The bed is covered with a heavily embroi dered Indian throw studded with tiny mirrors. A new, modern nightstand topped by a vintage 1970s cowhide lamp sits next to the bed. In this room, the stark white of the house is softened. The wall behind the bed is painted a dusty gray, and the other walls in creamy white, a palette that creates a sense of calm and serenity. A frosted glass door emblazoned WC in bold scarlet letters opens into the all-white bathroom. The toilet and sink were chosen for their sculptural forms. To add visual interest, the walls of the open shower and the adjoining wall are paved with sculpted tiles. In the smaller second bedroom, old and new are also combined. The brilliant turquoise metal night tables from CB2 are new, but the wood lamps atop them are antique. The acquisition of the lamps is one of Michaels favorite stories. in Paris and really, really wanted them, but the dealer was asking $10,000 for the pair. Some years later, he spotted an identical pair of lamps in an antique store in St. Louis, his hometown. After a bit of dickering, he bought them for $50, plus the cost of new shades. The large outdoor space that helped sell him the house also has its share of creative thinking. A glass door from the sun room leads to a deck with two comfortable chairs and a table. A couple of steps down, the patio that surrounds the pool has an umbrella table and chairs for outdoor dining. On the other side of the pool, the roof of the guest cottage sports a sign saying HOTEL spelled out in letters of varying sizes, colors, and fonts. Michael illuminated these mostly antique letters with tiny bulbs in order to have At the back end of the deep lot, he hung a mirrored disco ball and added more seating. Wire sculptures that move in the breeze adorn tree branches. Its as much an art installation as a garden, and lends itself perfectly to the large theme parties Michael likes to host. Continued on page 34 Private SpacesContinued from page 30 6


When the well-known Miami architect Allan Shulman bought his Upper Eastside condo, he was single with one dependent, an oddly colored cat aptly named Picasso. The apartment was in an older building and had once been joined to the apartment below by means of a spiral staircase. The owner had separated the units, patched up the big open circle in the kitchen, albeit with typical builders cabinets and appliances. The bathrooms, while modernized, were also far from luxurious, and the entire living area was done up with traditional baseboard, dado and cornice moldings. Since Allans aesthetic ran to natural materials like wood, stone, and concrete, he might have passed on the sale had he not been an experienced architect. The av erage buyer probably would have thought the apartment was a total gut job, but Allan saw the potential to remake the unit to suit his taste without such drastic measures. He kept what he considered not important enough to change (the kitchen, the baths, and even the funky wood ings to expose the concrete behind them. To separate the bedrooms from the living areas, he designed a movable wall a series of wide wood vanes set on pivots that could open or close completely. Furnished with original mid-century modern, the apartment changed identity, becoming the perfect, cool bachelor pad. Then life intervened, as it always does. Allan met and married Rebecca, a retired opera diva who had just moved to Miami from New York. Had Rebecca have been a major problem. Fortunately, among the many things they shared was the same taste in home furnishings. For the most part, Rebeccas belongings (a couple of which she admits to rescuing from the sidewalk on trash day in New York) slotted neatly into Allans apartment. Rebecca and Allan have worked together since their marriage, using one of their two few years ago, their daughter Lara arrived and everything changed. Being an architect and wanting to design our surroundings says Allan, I still had to recognize that we are a real family and life introduces complexity. movable wood wall, an invitation to disas ter for a small child. A track was installed leaving a door into each bedroom. room, and all the multitude of parapher nalia that always accompanies a child was set cheek-by-jowl next to the classic mid-century furniture. The shelves that held books were given over to toys, and all the books and papers Private SpacesContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36 8


36 ended up in the living room and master bedroom. Even Picasso, who regarded the open vanes of the wall as a kind of cat slalom course, adjusted to the change. Since Rebecca is an avid reader who tears through a book faster than most people chew a stick of gum, there are books in piles on every surface, including the dining table, which needs to be cleared to serve dinner every night. Architecture is still a paper-based business, so the papers Allan carries home the student papers he reviews as associate professor of architecture at the University of Miami, and the research papers hes using for his next book on architecture. A space that was designed for a guy and a cat is now being lived in by a family, but theyve made it work. The minimal open look may be gone but its been replaced by the clutter of people leading active and interesting lives. Picasso has gone to cat heaven, but a couple of new kittens have moved in. The Shulmans still love their apartment and the ease of condo living, but their need for more space and an outdoor play area for Lara has driven them to buy a house. They wanted to stay in the MiMo neighborhood, and after a lot of property hunting, they recently settled on a 1940s Shorecrest home trees. Allan is already at work designing the necessary alterations. Will it be a glossy showplace like so many of the houses his In Rebeccas view: We are focused on private life and quality of life for ourselves rather than thinking of our space as an extension of our professional lives or some kind of validation thereof. Allan agrees completely. People really do live in Miami. he says. We Private SpacesContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38


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38 a balance between mess and sterility. Meanwhile, they have no intention of selling their apartment. They will likely try to rent it just in case home ownership isnt their cup of tea. Besides, they cant bear to give it up. Feedback: Private SpacesContinued from page 36


40 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORIt Takes a Village to Catch a ThiefA local resident detains a suspected burglar, but the cops take the creditPhotos by Robin Hill Miami-Dade County CorrectionsThey Built It, and Yes, People Are ComingA new center for architecture and design is energizing downtown Miami By Helen Hill Special to the BTOn a recent Thursday evening, the usual after-business quiet permeated most of downtown. But at 100 NE 1st Ave., in the citys very heart, the Miami Center for Architecture & Design (MCAD) was abuzz. Inside the historic building, which once housed audience of professionals, students, and interested residents gathered for the latest in the centers Urban Design lecture series. Tonights speaker, architect Bernard Zyscovich, would address Real Urbanism: How Cities Work. The evenings gathering was typical of the vibe MCAD has brought to downtowns cultural life since the center opened this past December. Housed in a Miami landmark, MCAD serves as headquarters of the Miami chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which is also the centers sponsor, and offers events and lectures, meeting space for professional groups and organizations, and exhibits related to architecture and design. MCAD programs are helping to refocus downtowns after-hours activity westward from the residential east side. Our attendance ranges from 25 to 300, says Cheryl Jacobs, executive vice president of the AIA Miami chapter. We estimate that about 4000 people have come through our doors in the past four months. MCAD also houses the Downtown Miami Visitors Center in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). The presence of the Visitors Center, aimed at tourists, reinforces the DDAs long relationship with AIA Miami. The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Miami Hospitality Association also partner with MCAD. Alyce Robertson, executive director of the DDA, recalls that shed been impressed during visits to AIA centers around the country. I thought it would By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior is a social-media platform created by Silicon Valley venture capitalists in 2010. Its purpose is to allow neighborhood resi dents to share information about garage sales, contractors, and parties. But neigh bors and the police often use Nextdoor to communicate about criminal activity occurring in the community. On May 1, the Nextdoor network for El Portal was abuzz about the apprehension Casais of the El Portal Police Department posted that the alleged perpetrator was busted thanks to cooperation among the and Biscayne Park police departments. The subject was apprehended by the section of the perimeter, wrote Casais. was only one subject, and the individual is in custody, therefore the items taken were able to be recovered, processed, and returned to the owner. Outstanding Multi-Agency Collaboration!!! in. Wonderful work! Word will be out on the street that El Portal and Miami Shores is NOT the place to steal. You WILL get caught! wrote one resident. Awesome work! declared another. I am hoping that with your continued diligent work, El Portal and Miami Shores continues to develop a reputation for being TOUGH ON CRIME! The arrest even got publicity in a May 8 newsletter from Miami Shores Vice Mayor Jesse Walters, who thanked the MSPD for their diligent work in capturing the serial burglar. But Casais left out a detail, revealed on Nextdoor by an El Portal homeowner: A BIG THANK YOU to the resident who played a major role in capturing the bur glar by Macing and tackling the subject to the ground. Although this individual would like to remain anonymous, I feel its important to share the courageous ac tions of this individual. THANK YOU! The homeowner who Maced the alleged burglar (but didnt literally tackle him) is still apprehensive about the limelight. But his wife believes he should get some credit. I just thought it was really rude to not even mention that a couraContinued on page 45 Continued on page 44


Continued on page 42By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterThe development slump is over. Banks are lending again, cautiously, and property owners are once agendas with applications for zoning changes across the Magic City. Brickell, downtown Miami, and the Design District are fueling much of the outward. In this story, we update six areas along the Biscayne Corridor in Miami. More than ten condominiums totaling 2400 residences have been completed, are under construction, or are slated to break ground in Edgewater, according to real estate analyst Peter Zalewski in an April column for The Real Deal real estate news website. In this old neighborhood, the small apartments and single-family homes are being rapidly replaced by high-rises. Its within this 19-block area that Russian mining oligarch Oleg Baybakov sank $40 million buying a mere 2.7 acres of land. Most of his land was acquired within a three-month period and lies east of NE 5th Avenue between NE 26th Terrace and 26th Street. It includes a 12story, 58-unit apartment complex on the bay built in 1982; a 35,000-square-foot vacant lot; a 7000-square-foot singlefamily home built in 1932; and three apartment buildings developed between 1926 and 1961 that house 32 residences. Real Deal also reports that he bought two parcels just west of NE 5th Avenue on May 15 from a Bay Harbor Islandsbased company owned by Israel Kopel for $1.4 million. In 2003, Kopel bought the properties (consisting of a vacant lot and a nine-unit apartment building) for $576,000, according to the Real Deal Baybakov hasnt announced plans for ney Steven Cronig, the registered agent for Baybakovs Miami-based company, didnt return phone calls or respond to a BT e-mail inviting comment. The zoning on most of Baybakovs land allows for a high-rise as tall as 36-stories. The 12-story bayfront apart ment building on his land was going to be the site of the proposed 39-story MBay tower. Baybakov used to be an executive of Norilsk Nickel, one of the largest producers of nickel and palladium in the world. According to media reports, he is now president of GSC City, a construction and His 28-year-old daughter, Maria Baibakova, who has two masters degrees, is a major collector and supporter of the contemporary art scenes in Moscow, London, and Brooklyn. She has been called the lieutenant of Mikhail Prokhorov, a six-foot-seveninch oligarch with a net worth of $10.8 billion, according to a 2010 New Yorker article. Prokhorov, principal owner of the Brooklyn Nets, reportedly plans to run a second time against Vladimir Putin for the Russian presidency, and once owned most of Baybakovs former company, Norilsk Nickel, the investment fund ONEXIM group, and large stakes in various other Russian companies. (Baybakov has been mentioned in press reports as a minority owner of the Nets.) Baybakov, who dabbled in real estate investment in New York, isnt the only Russian who has taken a liking to MiamiDade. Eastern Miami-Dade county is a popular destination for middle-class and wealthy Russians. In April the English-language Moscow Times and CBS 4 reported on the burgeon ing travel industry for expectant Russian mothers who want to give birth in Miami. They like the weather, the medical care, and the prospect of dual American-Russian citizenship for their babies. Real estate agent Selda Kirkan, who specializes in working with Russians, says most of them prefer buying condos in Sunny Isles Beach and Miami Beach. Brickell and downtown Miami are also popular destinations for Russians, but its tricky to build anything there. There is no land left in Brickell, she says. But theres still room in Edgewater, and Baybakov has picked himself a good spot. Its a water location, she tells the BT Its a good investment. That investment came at a cost. According to Zalewski, Baybakov paid twice the market value for his Edgewater properties. His willingness to pay more is driving up land prices in Edgewater and beyond, he says. Midtown Opportunities, a real estate fund headed by 29-year-old Alex Vadia, is actively marketing the 18.5 acres of land it owns inside or near Midtown Miami, a 56-acre, pedestrian-friendly, planned development near Wynwood. Deborah Samuel, Midtown Op portunities representative and wife of Midtown Miamis original devel Vadia is hoping to take advantage of Miamis rapidly heating real estate market. Hes into urbanism. He loves Midtown, Samuel says, but like any smart business person, he wants to exploit current conditions in the market. Toward that end, CBRE, a marketing the property as the 800pound gorilla. Gerard Yetming, senior vice president of CBRE, claims theres lots of interest in the gorilla. The phones are ringing off the hook, he declares. The buyer, he insists, will be able to control the future development of over 3000 units in one fell swoop. Vadias Midtown Opportunities bought 22 acres of undeveloped land, in cluding 7.3 acres of land just east of Mid town Miami (the former Chiquita Banana distribution site along NE 2nd Avenue), for about $62 million in December 2011. The sellers were Joe and Jack Cayre, a father-and-son development team who partnered with Michael Samuel to acquire the old Buena Vista Rail Yard for $35 mil lion in 2002. Within a year, they sold the western portion of the land to DDR Corp. for $35 million.Out of the Slump and Into the FutureThe Biscayne Corridor in Miami is undergoing big changes and fast BT photo by Erik Bojnansky BT photo by Erik Bojnansky BT photo by Silvia Ros


Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORDDR Corp. proceeded to build the Shops at Midtown Miami on its side of the property, while the Cayres (Samuel soon sold his interest) went about building some 900 residential units and 775,000 square feet of retail on their side. Most of those units are now owned by other individuals and investors. (For more on Midtown Miamis history, see Like a Rocket April 2012.) Midtown Opportunities has already sold off some of the land it bought from the Cayres. Jorge Prez and Stephen Ross bought a vacant lot near 3301 NE 1st Ave. for $12.1 million where they plan to build a 31-story condo hotel called Hyde Midtown. Chicago-based Magel lan Development Group bought a second lot at 3201 NE 1st Ave. for an undisclosed price on February 11, with plans to build a 24-story apart ment building. What remains within Midtown Miami are 11.2 acres of vacant land where as many as 2240 residential units could be built, according to CBREs marketing material. Another 1089 units can be built on the 7.3 acre Chiquita site, located just east of the real road tracks at NE 29th Street. Midtown Opportunities doesnt intend to sell all the land it owns in Midtown Miami, Deborah Samuel says. The company still plans to build a 16,000-square-foot, linear group of retail spaces designed by architect Bernard Zyscovich along Midtown Boulevard as a means of buffering the rest of the community from the controversial, 203,000-square-foot Walmart that will be built at 3055 N. Miami Ave. Unlike Edgewater and Midtown Miami, the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District isnt zoned for high-rises. It isnt even zoned for mid-rises. Bowing to the concerns of Upper Eastsiders who feared their neighborhoods would be destroyed by developers, Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff demanded a 35-foot height limit be placed on new buildings along the Boulevard in exchange for his support for a new citywide zoning code. When was the height limit. Property owners claimed the height limit would crush development. However, that hasnt proven to be the case. Instead, modest new retail projects are being proposed while an increasing number of motels are being renovated. I think its very up-and-coming, and it has been up-and-coming for at least a year and a half, says Todd Leoni, whose properties in the district include the recently opened Taperia Raca restaurant at 7010 Biscayne Blvd. and the newly renovat ed Hotel MiMo at 7126 Biscayne Blvd. I think eventually itll become something similar to Lincoln Road. Walter and Shirley Figueroa were among the pioneers. They invested more than a million dollars to reno vate the Davis Motel at 6500 Biscayne Blvd. It reopened as the New Yorker Hotel in 2010. Avra Jain claims it was the New Yorker that inspired her to renovate motels along the Boulevard. So far she with Keyes Commercial Real Estate, says hes working on as many as 20 potential deals for Jain in the Upper Eastside and neighboring Little Haiti. (For more on the New Yorker and Jains impact on the Boulevard, see Checking In, Checking Out, January 2013; and Rebuilding the Boulevard, March 2014.) But the 35-foot height limit has no effect on properties that dont front Biscayne Boulevard. Allegro Life, a sixstory, ten-unit condominium, is being built just outside the MiMo zone on a 7260-square-foot lot just behind the New Yorker Hotels pool deck. Once complete, the condo will be the tallest structure on this block of two-story apartments and single-family homes. Allegro Lifes developer is Augusto Franchino, a partner in the Argentine company Red Group Life, which develops or promotes real estate projects in Miami, New York, and Buenos Aires. Franchino bought the property at 569 NE 66th St. from Kay Maunsbach of Miami Beach for $160,000 in November 2011. Among the amenities touted in an online brochure is on-site parking and proximity to Legion Park, the Design District, American Airlines Arena, Bayside Marketplace, and Miami Beach. Bob Powers, president of the Palm Grove Homeowners Association, says buildings as tall as Allegro Life wont be allowed under revised zoning codes governing future development on that block. from the city after it agreed to provide Those rights were vested when the city issued a special permit in 2008. They their permit fees, Powers explains, and as long as you can pay your fees, you can keep your original plans. As a result, Powers says theres He also notes that the value of his own property, located across the street from Allegro, actually increased since the proj ect broke ground. I cant get mad at these people, Powers says. Theyre building something theyre allowed to do. No one from Red Group Life returned phone calls by deadline. Look up Ventura 77 LLC on, and only one name comes up: Orlando Valdes. Yet ask Orlando about his plans for the 68-room, 57-yearold Motel Blu at 7700 Biscayne Blvd., and he defers to his wife, Gladys. Shes the one doing the work and the decorating and all that kind of stuff, Orlando says. He promises that Gladys will give the BT a call. She never does. Fortunately, their broker, Tony Ulloa, has studied the property. It took me a year to close on this deal, he says. The Valdeses bought the Motel Blu in February from Pretish and Priesh Patel. Theyre going to basically renovate it completely and take it up to boutique hotel standards, renovation, a roof replacement, began in mid-May. They owned the Delores and Eva Hotels on South Beach, selling them both in February for $17.5 million. That same month, they bought the Cavalier South Beach for $12.5 million and the Motel Blu for $4.2 million. The Motel Blu is Motel Blu wasnt always the Motel Blu. In 1957 it was the Gold Dust Motel, Continued on page 44 BT photo by Silvia Ros Out of the SlumpContinued from page 41


44 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR home to the Gold Dust Lounge, an afterhours club that operated in a basementlike space by the Little River. The Gold Dust used to serve up drinks and good jazz after the Playboy Club across the street closed for the night. The Playboy Club closed for good in 1983. An Advance Auto Parts store now stands where the club used to operate. The old Gold Dust Lounge, meanwhile, has been used as storage space for decades. The motel has had its ups and downs. One of the partners of NYMI Enterprises, which bought the motel in 2003 for $1.3 mil lion, died of a heart attack while the building was undergoing renovations, Ulloa says. From 2008 to 2012, Motel Blu was home to Kris Wessels popular Red Light restau rant, which closed amid licensing problems, much to the dismay of many devoted diners. Then there was the mysterious 1920s-era city easement that cut right through the prop erty. Nobody caught it for over 50 years, Ulloa says. But when its existence was discovered, the easement man aged to slow down the sale until the city agreed to abandon it. and opening a new restaurant in Red Lights old space, Ulloa says, the new owners plan to reopen the Gold Dust Lounge. And if things dont work out, they can always tear the place down. Motel Blu is located just outside the MiMo Historic District, so permission from the citys Historic and Environmental Preservation Board isnt necessary. Not that demolition is in the current game plan. No, no, no, no, no, Orlando Valdes tells the BT when asked if bulldozers will be visiting the motel soon. Were not planning on doing any of that stuff. We plan to make it nicer, and maybe change the name. Just outside of Miamis borders, hidden behind a defunct supermarket at 8500 Biscayne Blvd. and nestled within the tiny hamlet of El Portal, is Little Farm, a 12-acre trailer park thats been there since the 1940s. About 1000 people call Little Farm home, the vast majority of whom are lowincome individuals and families. place to live. Michael Goldstein, an environmencontract to buy Little Farm Trailer Park from Madison Capital, a New York the land last year. Part of the attraction, Goldstein admits, is the fact that its undergoing environmental remediation for high levels of arsenic. We are always interested in environmentally challenged sites that are located says. We think thats the case here. As previously reported in the April 2014 Biscayne Times article Vanishing Breed, Madison Realty is seeking to sell the Little Farm for $15 million. The current owner has also been working with the Village of El Portal to create zoning guidelines for a town center-type project with tree-lined streets, retail, mixed-income housing, and buildings between two and eight stories tall. Even without such guidelines, a developer can build retail buildings up to 50,000 square feet, as well as low-rise apartments, Out of the SlumpContinued from page 42 Architecture and DesignContinued from page 40 Precision Art Design + Construction be great if we could do that here. The Downtown Development Authority eventually gave MCAD a grant of $40,000 to facilitate moving into a new facility. Plans for an architecture center began after the national AIA convention was held in Miami Beach in 2010, when the chapters net proceeds from the event were designated as seed money. A series of AIA Miami charrettes (design work shops) followed, exploring options and ideas for a center. We did a great deal of due diligence and looked all over the city for a suitable location, says John Forbes of Forbes Architects and Construction, an AIA Miami board member and the centers lead architect. People on the AIA committee really stayed on the case. The organization narrowed the search to either Coral Gables or downtown Miami. We wanted to be part of the bigger city, in its cultural and historic heart, where we could have a civic presence, says Allan Shulman, principal of ates in Miami, who became MCADs design architect. Downtown won out. The chapter Miami. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in January 1989, it was designed by Oscar Wenderoth and Richard Kiehnel, who introduced the Mediterranean Revival style here. The masonry-and-steel structure, with its Spanish claytile roof and wide overhangs designed for the local climate, brought an impressive high style to a city of mostly wooden buildings. It was used as a when the new U.S. courthouse opened at 300 NE 1st Ave. In 1937, the building was convert and loan association chartered in the United States; and an L-shaped extension was added in 1947. Old photographs capture the buildings transition from in the early days to a more decades later. The bank the building until 1990. Later, that space was converted into conventional retail space with tiles, and alterations to the original features. For various reasons, the building remained empty for ten years following the departure of an In 2000, developer Scott Robins, whod helped revive Miami Beachs potential of a downtown renaissance and property for $1.65 million, according to Miami-Dade property records. he says. It was a beautiful building in a great location with special qualities. I said, Wow, I have to have it! In 2012, Robins leased 5000 square feet newly planned architectural center. From my experience in Miami Beach, he tells the BT its good to create an atmosphere and environment that makes a place special. AIA Miami embarked on serious renovations with a budget of only of expertise, furniture, lighting, glass, audio-visual equipment. The chapter ultimately achieved the renovation for a remarkable $60 per square foot. We couldnt restore the interior to its original, as it had already been changed in the 1930s, and our budget was limited, says Shulman. But we could treat the remaining resources with respect. Shulman decided to make the space contemporary in accordance with Continued on page 48 Continued on page 46Courtesy of HistoryMiami


Catch a ThiefContinued from page 40says Jane Harper. For the neighborhood, it might even be encouraging. Richard Harper, who has lived in El Portal with his wife for nearly a decade, is more modest. He points out that the police were already closing off streets as they looked for the burglar. However, he agrees that they could have given more recognition (without disclosing names), not just for his efforts, but also for those of his neighbors who alerted police to the suspects movements. At least one homeowner chased the alleged burglar from his yard. It was a combined effort, he says. Skeptical of police claims that the ar rested man, 27-year-old Eli Binder, worked alone, Harper asked that Biscayne Times not reveal his name, or his wifes, or his address. In accordance with his wishes, their names have been changed for this story. His concern stems from a murder that occurred last year within the 256acre village. In January 2013, 26-yearold Kori Clark was killed in a drive-by shooting. No arrests have been made. Later that year, two armed men burglarized three homes in the Miami Shores-El Portal area in the span of six days. The spree stopped on September 4, when John Beaubrun of Miami Gardens was arrested by El Portal police. Beaubrun was caught using one of the victims credit cards and charged with criminal use of a persons identity and theft, but not armed robbery. As the BT noted at the time (Two Villages Facing a Common Threat: Home Invasions, October 2013): Hes just the guy they caught using the stolen cards. Harper points out that none of his accomplices was ever caught. Police from both the El Portal and Miami Shores insist that crime is low in the area. Miami Shores Police Chief Kevin Lystad says his municipality was once a favored target for burglars because the old-fashioned doors in some of the houses opened inward, making them easier to kick in. (Following Hurricane Andrew, new houses had to have doors that open outward, making them more resistant to high winds and burglars.) Nevertheless, 2013 had the lowest incidence of burglary since 1987. As of right now, Lystad explains, were tracking 18 percent below last year. El Portal, meanwhile, has hardly any crime at all. We havent had any home burglaries, we average maybe one a month. Things have been nice, quiet, and low-key. It was in the interest of continued safety, Casais says, that he didnt post information about the neighbors participation in Binders apprehension. If civilians give credit to each other on, thats fine, he adds, but at the end of the day, the police department is not going to release information like that. The story, however, doesnt end here. Richard Harper and Miami Shores police have different accounts of how Eli Binder was ultimately taken down. Either way, he went to jail with bite marks on his right armpit. Binder, whose last known address is near the Brownsville Metrorail Station, has had a long history with Miami Shores law enforcement. In 1997, at the age of 11, he was arrested for purse-snatching, says Chief Lystad. Hes been arrested about six times in the Shores alone, according to police records. Hes a career criminal, for lack of a better term, Lystad says. Hes a frequent customer of ours. Binder has tangled with Shores K-9 dogs, too. In 2006, he was walking down an alley way, carrying a laptop computer and a pellet items hed burglarized from a Miami Shores house, according to MSPD reports. A Shores to stop. Instead he ran, jumping over at least two fences before hiding in some shrubbery. Jake the K-9 found Binder and lunged at him, biting him on the left knee. Binder pleaded guilty to third-degree grand theft, armed burglary, burglary of an occupied structure, and attempted burglary of an unoccupied structure. He was sentenced to three years probation. In 2009, Binder violated his probaSoon after his release, the slender sixfoot-one Binder now with tattoos on his arms and neck was back to burglarizing in the Shores. Besides having friends in the area, he had a girlfriend in El Portal, according to Lystad. Binder had burglarized at least two houses in Miami Shores before breaking into another house on the morning of May 1. According to a police report ports use last names only), Binder pried open a lower awning window and this time managed to stuff three laptops into are rfntb rrfn r tfbrrbbbrb fbfr brnfb fbfbf rbtnr rfn Continued on page 46


46 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORunder current zoning regulations. Thanks to the increase of development along Miamis Biscayne Corridor, Goldstein is sure he can transform Little Farm into an economic asset for El Portal and the surrounding community. We think we can resolve the environand more sustainable affordable housing, he says. We also want to create more jobs and activate that part of the corridor in a very interesting and catalytic way that will result in even more investments from private enterprise. But Goldstein hasnt bought the land yet. The attorney suspects itll be another two months before any deal is closed. I dont know if hes representing a larger group of people, in terms of being developers, says El Portal Councilman Adam Gold. If a deal is signed, affordable housing will only be a portion of the total project, Goldstein says. As a result, there may not be enough affordable units to provide housing for all of Little Farms residents, some of whom are at risk of a black canvas bag and miscellaneous jewelry into his pockets while the alarm went off before dashing away. When Binder saw the police, he dropped the bag and ran toward El Portal, according to police reports. He tried to hide in a shed, but the patriarch of the house spotted him. What are you doing in my storage room? the neighbor asked, as recounted in the MSPD report. Police, Binder replied as he walked away. He ran into the Harpers yard, and thats when the versions of his apprehension begin to diverge. Harper says he spotted Binder hiding behind his wifes car, grabbed a can of pepper spray, ran outside, and started yelling at him to get down on the ground. When Harper began to signal the cops by whistling, Binder tried to make a break for it but got stuck while trying to scale a fence. He tried to jump my gate, Harper recounts, and got hung up over his basically pulled him back by his pants. He then sprayed Binder, which neutralized him. When the cops cuffed the suspect, went back to his kitchen to wash residual pepper spray off his face. But in the Shores report version, it is Ace, who accomplished the takedown. Reports by Zabielinsky and a police that Harper tussled with Binder, but state that it was Castellanos and Ace who ap prehended Binder. Castellanoss report doesnt mention Harper at all. Castellanos wrote that Ace guided him to Harpers yard: I ordered Binder to stay on the ground or I would release my dog. Binder continued to try and get up, at which point K9 Ace apprehended Binder underneath his right armpit. I called K9 Ace off Binder and he was taken into custody by Its completely false, Harper asserts. The guy was hanging off the fence when the police dog came. Says Chief Lystad: He must have broken free. Otherwise the K9 wouldnt get involved. Later that day, Lystad did shake Harpers hand for his help in apprehending Binder. A Channel 7 news crew tried to interview Harper, but he declined. Harper may dispute the accuracy of Castellanoss report, but hes also hesitant to challenge the Shores version feels better saying he apprehended the guy, I dont mind if he gets the credit. I dont need any credit for that. Binder faces charges of burglary of an occupied dwelling, grand theft in the third and trespassing. He was scheduled to be arraigned June 2. His court-appointed at torney, Ashley Askari, declined comment. Feedback: Catch a ThiefContinued from page 45 Out of the SlumpContinued from page 44 Continued on page 49




Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORMiamis modern image. He designed the rear half of the space for open-plan Panels can be closed for privacy or opened for a more public space. The front part of the former lobby, facing the street, provided some pleasant surprises. Removing the ten-foot dropped ceiling revealed an actual ceiling height of about 15 feet. We knew we were on to something when we realized that there were no structural obstructions above, recalls Forbes. I said, Holy cow! This is going to be a really special space! The lobbys columns, once uncovered, revealed beautiful brick-and-marble vault ed arches. We reconstructed the parts of the vaults that had been chopped away as ghosts of what they were, says Shulman. Multiple layers of vinyl tiles concealed from the 1930s (Shulman guesses the in the cavities with polished concrete. A striking, minimalist staircase of raw steel plates resolved the problem of connecting the centers two levels directly, without having to use the elevator out in the hallway. The staircase, with a 17-foot rise, had to span a long vertical distance, yet it only touches at cantilevered in such a way that it seems marble in the vaulted area. A 30-by-15foot map of Miami will be mounted on a wall alongside the staircase. Sympathetic restoration has brought character and soul to the building. It has also brought awards to the designers, to date: the Dade Heritage Trust Preservation Award for Outstanding Restoration and Adaptive Reuse of an Historic Site (2104); the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Floridas Honor Award for Excellence in Design and Renovations (to be presented in July at the AIA Florida state convention). The MCAD schedule of events includes the Downtown Conversation Series, the Tequesta Preservation Proj ect, and a Future Vision M.Path/Green link. July will feature an international photography competition and exhibition; a discussion on Soccer Stadium: Where and Where Not, and a pop-up store. Discussions are also under way with professional and arts organizations for joint programming on topics of mutual interest, says Jacobs. A number of groups are now meeting at MCAD regularly and have become virtual partners, she adds. MCADs Historic Architecture Walking Tours of Downtown Miami are due to begin later this month, to be followed by other architecture-related tours in the fall. Meanwhile, the Visitors Center at MCAD has become a useful resource for information on the citys architectural history. Architecture and DesignContinued from page 44 Photo by Robin Hill Continued on page 49


Out of the SlumpContinued from page 46 Architecture and DesignContinued from page 48Alyce Robertson of the DDA welcomes the architectural tours, predicting that theyll help promote downtowns architecture, as well its performing and visual arts. Ive been working in downtown for 35 years and only now am I looking up at buildings to see features Ive never seen before, she says. Reviewing the past few months, Rob ertson adds, In a short time, the center has become a place for interesting, lively discussions, and an anchor for exploring our cultural institutions. It reinforces the citys livability as a place to live work and play. Shulman adds that MCAD plugs into a dynamic local architectural scene am ment, civic institutions, and infrastructure construction. The center is intended to contribute to the discourse about what is happening in Miami by connecting the often disparate worlds of universities, museums, cultural organizations, city of Robins says hes happy that MCAD life. I think Miami will change more than any other city in the U.S. Wynwood and the Design District are just starting, and I predict were going to see a solid business district booms. Feedback: Courtesy of MCAD 320 NE 79 ST, MIAMI, FL 33138MON-FRI 7:30-4:30; SAT 7:30-NOON305-757-5554JOEBLAIRLAWNMOWER.COM losing manufactured housing that they actually own. Our hope is that by providing some level of mixed-income housing, Goldstein says, that some of the residents may also be able to stay on-site once the property is redeveloped. Anil Kakar, owner of Kakar House of Design, is making a transition from interior designer and furniture store owner to developer. Hes making the transition partly because hes feeling inspired by the MiMo Historic Districts resurgence. The motels are being redone on Bis cayne Boulevard, and theres a lot of buzz and excitement, Kakar says. Biscayne is becoming the grand majestic boulevard that it used to be, and I want to be a part of it. Kakar also senses opportunity. The Antiques & Design Plaza at 8650 Biscayne Blvd., where Kakar House of Design currently operates, is in the midst of an expansion project. Yet even though its growing from 26,500 to 39,500 square feet of furniture retail, thats still not enough space to accommodate all the furniture stores being displaced from the Design District, he says. So hes building yet another plaza for furniture stores, called Biscayne Design Center, right across the street from An with each store two stories in height, Kakar explains. And possibly one of the The other four store spaces, Kakar tic range of home furnishing stores. Biscayne Design Center LLC bought the future site for this mall, a vacant 9240-square-foot lot at the southeast corner of Biscayne Boulevard and NE 87th Street, for $1.2 million in August 2013. Kakar has already hired Corey Lafferty, president of PrecisionArt ing to plans provided to the BT, Laffertys vision is for each store to have an upstairs and 14-foot ceilings for the second. Kakars ultimate goal is to contribute to the overall energy along Miamis Biscayne Corridor. I want to add to the excitement of this dynamic city were living in, he says. I want to keep it growing by leaps and bounds. Feedback:


50 Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNThe Park the City ForgotA downtown gem is part history, part business venture, and all but hidden from viewBy Adam Schachner BT ContributorI wish this could simply be a story about the charm of Fort Dallas Park, more popularly known as the restaurant Bijans on the River, a downtown riverside spot you may never have noticed. But this is Miami, so we have some surreal details to cover. My recent introduction to Fort Dallas Park has underscored the need to correct Miamis ranking as a lowly 94th out of 100 major U.S. cities in terms of park acreage per 1000 residents. Our miserable score: 2.8 acres per 1000 residents (compared to 4.5 for New York City and 6.2 for Los Angeles). This dubious distinction comes courtesy of the respected Dallas Park is not Fort Dallas, a plantation structure that was relocated more than two decades ago to Lummus Park, farther upriver along NW North River Drive. I learned about the park while shoot ing a video project. I asked a friend with the City of Miami to recommend a back drop along the Miami River, and he took me on a Metromover ride to Riverwalk Station. From there we walked less than a block toward the James L. Knight Center. We hung a quick right toward the river, onto an unassuming walkway nestled between a wrought-iron fence and the River Park Hotel. I would have otherwise missed it, since the hotels walkway entrance, obscuring it. Weaving between the cars and into this space was like traversing the legendary wardrobe into Narnia. On the other side was a slice of downtown Id never imagined existed. remnants of Miamis development boom from the 1890s. On the site is a pair of modern buildings (one being the former Bijans restaurant), some riverfront public space, and a singular, ancient (by Miami standards) Henry Flagler-era building. Visitors can get to the park from SE 4th Street as they take the bend from the S. Miami Avenue Bridge. You can also get to it via the Hyatt Regency Hotels lobby. Walk down the back steps to Miami Riverwalk, a break in the lineup of high-rises and hotels, and stroll upriver a short distance. With and palm trees, this spot offers a refreshing break from downtowns bustle. BT photos by Adam Schachner 1491 NE 132 RD. NORTH MIAMI2 bed/1 bath single-family home with huge yard and space for pool. Circular driveway. Fruit trees in backyard. 1155 BRICKELL BAY DR. # 28051 bed/1 bath in the heart of Brickell, walking distance to Mary Brickell Village, spectacular water views from 28th oor. 401 BLU MIAMI BEACH 401 69 STREET # 1009Beautiful 1/1 Miami Beach apartment for rent, updated, tile living and kitchen area, carpet in bedroom. Great location, ocean and city views, 2 blocks from beach, close to restaurants, shops, supermarkets.SEACOAST 5151 5151 COLLINS AVE. # 1119 MIAMI BEACHFor rent, 2/2 on the beach, ocean views, fully furnished with parking short-term or long-term. Available now. Bring your toothbrush. Call for rates and dates. Fast approval. AKOYA MIAMI BEACH 6365 COLLINS AVE. # 1108The beach is your backyard with this renovated 2/2. Marble oors, open kitchen, ss appliances, granite countertops, 2 balconies for city and ocean views, 3 parking spaces, extra storage. Also for rent, furniture available. $875,000 SOUTH POINTE TOWERS MIAMI BEACH 400 SOUTH POINT DR. # 710 Exceptional 3/2/1 unit in bustling SoFi, completely remodeled, white glass tile throughout including balconies, open kitchen with Sub-Zero and Bosch appliances, quartz countertops. Water views from every room in this full-service building, 2 parking spaces, extra storage. $1,655,000 A A 6 1 4 4 1 1 4 SOLD SOLD RENTED SOLDPENDING SALEANTONIO BALDOOFFICE: 305-674-4000 x4179 CELL: 305-321-5415 EMAIL: baldo.a@ewm.comMIAMI


Yet despite the quaint layout and inviting colors, something is off. A wood-frame, two-story house, dubbed Flagler Palm Cottage, is intact but closed to visitors. Metal cages surround a dilapidated cabana just a few tropical storms away from collapse. A decorative rainwater. Girders for a series of canopies are rusting away, skeletal without their canvas and sporting the decomposing remains of a fan and lighting system. Viewed from across the river or from either entryway, Fort Dallas Park seems like a sunshine-dappled community center that offers inviting recreation spaces and greenery. Closer inspection, however, reveals the rust and desolation. The sad part is that the park was designed to transform Miamis history into a viable component of its present. The attempt just never took hold. This space could be remarkable if it would just be remembered. Placards displayed about the lot explain the sites modern history, which began in 1891, when Mother of Miami Julia Tuttle converted one of the Fort Dallas residences into a house. (Fort Dallas had been oc cupied by U.S. troops during the Seminole Wars and the Civil War.) up-scale community, dubbed Fort Dallas, working throughout the 1890s on what she envisioned would be a major trade and port city. Her entrepreneurial spirit drew industrialist Flagler to join her efforts. Todays Fort Dallas Park houses the remnants of their collaboration. Local historian Arva Moore Parks describes the area as Flaglers staging ground for his expansive investment in South Florida, adding that when Flagler started building the railroad and Royal Palm Hotel, he bought a whole street of houses called the Flagler Cottages. They Continued on page 52


Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNwere built for Miamis early residents, inThe last of the Flagler Cottages was moved to its current location in 1979, when ground broke on the I.M. Peis Miami Tower. The cottage remains intact and, according to Moore Parks, may be the last around that Flagler was alive to build. Today a squatter takes shelter on the porch, siphoning power through a series of extension cords to keep his cell phone charged. Trying to understand the parks status with the city is a challenge. The county property appraisers website reveals a convoluted mess of municipal oversight and commission transcripts. According to the website, Fort Dallas Park actually consists of two plots of land, one of which is listed as a park and the other zoned for a restaurant. Enter Bijans. Local restaurateur Bijan Nakhjavan opened his eponymous Bijans on the River more than 25 years ago. What followed makes for a typical Miami story, i.e., what seem like the best of intentions led to confounding outcomes so much so that former city commissioner Michelle Spence Jones noted during a commission meet ing in July 2012: This seems like we just uncovered ... a hornets nest. The hornets nest involved ongo ing commission discussions about city properties rented to restaurants that hadnt kept up their lease payments. Bi jans on the River became one of a series of such rental issues. It may have been an enchanting idea, but it failed to deliver either rent payments or crowds of diners. For many years the property has sat empty, attracting only stray cats and vagrants. Finally, in August 2012, the city initiated court action against the Miami River Group, the company Nakhjavan founded in 1987. In April of last year, a Fort Dallas ParkContinued from page 51


judge granted Miami a writ of possession, allowing the city to take control of the property. Since then, however, the case has dragged on, and a trial is scheduled to begin July 7. While never zoned residential, Fort Dallas Park is now home to some unknown number of people whove made pragmatic use of the old restaurant building, setting up recycling bins, erecting a camping tent under the Bijans overhang, and even plugging in a deep-fat fryer. Maggie Fernandez, an appointed member of the citys Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, tells the BT that the city has historically focused on a handful of parks. Its embarrassing. They put a lot of funding into creating Grapeland Water but theyve overlooked the urban pocket parks in favor of large regional and corpo ratized parks. Its so tacky. Fernandez says she remains opti mistic that future turnover in parks management will bring the attention back to these forgotten public spaces. Fort Dallas Park may be forgotten, but it is absolutely worth visiting. Just do so during daylight hours, and come equipped with a willingness to envision its potential as a restaurant site, a gathering place, a recreation center, and an appealing riverfront vista. Restoring Fort Dallas Park is an op portunity waiting to be seized. Theres no reason why this historic site should be excluded from Miamis development boom. I dont know why the city has let this happen, says historian Moore Parks. Fort Dallas Park needs to go back out for someone to operate as a restaurant. Its not a bad use for that space, and its downtown, where people are coming. ... The city needs to go out with a request for proposals. They need someone else to operate it. Any takers? Feedback: rfnt b rffn nttfbt rn tbbtrtfbt fnfnn t r f ntbbrntrn ntb


54 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIShow Us the Money Why does the City of North Miami seem to have a bottomless till?By Mark Sell BT ContributorMonday through Wednesday, May 19-21, were days of shock and awe in North Miami, and more nasty surprises may lie ahead. As we all know, Mayor Lucie Tondreau was indicted with three others a mortgage broker, a disbarred lawyer, and a fellow radio host, two of them reportedly fugitives in Nigeria and Haiti, as of this writing on conspiracy and wire fraud charges, federal offenses that carry a maximum of 30 years in prison. Stand tall, North Miami! Tondreau declared after bonding out at $50,000 and before ducking into a waiting car, hanging tough and cool. Of course, Creole radio hosts went bananas, urging rallies for her and transforming her into some kind of Joan of Arc. The indictment accuses Tondreau of using her Creole-language radio show to recruit straw borrowers to buy 20 prices, while defrauding $8 million from various mortgage lenders between late 2005 and 2008. Now that Gov. Rick Scott has suspended her and her picture is off the wall, a special mayoral election is scheduled ends next spring. The regular mayoral and council election will come in April, when Scott Galvins and Marie Sterils seats will be in play. Until the August election, Councilman Philippe BienAime, in the rotating position of vice mayor, will assume mayoral duties. Business as usual, were assured. Right. Youve got an interim mayor, an interim city manager, an interim police chief, even an interim Museum of Con temporary Art thats caught in a tug-ofwar between the city, which wants to keep MOCA where it is, and the museums board, which wants to move the collection to Miami Beach and merge with the Bass Museum of Art. Its not a stretch to call North Miami Interim City or North Interim, in the words of Jim Garrett, a former city auditor and disillusioned Tondreau supporter. The museum dispute attracted the attention of the New York Times on May 18. Twenty-something Colum bia grad and curatorial prodigy Alex of the board, is working from the museum as interim director and chief curator. The citys choice, Senegaleseborn, Sorbonne-educated polymath Babacar MBow, effectively operates as director-in-exile from North Miami City Hall next door. MBows name is not on the museums website. BT photo by Cathi Marro


Nor is the name of founding director Bonnie Clearwater, who has been at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale since last year. Even MOCAs formerly funky and charming gift shop has been stripped to SoHo neat-freak white. Yet if the museum is a big issue, money may be way bigger. Stephen Johnsons departure from his city manager job on April 11, with just four days notice, threw off the gyroscope. The city council voted 3-2 to give him $60,000 severance after 30 years service as a cop, police chief, and city manager. Put it all altogether, and his parting package was $282,000. He went on to take a $145,000-peryear position as the Miami Gardens police chief. While thats a cut from his $240,000 package as city manager, hes Miami pension of just under $100,000. That was just the appetizer. Youre getting closer to the main course when you talk about the Deferred Retirement Option Program, known as DROP. Fifty city employees and 11 lifetime city pensions when the city council voted on November 8 to institute the program. Council members Scott Galvin and Carol Keys voted against it. Keys, echoing and amplifying Galvins objections, said DROP would represent a loss of institutional knowledge that will just cripple this city and said, I think its pension checks came out in April. At the September budget hearings, will there be blood? Initial projections were that the program would cost the years, which makes a nice dent in North Miamis $58.5 million budget. Consultants and Johnson said that the projected $3.3 million in savings from salary and personnel cuts would outweigh the costs, and would actually add $1.3 million to the citys coffers. But do the math, and it raises more questions than answers. If retiring employees average, say, about $45,000 a year. Multiply that by 61, in medical and dental at $600 a month or so, and youre over $3 million, not $2 million. And that may be conservative. So where are the savings? In ex-city manager Johnsons calculations, it would work like this: To move those scales around, city management in February changed the titles of many employees from their titles and scale, if not their salaries. If this is starting to sound to you like three-card Monte, join the club. DROP cal culations based on age plus tenure should equal at least 60, with a minimum of 20 years service to fully qualify. That means, theoretically, that a 40-year-old with 20 sion for the remaining 45 or 50 years of actuarial life. Thats a lot of cabbage. So summer will be hot. Expensive litigation will continue with the MOCA board of trustees, a number of whom live in Miami Beach, dominated by glittering billionaire names like Braman, Muss, and Soffer. Litigation might even take place with Biscayne Landing, over the developers do not want to move. And, of course, there is Tondreaus criminal case, which has nothing to do with city business. (Who will pay Ben Kuehne, Tondreaus lawyer?) Big as all that is, these are sideshows For six months in 2012 and 2013, for instance, the city wasnt receiving payments on its water bills because of computer software problems. Water and sewer provides roughly 30 percent of the citys revenues, or $18 million a year. So where was the money coming from while the city wasnt collecting $9 million? City management just kept saying funds were available, but from where exactly? Just whats in the till in each fund? What now goes unfunded? Its time for an independent forensic audit now, before the budget hearings one that will be conducted by a ness with the city. Galvin and Keys would probably conservative Bien-Aime. How about it, Mr. Interim Mayor? Feedback:


56 Neighborhood Correspondents: UPPER EASTSIDEFeelin Carnivoracious? Summer means burgers, brat, and beerBy Ken Jett BT ContributorSummertime is upon us! Surprisingly, summer here in Miami means more burgers, brats, and beers just as it did in our last hometown, in the Midwest. Maybe old habits die hard, or I havent quite acclimated to the seasonal differ ences here, or (and this is what Im hoping) foods more in the swelter of summer be cause of some evolutionary predisposition. Add to this that longer daylight hours afford us more time to dine out or grill out with friends, and that hotter temperatures somehow make ice-cold beer taste better than any other time of the year. As my internal meat monster is awakened from its seasonal slumber, its with utter glee that I share a trio of places that feed my hankering for a hunk of meat and a pint of ale: Tap 79, Proper Sausages, and Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus. Tap 79 a gastropub with indoor and outdoor dining, is the newest venture by Bin No. 18 chef/owner Alfredo Patino. A welcome addition to the Upper Eastside offerings, it offers upscale pub grub that is varied and scrumptious. The craft and tap beers go well with the artfully made burgers, artisan cheese boards, and grilled goodness. Wine is also available. Chef Patinos Tap 79 burger is a blend of Angus short rib, brisket, and chuck smothered with aged Cheddar, adorned with two strips of thick hickory roasted tomato. On a glistening brioche bun, the mountain of beef and the delicious toppings were almost more than a mouth although Im writing about meat this cheese, and greens cannot go unreported. The delicious concoction called fried Friendly service and attentiveness ensure that I will return often to work my way through the menu of tasty offerings. When the meat monster rears his head, Tap 79 will provide a great place, especially when I want the celebration and tastes of summer without having to be the host. And, yes, pets are welcome on the patio. Proper Sausages is the brainchild butcher shop of husband and wife Photo courtesy of Proper Sausages 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.


owners Freddy and Danielle Kaufmann. Danielle moved here from England about six years ago to be with Freddy, who previously worked in the kitchen at Michys. It didnt take her long to notice that sausages arent relished in Miami to the degree they are back home. Sure, we can buy brats in the local grocery; but you proper sausage around here that is, until about a year ago, when the couple opened their storefront butcher shop in Miami Shores. Danielle and Freddy have elevated the sausage to artisanal status by creating links that exceed those Ive tried in London. Using their signature Berkshire along with creativity and culinary prowful, delectable sausages. Their namesake sausage, the Proper sausage, combines Berkshire pork, sage, mace, and black pepper. Another sausage called the Black Tie blends Berkshire pork with cherrywood-smoked pork, black truf for everyone, even a lamb and harissa one. The butcher shop also features housemade bacon, Florida-raised Wagyu beef, chicken, and duck. Visit in person or virtu ally, or call to see when the next sausage and beer or sausage and wine tasting is scheduled. Online ordering should be available by the end of this month. While this is a butcher shop, it does offer three prepared sandwiches: the Sausage, Egg, and Cheese; the Sausage, Peppers, and Onions; and the BLT. (I rec ommend ordering all three and splitting them with friends good stuff.) Friendly and knowledgeable, the staff is happy to offer cooking tips for their products. The Kaufmanns have elevated the sausage so high that you may have to drink wine with these masterpieces. Fear not, as they sell wine and cold craft beer. Rest assured that your summer grill and taste buds have not seen this kind of you wont put these sausages on a bun youll allow them to take their rightful place where the steak used to be. Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus has to be mentioned any time sausages are discussed. Chef/owner Alex Richter offers a full line of German comfort created a Bavarian fairy tale, with theme dcor, lighting, and a unique music mix of familiar songs recorded in German with a techno style. His biergarten offers an outdoor dining experience in a secluded oasis that transports you from the chaotic Miami bustle. As I work my way through the entire Remember, though, we are talking true German-style bratwurst here. You wont are front and center in three versions: beef/pork, garlic beef/pork, and veal. The trio sausage platter is fantastic, to the point that I order it every time I go. Mashed potatoes or spaetzle on the side make it a great meal. The apple fritters are phenomenal, with a serving so large that when it arrives, you feel compelled to share it. The menu, of course, extends beyond bratwurst, delivering super schnitzel, savory sauerbraten, and plate-sized potato pancakes. The beer and bier selections are broad enough that I usually just describe what Im in the mood for and let the staff select, and havent experienced anything from the tap that I didnt enjoy. Wunderbar for the atmosphere, food, royal treatment, and the beer selection. Royal Bavar ian Schnitzel Haus is a great place that never disappoints. next door. With two excellent options so close to each other, its hard to choose be tween them, but either way, you cant go wrong. Just invite a few friends, a healthy appetite, a thirst for the exceptional, and youll be guaranteed a great time. Whether you decide to host your own backyard grill-out using Proper Sausages or youd rather leave the grilling to ian Schnitzel Haus, your meat monster is Tap 79, 1071 NE 79th St.; 305-381-0946; Proper Sausages, 9722 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores; 786-334-5734; Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus, 1085 NE 79th St.; 305-754-8002; Feedback: DIGITAL SUCCESS STARTS HERE REGISTER NOW!


58 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR AGiant Sand Flea Lands in Gotham!Nope, its just the Enquirer heading northBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorJournalistic integrity here in South Florida took a major hit recently with the announcement that the National Enquirer would abandon its Boca Raton headquarters this month after more than four decades of enlightatmosphere of New York City. It is not clear whether this shows that the Enquirer has so grown in stature it expects to be embraced by the New York media or whether the New York media have so shrunk in stature to create that expectation. In any case, this closes another chapter in the Era of Eccentricity that gripped South Florida throughout the 20th Century. Everyone in the country has read the Enquirer at some point, although you there may not want to admit this publicly. It has been the king of the tabloids for at least 60 years, always a bit more reliable than its sister publications like the Exam iner and the Star and the Globe not to mention the Weekly World News which shuttered in 2007. Those publications manage to avoid lawsuits over inaccurate reporting by the simple expedient of writing things so ridiculous, so ludicrous, so inconsonant with any recognizable version of real life on the planet as we know it that they can defend anything in court as obviously not intended to be taken seriously. The Enquirer by contrast, served as the true tabloid, the pages in which the slinky, the sneaky, the snarky, and the quirky facts of life could get an airing. This role gave its attorneys a much bigger headache because they 40 or so years ago, the Enquirer would take a kernel of truth, a modicum of fact, and embellish it with a great deal of supposition. I guess the New York Times does a bit of that as well, but these folks at the Enquirer did it on steroids. Their legal fallback was that the one bit of truth in the piece had been thoroughly veriand retractions in later issues when they were really pressed. That model made some money but few friends, and the publishers deemed it pru Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom 305.423.0017


to sunny South Florida in the early 1970s. Here they were surrounded by transients, hustlers, tourists, snowbirds, and rejects from other communities. The environment could hardly be more hospitable to a bunch of boorish provocateurs with no respect for the individual, society, or the truth. But the law caught up with the Enquirer thanks to Carol Burnett, the goofy but lovely comic actress, and Henry Kissinger, the serious Mr. Serious who took his seriousness seriously. This unlikely pair happened across each other of an evening in a Washington, D.C., eatery. They were introduced without incident. No doubt Henry went panions about the serious events being Carol turned back to her own party with lighthearted grace. At some point during this fateful evening in 1976, Carol ordered a chocolate confection for dessert and allowed the diners at nearby tables to enjoy nibbles of the eye-catching treat. The Enquirer got word of these two celebrity ships passing in the night and reworked their encounter into a story that involved a tipsy Carol Burnett who was traipsing around the restaurant making diners taste her dessert and eventually getting into a loud argument with Kissinger. When Carol complained, the Enquirer ran a retraction. She sued the tabloid anyway and won. Without boring you with the details, the court said the Enquirer had to get its facts right in the future. After appeals, they still had to write Burnett a check for $150,000. Thenceforth, the ink-stained wretches were told to keep their imaginations in check. Ironically, this tabloid with the provocative red headlines ultimately became fairly accurate in its reporting. It was still too embarrassing to read in polite company, but in the barber shop some of us would sneak a peek. Over the years the paper even broke some big stories, not least of which the story of presidential candidate John Edwards visiting his love child in a Beverly Hills hotel while his wife was battling cancer back home in the Carolinas. Still, the paper could never shake its painted-lady tabloid taint. The great Donald E. Westlake wrote a clever novel, Trust Me on This describing the unique atmosphere inside the Enquirer build ing in Boca Raton while satirizing and caricaturizing the employees as a bunch rung of the journalistic ladder whod sold what was left of their souls for salaries well in excess of what they could hope to get anywhere else. Some of the local disdain for Enquir er employees was tempered, however, after the paper was inexplicably targeted in the anthrax mailings that followed the attacks of September 11. The killer sent his poisonous packages to centers of power in this country, from then Senate majority leader Tom Daschle to the ABC and NBC studios in New York. The packages did little damage in Enquirer killed one of the employees. No one could claim that the act was designed to put down the tabloid industry; on the contrary, it weirdly elevated it to the level of the elite media. I once asked a friend why he thought the Enquirer letter killed a person in Boca while the major networks and the injury. Those places knew there was nothing important in an envelope addressed in childish block letters, he said. The Enquirer on the other hand, probably got their best tips in similar packages from anonymous informers. Well, all that is behind us now. The tabloid has taken off for greener pastures up north. There were some murmurings about trying to move away from print toward a more powerful web presence, and about how our state isnt noted for its strength in Internet business. Fair enough. But we choose to see it as yet another sign of a fascinating 21stcentury phenomenon: normalization. South Florida is being seen less as a wacky, offbeat, touristy venue, where Young people move here now, family people, community-minded people, dynamic people who want a low tax rate, where they can put in a hard days work and sit on the patio with a daiquiri under a palm tree at night. Speaking for myself, I like this trend. Feedback:


60 Culture: THE ARTSPhone HomeAn art project links Miami Cubans with island relationsBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorOn a steamy May evening, visitors wan dered into the down Dimensions Variable exhibi was formed with a collage of hear prerecorded conversations coming from the windows and then discovered based Candelario (he goes by one name), which acted as one big microphone. In one moving moment, Celestino therapy, smiled broadly when he called wiped tears from their eyes after convers ect, LASA (Laboratorio Artistico de San Miami street. opening and holding a wooden box a that will sit against a bition Candelario explains its contents, and shown internationally, the United States. Miami, hostile relations between these two neighbors, the inevitable reconnection seems more credible and First off, after some cold years postSeptember 11, its easier travel visas to the United his exploration of interactive art and tin in 2008, Candelario explains, as he opens the wooden box to reveal a small Photos courtesy of Dimensions Variable and Candelario


has been neglected and left to deteriorate, and plays a crucial role in Candelarios psyche and his project. As a resident of this workingclass district, Candelario, along with Aurelie Sampeur, decided to create a local artists collective. The result, LASA, would invite painters, architects, designers, and artists in other disciplines to create public artworks and undertake socially engaged projectsc around Havana. The idea was to break art free from the traditional gallery space and create a vehicle for experimental action. Eventually, they picked up numerous commissions from the Cuban government. LASAs interactive pieces included inviting a Colombian artist to produce a hip-hop event, which resulted in an actual dance school. Candelario also created a pirate TV station, known as MAC|SAN, to broadcast what the project sion and Internet restrictions. But thematically, the projects remain rooted in San Agustin, a neighborhood of lost voices in a country that discourages expression, but which is also a universal metaphor when it comes to the impoverished and ignored inhabitants of the world. When Candelario opens the wooden suitcase and reveals the maquette of San Agustin, he describes what you hear when you put on the headphones. Its an inter view with a 70-year-old man who remem bers the city both before and after 1959. He knows every home, who lived where and when, says Candelario. We can com municate with the past and present. The little piece of luggage can connect current and former residents of San Agustin with its history; it can connect an underserved district with its surroundings, and then connect it with a broader world. Adds curator Cerejido: In this suitcase the residents of San Agustin are virtually present anywhere. That kind of interaction is what brought Candelario to Miami to bridge a gap that has existed for too long between Cuba and Miami, and between neglected urban spaces and that people he knew who now live in Hialeah would attend the opening, along with artists who left the island and make Miami home. So he came up with the idea of a communications tower, where people could literally talk with the old homeland. It would also represent the real-life circumstances of people in non-tourist Cuba, a situation not unlike Miami. The setting here a downtown street where some are still wary of venturing is intentional. According to curator Cerejido, Candelario and the LASA project intend to breach barriers on many levels, including those of the traditional art world, and conceptually to a certain space or aesthetic sphere. The next phase will to be send Miami artists to Cuba, and for Candelario to return to Miami for further interactive projects and to form partnerships with artists and community organizations. Two decades ago, this exchange would have been hard to imagine, much less bring to fruition. But it is a different world. The ideological vitriol has died down on both sides of the Florida Straits. We have a much more nuanced conversation now, says Cerejido. We have many more diverse voices in the Cuban diaspora here, more differing political opinions than ever before. Added to that, Miami has become a se rious art destination. In the past, she notes, Cuban artists would bypass South Florida as a dead-end location; now its a place known for its museums, art fairs, and wellknown artists a place where dialogue of Candelario and LASAs MAC/SAN TV project will be featured at the Bienal de La Habana 30th anniversary exhibition through June 22, in Havana; LASA space in San Agustin; www.lasa-cuba.blogspot. com. Equipajes Personales by Cande lario runs through June 22 at Dimensions Variable, 100 NE 11th St., Miami, with various talks and events scheduled. For details: Feedback:


62 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIESALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-286-7355 Through June 30: El tiempo y el espacio en la escultura de Jimenez Deredia by Jimenez Deredia 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 Through June 7: Painted/Stacked by Russell Maltz June 12 through August 16: Works from the s by Marie Orensanz New Dialogues with Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, Lori Nozick, Artur Lescher, and Matthew Deleget 151 NE 40th St., Ste. 200, Miami 305-860-3311 Through June 30: Karen Rifas 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661, Through July 24: Art Lab by Arturo Quintero BAKEHOUSE ART COMPLEX 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Through June 8: Symbiotic Promise by Ernesto Kunde Recently Acquired V with Pamela Palma, Troy Simmons, Ted VanCleave, Valeria Yamamoto, and Harvey Zipkin 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse Call gallery for exhibition information BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735, Call gallery for exhibition information 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 Through June 15: Mi-No with various artists BUTTER GALLERY 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 305-303-6254 Ongoing: HOX by Douglas Hoekzema Sym City by Yuri Tuma CONTEMPORAR Y ART 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 Call gallery for exhibition information 299 NW 25th St., Miami 305-502-5624 Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery. com Through July 5: Dollars & 6 Dimes by Sanford Biggers DIANA LOWENSTEIN 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through June 6: Your Forest for My Trees by Michael Scoggins and Alex Gingrow June 14 through July 31: Diarios de una isla by Ibrahim Miranda Cognate by Carlos de Villasante 100 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 Through June 22: Equipajes Personales (Personal Luggage) by Candelario DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 Call gallery for exhibition information 187 NW 27th St., Miami Through July 5: Reverse, Rewriting Culture with Consuelo Castaeda, David Rohn, Eduardo Rivera Salvatierra, Fernando Bayona Gonzalez, Jonathan Wahl, Juan Pablo Ballester, Nereida Garcia-Ferraz, and Fernando Garcia EMERSON DORSCH 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 Through July 31: We Float Above to Spit and Sing by Michael Jones McKean Cast Set by Cara Despain 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 Through June 21: Night Tide Pt. 1 with Nancy Goldring, Elizabeth Jaeger, Prajakti Jayavant, Sam Mckinniss, Leigha Mason, Nathlie Provosty, Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Nicole Wittenberg, Ann Liv Young, and Christy Gast 8375 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Call gallery for exhibition information 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 Through July 5: Its Only a Paper Craft with Kcho, Carlos Quintana, and Ruben Torres Llorca KABE CONTEMPORARY 223 NW 26th St., Miami 305-573-8142 Through July 31: En blanco y negro with Antonio Asis, Carla Arocha and Stephane Schraenen, Jorge Pedro Nuez, Paulo Castro, Sigfredo Chacon, and Adriana Jebeleanu CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-209-0278 Call gallery for exhibition information KELLEY ROY GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-447-3888 Through June 7: Red Wolf LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 Through June 28: Lim Dong-Lak 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 Through June 14: Exhaustion by Justin Beal and Jesse Willenbring Performative Intimacy by David Jang 122 NE 11th St., Miami 305-521-8520 Through June 21: Surfboard by Yann Gerstberger MINDY SOLOMON GALLERY 172 NW 24th St., Miami 786-953-6917 Through July 26: Mythmaker by Marc Burckhardt Hoodoo


Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS NNAMDI CONTEMPORARY GALLERY 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 786-332-4736 Through June 14: Window Seat with Ed Clark, Frank Bowling, Deborah Dancy, Gary Kulak, Gregory Coates, Allie McGhee, Antonio Carreno, Nanette Carter, Neha Vedpathak, Robert Colescott, Rashid Johnson, Lucy Slivinski, Thornton Willis, and Al Loving 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 Call gallery for exhibition information 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 Through June 21: Edouard Duval-Carri 151 NE 7th St., Miami Through June 20: The Castle Dismal by Christina Pettersson 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223, Call gallery for exhibition information 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Ste 4, Miami 305-284-3161 Call gallery for exhibition information NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with various artists ZADOK GALLERY 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737 Call gallery for exhibition information 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 Through July 6: Flight: Aloft in the Everglades with Wendy Call, Lisa Elmaleh, Naomi Fisher, Gustavo Matamoros, Adam Nadel, Trong Nguyen, Rebecca Reeve, Nathaniel Sandler, and Susan Silas, curated by Deborah Mitchell 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 Through June 8: Radio Miami with various artists, curated by Rosell Meseguer and Glexis Novoa 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 Through July 20: Vanitas: Fashion and Art with various artists Through August 10: Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 Call gallery for exhibition information DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY 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 October 11: Portraits of Solitude by Hernan Bas and Kaye Donachie 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through June 22: Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art with various artists Through June 29: Tradition by Philippe Dodard Through August 3: Sustenazo (Lament II) by Monika Weiss June 18 through August 24: School of Night by Arturo Rodriguez 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 June 21 through October 19: Chinas Last Empire: The Art and Culture of the Qing Dynasty with various artists Freedom T ower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 Through July 12: Permanent Art Collection with various artists Impact and Legacy: 50 Years of the CINTAS Foundation with various artists Ceiba: Reconsidering Ephemeral Spaces by William Cordova 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 Through June 16: Video Container: Touch Cinema with Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Sadie Benning, Shezad Dawood, Harry Dodge, Kate Gilmore, Maryam Jafri, Mike Kelley & Paul McCarthy, Ursula Mayer, Alix Pearlstein, Pipilotti Rist, Carolee Schneemann, Frances Stark, Valie Export, and Hannah Wilke Through July 6: Flat Rock by Virginia Overton A Fantastic Journey by Wangechi Mutu 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-375-3000 Through July 27: Image Search: Photography from the Collection with various artists Through August 17: Caribbean: Crossroads of the World with various artists Through August 31: Imagined Landscapes by Edouard Duval-Carri Through September 14: Simon Starling Shahzia Sikander Through September 28: Monika Sosnowska 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 Call gallery for exhibition information 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 Through August 1: Chinese: 28 Contemporary Chinese Artists at the Rubell Family Collection with various artists 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach 305-535-2622 Through June 15: Rendering War: The Murals of A. G. Santagata by A. G. Santagata The Birth of Rome with various artists Through August 31:BUMMER with various artists, curated by Todd Oldham June 27 through September 28: I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America by Norman Bel Geddes Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to Melissas Pick spit and sing, continues this month at Emerson Dorsch. The exhibition, a boxes juxtaposing technology with representations of natural objects. Theres a calm, almost eerie beauty found in these displays showcasing objects that are encased, embalmed, or embedded together, not intended as functional, rather creating new stories. Concurrently exhibiting local artist Cara Despain displays her infatuation with the concepts of frontier optimism and subsequent disappointment in a mixed-media installation. and Kelley Roy Gallery, both of whom now reside in the same building as Emerson Dorsch. Melissa Wallen


64 Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Culture: EVENTS CALENDARArt in Gothic PlacesChristina Pettersson is winding down her solo show at Primary Projects (151 NE 7th St.) space downtown. The Castle Dismal has been an exploration of her fascination with Southern Gothic through drawings, installations, sculpture, performance, and a series of weekly events that have included discussions of Southern writers, embroidering mourning handkerchiefs, and cemetery walks. And on Saturday, June 7 Pettersson has invited artist Kerry Phillips to lead a Walking Tour of a Derelict Family Farm Wear comfortable shoes as you nose around an abandoned homestead to discover its tragic past. The 30-minute tours begin at 4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.; meet at the gallery beforehand; free; Lesson in MiMoDo you really know Miami Modern (MiMo) beyond the 1950s buildings you drive past every day on Biscayne Boulevard? An area particularly rich with it is in North Beach, which will be highlighted during Miami Design Preservation Leagues MiMo on the Beach Walking Tour on Saturday, June 7 The 90-minute tour begins at 9:30 a.m. By visiting public and private examples of the style, youll learn what makes MiMo unique and an asset to Florida. The tour starts at 73rd Street and Collins Avenue, and costs $25; Love Those Summer ShortsIt wouldnt be summer without Summer Shorts now in its 19th year. The shortplay festival opens Thursday, June 12 and runs through early July at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. A long time production of the City Theatre, the no longer than 10 minutes each, penned by national playwrights and City Theatre National Short Play Competition winners, and range from the light-hearted to the hilarious. Most performances begin at 8:00 p.m., with some 4:00 p.m. matinees, $40; check for times.Soccer on Ten Screens When the World Cup gets under way, most of the world stops. This year for a change, the game times will be held at reasonable hours (for us in the U.S., at least). But its never fun to watch alone, which is why the Shops at Midtown Miami (3401 N. Miami Ave.), will host a Coors Light Viewing Showcase Patio with ten screens showing all the games. Brazilian, Argentine, German, and U.S. fans can all Thursday, June 12, through Sunday, July 13 playing hooky while downing brews will be an accept able, global event. For details, go to www. in the Tropics Turns FiveFUNDArtes Out In the Tropics, the only Miami-Dade arts festival dedicated solely to LGBTQ performances, runs this year from Wednesday, June 25, through Sunday, June 29 The lineup features, among others, San Franciscos Sean Dorsey Dance Compa ny; the Juan Carlos Lerida Dance Company, from Seville; poetry readings from Miamis Neil de la Flor and Carlos Pintado; and vari the festival has spread out to various loca tions, such as the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. For times, locations, and performances, visit; tickets $20 to $50.Outdoor BotanicalsThe Fruit & Spice Park (24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead) is the only tropical botanical garden in the nation, home to hundreds of tropical plant species, including 150 types of mangoes and 75 types of bananas. And its that time of the year to sample many of them during the two-day Redland Summer Fruit Festival on Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The festival features fruit tastings, wine pairings, vendor booths, and other delicious experiences; $8; www. River Tells AllInstead of getting all agitated waiting for the drawbridge to close on the Miami River, why not glide under it and, in the of drawbridges in Miami during the Historic Miami River Cruise on Saturday, June 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.. Local historian Paul George guides this tour from HistoryMiami, which explores human life here since Tequesta Indian days. The river has many stories to tell about how people once lived, and how we do today; the group leaves from Bayside Marketplace (401 Biscayne Blvd.) and costs $44 for members, $54 non-members, $25 kids under 12; www. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to Ballet Hispanico Adds Miami FlareThe New York-based Ballet Hispanico has been around since 1970, yet almost everything about its stop at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd.) will be fresh, and with a Miami bent. The program features a world premire of Show.Girl. from Miami choreographer Rosie Herrera. The Paquito DRivera Ensemble will accompany Danzn by BHs artistic director, Eduardo Vilaro. Also on the program: Sombrersimo by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, a work for six male dancers that employs references to the surrealist painter Ren Magritte; and Sortijas by choreographer Cayetano Soto, to the music of the late Lhasa de Sela. On Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7 at 8:00 p.m. A post-performance Q&A is set for Saturday; $35 to $75; Mozart and the MasonsSure, youve seen the iconic Miami Scottish Rite Temple (4671 NW 3rd St.), but have you really seen it from the inside out? Heres an opportunity to explore this gem: the Masonic Mozart concert on Sunday, June 8 at 4:00 p.m., by the 39-member Orchestra Miami. A master Mason himself, Mozart composed works for Masonic rituals, and used Masonic symbolism in some scores. The program includes the Overture to The Magic Flute (which features musical motifs akin to Masonic initiation); Die Maurerfreude (The Masons Joy), a cantata featuring tenor Tony Boutt; the Concerto for Clarinet, K. 622, with the Jupiter Symphony, No. 41, K. 551 in C Major. Historian Paul George will speak about the building after the concert. Tickets range from $20 to $40; A Finale for SandBoxThis year the SandBox Series debuted at the Miami Theater Center the space to explore performance, dance, music, and theater. The last performance runs from Friday, June 13, to Saturday, June 28 and showcases choreographer Carlota Praderas dance (with visual installation) titled Bare Bones It explores the distance invading our cultures and social behaviors, creating a world in which touch is becoming an endangered sense and fear is becoming the predominant vehicle for communication. Musical accompaniment by electronic musician Juraj Kojs and Ranier Davies; $15 to $20;


Columnists: PICTURE STORYBy Paul George Special to the BTToday the University of Miami is one of the elite institutions of higher learning in the southern United States. But its path to this level of recognition has been characterized by many twists and turns. Founded in the mid-1920s during the days of Greater Miamis heady real estate boom, the institutions opening was delayed three weeks because of the mighty hurricane of September 1926. George Merrick, the creator of Coral Gables, is recognized as the catalyst for this institution, since he donated 160 acres of land for the school, and pledged $5 mil lion for the construction and operation of a beautiful Mediterranean-style campus. But the collapse of the boom in 1926 led to the suspension of campus construc tion. Instead, the new institution opened for registration October 15, 1926, in Mer ricks half-completed Anastasia Hotel on University Drive, a few miles away. Known as the Cardboard College, since classrooms were partitioned from other parts of the building by cardboard walls, the university grew slowly amid a Conditions improved in the late 1930s, allowing the campus to expand. A boon to the universitys fortunes came with the onset of World War II, when both the U.S. Army and Navy sent personnel to study and train there. The Army helped complete the tower, seen here in this 1942 photograph, of the Anastasia building. Thereafter the Army rigged the tower as conditions for training navigators. With the GI Bill of 1944 and the wars end one year later, a new chapter was under way, as a burst of enrollment led to the construction of the originally designated campus, which became the main venue for the university. The Anastasia building and the original campus became home to science classes, but the venerable structure fell to the wrecking ball in the late 1960s. Today an historical marker stands on the site of the original Uni versity of Miami. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ Feedback: Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami 1989-011-16863 University of Miami: Shaky Start, Strong FinishA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami


66 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannHe Can Put Self-Starter on His Rsum4100 Block of N. Miami Avenue If you put things off, others will step in to rectify in their own special way. In Getting Played1700 Block of N. Bayshore Drive ful Bayshore Drive? Yes, feel that ocean of personal belongings that you left on Wakeup Call in Paradise1400 Block of Biscayne Boulevard into purses by strangers is apparently still A Clean Break Would be a Good Idea7000 Block of NE 4th Court COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: T.M.Est. 1980 into purses by strangers is apparently still


the ex got into her friends car and drove off. An arrest warrant is pending; time for this victim to realize shes just not that into him anymore.Time for a Professional Makeover 5100 Block of Biscayne Boulevard We can make mistakes when were young and just getting started in the work force. This 23-year-old employee wont be put ting this last job on his Linkedin page or him a verbal or written warning as HR and in his exit interview he threatened to come back and burglarize the business. number one. We predict a huge employ ment gap once he is formally convicted.Keep That Breeze Outdoors Where it Belongs200 Block of NE 62nd Street There are many reasons for keeping the can all make their way in while you watch Dancing with the Stars. Lying in rolled over and saw vermin of a different maging through his stuff. He screamed belongings. Police were in the area and up nice.An Open Challenge by Text Message?5700 Block of NE 4th Avenue A man brought in his car to get his seats reupholstered. The business completed the job several days later for $400. He came to get his car and asked the receptionist to get the general manager. As used his spare key to drive off in his car. He was kind enough to text the general manager and told him to Do what you have to do to get paid. Guess social anxiety prevented him from saying this via text wont help him in court. So we have a man who really cares what his car looks like and is willing to serve hard time for that desire.An Example of Functioning Mall Security400 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Bayside Marketplace is large; with pickpocket is going to get away with it if you happen to be the victim. This perp reached into a mans pocket and took security and they informed police. And from that came a dramatic hunt for mall security folk) trailed that thief and cornered him without incident. This is a good story; we hope the entitled thieves who can read will see this blurb and stay away from Bayside because perhaps the tide is turning.Those Cameras Are Not Just for Customers3401 Biscayne Blvd. Employees who steal have been around intelligence) to pull it off in todays Orwellian workplace. This cashier came taking money from the register. Busted also severely lacking in common sense and intelligence. No respectful criminal enterprise will even hire her; talk about being unemployable in all areas of life.Fraud 3:16100 Block of NE 1st Street but if one pays with plastic and gets the especially if the item costs nearly $3000. and $2400 on a credit card. The item was a gold chain with a Jesus pendant. The wasnt hers. Dont think he wants to turn the other cheek on this one; the report Feedback:


68 Columnists: PARK PATROLBeach PatrolWorld-class sand is just a stones throw awayBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorSummers heat brings the need for breeze. The beach provides a superb way to cool down and chill out, and here we provide an overview from the perspective of a local. Almost all of the 15-plus miles of beachy sand in Miami-Dade County qualify as public parks, and almost all the beaches are free, which is not universally true across the country. We do get charged in other ways (parking, sales tax), but the space in the sand remains complimentary. Take advantage of it. Many of Broward Countys world-class beaches are close to the Biscayne Corridor, so lets take a dip there before heading south. John U. Lloyd Beach State Park: When I turned 40, I persuaded a few friends with similar birthdays to hold our bash in Dania Beach. At night after the which was illegal on most beaches. That night the marshmallows were bronzing instead of the people, and we concocted a South Florida blend of beach breezes, Shortys Barbecue, and a DJ playing music from the 1980s. Dont tell the rangers, but we danced on the tables. Perhaps we killed that option, but the setting remains top-notch for a day trip. This state park charges six dollars per vehicle, and the seven large picnic pavilions require reservations, though more than 300 picnic tables are free. The parks northern border has no bridge over the Port Everglades Noise can be problematic, however, because Dania Beach is directly Lauderdale airport. The park offers other activities as well: scuba diving from the shore is said to be very good, and nature trails are shaded. Think of it as a shadier, more isolated version of Haulover Beach. Hollywood Beaches: This stretch offers the ultimate boardwalk experience. Made of concrete instead of boards, the north and south boardwalks are divided by Hollywood Boulevard. Driving here is easy, but parking on the street is not, though a parking garage helps alleviate some of that stress. Restaurants and stores line the boardwalk as far as the eye can see, and most of them look directly out onto the sand and sea. Peoplewatching is almost to Miamis standards. The atmosphere is both touristand family-friendly. This beach is the one to visit when you need some shopping therapy to complement your sand therapy. Golden Beach: This tiny beach town just south of the Broward border puts the itch in rich. The properties here are so exclusive you cant even walk on their portion of the sand. You can, however, stroll along the beach closer to the water and, from there, peer into the world of the one percent. And walk you must, because parking is reserved for the residents. Sammy Sosa bought an estate here in recent years, and Eric Clapton once placed 461 Ocean Boulevard on an album cover. Who knows what celebrity secrets, what tales of the rich and famous are hiding behind those mansion walls? Sunny Isles Beach: When its colossal high-rise condominiums cast their afternoon shadows, the beach here can feel very small. So why bother? Actually, with a little effort, youll see why so many people want to crowd onto this sliver of land. The new (private) pier puts this beach front Park is an adorable beachside setting that earned three trees in a previous review (see The Sands of Time, March 2013). Lifeguards and a strong police force make the experience feel safe. Shops are very close. Both the grandparents and the Haulover Beach Park: This MiamiDade County park earned a near perfect 4.5-tree rating in a previous column (see A Great Place to Go Barefoot, May 2102), and it still excels. The new lifeguard headquarters, in the form of a lighthouse, adds a bright-yellow landmark, and the doggie park is unique in the area. BT photos by Jim W. Harper SOUTH FLORIDAS BEACHES 79th St125th St163rd St William Lehman Cswy Hallandale Bch Blvd Hollywood Blvd Sheridan St A1AUS1395 195 John U. Lloyd Beach State P ark Hollywood Beach Golden Beach Sunny Isles Beach Haulover Beach North Shore Open Space Park South Beach Park Rating


costs six dollars on weekends. her hippie roots. People crowd into this North Shore, Miami Beach: This Shore Open Space Park. The park has a concrete path that transitions into a South Beach, Miami Beach: Yeah, 63rd Street, and a new one starts at 46th


Columnists: YOUR GARDEN 70 Sweet ThingYou can grow your own sugar substituteBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorWhen I was in college, I had a wonderful plant physiology professor who encouraged us to bring in plants we didnt know so the class could learn to identify them in a proper taxonomic manner. One of my classmates always brought plants Id never seen growing here in South Florida. After several weeks of this, had access to such unusual blossoms. The told the class that he was a groundskeeper at a local cemetery, and on class day hed That was a good lesson in several that plants may exist in similar temperature zones, but its humidity that can severely limit the ability to grow them the student brought in were native to the drier areas of Africa and Australia. We just cannot grow most of that stuff here. our professor showed us fruit trees from tropical countries that we could grow here with a bit of effort. Among them was one of the most amazing fruits any of us had ever seen. First, our professor had each of us bite into a piece of lemon or grapefruit were pretty sour. He then gave each of us a small, red, oblong fruit, perhaps a halfinch long, and told us to chew it gently because of the large seed inside, and to swish it around the inside of our mouths. A few moments later, he gave more slices of the citrus fruits that wed tasted previously. We were amazed the citrus now tasted sweet! This was or miracle fruit a rather nondescript plant from West Africa. It is smallsmall red fruits, each with a single seed. When these fruits are eaten or, more appropriately, swished around ones mouth, sour foods suddenly taste sweet. This all-natural sweetener contains an active glycoprotein called miraculin. When it is eaten, the miraculin tem porarily binds to your taste receptors to fected by the pH of ones mouth, particularly when pH is low or neutral. Perhaps this is why some people will not notice a fruit. The pH in their mouths may be high or alkaline. When I introduced this fruit to my favorite chef, Monica, she didnt believe me. So we set up a taste test. She cut slices of grapefruit, lemon, radish, and jalapeo pepper, put them on a plate, and we sat down for a taste test. We both popped a fresh fruit into our mouths and carefully chewed off the pulp and skin. It doesnt taste bad, perhaps a bit sweet. Monica was delighted with the results, so of course we planned a taste-testing party. There were about ten of us in all, and Monica went all-out to arrange fruits and vegetables having sour, bitter, the miracle fruits, popped them into their mouths, and proceeded to try the Monicas fruits and vegetables were all sweetened or had their sour, bitter, or hot tastes changed so that even the timid of peppers without going into shock. In the 1970s, I recall, there was an attempt to get the FDA to classify miracle fruit as a sweetener. After some controversy around the decision, the fruit was imagine the sugar industry would not have been too happy about the miracle fruit taking off as a sweetener. tripping parties at home, and since I grow plants in the garden, we have a ready source of the fruit. Our native soil is quite alkaline, and the miracle fruit plant would never survive in the ground here. It needs to be grown in an acidic soil mixture, so keep yours in a pot. Since the plants never get too large and can, of course, be pruned, you can keep them on a fairly sunny part of your patio. Chef Monica has learned to use the fruit as a sugar substitute with drinks, desserts, and even meals. I hope youll give it a try. arborist, retired director of horticulture at Parrot Jungle and Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at Feedback: BT photo by Jeff Shimonski


Columnists: PET TALKFelines and Canines and Chaos! Oh My!With a little intervention, worst fears dont have to come trueBy Janet Goodman BT ContributorDogs and cats dont always get along, but when they do, it can be a bit of heaven. Weve all seen those viral videos: a Rottweiler nursing orphan kittens; a pit bull playing with an orange tabby; cats riding like bareback acrobats atop an unaware Old English Mastiff. These are feel-good, Kumbaya moments we all secretly long for. Well, at least those of us who own both dogs and cats. Its the stuff that proves the naysayers wrong: that the two species really can live under one roof in peace. We pin of relationship, while wishing away the Sylvester and Spike rivalry. According to a 2012 survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), more households with pets than ever 40 percent own multiple types of pets, and 29 percent of these own a dog and a cat. For some of us, this dog-plus-cat home life has hellish moments and its not just pet aggression issues that fan between these two species can make us long to own only one, and that kind of unwanted pets. There are better solutions. Take, for example, the Persistently Empty Litter Box Syndrome. Most homes with indoor cats and dogs have suffered from this condition at one time or another. For the uninitiated, this is where even the most regal of dogs plunders the litter box of cat feces. Proof is in the sand-covered muzzle that greets us at the front door or dog breath that is switch over to a hooded, igloo-style box, place it in a corner of the room, and turn the opening so that its facing the wall. Cats get in and most dogs stay out. Actual real food, like cat kibble, can present a different problem. Dogs love to sneak cat food, but over the long term, the high protein content can lead to kidney and liver failure. Feline edibles are balanced for feline systems, not those of canines. Also, cats that eat less of taurine (which dogs make themselves) and arachidonic acid, which is a fatty acid not needed in dog diets. Bottom line: Its important to keep their meals once the bowl is offered, but cats go back to the bowl and nibble throughout the day. Keeping the cat bowl in a high, unapproachable place like a counter top is a good idea. Certain toys manufactured for cats can be dangerous around dogs. Small balls and furry mice toys can be easily ingested, leading to intestinal blockages, or can become lodged in the trachea, causing suffocation. For families with dogs and cats, cat toys are more safely used with human supervision. Beware of toys stuffed with catnip. They cause rather frisky cat behavior that can provoke friction between the two species. In a perfect world, a pet owner would have puppies and kittens grow up together, which improves the chances of the animals getting along. Sometimes, though, life cant be planned for perfec tion. Introductions are important and should be done on neutral territory, with dogs controlled on a leash and things kept as underwhelming as possible one in troduction at a time for large packs. Cats should always be given a high escape route; otherwise theyll run up the nearest in her scalp (dont ask me how I know). For those times when human supervi sion isnt possible (at bedtime or at work), I like to see dogs separated from their new feline family at least until the owner is absolutely certain of a calm relationship. Kennel crates are preferred, but sometimes dogs. This individual downtime is a tremendous de-stresser for both dogs and cats; its a time to rest and feel safe. Most dogs have some amount of prey instinct the natural desire to pursue. This can be the biggest cause of despair for someone whose dog loves to chase cats. Playing tug or fetch can provide a positive outlet for this need, and regular play sessions should be considered essential therapy. The exercise can take the heat out of the urge to run after a cat. Years ago at my kennel in Largo, a friendly feral tabby named Light Kitty would amble up and sit close by during dog-training sessions. Teaching commands in the presence of cats is a powerful tool that can be used to defuse negative dog-cat interactions. Consistent, controlled exposure is the way to arrive at a bigger slice of heaven at home. Janet Goodman is a Miami Shores-based dog trainer, animal-talent wrangler, and principal of Good Dog Bad Dog Inc. Con tact her at Feedback:


72 Columnists: GOING GREENWhen Less Is MoreHow do we deal with global population rates?By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorB Send your tips and clever ideas to: Feedback:


Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITYNext Up: Philly StakesEveryone gets to chime in during the family move By Crystal Brewe BT ContributorGo forward, move ahead, try to detect it whip it good. Im not sure exactly why, but as I write this I cant shake DEVOs 1980s anthem Whip It. Perhaps theres some hidden message in the lyrics thats the only thing keeping me from crawling into a corner, wrapping myself into fetal position, and rocking back and forth. Have you ever read that moving is the third most traumatic thing humans can ex perience? So lets get this straight death, divorce, moving. Yikes! Were moving. I was offered an amazing opportunity in Philadelphia, and my tropical weatherloving family has agreed to the adventure. has become my favorite newspaper. Thank you, all of you, for letting me archive my childrens lives in this way, and thank you for humoring me and my oversharing, and even thank you for hunting me down in the school parking lot to tell me that you disagree with my parenting style. My husbands support in this jaunt is amazing since were a family that craves familiarity and routine. Believe it or not, we gravitate toward a life of predictable structure. We make a menu every week. We have happy hour with our neighbors every Friday. The glasses are put away this way. The chair is positioned in this direction. My bathrobe doesnt go there Even with all of the planning and structure, parenting can be crazy. But throw a cardboard box into the mix, and all of the sudden its Crazytown, USA. When we moved from Honolulu to Miami, I was so stressed, I got shingles. Shingles! Isnt that something grandparents get? Im usually a list maker, but right now I need a list dedicated to all of the lists I need to make. I have a 23-tabbed Excel spreadsheet that has options for the next three months worth of life decisions. Schools, neighborhoods, camps, moving companies were eating the elephant in bite-sized chunks, but we decided to hold off on telling our little ones until dessert. As disruptive as this process can be for adults, the experience can be intensely more traumatic for kids. Why elongate their stress more than necessary? My plan of action will be calculated. While our 9and 5-year-olds didnt have voting power on this life decision, we started to integrate the idea of it slowly into dinner conversations. Me: So, if we could move anywhere, where would you move? Matilda (9): Hawaii! Me: Right, but we lived in Hawaii already. Its far away, its hard to get jobs, and well we left there. What do you think about Philadelphia? Matilda: I dont know, but I would move if I could have a puppy. Me: I dont think we could do another dog, but does that mean youd be up for moving? Matilda: Yes, if I got a pet ferret out of the deal. Step 1 in the delivery of the news will not be a ferret, although I do see myself having to pay up on this strange deal at some point this year. Step 1 is a Prezi presentation on the joys and many splendors of Philadelphia, complete with sexy pictures of the four seasons and all of the other things that make Philly not Miami. Well let them weigh in by sharing their opinions after the presentation. Step 2: Well let them select (from a few options) the route well drive to Philadelphia. Should we stop in Orlando or Jeckyll Island? Step 3: In an effort to make them feel more in control in a very out-of-control process, were allowing them to take ownership of the selection of things to keep, sell, or give to charity, with a series of stickers that will identify the category of each item. I reserve the right to veto. Step 4: Allow them time with friends and neighbors to say goodbye. Step 5: Let them choose our new home. For now, weve secured a short-term rental so we can get our bearings and in time iden tify our ideal neighborhood. Well explore the many corners of Philly and make a decision as a family on our new residence. There are the things you can plan and the things you cant. I didnt think wed be in Miami forever, but I couldnt have planned the ache in my heart as I prepare to leave it and the good friends Ive made along the way. It has been an amazing ride that feels as though its ending too soon. But what better way to end a party than to leave still wanting more, right? Crack that whip / Give the past a slip / Step on a crack / Break your mammas back / When a problem comes along, / You must whip it / Before the cream sets out too long, / You must whip it. Feedback: r fntnbnt bbn WINNER! 2013 & 2014 MAGNET SCHOOLS OF AMERICA MERIT AWARD OF EXCELLENCE APPLY NOW for We've been awarded the Museums Magnet Schools of America Merit School of Excellence for the second year in a row! Tour our school M-F 9-10:30AM Make an appointment today! NEW! Hot off the Presses! a magical book written by our students. Call 305-891-0602 today to get your copy!Photo by Simon Hare


74 Columnists: VINO By Bill Citara BT ContributorI didnt think it would be so easy. Casting about for a theme for this months Vino we came up with white wine blends. After all, it is June, when the heat and humidity really start to ramp up, and a glass (or several) of chilled white wine is a welcome antidote. Plus, I needed to get off the ChardonnaySauvignon Blanc-Pinot Grigio wagon our $12-and-under price point. Wellknown (and quite luscious) wines like Conundrum, Evolution, and Incognito were too expensive, so I expected to make a quick grab for the usual white blendie suspects like Mnage Trois and Big House White, then spend an afternoon scraping the bottom of wine shop shelves Uh, no.... As it turned out, the biggest problem wine blends but deciding which of them to include and which to leave behind. I skipped the Mnage Trois for being nearly as ubiquitous as bad drivers on I-95, but picked up a bottle of Big House White to use as something of a baseline (which turned out to be a real disappointment). The takeaway from all this? If you like your wines big and with lots of honeysuckle and orange blossom aromas, and ripe peach, aprifruit-forward varietals as Riesling, Viog nier, Muscat, and Malvasia Bianca, only partially offset by Chardonnay and Sauvi texture and ripe fruit and residual sugar get tiresome before the bottle is empty but thats just me. At least I didnt have to spend all day searching for these wines. I mentioned that the 2012 Big House White normally one of my go-to wines was a big disappointment, despite an intriguing blend of grapes that include Grner Veltliner, Viognier, and Roussanne. An unappealing blend of overripe tropical fruit hiding behind an tasted like licking fruit juice off a rock. No thanks. Probably the best wine of a mediocre lot was the NV Stark Raving White from Rosenblum Cellars. It delivered all the requisite tropical-peach-apricot fruit but tempered it a bit with some citrusy acidity and a hint of lemon-lime and fruity, but well made, it would make a good sangria. You could say the same thing about the NV Kitchen Sink Reserve White, whose chief distinction is how well its jumble of Viognier, Moscato, Symphony, Smillon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Its aromas promised with the former hinting at some balancing citrus acidity from the Smillon and Sauvignon Blanc, and the latter serving up a jammy mlange of orange blossom, peach, and lychee. If you really want a kitchen sink wine, though, its the NV Seven Daughters Winemakers Blend The daughters are all different grapes no need to list them here and the result tastes like the winemaker took a bit of this, a bit of that, a little of those, and threw everything in the kitchen sink to see what would happen. Its an okay wine, if you like that sort of thing. There were a few vintage wines in the tasting. The 2011 Clay house Adobe White was already tasting a little tired but was better balanced than most of its competitors, with pronounced percentage of Viognier, but a hint of lemon-lime acidity from Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache Blanc. Fetzers 2011 Quartz Winemakers Favorite White Blend hit much the set of grapes, in this case Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewrztraminer, and Pinot of the middle two dominated on the nose and palate, though a faint smoky-tarry scent hovered in the background, and a shot of tangy lemony acidity came The 2012 Apothic White was more of the same, though its Chardonnay had the sharp, toothpick-y woodiness which was really a distinction without much difference. Frankly, Id rather have a beer. Feedback: Time (or Not) for White Wine BlendsRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less


Columnists: DISHSprouting New Veggies and New RestaurantsFood news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorIn 2010, Brussels sprouts became one of the years top-trending foods nationwide possibly because so many modern chefs were cooking the previously reviled mini-cabbages with bacon, but still.... It was Veggie of the Moment until 2012. Thats when the food press began trum peting, Kale is the new Brussels sprouts! Then about midway through 2013, the new kale! And that has pretty much remained true. Until now. But words out: Theres a new incumbent Top Trendy Veggie is a cross between Brussels sprouts and red kale thats more versatile than either milder and sweeter, more vitaminpacked, bite-size, and better looking. With striking purple stalks and green leaves, BrusselKale sprouts do resemble theyre called Flower Sprouts by Tozer Seeds, the British vegetable-breeding company that developed the hybrid and plans to launch it in the USA this fall. Thats where the local news comes in: To Tozers dismay, the new veggie has already been launched in the USA. Miamibased Rock Garden Herbs, a family-run urban farm (2950 NW 74th Ave., 305477-8833), grows BrusselKale organically and ships it from a warehouse by MIA. One other U.S. company, Salad Savoy, has started marketing the new sensation as Lollipops, but they arent organically grown. Evidently theyre a pain-in-the-ba zooka to grow, period, which is why more Locally, Milams markets stock Brussel Kale. Additionally, several area restaurants have been playing with the upstart sprout, including Cypress Room (3620 NE 2nd Ave., 305-520-5197) and Blackbrick Chinese (3451 NE 1st Ave. #103, 305-573-8886). OPENINGS Basil Park (17608 Collins Ave., 305705-0004). From chef Tim Andriola and GM Rodrigo Martinez, co-owners of longtime favorite Timo, next door, this more casual eatery (which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner) focuses on chef-driven healthy, eco-conscious eating. Despite press describing it as an organic restaurant, its only organic if possible. But hormone/antibiotic-free meats, sustainable Florida seafood, and a wine list featuring biodynamic bottles arent possibles. Theyre guarantees. Zak the Baker (405 NW 26th St., 786-280-0327). Most people today, raised in an age where a whole loaf of supermar ket bread can be squeezed into the size of, roughly, a golf ball, have no idea why bread is called the staff of life. But Zak Sterns sourdoughs sturdy/crunchycrusted outside, complexly tangy and chewy inside will remind you why. The bakerys caf component serves a variety of Zak-bread sandwiches, too. Beer 360 (18090 Collins Ave., 305466-4599). At this sports bar/steakhouse, TVs; roughly 350 beers (20 on draft, many craft); and fun food including Brazilian picanha authentically cooked in a brick furnace, served by the slice and priced per ounce for perfect snackability. Prohibition Restaurant & Speakeasy (3404 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-9191). In the space formerly occupied by Georges Kitchen and Loft, a more playful place with Prohibition-era, deliciously decadent ambiance, a food menu thats sort of a Greatest Hipster Hits list of this era, and a cocktail Eleat (3207 NE 163rd St., 786440-7104). See this issues new Dining Guide additions (page 76) for factual details. As for gossipy details, here are three personal fave dishes of executive chef Will Biscoe (previously opening chef at downtowns Biscayne Tavern): Crispy calamari, served everywhere with marinara, here with sweet/spicy/tangy Thai peanut sauce; Frikadeller, Danish meatballs with caramelized onions, gratined with Gruyere (like French onion soup without the soup); garlic shrimp with corn butter reduced creamiest polenta youll ever eat. Tunky Tunky (11052 Biscayne Blvd., 786-953-5825). In the former North 110 space, vacant since chef Dewey LoSasso 2009, owner Juan Carlos Collazos and his chef/sister Elvira now serve traditional Peru vian dishes, plus a few with unusual touches (tiraditos marinated al pisco, or la crema de olive). Most unusual: bargain prices. CLOSINGS Michys (6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305759-2001). After eight years, the Biscayne Corridors most acclaimed indie eatery will close on June 28. But no worries. Maybe. press release, plans are to reopen, renovat ed and turned into a new restaurant that will have a whole new look, feel, and food. Hungry for more food news? See BizBuzz, page 22. Send me your tips and alerts: Feedback:


76 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S MIAMIBrickell / Downtown15th & Vine Kitchen485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373In the 15th floor space originally occupied by Eos, the Viceroys top-end restaurant now focuses its dcor on spectacular bay views (particularly from an outdoor garden/pool terrace). And the mostly small-plates menu of accessible internationally influenced New American fare is more Miami-appropriate, too. Especially recommended: Asian-inspired items like spicy ginger meatballs with sweet sambal chili sauce, or lump crab croquettes with sriracha, remoulade, and a frise/fennel salad. Favorites like flatbreads and sliders plus a classy setting make this a striking business-lunch option. $$$-$$$$ Aijo1331 Brickell Bay Dr.,786-452-1637Hidden within Jade condo, this sleek Japanese fusion restolounge (whose name means love) is also a jewel. Food-loving Venezuelan owner Rene Buroz encourages innovation, and his chefs (including four from Zuma) respond with beautifully plated items as fun as they are flavorful. Dont miss the layered croquante (a sort of Asian croqueta: mouthwatering crispy rice, subtly smoked salmon, and creamy crab), Aijo kani (king crab legs with citrus foam clouds and rich emulsified butter dip), or creative cocktails from a mixologist who also juggles and plays with fire. Area 31270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Atelier Monnier848 Brickell Ave. #120, 305-456-5015Sesame Streets Cookie Monster adores all cookies. As a more specialized Macaron Monster, we assure you that this French bakery/cafs exquisite macarons (not clunky coconut macaroons, but delicate, crackly crusted/moist inside almond cookies, sandwiching creamy ganache fillings in flavors ranging from vanilla or praline to seasonal fruits) are reason enough to drop in daily, perhaps hourly. That the place also hand-crafts equally authentic French breads, complex pastries, baguette sandwiches, salads, soups, quiches, omelets, ice creams, and chocolates is a bonus -icing on the gateaux. $$Atrio1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6529Admittedly, the Conrad Hotels top-end restaurant has had its ups and downs since its early days as one of the few exciting fine-dining restaurants in the Brickell/downtown area. But Atrio is ready for rediscovery. Despite Brickells recent restaurant explosion, few venues are as spectacularly suitable for a sophisticated breakfast, lunch, or dinner for grown-ups whod rather not shout over DJs. Panoramic views of Miami from the 25th floor are now matched by locally oriented dishes, including a mango/lime mayo-dressed lobster sandwich, crisp-skinned snapper with grapefruit salsa and basil aioli, a bracing orange tart, even citrus butter in the bread basket. $$$-$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try some thing new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mixand-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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 streetsmart urban flair of this tropical restolounge. After about 9:00 p.m., droves of high-energy young partiers make the place seem more Latin singles bar than eatery. Nevertheless, the largely but not exclusively Colombian-inspired, Latin/Caribbean comfort-food cuisine can be inspiring. Were partial to snacks like the arepa Colombiana, heaped with fresh white cheese, and the sinful chivito sandwich (steak, ham, melted mozzarella, and a fried egg). But there are also full entres like a bandeja paisa (Colombias bellybusting mixed platter of proteins and carbs). $$-$$$Batch Gastropub30 SW 12th St., 305-808-5555The name refers to Batchs signature novelty items, which we think of as gourmet fast-food cocktails: high-quality fresh ingredients (some barrel-aged), pre-mixed in batches and served on tap for instant gratification. But a menu designed by E. Michael Reidt (exArea 31), means solid foods are serious chef-driven pub grub: the Mac Attack, sophisticated mac n cheese featuring gnocchi and aged Gruyere; sinfully succulent burgers, substituting brisket for leaner beef; nachos upgraded with duck confit; wood-oven pizzas topped with unusual combinations like pumpkin plus shortrib; duck fat popcorn; housemade sodas. $$Bento Sushi & Chinese801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which spe cializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-yourprotein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Biscayne Tavern146 Biscayne Blvd., 305-307-8300From restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, this contemporary tavern seems tailor-made for a newly urbanized neighborhood, inviting residents to hang from breakfast to late-night snack time, over updated comfort food thats globally inspired while adhering to the local/organic mantra. Among expected casual favorites (solid American burgers; Asianesque pork-belly sliders) highlights are items that chef Will Biscoe stamps with his own unique, unpretentiously inventive touches, from small plates (housemade potato chips with blue cheese fondue) to large (a long-bone short rib chop with truffle popover; South Florida bouillabaisse). More than 30 craft beers accompany. $$-$$$ Blue Martini900 S. Miami Ave. #250, 305-981-2583With a 41-martini menu (plus exotic lighting, late hours, dance floor, and live music most nights), this wildly popular place is more lounge than restaurant. Nonetheless food offerings are surprisingly ambitious, including substantial items like sliced steak with horseradish sauce, as well as shareable light bites -parmesantopped spinach/artichoke dip, served hot with toasted pita; shrimp and blue crab dip (yes: crab, not faux krab); a seductive puff pastry-wrapped and honey-drizzled baked brie. Come at happy hour (4:00-8:00 p.m. daily) for bargain drink/snack specials, and lots of locals. $$ 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. $$ Bon Fromage500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusu al domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ 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 21st-century upgrade. For insatiable carnivores and fans of Latin Americas best dinner show, theres the traditional parade of tableside, sword-wielding gauchos carving allyou-can-eat meats, including must-not-miss medium-rare picanhas, delectably fat-capped sirloin. For more modern and/or light eaters, prepared dishes by Gully Booth, one of Miamis best-kept-secret chefs, include goat cheese croquettes, stuffed dates, and crab cakes Martha Stewart once proclaimed the best shed eaten. $$$$Brother Jimmys BBQ900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J evidently didnt hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmys opened more than 20 years ago. Miamis location is actually the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the slow-smoked pulled pork butt tastes righteous -no interfering glop, just hot sauce-spiked vinegar to balance the fab fattiness. Theres other cue, too, including big (not baby back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$-$$$Bryan in the Kitchen104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothie-swilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-fromscratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Burger & Beer Joint900 S. Miami Ave. #130, 305-523-2244While not quite Miamis first hip hangout featuring high-quality burgers, the original South Beach B&B certainly goosed the gourmet-burger craze in a major way. This Brickell branch has all the familiar favorites, including the ten-pound Mother Burger -really more good gimmick than good. Otherwise B&B, which still consistently makes Top 10 lists, features a huge selection of basics in addition to beef (bison, turkey, chicken, veggie, seafoods); nicely balanced topping combos; and enough succulent sides (tempura-battered pickles, fried green beans, mini-corn dogs) to make a meal thats totally burger-free. $$-$$$ Seasalt and Pepper422 NW N. River Dr., 305-440-4200Unlike older Miami River market/restaurants like Garcias, run by fishing families, this stylishly retro/modern-industrial converted warehouse (once Howard Hughess plane hangar) has an owner who ran South Beachs hottest 1990s nightspots, so expect celebrity sightings with your seafood. Whats unexpected: a blessedly untrendy menu, with simply but skillfully prepared wood-ovencooked fish and clay-pot, shellfish casseroles. Standouts include luxuriant lobster thermador, as rich as it is pricey; flavorful headson jumbo prawns, prepared classic Italian-style (as are many dishes here); even one low-budget boon: impeccably fresh PEI mussels in herb sauce. $$$-$$$$$ Caf Bastille248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very Frenchfeeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Ceviche Piano140 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414Owners Martin and Charo Villacorta, a married chef/pastry chef team, think of this eatery as a relocation (in the same downtown plaza) and reinvention of their former best kept secret spot Martini 28. Most dramatic changes: upscaled size, and with its glamorous white piano, upgraded elegance. The menu has also Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 297.rf ntbnf nttnf tnt f f t tff nff ff NEW THIS MONTH MIAMIBRICKELL / DOWNTOWNDesole Metro Pizza Bar333 SE 2nd St., 305-381-9505This family-owned pizza/wine bar serves pies more evocative of those weve had in Italy than anyplace else in town. There are normal round pizzas, but also the rectangular Roman street-food sorts you can buy by the foot (up to about a yard). Order the latter variously topped (perhaps prosciutto/arugula in one section, fresh mozzarella and tomato in another) for perfect party food. Also available: starters, salads, homemade pastas, and a surprisingly expansive wine list. Ambiance evokes Italy, too, with owner conviviality making the place welcoming even for single diners. $-$$$ MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTKush2003 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-4500From the folks behind the popular Coral Gables artisanal beer pub LoKal -voted a Most Green Restaurant in Florida by the Nature Conservancy -Kush pushes the concept farther: that farm-to-table dishes (some from LoKal, others created new) and craft beers arent mere craft; theyre art. Which youll find on the walls. On tables youll find, among other things, the Kush & Hash burger: Florida-raised beef, ground in-house, served with hash (the edible, not smokable, kind), bacon, fried egg, and housemade ketchup on a waffle bun, with a side of maple syrup. Edgy enough for ya? $$-$$$Riviera Focacceria Italiana3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6251This kitchen actually serves a full menu of specialties firmly rooted in Liguria, the northern Italian coastal region around Genoa, pesto capital of the universe. Pastas like panisotti (plump vegetarian triangles containing ricotta plus chard, spinach, and typical herbs/spices) are definitely not generically Italian. Still, the reason to come here: the variously stuffed or topped focaccias, particularly signature focaccia di Recco (a Ligurian hill town). Two ultra-thin layers (almost transparent) of light char-bubbled bread filled with imported stracchino, a mild fresh cheese like mozzarella, but swooninducingly oozy-soft. $-$$ NORTH MIAMIGreat Harvest Bread Company1817 NE 123rd St., 305-899-9998At its heart this establishment is a bakery, where owner Claude Juneau crafts a regularly rotating selection of whole-grain loaves freshly baked each day (from grains also milled daily to maintain nutritional benefits) that are good for you -and just plain good. Junk-food junkies who may doubt need only try our flavorful faves, cheddar garlic, Mediterranean olive, old-fashioned white. Tip: Breads taste best enclosing combinations like rare roast beef with chimichurri or chicken salad with sweet/ spicy pecans, in the bakerys caf, which also serves freshbaked sweets -cookies, muffins, much more. $$NORTH MIAMI BEACHEleat Restaurant & Lounge3207 NE 163rd St., 786-440-7104In an amusingly 1970s-retro/glam space, festooned with chandeliers, chef Will Biscoe crafts unpretentiously upgraded multicultural comfort foods: tarte flamande, an Alsacian flatbread topped with crme frache, onions, and sophisticated speck instead of traditional salt pork-like lardons; avocado fritters (panko-breaded wedges flash-fried crispy) with spicy mayo-based Japanese dynamite sauce plus, to balance the richness, pickled carrots/daikon (the crunchy condiment everyone adores on Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches). Or have a steak, with New/Old World sauces. For dessert, Biscoes homemade chocolate chip cookies, upscaled with Valrhona chocolate, are people-pleasers. $$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S


78 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT Sbeen altered to be less of a global wildcard. Focus is now strongly on Peruvian cuisine, including a shrimp/calamari-smothered fish fillet with aji amarillo cream sauce. But no worries, old fans. Some of the old favorite dishes remain. $$ Chophouse Miami300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Cipriani465 Brickell Ave., 786-329-4090Derived, like all Cipriani family restaurants worldwide, from legend ary Harrys Bar in Venice (a favorite of Truman Capote, Hemingway, and other famous folks since 1931), this glamorous indoor/outdoor riverfront location in Icon has two absolutely must-not-miss menu items, both invented at Harrys and reproduced here to perfection: beef carpaccio (drizzled artfully with streaks of creamy-rich mustard vinaigrette, not mere olive oil) and the Bellini (a cocktail of prosecco, not champagne, and fresh white peach juice). Venetian-style liver and onions could convert even liver-loathers. Finish with elegant vanilla meringue cake. $$$$$The Corner1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or cre ative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is transforming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout. The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets (the latter from Om Nom Noms cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti) ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the Crazy Madame, Frances elaborate Croque Madame (a bchamel saucetopped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon and caramelized onion. $-$$ 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 shortlived 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. $$$-$$$$ D-Dog House50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overload ed with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ 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. $$$Doraku900 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-4633Happy hour comes twice daily (after work and lunch) at this second location of a popular South Beach sushi, pan-Asian, small-plates restolounge, bringing discounted prices on treats like rock shrimp tempura with spicy aioli. Regular prices are reasonable, too, for seafood flown in daily, and makis displaying solid creativity rather than gimmickry. Especially enjoyable are items accented by Japanese ingredients rarely found in Americanized sushi bars, like the Geisha Rolls astringent shiso leaf, beautifully balancing spicy tuna, pickled radish, and rich eel sauce. A huge sake menu, too. $$-$$$Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewelbright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pud ding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$The Filling Station & Garage Bar95 SE 2nd St., 786-425-1990This fun, locally oriented dive, opened in 1994, was hip more than a decade before downtown was. And its 2008 relocation to larger quarters, plus two subsequent expansions, signal that it has more than kept up with the explosion of newer neighborhood hotspots, without pretensions or yuppified prices. On the fresh, hefty hamburgers, true Miami weirdness is displayed in toppings like peanut butter or Nutella. Other standouts: tangy-spicy Buffalo wings; home made tater tots; the oil pan (fried pickles and onion rings with two sauces); and an ever-changing list of craft beers. $-$$ 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. $-$$Havana 19571451 S. Miami Ave., 305-381-6651If you never had the chance to enjoy classic Cuban dishes in glam 1950s Havana (pre-He Who Must Not Be Named), you can now at this nostalgic restolounge. Eat your way through the day, from hefty four-egg/croqueta breakfasts to late-night mini pan con bistec bar bites, surrounded by old-school memorabilia, music, and mojitos. Admittedly, prices are higher than those at average Miami Cuban eateries. But daily specials, including Wednesdays especially tasty mojo-marinated chicken fricassee in sweet-savory criollo sauce, are a great value. And the time trip is priceless. $$-$$$Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singapore-style noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The 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. $$-$$$Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Jamon Iberico Pata Negra Restaurant 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT SLargo Bar & Grill401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favor ite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight SundayThursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$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. $$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., 305-789-9929Like its Midtown and North Miami Beach siblings, this Lime Fresh serves up carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casu al rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Medialunas Calentitas919 Brickell Ave., 305-517-3303At this first U.S. location of a Uruguayan chain, the signature spe cialtys crescent-like shape says croissant. But medialunas dont have croissants puff-pastry flakiness; theyre more substantial buttery breakfast rolls. And either simply syrup-glazed or stuffed (with ham and cheese, dulce de leche, more), they make a terrific Latin comfort-food breakfast or snack on the run. The same is true for equally bargain-priced empanadas (three varieties with distinctive fillings from Uruguay, Argentina, or Mexico) and tiny but tasty migas sandwiches like the elaborate Olympic: ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, peppers, eggs, olives. $Miami Art Caf364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Momi Ramen5 SW 11th St., 786-391-2392Banish all thoughts of packaged instant ramen. Perfectionist chef/owner Jeffrey Chen (who cooked for more than a decade in Japan), changes his mostly ramen-only menu often, but constants are irresistibly chewy handmade noodles; soups based on creamy, intensely porky tonkotsu broth (made from marrow bones simmered all day); meats like pork belly and oxtail; and authentic toppings including marinated soft-cooked eggs, pickled greens, more. Other pluses: Its open 24/7, and the ramen ranks with the USAs best. Minuses: Its cash only, and the ramen might be the USAs most expensive. $$$MPP Brickell141 SW 7th St., 305-400-4610Tasty Peruvian eateries arent rare in Miami. Peruvian fine-dining restaurants are. In the tastefully toned-down but still glam space formerly housing And, this second location of Limas popular Mi Propriedad Privada specializes in familiar flavors presented with seriously upscaled preparations, plating, and prices. But many ceviches, tiraditos, and starters (like especially artful layered/molded mashed potato/seafood causas, or clever panko-breaded fusion causa makis) come in trios for taste-testing. And ceviche lovers score on Tuesdays, when all-you-can-eat costs the same as a trio. $$$-$$$$$ My Ceviche1250 S. Miami Ave., 305-960-7825When three-time James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee Sam Gorenstein opened the original My Ceviche in SoBe, in 2012, it garnered national media attention despite being a tiny take-away joint. Arguably, our newer indoor/outdoor Brickell location is better. Same menu, featuring local fish prepared onsite, and superb sauces including a kicky roasted jalapeo/lime mayo), but this time with seats! What to eat? Ceviches, natch. But grilled or raw fish/ seafood tacos and burritos, in fresh tortillas, might be even more tempting. Pristine stone-crab claws from co-owner Roger Duartes George Stone Crab add to the choices. $$Naoe661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263Chances are youve never had anything like the $85 prix-fixe Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Corys tiny but nationally acclaimed oasis, transplanted from its original Sunny Isles space with its supreme serenity intact. By reservation only, in two dinner seatings of just eight people each, and omakase (chefs choice) only, meals include a seasonal soup, a four-course bento box, eight pieces of sushi, and three desserts. Cory personally does everything for you, even applying the perfect amount of housemade artisan soy sauce mix and fresh-grated wasabi to each mind-reelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrillagrilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-and-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$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-go-round? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pashas1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Pega Grill15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Perfecto1450 Brickell Ave., 305-372-0620This transplant from Barcelona features dcor that mixes rustic and urban, plus modern music and traditional tapas (the Spanish, not global, kind). Must-have: imported 5J jamon Iberico de Bellota from acorn-fed pata negra pigs -lusciously marbled, tender yet toothsome, the ultimate in cured hams. But other tapas like the salmorejo en vaso (a creamy, pumped Andalusian variation on gazpacho), papatas bravas (crisp-fried potatoes with spicy aioli), fuet (Catalan salami, similar to French saucisson sec), and crispy prawns are pretty perfecto, too. $$-$$$$ Perricones15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$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. $$Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingre dients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Porcao Farm to Grill901 S. Miami Ave. #101, 855-767-2261 Despite its name, this Porcao isnt related to Miamis longfamous/now defunct Brazilian churrascaria. Nor, despite self-billing as a modern steakhouse, is the fare mainly meat (but dont miss its signature Kao bone-in short loin, dry-aged inhouse). Steaks are almost dwarfed by chef Jeff ONeills unique and Florida-oriented pass around platters (silky Okeechobee molasses-cured salmon; Serrano-wrapped grouper chunks with romesco sauce); entres like grilled bass with cranberry foie gras dumplings; an extensive budget-priced bar bites menu; and farm-to-table rolling salad carts. $$-$$$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001 www.rosamexicano.comThis expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly -festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$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 atmo spheric 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. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nickname d Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/ apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ 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 bubblylight crusts). Toppings do exceed the three original choices served in 19th-century Naples, but pies like the Limone (fresh mozzarella, pecorino, lemons, arugula, EVOO) prove some rules should be broken. $$Sumi Yakitori21 SW 11th St., 786-360-5570If your definition of yakitori has been formed from typical Americanized sticky-sweet skewers, this late-night places grilled offerings, flavored with the subtly smoky savor of imported Japanese binchotan charcoal will be a revelation. Dcor is more NOW OPEN 7 DAYS FROM 11AM PARTY WITH US FRI & SAT till 2AM Lunch, Dinner & Happy Hour Specials DAILY A NEW TAKE ON TAPAS FROM THE GUYS WHO BROUGHT YOU EATING HOUSETapas, Sangria, Spanish Beers & Wine LUNCH, BRUNCH & DINNER Indoor & Outdoor Seating Available See our Full Menu & Reserve Online at NBA PLAYOFFS & WORLD CUP SOCCER ON OUTDOOR HD PROJECTOR7010 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 33138 305.751.8756


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT Sstunningly 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. $$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the musthaves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-gar lic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$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 dozenand-a-half sauces. Fancier mini-balls feature fusion combinations like spicy tuna, almonds, and tobiko, or substitute crispy rice. Normal-size makis, small plates, and desserts are also fun. $$-$$$Tobacco Road626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, 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. $$Top Burger109 NE 1st St., 305-379-3100Inside this better burger spot, dcor is so charmingly 1950s retro you almost expect to find the Fonz leaning on a jukebox. What you actually find: hand-formed, hormone-free, 100% Angus patties (or alternatives like veggie burgers, a lightly-breaded chicken Milanesa, and all-beef hot dogs) on toasted buns, with fresh-cut French or sweet potato fries. Welcome surprises include an assertively spicy/tangy BBQ-like secret sauce; prices that, while not 1950s level, rival those at junkfood joints; and old-school service -the kind that comes with a smile. $ Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/ dinner destination mainly by default. This replacement, from restau rant empire-builder Richard Sandoval, brings downtown power dining into this decade. As the name suggests, you can go bullish with steakhouse fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) rodizio experience. But the places strongest suit is its pan-Latin small plates -upscaled refinements of classic favorites: crisp corn arepas with short rib, guacamole, and crema fresca; fluffier cachapas pancakes with tomato jam; more. $$$-$$$$$Toscana Divino900 S. Miami Ave., 305-571-2767When an upscale restaurant remains perennially packed during a recession, you figure theyre offering something way beyond the usual generic Italian fare. While familiar favorites (Caprese salad, etc.) are available, the changing menu is highlighted by harder-tofind Tuscan specialties, albeit luxe versions: pappa al pomodoro, tomato/bread peasant soup elevated by an organic poached egg and finocchiona (a regional fennel salami); an authentic-tasting fiorentina porterhouse, with smoked potato pure plus more traditional veggies. A budget-conscious boon: changing three-course lunches and early-bird dinners. $$$-$$$$$Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, secondfloor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/ dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$ Tuyo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Verde Restaurant & Bar1103 Biscayne Blvd., 305-375-8282Located in the Prez Art Museum Miami, this indoor/outdoor bayfront bistro, a project of restaurateur Stephen Starr, serves elegant, eco-friendly fare to match PAMMs green certification. (Museum admission not required.) Seafood crudos shine: hamachi sashimi slices flash-marinated in a subtle citrus/ponzu emulsion and enlivened by jalapeo relish; a sprout-topped, smoothly sauced tuna tartare with lemon and horseradish flavors substituting for clichd sesame. Light pizzas topped with near paper-thin zucchini slices, goat cheese, roasted garlic EVOO, and squash blossoms virtually define farm-to-table. And doughnuts with Cuban coffee dip are the definitively local dessert. $$-$$$Wolfgangs Steakhouse315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-487-7130Proprietor Wolfgang Zweiner worked for decades at Brooklyns legendary Peter Lugers before opening the first of his own muchpraised, old-school steakhouses in 2003, which explains the quality of the USDA prime-grade steaks here -dry-aged on premises for bold, beefy flavor and tender but toothsome texture. Prices are pro digious but so are portions. The 32-ounce porterhouse for two easily feeds three or four folks curious to taste the difference. Plentiful sides include a bacon starter favored by those who love Canadian bacon over pork belly. Personally, just the simple, superb steaks leave us happy as clams. $$$$$Wok Town119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and haveit-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetar ians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitelygarnished 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 yuzu-dressed smoked salmon, grape fruit, avocado, and arugula salad. But the must-eats are sweets, housemade by Worhach, formerly executive pastry chef at the Mansion at Turtle Creek and similar gourmet palaces. One bite of his decadent yet impossibly light white-and-dark chocolate mousse cake will hook you for life. $-$$ Basanis3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood redsauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$Bengal2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$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 inter nationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT Sat 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. $$Blackbrick3451 NE 1st Ave. #103; 305-573-8886Inspiration for the Chinese food at this hotspot came from authentic flavors Richard Hales (from Sakaya Kitchen) encountered during travels in China, but the chefs considerable imagination figures in mightily. Example: Dont expect General Tsos chicken on the changing menu. The Generals Florida Gator, though, is a distinct possibility. Dishes less wild but still thrilling, due to strong spicing: bing (chewy Chinese flatbread) with char sui, garlic, and scallions; two fried tofu/veggie dishes (one hot, one not) savory enough to bring bean curd maligners (and confirmed carnivores) to their knees. $$-$$$ Bocce Bar3252 NE 1st Ave. #107; 786-245-6211A bocce court outside plus interior dcor imported from Italy, floor to ceiling, serve notice that this eaterys shareable small plates (salumi/cheeses, pastas, and composed antipasti featuring perfect produce) are thoroughly Italian-inspired. But all are elevated by inventive twists from chef Timon Balloo, of adjacent Sugarcane. Vegetarian dishes especially impress: creamy polenta with a poached egg, savory rapini, and shaved truffle; crispy artichoke with mustard-seed aioli; Thumbelina carrots with mascarpone and pistachio granola, a dish that magically makes the common root veggie a mouthful of wonderfulness; 25 year-aged balsamico ice cream. $$$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. $$Buena Vista Deli4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing house made pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fastfood combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill165 NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120Unbelievable but true: At the heart of this festive, budget-friendly beer-garden restaurant is an old-school gourmet butcher shop, where sausages from classic (brats, chorizo) to creative (lamb and feta) are house-made, and all beef is certified USDA prime -rarely found at even fancy steakhouses. Take your selections home to cook, or better yet, eat them here, accompanied by intriguing Old/ New World sauces, garnishes (like bleu cheese fritters), sides, and starters. Desserts include a bacon sundae. Beer? Try an organic brew, custom-crafted for the eatery. $$-$$$Cafeina297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so 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. $$-$$$$Craft Bar & Q350 NE 24th St. #109, 786-615-6622From the pitmasters behind the Passion BBQ food truck, this relaxing brick-and-mortar hangout features the same slow-smoked pulled pork, spareribs, and especially succulent brisket. All are available on appropriately garnished platters or sandwiches, and as inventive twists in quesadillas, nachos, and an elaborate burnt wedge salad. The craft in the name refers to the perfect accompaniment to perfect cue: craft beers, draft and bottled. Solid sides range from fairly normal (tropical pineapple coleslaw) to way weird (foie-gras braised collards). Save room for cakes and pies from food truck friend Marlies Delights. $$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sand wiches 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 prefer ence from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Crumb on Parchment3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Cypress Room3620 NE 2nd Ave., 305-520-5197Deer and boar heads on wood-paneled walls juxtapose with crystal chandeliers at this tiny fourth restaurant in Michael Schwartzs burgeoning empire, evoking feelings of dining in a century-old millionaires hunting lodge -in miniature. Many dishes are similarly fun fantasies of 1920s Florida fine dining, pairing yesteryears rustic proteins (including wild game) and veggies with preparations that are ultimately refined interpretations of the past: antelope/wild mushroom gnocchi; French onion soup with a sort of gruyere tuile float instead of the usual gooey melt, served on a lacy doily. Dont miss the royal red shrimp, or Hedy Goldsmiths desserts. $$$$$ Daily Melt3401 N. Miami Ave. #123, 305-573-0101Masterminded by Chef Allen Susser, the concept is to bring diners the comfort of homemade grilled cheese -like moms, if mom hadnt usually burned the bread and improperly melted the cheese. The Melts custom grill press browns/melts sandwiches perfectly every time. Additionally, Susser tested numerous all-American cheeses (no imports or artisanal products) for gooey goodness. Mom probably also didnt create combinations like cheddar with green apples and Virginia ham, or allow a simple signature grilled American cheese to be dressed up with truffle butter. Accompaniments include roasted tomato soup, chopped salads, and sweet melts like smores. $The Daily Creative Food Co.2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $The District190 NE 46th St., 305-573-4199At the house whose original restaurant tenant was One Ninety, dcor has been renovated dramatically from shabby to chic, and the panAmerican gastropub cuisine also matches a more mature Miami. Horacio Rivaderos dishes reflect both Latin and American influences with considerable creative flair and fun. Favorites: lobster tacos with pickled cabbage, aji Amarillo escabeche, and crisped shallots; luscious lamb tartare, featuring toasted pignolias and mustard oil; and the Black Magic mousse, with vanilla/sweet potato drizzles, house made marshmallows, and a pistachio cookie. $$$-$$$$El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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,


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S 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. $$-$$$ Gigi3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ Harrys Pizzeria3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key compo nents from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/ sustainable produce and artisan products; wood-oven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crispoutside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic bluecheese 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? $$ iSushi Caf3301 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-548-8751Ever get tempted by supermarket sushi rolls, just because theyre there? Dont be. This quick-casual caf has a menu similar to that at sushi/Japanese small-plates, fast-food take-out joints (individual nigiri, makis, and party platters, plus small plates like edamame, seaweed, etc.) and comparable preparation speed, too, but with ingredient quality and freshness thats more upscale. Prices are actually consid erably cheaper than those of market makis that might have been sitting around for days. Additionally, ambiance, though casual, is stylish enough for a date or dinner with friends. $$ 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 at 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. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins freshbaked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948Chef/co-owner Dena Marino calls MCs food modern Italian -neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this place is one of our towns hottest tickets. But tasting tells the tale. Marinos food incorporates her entire culinary background, from her Nonnas traditional Italian-American kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarellos famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingre dient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$ Mercato4141 NE 2nd Ave., 786-332-3772Adjacent to Dena Marinos hot hangout MC Kitchen, the contemporary Italian chefs artisanal market and breakfast/lunch caf is for diners wanting a quicker (but not fast-food) sit-down meal, or inventive take-out. Pressed for time? Try a pressed sandwich like Marinos Italian Cubano (porchetta, prosciutto cotto, Swiss, pickles, and Dijon mustard dressing, on ciabatta). Along with hot or cold sandwiches, theres a wide variety of homemade breakfast pastries, breads, cookies, and fresh-baked quiches, plus salads and a dailychanging soup. Market items include exotic jams, craft beers, and Marinos private label EVOO. $-$$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 choco late 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. $$-$$$$Mikes at Venetia555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hangout for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Mmmm2519 NW 2nd Ave., 786-703-3409On the same strip as Wynwood Kitchen & Bar and Joeys, this more casual alt-culture caf is a sandwich/soup/salad spot with a difference -chef Alan McLennan, whose mentors include Michelin 3-star chefs Michel Guerard and Fredy Giradet. The elite French training is reflected in Mmmms signature items: tartines, open-face sandwiches on crusty toasted sourdough indistinguishable from Pariss famed Poilane bread, except made in Miami. Among the perfectly balanced toppings are an especially tasty tuna and artichoke with olive mayo, or daily specials like crab/avocado. Wine, too, and locally made tropical ice creams from Azucar. $$Moloko3201 N. Miami Ave. #104, 305-572-9336Though self-subtitled The Art of Crpe and Coffee, this cool caf, in the Shops at Midtown Miami, offers much more. Also on the


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT Sfree-wheeling menu are unusual items like a reinvented Hawaiian loco moco rice plate (typically topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg, and brown gravy, here featuring protein of choice, eggs any style, and spinach cream sauce). The coffee, local Panther, and plumply stuffed sweet or savory crpes are indeed art forms, but youll find changing exhibits by local artists, too. Special happenings include live music and kids-eat-free evenings. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$ Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Palatino3004 NW 2nd Ave., 786-360-5200When longtime favorite Jamaican joint Clives fell victim to gentrification, few expected to find similarly skilled old-school CaribbeanAmerican soul food in Wynwood again, especially not at old-school prices. But thats what this small, super-friendly mom-and-pop spot serves up: breakfasts like ackee and salt fish, fried dumpling and callaloo, or an egg/maple sausage/cheese grits combo; plates (with sides) of oxtails, curry goat, jerk chicken; richly crusted piquant chicken or meat patties that contend with Miamis best. Surprises include homemade pastries, and $1 ice cream cones in tropical flavors like soursop. $-$$ Pashas 3801 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pizza Pazza275 NE 18th St. #109, 786-762-2238Close your eyes while eating Naples-born Sal Matuozzos woodoven pies and youll be in Naples. Crusts: Thin rather than Roman super-thin; theres just enough chewy thickness to emphasize youre eating honest bread, not a cracker. Toppings: High-quality (fresh fior di latte, not commercial mozzarella ; intensely flavorful sauce featuring imported San Marzano tomatoes; garnishes including fresh black truffles) and applied judiciously enough that each bite tastes slightly different -neither ungenerously Spartan nor crassly overloaded. Prices: higher than typical neighborhood pizze rias, lower than a plane ticket to Italy. $$Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548Behind this Wynwood warehouse faade youll find pure Southern roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbecue from pit master Myron Mixon. Oddly, considering Mixons many BBQ championships, the cue can be inconsistent. Our favorite choices: St. Louis ribs, tender without being falling-off-the bone overcooked, and enjoyably fattier than baby backs; vinegar-doused pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$ Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to pro sciutto/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. $$R House2727 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-0240A strikingly stylish restaurant thats part art gallery could be pretentious, in a still largely ungentrified area of cutting-edge artsy yet still workingclass Wynwood. But modular movable walls to accommodate changing installations, and its own name make it clear the art component is a serious working gallery. Hardworking chef/owner Rocco Carulli demonstrates a locals orientation with a menu highlighted by skillfully crafted, hearty entres (Brazilian seafood moqueta stew, coffee/chili-rubbed short ribs, sweet pea falafel) available in affordable half-portions: small plates of big food for starving artists. $$-$$$ Sakaya KitchenShops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue 305-576-8096This chef-driven, fast-casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop). But why quibble about words with so many more intriguing things to wrap your mouth around? The concept takes on street-food favorites from all over Asia, housemade daily from quality fresh ingredients. French Culinary Institute-trained Richard Hales does change his menu, so wed advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken wings and Chinese-inspired, open-faced roast pork buns with sweet chili sauce and homemade pickles. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and pankocoated 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 ofchefcreated 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 cre ative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Custom-sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, especially for those who enjoy taste-testing a plate pairing Italys two most famous prosciuttos: Parma and San Daniele. But homemade pastas are also impressive, as are hard-to-find regional entres like fegato alla Veneziana, which will turn liverhaters into lovers. $$-$$$ Salsa Fiesta2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ 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. $-$$Shokudo World Resource Caf 4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resources caf was better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The indoor/ outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan-Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light house made momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/Nepalese steamed dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions. Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$-$$$ Soi Chinese Kitchen645 NW 20th St., 305-482-0238No chop suey. No kung pao anything, either. In fact, anything on Sois menu that sounds like something from a normal Chinese eatery wont be: char sui ribs come with delicate corn pancakes, wonton soup is kafir lime broth with a mushroom/ truffle-butter-stuffed ravioli, lo mein is housemade noodles with pork belly and sous vide 63-degree egg. Basically its contemporary Chinese fine dining fare similar in creativity and quality ingredients to ultra-upscale Hakkasans, but served by a tiny take-out joint (with a few patio tables and counter stools) at neighborhood prices. $$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 foodoriented 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. $$-$$$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 (Peruvian-Chinese) 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. $$-$$$ WELCOME CUSTOMERS BY BOAT 620 NE 78th Street, 33138 Miami FL Ph 305 373 1770rfnRESTAURANTtbr rfr ............................................... nrfr ............................................. tbrfrbnb.......................................... nbrnnrn............................................r tnr................................................. bbrnnrnrrrfrb.......... nrfrn........................................ rnn......................................r brnnrnr ......................... rnr...................................... t............................................................. nbbrnrn...................................... rfr ............................................... nrfr ............................................. tbrfrbnb.......................................... nbrnnrn............................................r tnr................................................. bbrnnrnrrrfrb.......... nrfrn........................................ rnn......................................r brnnrnr ......................... rnr...................................... t............................................................. nbbrnrn...................................... Check our website for the full lunch and dinner menu


86 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S 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. $$-$$$Tony Chans Water Club1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Wine Vault MiamiShops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolatecovered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include chorizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ Wynwood Caf450 NW 27th St., 305-576-1105Located inside the Wynwood Warehouse Project, an art gallery/ workshop/consulting space, this alt-culture eatery is sort of a starvation-budget, working-artists version of the Prez Art Museum Miamis high-end caf, Verde: light-bite focused, but with unbelievably low prices. Specialty is The $3 Sandwich, choice of quality coldcut (pastrami, salami, turkey, or ham) plus provolone, spinach, tomato, and Dijon mustard sauce. A $5 Monster features three meats. Also notably tasty and cheap are coffees, desserts, and fresh-fruit smoothies (including a take on NYCs classic Orange Julius). $Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from world-famous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$Balans Biscayne6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/ maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$BarMeli725 NE 79th St., 305-754-5558Just east of Liza Melis defunct Ouzos Taverna, her similarly rusticfestive tapas and wine bar/market has an extensive, mostly smallplates menu including all of Ouzos Greatest Greek Hits (refreshingly light and lemony taramosalata carp roe spread, amazingly succulent grilled fresh sardines, her moms lemon cake, more), plus more broadly Mediterranean creations like an Italian-inspired grana padano flan, uniquely topped crostini and flatbreads, cheese/char cuterie boards. The boutique wine selection focuses on unusual (sometimes virtually unknown, and unavailable elsewhere in town) Mediterranean varietals from family-owned vineyards. $$ Big Fish620 NE 78th St., 305-373-1770Longtime locals who remember the uniquely Miamian ambiance of the first Big Fish, a beloved Miami River hole-in-the-wall restolounge, will want to visit this rebirth featuring an equally cool waterside setting on the Little River, plus an original owner and similar traditional Italian dishes. Our personal fave is spaghetti alla vongole veraci (with tiny true Venetian clams, hard to find today even in Venice), but youll know what you like on the familiar menu. Best seating: the expansive extensively (and expensively) rebuilt riverfront deck. $$$-$$$$ Biscayne Diner8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-9910At this architecturally mixed-era diner (signage: 1960s Jetsons; building: 1930s urban-gritty), the menu is equally eclectic. Example: The entre section includes meatloaf, but the other half-dozen dishes are Italian. Hefty burgers are always terrific. Otherwise, the chef seems most excited by experimentation, so the blackboards Daily Specials are the interesting way to go, whether the item is an ambitious quail or a fresh-baked old-fashioned pie. If we could stop stuffing ourselves silly on the big, fat, breaded onion rings, we could tell you more. But thats not gonna happen. Blue Collar6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$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. $$B & M Market219 NE 79th St., 305-757-2889Dont let the rustic look of this mom-and-pop Caribbean market/ eatery, or its ungentrified location, scare you. Walk to the kitchen in the back of the market, order, and then either eat-in (at two tables) or take-out some of Miamis tastiest, and cheapest, West Indian food. Celeb chef Michelle Bernstein is a longtime fan of the jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, and pigeon peas and rice cooked in coconut milk. Rotis rule here; the flatbreads come plain or, better yet, in curry chicken, goat, or remarkably full-flavored vegetarian versions. $Choices Vegan Caf646 NE 79th St., 786-803-8352Vegan fare (not just vegetarian, but dairy-free) can be a hard sell. But not Choices 100% plant-based breakfast/lunch/dinner dishes, even though, being also 95% organic, theyre relatively pricey. Especially recommended: hefty wraps (enclosed in varied grain tortillas or, more uniquely, in collard leaves), featuring a variety of flavorful mock-meat patties plus fresh veggies, enhanced with globally inspired sauces and add-ons like savory soy chorizo. Desserts like raw chocolate mousse cake taste satisfyingly sinful. To drink: smoothies, or go wild with organic beers and wines. $$$DeVitas7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ East Side Pizza731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $Fiorito5555 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-2899While owners Max and Cristian Alvarezs description of their eatery as a little Argentinean shack is as charming as the brothers themselves, it conveys neither the places cool warmth nor the foods exciting elegance. Dishes are authentically Argentine, but far from standard steakhouse stuff. Chef Cristians background at popular pop-up The Dining Room becomes instantly understandable in dishes like orange and herb-scented lechon confit (with pumpkin mash, pickled cabbage salad, and Dijon mojo) or sopa de calabaza, derived from Argentinas peasant stew locro, but here a refined, creamy soup. Many more surprises -even steaks. $$-$$$ Flavorish Market7283 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8787As Zabars reflects Manhattans Upper Westside neighborhood, this smaller specialty foods shop is geared toward Miamis Upper Eastside lifestyle. The carefully curated stock ranges widely: upscale packaged foods; boutique wines/beers; artisanal cheeses and cured meats; cookbooks, kitchen utensils, more. But highlights are locally produced fare: Mimis famed raviolis; Roc Kats tropical ice creams; chef/restaurateur Ken Lyons prepared foods, including daily-changing dinners for two; Zak the Bakers crusty sourdough breads, plus sandwiches on same. Best-kept secret: While theres no official caf compo nent, comfie counter seats enable on-premises breakfasting, lunching, and coffee/pastry breaks. $-$$ 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 sau sage 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 eatin 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. $Jimmys East Side Diner7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$La Tour Eiffel7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014This cute restaurant/crperie serves three meals, from traditional French breakfasts of croissants/baguettes and jam, or heftier ones including pain perdu (real French toast), to dinners featuring a chefs special $28.90 two-course meal of classics: country pt, Provencal fish soup, bold boeuf bourgignon, creamy-rich poulet la Normande, a moules/frites that even comes with a glass of muscadet, and many more starter/entre choices. But definitely dont miss the crpes, served all day in both sweet and savory varieties -the latter made correctly, for a change, with heftier buckwheat flour. $$-$$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar enter tainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Minas Mediterraneo749 NE 79th St., 786-391-0300Unlike most restaurants labeled Mediterranean, this one, deco rated with restrained modern elegance, really does have dishes from countries surrounding all sides of the sea (though not necessarily from the countries seaside regions, as boeuf Bourguignon attests). Our favorites, like owner Yasmine Kotb, whose heritage is Egyptian-via-Texas, and her mom, the chef, are those featuring exotic Eastern/North African tastes -with twists. Especially fun: Egypts besara, a light fava-based hummus; falafel sliders in warm pita with Israeli salad, slaw, and tahini; and an unusual side of grilled kale with yogurt dressing and hazelnuts. $$Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinaryschool-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparklingfresh 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 home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/ sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$ 1/2 Deli Sandwich and cup of Soup served with Cole Slaw or Potato Salad.Tuna Fish Appetizer or Sandwich served with Cole Slaw or Potato Salad. Choice of Bagel or Toast.Open-face Turkey Platter served with Mashed Potatoes and House Vegetables. Choice of Corned Beef or Pastrami Sandwich served with Cole Slaw or Potato Salad. Nova Appetizer served with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Cream Cheese and garnish. Choice of Bagel or Bialy. Specials are served Monday thru Friday 11:00am to 3:00pm (excluding Holidays) All Lunch Specials include Fountain Beverage or Fresh Brewed Ice Tea or Coffee


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, natu rally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and spe cial sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$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 savo ries (infusion jars of Stoli and lemongrass). $$Taperia Raca7010 Biscayne Blvd., 786-751-8756From the chef/GM team behind Giorgio Rapicavolis rebelliously eclectic fare at Coral Gables Eating House, Taperia has a very different concept: traditional Spanish tapas with subtle creative twists that make a big difference. Transformations come from both Rapicavoli and chef de cuisine Ryan Harrison (mastermind behind the defunct Preservation, where the focus was housecuring/pickling/smoking): classic patatas bravas, spicy fried potatoes made more complex by smoked tomato sauce; original patatas contentas, calmed by Eating Houses truffleenriched carbonara sauce. And homemade preserves accent many dishes, including seductive chicken-liver mousse. $$$ Via Verdi Cucina Rustica6900 Biscayne Blvd., 786-615-2870After years of critical acclaim cooking the cuisine of their native Piedmont at ultra-upscale Quattro, on Lincoln Road, twin brother chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro decided to work for themselves, hands-on renovating the former space of MiMo District pioneer Uva 69. Cuisine here is similarly authentic, with creative twists. But there are important differences: emphasis on local, rather than mostly imported, ingredients; inspiration from all Italian regions; and best, astonishing affordability. Housemade spinach/ricotta gnudi baked in an ocean of burrata is a delight, but its hard to go wrong here. $$-$$$ 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., 305-397-877This 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. $$-$$$ 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. $$$-$$$$ Lous Beer Garden7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys executive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ 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. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooey-cheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$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


88 Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT Sless frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, includ ing especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$Bagels & Co.11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hot-smoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingredients such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of the infamous Luther: a sweetglazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Cane Sucre899 NE 125th St.,305-891-0123From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, cre ations 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 homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ 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. $-$$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chilispiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Fish Fish13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124Heres what makes this elegantly warm restolounge and seafood market not just an irresistible neighborhood draw but a worth-the-drive dining destination: Both local and cold-water fish and shellfish, including stone crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nachlass own Florida Keys plant, that are always fresh, never frozen (except some shrimp). For home cooks, the market offers all delivered-daily catches on the menu. But dont miss chef Oscar Quezadas simple and perfect preparations, including lightly battered, crispy tempura shrimp; sophisticated fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheapo fish); bracing ceviches; and, for carnivores, shepherds pie topped with ethereal whipped potatoes. $$-$$$$Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-notmiss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are handcut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budgetpriced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Il Piccolo Caf2112 NE 123rd St., 305-893-6538Talk about a neighborhood institution. The owners of this longtime Italian eatery remember frequent visits from Miami native Michelle Bernstein and her parents -when the celeb chef was a kid. The piccolo space has since expanded, but the place is still childfriendly, 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 red-sauce joints, too, like lunchtimes surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$KC Healthy Cooking11900 Biscayne Blvd. #103, 786-502-4193Hidden inside an office building across from Home Depot, this family-friendly spot has no fancy features -such as a sign outside. But walk through the corporate lobby and youll find truly heartfelt, health-conscious, homemade dishes, some surprisingly sophisticated. Theres no red meat on the globally influenced menu, but there are poultry and fish, along with many vegetarian or vegan choices: organic pumpkin soup, zingy Thai curried veggie soup, an elegantly layered, molded tuna/avocado/quinoa cupcake, a real Bundt cake -vegan (no dairy) but remarkably tasty. $$Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Kings Chef476 NE 125th St., 305-895-7878While authentic Chinese fine dining fare is best eaten fresh from the wok, Chinese take-out is almost a separate genre with its own standards -prime being how its tantalizing scent fills the inside of your car. Even basic bargain-priced Szechuan beef combination platters from this humble establishment do that so well, youll find yourself taking the long way home. There are surprises one wouldnt expect, too, including a wide variety of tasty tofu dishes -spicy ma po, General Tso-style, honey garlic, many more -and other savory vegetarian treats. $-$$ 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 lighttextured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs execu tive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Piccolo Pizza2104 NE 123rd St., 305-893-9550Pizzas at this spin-off from family-owned Il Piccolo impress even NYC visitors, thanks to recipes proprietor Hubert Benmoussa learned from an authentic Neapolitan pizzaolo. Other favorites here include subs on homemade baguettes and, surprising for a pizzeria, delightfully custardy quiche (Benmoussa is part French). But it would be unthinkable to miss the pies, especially our favorite Italia: subtly sweet tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, plus mixed greens and uncooked prosciutto on top -both pizza and salad. There are also nicely priced catering trays of finger subs, quiche squares, pizza bites, more. $-$$ Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and musto-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 executive chef at Continental fine-dining spot La Paloma. Additions to the predominantly seafood menu include chateaubriand or rack of lamb for two, both carved, with old-school spectacle, tableside. Owner Michael Choido has also renovated the interior dining room, and added the Yellowfin Lounge, which features an extensive selection of artisan beers. $$-$$$ Cholos Ceviche & Grill1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-gar nished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$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, bonein pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ El Gran Inka3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influ ential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ TEL:305-754-8002 www.schnitzelhausmiami.com1085 N.E. 79th Street / Causeway, Miami, FL 33138 ORIGINAL BAVARIANBIER GARTENOPENDAILYFROM5:00PMTO11:00PMFRIDAY& SATURDAYTOMIDNIGHT *Must present all coupons. Not valid with other offers. Tax not included. ** ORDER ONLINE **(Delivery charge Call for delivery area)


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institu tion since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/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 popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futo maki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Kebab Indian Restaurant514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusu ally fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$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. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Rizios Peruvian Cuisine15975 Biscayne Blvd., 305-945-5111Peruvian eateries featuring ceviches and classic cooked dishes are plentiful in Miami; those adding NovoAndean fine-dining fare to the mix? Not so much. Since 2000, evolutionary chefs in Peru have been using sophisticated European techniques to revive humble native Andean ingredients like quinoa. Since late 2012, this secret spot has been, too, thanks to former Lima restaurateur Cesar Valverde, a traditionalist, and his chef son Mauricio, a Miami Culinary Institute-trained innovator. Even traditional tiraditos have delightful elegance. But dont neglect Novo inventions like trigottos, risottos substituting trigo (wheat) for rice. $$$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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$Soprano Caf3933 NE 163rd St., 855-434-9035Sicilian native Rocco Soprano, original proprietor of South Beachs Sopranos, has transformed this Intracoastal Waterway space, formerly the enoteca Racks, into an elegant but 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. $$$ Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$ EXPIRES 6/30/14 EXPIRES 6/30/14 EXPIRES 6/30/14


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most 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 daily-changing 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 Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin73 NE 167th St., 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modestlooking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro1007 Kane Concourse, 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japaneseinspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Bay Harbor Bistro1023 Kane Concourse, 305-866-0404Though small, this ambitious European/American fusion bistro covers all the bases, from smoked salmon eggs Florentine at breakfast and elaborate lunch salads to steak frites at dinner, plus tapas. As well as familiar fare, youll find atypical creations: caramelized onion and goat cheese-garnished leg of lamb sandwiches; a layered crab/avocado tortino; pistachio-crusted salmon. A welcome surprise: The bistro is also a bakery, so dont overlook the mouthwateringly buttery croissants, plumply stuffed empanadas, or elegant berry tarts and other homemade French pastries. $$-$$$Bettos Ristorante Italiano1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled, renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/effusively charming host of Surfsides neighborhood favorite Caf Ragazzi). Best make reservations. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noodles with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauted medaillons with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$ Le Pine1052 Kane Concourse, 305-861-1059This upscale Lebanese restaurant serves dishes with the sort of understated sophistication that makes clear why Beirut was called the Paris of the East. Youll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites, but many have refinements that lift them above average: pita thats housemade, charmingly fluffy when warm from the oven; falafel incorporating flavorful fava beans with the usual ground chickpeas. Especially appealing are more uncommon items like crisp-fried cauliflower with tahini, fateh (a chickpea casserole iced with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/ herb-filled sambusak pastries. Finish exotically with a hookah. $$-$$$ Open Kitchen1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-yourmouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/ owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas inge nious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Buffalo Wild Wings18721 Biscayne Blvd., 305-962-9995Like all locations of this renowned national sports bar/grill chain -originated in 1982, when two fans of Buffalo-style chicken wings couldnt find any in Ohio -Aventuras B-Dubs features an astonishing array of HD TVs (64), beers, and, naturally, wings: almost two dozen sauce and dry-rub choices, from a chili-spiked buttery original flavor to Asian, Caribbean, Italian, and beyond. Additionally, theres a full menu of burgers, salads, flatbreads, and other All-American classics. An outdoor patio and WiFi tablets loaded with games contribute considerably to kid-friendliness. $$ BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/ antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories including hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ 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. Asian-influenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restaurant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flaketopped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Montanara18855 NE 29th Ave., 305-974-0167A lushly vine-covered walkway leading to the door and back patio of this secluded but expansive restaurant serves notice that diners are in for an exclusive Italian experience. Ilario Giunchi, co-founder of Caracass famed original La Montanara, has brought much of the menu to this second location, including housemade pastas and creative carpaccios like a delicate crudo version of vitello tonnato. Whatever else you order, dont miss the signature mascarpone/pro sciutto focaccias from the beautifully tiled stone pizza oven. Budgeting diners: Explore weekday lunch specials, which include sides. $$-$$$$ Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are handrolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, Americanized-Cantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/ crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Named 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. $$$Sicilian Oven20475 Biscayne Blvd., 305-682-1890Dont think that square-shaped doughy pizza is the specialty here. Oven is really the operative word, referring to the open kitchens impressive-looking, open-flame wood-burner, and for our money the places thin-crusted pies are the way to go. Toppings, applied amply, range from traditional Italian-American (like made-in-Wisconsin Grande mozzarella) to popular (fresh mozz, even balsamic glaze); crust options include whole grain and gluten-free. Other musthaves: arancini (deep-fried rice balls stuffed with mozz and ground beef) and cervellata sausage with broccoli rabe. $$ 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 buttersauced 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. $$$$ Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/ potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily specials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale ItalianAmerican place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Mozart Caf18110 Collins Ave., 305-974-010This eatery (which serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner) is a kosher dairy restaurant, but not the familiar Old World type that used to proliferate all over New Yorks Lower Eastside Jewish community. Dcor isnt deli but modern-artsy, and the food is not blintzes, noodle kugel, etc., but a wide range of non-meat items from pizzas to sushi. Our favorite dishes, though, are Middle Easterninfluenced, specifically Yemenite malawach (paratha-type flatbread sandwiches, savory or sweet), and shaksuka (nicknamed eggs in purgatory; the spicy eggplant version will explain all). $$-$$$ Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-youcan-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill17630 Collins Ave., 305-682-1243Sushi may well have been served in Sunny Isles before this longtime neighborhood favorite opened, but Sumo was the neighborhoods first sushi bar to double as a popular lounge/ hangout as well as restaurant. Ladies nights are legend. While Thai and Chinese dishes are available, as well as purist nigiri, few can resist the truly sumo-wrestler-size maki rolls, the more over-the-top, the better. Our bet for biggest crowd pleaser: the spicy Pink Lady (shrimp tempura, avocado, masago, cilantro, and spicy mayo, topped with rich scallop-studded dynamite sauce. $$-$$$ Timo17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ 305-758-05167941 Biscayne Blvd., MiamiSee our extensive Thai & Sushi menu at DINE 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. 6/30/14$5OFF THAI & JAPANESE LUNCH SPECIALS from $7.99Monday-Saturday


Dining Guide: RESTAU R ANT S


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