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  • Article

    Catch a Rising Star - Azul

    Azul is a two-month-old 120-seat restaurant in the $100-million Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key, actually housed on the side of the hotel, along with another eatery, Caf Sambal, in a patinaed structure. The restaurant's interior , elegantly accent...

    by Lee Klein on February 8, 2001
  • Article

    It's in the Can - Romancing Miami's restrooms

    I can't think of anything less romantic than getting pregnant in a restaurant bathroom. So I suppose I can cross Boris Becker off my list of potential valentines, though the love child that resulted from his restroom tryst no doubt will be glad to th...

    by Jen Karetnick on February 8, 2001
  • Article

    Side Dish - Give and take

    Yeah, it's nice to pay tribute to the ones you love. But instead of spending 25 bucks on some mediocre faux-French chocolates this Valentine's Day, consider taking that cash and sending it to India. Not because there are children starving there (thou...

    by Jen Karetnick on February 8, 2001
  • Article

    Finger-Licking Spanuban - Las Culebrinas Restaurant

    I was befuddled by the only word emblazoned beneath the restaurant's name, right on the menu's front page: tapas. Having always assumed the first Las Culebrinas, on West Flager, was a Cuban restaurant, I naturally projected likewise for this second v...

    by Lee Klein on February 1, 2001
  • Article

    The Great White Tuna - Unsolved Fish Mysteries

    Call me Ishmael if you must. But don't make the mistake of thinking I'm after a big white whale. This quest is about white tuna. White tuna is the most recent specialty item to hit sushi bars. Shibui in Miami began carrying it less than a year ago. ...

    by Jen Karetnick on February 1, 2001
  • Article

    Side Dish - Cheap shots and high steaks

    Thanks to the mad cow disease outbreak, restaurants in France have stopped serving beef, and there are reports that incinerators in England can't keep up with the disposal of infected animals. Not the best climate to open a steak house, eh? Still, Je...

    by Jen Karetnick on February 1, 2001
  • Article

    The Krome Palate - La Tapatia

    Green beans, sweet potatoes, strawberries, and all types of pulchritudinous produce can be purchased from roadside purveyors peppering the flat farmlands that surround Homestead. Nothing beats farm-fresh food. It's also pleasing to note that there ar...

    by Lee Klein on January 25, 2001
  • Article

    Get in Line to Dine - Buffet central

    If a recent story stemming from Orlando is any indication, Americans love buffets now more than ever. Two weeks ago, during a Sunday buffet brunch at the 4th Fighter Group restaurant, a three-alarm fire broke out. But despite the smoke like steamed m...

    by Jen Karetnick on January 25, 2001
  • Article

    Two Chefs and a Grocery - Scotty's Grocery

    There are two types of gourmet markets: the modern sort, as in lots of white tiles, bright lights, and shiny stainless steel Metro shelving; and the rustic old-time look favored by Scotty's Grocery. Well, not really favored. The style in this case ha...

    by Lee Klein on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    No Shirt, No Shoes, No Great Meals - Strip Steak

    If I've learned anything living in Miami, it's that objecting to policy is pretty useless. No matter how strong the demonstration against whatever -- a proposal, an issue, a politician -- chances are the powers that be will ignore it. Protesters, how...

    by Jen Karetnick on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    From Tapas to Bottom - Diego's Tapas

    If you're going to dine at Diego's Tapas at Bayside Marketplace, first check the local sports pages; you won't want to head there when the Heat is playing a home game. Unless of course you're the undaunted sort who relishes the prospect of a bumper-t...

    by Lee Klein on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Updated Guide to Dining - Translating your menu

    A couple of years ago travel writer Mac Seligman sent a letter in which he wrote about how when you travel, what you expect -- or are led to expect -- is never what you get. To that end he'd prepared a list of "travelese," a compendium of terms that ...

    by Jen Karetnick on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    The Pita Principle - Al Bustan Restaurant & Lounge

    The road to hellish restaurants is paved with good intentions, smiling countenances, sunny dispositions, and a sincerity on the part of proprietors. Al Bustan isn't hellish, but the Lebanese eatery also isn't anything more than just another ethnic ea...

    by Lee Klein on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Don't Look for the Fusion Label - That's so pass but then what do you call it?

    On Chowbaby, a relatively new Website, an article titled "Fascination with Fusion" details the gastronomic community's love affair with fusion cuisine. Author Kelly Tokarski writes, "Fusion is trendy. Fusion is tasty. Fusion is today." Girl, I got n...

    by Jen Karetnick on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Side Dish - A potpourri of holiday tidbits

    The good news is that Oliver Saucy and Darrel Broek are not putting Caf Maxx and East City Bistro up for sale, despite rumors to the contrary. The better news is that the duo finally has found a site for East City Grill, their successful Fort Lauder...

    by Jen Karetnick on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Casual Allen's - Paramount Grill

    The Paramount Grill in Aventura Mall is being touted as Chef Allen's passage into casual dining. For those of you who may have just arrived here, Allen Susser once was one of the most talked-about chefs in town, his namesake restaurant nationally acc...

    by Lee Klein on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Back to the Basic Party - New Year's Eve

    The differences are glaring. As coruscating as the neon undercarriage of an El Dorado cruising Ocean Drive. As in-your-face as the high beam of a rotating spotlight outside a Washington Avenue nightclub. As shiny as a supermodel's nose, awaiting powd...

    by Jen Karetnick on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    My Dinner with Hare - Govina Dining Room

    I was mindlessly slipping on my favorite Wallace & Gromit socks while getting dressed for lunch, when I suddenly became mindful of the fact that I was headed to the Govina Dining Room at the Hare Krishna Temple in Coconut Grove, the sort of place tha...

    by Lee Klein on December 21, 2000
  • Article

    The Hour of Merienda - Serious about happy hour

    Sad but true, happy hour has never really secured a foothold here in Miami. Sure, a couple of restaurants like Monty's and Hardaway's Firehouse Four have managed to draw a steady after-work crowd almost every night of the week. But serious attempts t...

    by Jen Karetnick on December 21, 2000
  • Article

    Room to Rumba - Samba Room

    It's become clich to describe a Latin restaurant in Miami as "reminiscent of an old-time Havana supper club," but that is in fact the case at Samba Room in the recently renovated Bancroft Hotel on South Beach. Not too ritzy a club, mind you, the sty...

    by Lee Klein on December 14, 2000
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