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BEST DESSERTS Miami 2003 - Hedy Goldsmith

Nemo/Shoji Sushi/Big Pink

Even at excellent sushi bars, the best that diners can expect at meal's end is some red-bean or green-tea ice cream out of a carton. At Shoji Sushi, where Hedy Goldsmith reigns as pastry chef, the green tea flavors a to-die-for white chocolate cheesecake with blackberry coulis, or a crème brûlée accompanied by sake gelee, candied kumquats, and a lacy brown rice tuile. Goldsmith, an honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America's first Baking & Pastry Arts class, is also in charge of the desserts at the other two restaurants in Myles Chefetz's one-square-block South Beach eats empire, upscale New American Nemo and all-American diner Big Pink, and at each of the three very different eateries, the sweets flawlessly suit the mood. Nemo regulars would riot if Goldsmith's warm chocolate pudding cake in a rich sweet cream puddle were ever removed from the menu. Big Pink people would sooner allow ya to step on their blue suede shoes than to leave the table without a big chunk of Elvis's favorite red velvet cake -- here even more heavenly than in The King's current place of residence. Let's face it: the woman is not a pastry chef, she is a Dessert Goddess, capital letters totally intended.

Readers Choice: Cheesecake Factory

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