BEST SPANISH RESTAURANT (CLASICO) Miami 2004 - Casa Juancho
Readers' Choice: Casa Juancho
Owned by the venerable Valls family (masterminds behind Versailles and La Carreta), Casa Juancho feels like the Epcot version of Spain, which is exactly what many locals and especially tourists like about it. The giant fortress plunked on Little Havana's main drag for nearly twenty years has never really seemed to fit. But that's just another of its lures, not to mention what lurks inside in the cavelike darkness: hams hanging serenely from the ceiling, lobsters struggling to avoid being chosen as someone's dinner, and cheery musicians strolling around taking requests. While filling up on atmosphere, though, don't neglect Juancho's true temptations: refreshing sangria, perfectly grilled seafoods, scores of tapas, four kinds of tasty paella, and desserts such as a transcendent crema Catalana.