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At Little Haiti's Fiorito, food is cooked and served by the owners, a rarity in our chef-idolizing town. Brothers Maximiliano and Cristian Alvarez gutted a Haitian cafeteria and filled it with coiled light bulbs, red-brick walls, and photographs. Cristian, formerly chef de cuisine at South Beach's the Dining Room, reigns from the kitchen. Maximiliano helms the front of the house as runner, busboy, server, and, occasionally, sommelier. Things can move slowly. But don't mind the wait. Ask Maximiliano to keep the Quilmes flowing. Order more $3 puffed beef empanadas, filled with spiced hanger steak. Try the simple salad with arugula, pickled cabbage, and cherry tomatoes, plopped atop a pan-seared Pacific corvina, its flaky flesh steaming and dripping. Sample the grilled Spanish octopus, boiled quickly in court-bouillon and then thrown on the grill with mint and paired with romesco sauce, chimichurri, and roasted peppers doused in vinegar. Get the homemade flan served with a dollop of dulce de leche. It's all delicious. So take your time. After all, a meal at Fiorito is nicest when you forget your watch.


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