Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners - 2013
Forget those hackneyed airboat tours across the Everglades. Nibbling on the alligator empanadas at Florida Cookery is a truer taste of Florida. At this South Beach restaurant, you won't find margherita pizzas, niçoise salads, or neon-blue frozen cocktails with too much sugar, too little booze, and one too many paper umbrellas. What you will find are frogs' legs ($17), wild boar chops ($36), and local quail ($26). There are spicy micheladas and tasty desserts such as dulce de leche rice custard and Puerto Rican pineapple rum cake ($9). The restaurant is inspired by a late-'40s pamphlet about Sunshine State cuisine, which belonged to chef and partner Kris Wessel's grandmother. Wessel clearly loves Florida's diverse ethnic and cultural influences: the Caribbean, Latin America, and the American South and Northeast. So when you have visitors, chomp on this!