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  • Article

    The Cuban Conundrum

    No one should know more about preparing great seafood than people who live surrounded by the sea, on an island, like Cuba. And in fact I've had some fantastic Cuban fish dishes -- pargo Alicante in wine-enriched brown sauce, garnished with crisp lemo...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on April 7, 2005
  • Article

    On a Fishy Mission

    The nice thing about reviewing chains, even small three-shop operations like Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill, is that they come packaged with a mission statement that makes evaluation more facile. Tarpon Bend number three opened in January on Miracle Mil...

    by Lee Klein on March 31, 2005
  • Article

    Joyful Jamaican

    Island Delight is a delightful island. It's not actually a patch of land but rather a small generic space in a huge generic shopping mall. To get there you brave not the sea but the sea of cars that rises up to swamp the streets of Kendall with teeth...

    by Bill Citara on March 31, 2005
  • Article

    The Azul Experiment

    Since its inception on Brickell Key in 2001, Azul has been a gastronomic gem glimmering alongside the exquisite Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Miami native Michelle Bernstein helmed the Mandarin's signature dining establishment from the start (the underrat...

    by Lee Klein on March 24, 2005
  • Article

    Populist Parillada

    The Henry Hotel is a seedy little South Beach venue on Washington Avenue just north of Fifth Street. Still, Sport Caf did a brisk business while situated there between 1992 and 1999, which is when it moved to classier digs up the block on the corner...

    by Lee Klein on March 17, 2005
  • Article

    Mixed Asian, Mixed Results

    It's only a block west of Brickell Avenue's glitzy skyscrapers, but the strip of old-fashioned storefronts that houses Indochine has, historically, managed to maintain a rather raffish, river-pirate air; it feels as if you've tumbled through time int...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on March 17, 2005
  • Article

    Dublin and Palm Trees

    Guinness introduced porter and stout beers to the world at the turn of the Nineteenth Century (the former named after porters from London's fish and vegetable markets who preferred a potent brew). In the current century, ten million glasses of Guinne...

    by Lee Klein on March 10, 2005
  • Article

    Fresh Seafood Minus the Sea

    There are a few types of restaurants that are virtually impossible to find here in Miami-Dade County, including: (1) a Chinese restaurant featuring a tank filled with swimming seafood that diners can eat, not just watch; (2) any place with genuine Ip...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on March 10, 2005
  • Article

    Grazie for Grazie

    If an Israeli and a Honduran were to open a restaurant together, what kind of cuisine would they serve? If you answered hummus in coconut shells or gefilte fish ceviche, nice try. But the correct answer is Italian -- or at least that's the case with ...

    by Lee Klein on March 3, 2005
  • Article

    Bavaria Beckons

    The problem with Christmas, it has always seemed to me, is that once it's over people seem compelled to take down the decorations. Is it some leftover Puritan influence or what? Here we have all these festive, twinkling, low-wattage lights that make ...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on March 3, 2005
  • Article

    Brunch Two Ways: Right and Wrong

    So I suppose I'll see you at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival's "Tribute Brunch" this Sunday at the Loews Hotel. It'll be great -- Francis Ford Coppola in the flesh to accept recognition for his esteemed Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery, and we, s...

    by Lee Klein on February 24, 2005
  • Article

    Bad Boy Bourdain

    In an old New Yorker cartoon, two men stand in front of a luncheonette with these words emblazoned upon the window: "COOKED FOOD." One man turns to the other and says, "It was the first theme restaurant." Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Str...

    by Lee Klein on February 24, 2005
  • Article

    Old Friends in New Hands BY LEE KLEIN Crystal Caf,

    Few restaurants are more associated with their chef/owner than Crystal Caf was with Klime Kovaceski. The Macedonian-born charmer somehow managed to work the kitchen and dining room simultaneously -- all night, every night, six days a week. For ten y...

    on February 17, 2005
  • Article

    Surviving the Jinx

    It was literally only days after Lime Fresh opened last spring that people began asking me what I knew about it. This was surprising for a number of reasons, not the least of which was its location in one of Miami Beach's jinx spots. Several quite re...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on February 17, 2005
  • Article

    Porterhouse Profits

    When Andre's Steakhouse on Marco Island changed its name to Tara Steak & Lobster House last year, it was a strategic gesture in advance of a planned expansion to at least four other outlets in South Florida. The basic steak-house formula is simple en...

    by Lee Klein on February 10, 2005
  • Article

    Masterful Thai

    For lovers of authentic Southeast Asian cooking, discovering that Vatcharin Bhumichtir is chef at a neighborhood Thai restaurant in North Beach is akin to learning that Emeril Lagasse just opened a gumbo shack in Overtown. It's not the caliber of the...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on February 10, 2005
  • Article

    Low Prices, Low Prospects

    The word tinello, according to Tinello Cucina Italiana's menu, translates as a "cozy dining room where friends and family get together." There might be some positive adjectives we can summon for this place, but "cozy" isn't one of them. The sparsely ...

    by Lee Klein on February 3, 2005
  • Article

    The Taste of Lebanon

    For people born toward the end of Twentieth Century, who are familiar with Lebanon mainly through horrific photographs of wartime Beirut's bombed-out rubble, it's difficult to imagine that not so much earlier (during a twenty-year French occupation b...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on February 3, 2005
  • Article

    How to Love the French

    Cocopelli Caf is a curious name for a French bistro, not much better than calling your brasserie Vinnie's Diner. An outdoor deck leading to the caf is a concrete mess, with a few tables and some scraggly shrubs surrounding the periphery. The awning...

    by Lee Klein on January 27, 2005
  • Article

    Time Wasted

    Most restaurant reviews take no more than a couple of weeks to complete, even here at New Times, where the (responsible) policy is for critics to make at least two visits before making a judgment. This review has been in the works since last spring, ...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on January 27, 2005
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