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  • Article

    Creatively Ambitious to a Fault

    There is no plant on earth that promises a broader plethora of purportedly restorative properties than sage, which comes from the Latin "salvia," meaning "to cure." As far back as Greek and Roman times this pebbled, silvery green leaf has been used t...

    by Lee Klein on September 23, 2004
  • Article

    Haitian Heritage

    Just as herbs and spices season food, so does history. Thus "Caribbean cuisine" is a misnomer, more convenient as a sound bite than useful as truth. What the islands' cuisines historically had in common was influence from their African slave populati...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on September 23, 2004
  • Article

    Simple Italian, Simply Delicious

    Our initial twenty minutes at La Gastronomia foreshadowed nothing more than a middling dining experience at a moderately priced Italian restaurant. The 50-seat room was comfy enough -- bright yellow walls adorned with scenic, blue-hued photos of Ital...

    by Lee Klein on September 16, 2004
  • Article

    The Upscale Burger

    When Julia Child died last month, two days from her 92nd birthday, obituaries naturally focused on the great food writer's professional contributions. Her two volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and long-running TV show The French Chef ha...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on September 16, 2004
  • Article

    A Great Addition to Any Neighborhood

    No one has a problem when it comes to finding appealing ethnic joints in this town, where authentic foods are cooked with gusto and spirited to your table for only a song. Tourists or locals seeking that special night out are also in luck -- we've go...

    by Lee Klein on September 9, 2004
  • Article

    Hail the Ancient Churro

    If life were fair and rational, every corner in Miami where a Dunkin' Donuts now stands would instead house a churro shop. In a burg whose population is more than 50 percent Hispanic, there's no excuse for eating fried sawdust. It was the Spaniards, ...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on September 9, 2004
  • Article

    High Quality, Low Price

    According to an old dining axiom, a restaurant's bread basket is an indicator of the rest of the meal's quality. At Duo the bread reached even beyond the heights of the restaurant's ceiling, which is very high indeed. The ambiance is informal at this...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on September 2, 2004
  • Article

    The Soups of Vietnam

    For those who have had it at its best, pho is more than mere food. It is a drug, and a very addictive one. No, no -- don't get all excited. The ingredients do not include any of the excellent if illegal substances carried into the USA with returning ...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on September 2, 2004
  • Article

    Room with a View and Some Problems

    Atrio restaurant sits off the 25th-floor Sky Lobby of the new Conrad Miami hotel, located in the Espirito Santo Plaza high-rise, that indented glass monolith on Brickell Avenue. Conrad is Hilton's upscale line of hotels; the pedigreed corporate surna...

    by Lee Klein on August 26, 2004
  • Article

    A Welcome Neighbor

    For twenty years the Sun Inn has been operating in Edgewater, north of downtown. And for the eleven years I've lived in Miami, I've been wondering about it -- but only wondering. There was something scary about the place. Maybe it was the location on...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 26, 2004
  • Article

    Craic Heads

    Michael Collins is the warrior who in 1919 led the Irish Volunteers in their revolt against the British Empire. He has inspired a movie (Neil Jordan's eponymous biopic) and the Michael Collins Grill on Lincoln Road. Actually one of the owners of the ...

    by Lee Klein on August 19, 2004
  • Article

    Charlotte All the Times

    From the front the Charlotte Bakery doesn't look much more encouraging than any of the many other sources, on this still relatively ungentrified stretch of Washington Avenue, for empanadas. But some of the fare inside is uncommonly tasty. This is esp...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 19, 2004
  • Article

    The Sushi Wars

    For as long as I've lived in Miami Beach, sushi bars have been more common than Madonna sightings -- and back in '93 that girl used to show up at local gas station openings. Near my condo were three sushi sources on one block alone, four if you count...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 12, 2004
  • Article

    The South Rises Again

    It's been somewhere between a few decades and a century since South Florida was considered part of the American South. Still it's easy to find most Southern regional cuisines here. In fact, hearty Cajun cooking, originated by French Canadian "Acadian...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 5, 2004
  • Article

    Still Savory After All These Years

    At most restaurants it's not a good sign when chefs come and go every few years. It's often a sign of management instability, or that something other than inspired food is the place's priority. Sometimes it's followed by increasingly empty tables, wh...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on July 29, 2004
  • Article

    Classy Chinese Is Not a Contradiction

    A time-honored theory among ethnic-restaurant mavens goes like this: The best Chinese food is to be found in the worst dumps. As a business acquaintance who'd grown up in China once told me: "If I walk in and there's a tuxedoed guy behind a maitre d'...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on July 22, 2004
  • Article

    Indian Curries, American Cheeseburgers

    In discussions of innovative food trends, Miami generally gets the short end of the stick compared with New York, San Francisco, and other cities known for their eagerness to embrace the newest, the hottest, and the weirdest. But our town has never l...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on July 15, 2004
  • Article

    Meet the New Neighbor - The District enlivens the district

    A mere half-dozen years or so after national publications began hyping the Design District as our town's hottest new area, it seems like the "square mile of style" (a nickname from its Seventies heyday as the upscale design center) is finally turning...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on July 8, 2004
  • Article

    Fresh and True Italian

    When summer comes to South Florida, the restaurant scene gears down so abruptly, and so dramatically, that its eerie. Personally I havent made a reservation since Memorial Day. Even at some of South Beachs most in-demand hot spots -- places where it ...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on July 1, 2004
  • Article

    All Lobster All the Time

    n the journalism business we strive, to quote the stirring overture to the old Superman television show, for "truth, justice, and the American way." Nevertheless sometimes you read something in the papers that seems so untrue and unjust that you figu...

    on June 24, 2004
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