Best Cheap Power Lunch (2007)

Bin no. 18

Just because you're operating your business on a pauper's budget is no reason you can't be a power player in the business lunch game. It's all about one-upmanship. A 24-ounce porterhouse at an expensive steakhouse may be the obvious way to impress, but you can win points on insider info if you take your opponent — that is, your business colleague — to this new (and as yet largely undiscovered) European-style market/bistro. The decor, a mix of contemporary industrial (loftlike high ceilings, exposed pipes, concrete) and warm Old World (wine barrel tables), makes it clear that what you lack in big bucks you make up in cosmopolitan cool. The menu may seem like your basic food categories that begin with an "s" stuff— soups, sandwiches, salads, small plates, sides. But your colleague will notice that dishes like a crabcake with Dijon mustard cream and smoked cole slaw ($12), or an evocative Amalfi coast salad (with imported Italian tuna, olive tapenade, white boqueron anchovies, hard-boiled egg, cannelini beans, and fresh herbs; $12) are made with astonishingly high-quality ingredients and far more imagination than usual. Make sure to let it slip that chef/owner Alfredo Patino was formerly chef de cuisine at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove's Bizcaya (and, before that, at the Shore Club's Ago) before giving up all that luxe vulgarity to be his own boss. Admittedly the location, in the ground floor of a Biscayne Boulevard condo just north of the Performing Arts Center, is hardly business central. But driving from Brickell or the beach is easy when you know that the place has a hidden parking lot (in back of the building and across the street, on Northeast Second Avenue) that's fenced — and free, so it doesn't cut into your lunch budget.

Location Details

1800 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami FL 33132


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >