Best Restaurant Spinoff - 2011
The original Jimmy'z Kitchen has long provided freshly cooked meals from its tiny, weathered location in a little, rickety strip mall on Alton Road in Miami Beach. The venue is easy to pass without noticing, which is probably why lots of SoBe natives don't even know it exists. But the new Jimmy'z, on the ground floor of the Cynergi Building in Wynwood, is different. It's hard to believe it's a spinoff of the Alton Road classic. The place is so bright, shiny, and colorful that it looks a bit like a fast-food chain, but this fare is cooked slowly, with care, and is packed with enormous flavor. The much-expanded menu includes panini, salads (the jerk chicken and mango ensemble is peerless), and amazingly gratifying main courses that run the global gamut from shrimp creole to steak frites to seared ahi tuna to country beef stew. Mofongo, the Puerto Rican ode to plantains, protein, and garlic, is among the best in town. Beverage selections are extensive as well — there's a wide array of soft drinks and craft beers, along with wines by the bottle and glass. Prices are more than fair – just about everything is under $20, and there are plenty of good eats for less than $10. About the only thing that isn't different about this new place is chef/owner Jimmy Carey, who earned his chops at Miami's great and long-departed Brasserie Le Coze (itself a spinoff of NYC's legendary Le Bernardin). His gastronomic savvy has gone about as unnoticed as the original Jimmy'z, but that won't be the case for long.