Small Bites

667 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach; 305-672-2334. Open daily 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. The name may say "rustic" but the concept is as slick as a Miami lobbyist with a briefcase full of cash and a pocketful of Vaseline. Pick a well-trafficked location, say Lincoln Road. Stay open all day and all night churning out big trays of crispy-chewy-crusted pizzas, everything from classic Margherita to shrimp with pesto and mozzarella. Order at the counter, by the slice, cash only. Grab one of a handful of indoor seats or wander outside with the hope that one of the slightly larger handful of tables frees up. Scarf down the pizza. Damn good. Cheap, too, especially for Lincoln Road. Wander off. You'll be back.

199 West Palm Dr, Florida City; 305-246-3114. Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Really good, really Mexican Mexican food is as common in South Florida as snowstorms on Ocean Drive, which is why this modest little eatery just off Krome Avenue in Florida City is worth getting in your car and enduring the inevitable turnpike Sturm und Drang. No ambiance to speak of, but the food is freshly made and tastes of fresh ingredients, a big change from many local Mexican eateries, where the most important piece of kitchen equipment is the can opener. Shrimp with potatoes, carrots, and peppers in a mild ranchero sauce makes a hearty entrée, as does roasted chicken with a surprisingly complex, sophisticated mole sauce. Chimichangas, enchiladas, and the ubiquitous tacos are better than average too. Puffy, greaseless chilies rellenos are superb.

12850 SW 120th St, West Kendall; 305-255-3399. Open Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday till 11:00 p.m., Sunday noon to 10:00 p.m. Located in a corner of the Plaza del Paraiso mall, Rotelli is a nice addition to the Italian scene in West Kendall. The restaurant has a wide variety of dishes, including classics like lasagna and baked ziti and more interesting fare like sea bass al pesto and chicken quattro stagione. The chicken marsala is pleasantly sweet and not too heavy. Penne alla vodka is a wonderful blend of cream, vodka, and tomatoes with fresh garlic. Soups of the day tend to be excellent and usually have a unique flavor even when they sound plain, like a pea soup with just a bit more spice than expected. Order the bruschetta Italiana to start. It has just the right mix of balsamic vinegar, garlic, and tomato. Gourmet pizzas are also good. Skip dessert, though: The tiramisu tastes more like whipped cream with cream cheese than mascarpone with espresso, and the crme brùlée is sometimes baked to a loose, flanlike consistency rather than being torched or broiled.

Location Info

Map

Aromas Del Peru

13823 N. Kendall Drive
Kendall, FL 33186

Category: Restaurant > International

Region: South Dade

Bonefish Grill

12520 SW 120th St.
Kendall, FL 33186

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Dade

The Brick

100 Southeast 4th St.
Miami, FL 33131

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Downtown/Overtown

Cacao

141 Giralda Ave.
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Coral Gables/South Miami

Chanlowe Chinese Restaurant

78 Canal St.
Doral, FL 33166

Category: Restaurant > Cantonese

Region: Doral

Siam Oishi

3409 Main Highway
Miami, FL 33133-5915

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Coconut Grove

Epicure Gourmet Market & Cafe

1656 Alton Road, Ste 300
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: South Beach

Frankie's Pizza

9118 Bird Road
Miami, FL 33165

Category: Restaurant > Pizza

Region: Central Dade

Fresco California Bistro

1744 SW 3rd Ave.
Miami, FL 33129

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Downtown/Overtown

Joe's Takeaway

11 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Seafood

Region: South Beach

13856 N Kendall Dr, South Miami-Dade; 305-386-6685. Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., dinner Sunday through Thursday 5:00 to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. Whether you're in the mood for a relaxed sushi dinner or feel like catching flying shrimp, Ruson is the spot for Japanese in West Kendall. The restaurant is split in half, the left with hibachi tables and the right with traditional ones. Start with a veggie tempura appetizer or some steamed gyoza. For true sushi lovers there are several combos, such as the "Mini Single," which comes with three pieces of sushi, nine pieces of sashimi, and a rainbow roll. If you're a bit squeamish, have the "Green Dragon Roll" -- fried shrimp with asparagus, scallions, and spicy mayo wrapped in rice and topped with ripe avocado. Ruson has a roll for all levels of sushi enthusiasts. If you prefer your food sizzling, try the "Samurai Dinner" from the Teppanyaki menu -- filet mignon, lobster, and shrimp grilled on the hibachi table. Ruson also has excellent Thai dishes, including Pad Thai and Chicken Volcano.

1000 S Miami Ave, Miami; 305-371-3473. Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 5:00 to 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. Closed Sunday. This downstairs, downscale, tapas-oriented adjunct to pricey, cutting-edge Mosaico has fewer ambitions than its more-celebrated partner and is rather more successful for it. It's a sleek, contemporary-looking space, with a few tables outside where you can smoke and watch the traffic crawl by on South Miami Avenue. The room has more spark than the food, which, though competently prepared, doesn't generate much excitement. But there are several things to like: chorizo braised in cider, lusty brandade redolent of pungent salt cod, greaseless seafood croquettes, rustic octopus-and-potato salad, and lush cuatro leches cake. Salero gets high marks for its wine program, which offers several tasting flights of Spanish wines, right now the hottest quaff on the market.

9999 Sunset Dr, Kendall; 305-279-6906. Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dinner Sunday through Thursday 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday till 10:45 p.m. It's not difficult to find a Thai restaurant on Sunset Drive. Sometimes it seems as if there's one on every block east of SW 117th Avenue. It is difficult, however, to find Thai food as flavorful as what you'll get at Siam Palace. If you're not sure where to start, try the combination appetizer. You'll get two light and crispy spring rolls, six fried wontons with a sweet dipping sauce, and a curry puff filled with vegetables. The names of dishes at this restaurant can even help you choose your dinner -- like the "Try Me" plate, a combination of chicken and shrimp in a savory garlic sauce. Siam chicken is similar to volcano chicken found at other Thai places, but the texture of the battered chicken and the sweet/spicy mix of the chili sauce surpasses most of them. Even the pad thai seems to have more flavor here. Thai iced tea, sweetened with condensed milk, will make you feel guilty about also ordering dessert -- but do it anyway; you won't regret the decision.

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