Best Restaurateur Miami 2010 - Barton G. Weiss
Don't let the live giraffes, cryogenic nitro-martinis, and dumbfounding desserts such as the "chocolate fun-do fountain" gurgling with four pounds of Belgian dark distract you from seeing the serious genius of Mr. Barton G. He was already known as Miami's most outlandishly creative caterer by the time he opened his namesake South Beach restaurant in 2002. The sophisticated eatery with the whimsical presentation was way ahead of its time back then and continues to keep the new concepts coming. This past year, Weiss showed a peerless ability to provide classy, elegant dining when he opened Prelude in the Adrienne Arsht Center and Villa at the former Versace mansion. Yet what cements Barton's reputation as being a cut above the rest is his bucking of the common practice of charging exorbitant prices on New Year's Eve; Prelude served the same pre-theater $39 prix fixe dinner menu as always, refusing to exploit the restaurant patio's view of the Bayside fireworks. By the way: This is one of the best dinner deals around even when it's not New Year's Eve. Vision, value, and damn good food. What more could you want from a restaurateur?