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  • Article

    A Day in the Life - Tropical on the Beach

    South Beach, Sunday, 10:30 a.m. I walk into Tropical on the Beach, on Washington Avenue between Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets. It's a massive space, with some 200 seats and 50 silver Deco light fixtures hanging from the lofty ceiling. The bulbs ar...

    by Lee Klein on September 13, 2001
  • Article

    The Blue Jake's - Jake's Bar & Grill

    The ability of a restaurant to surprise with hitherto unseen and unheard of concepts is becoming increasingly difficult these days, yet Jake's Bar & Grill, a new eatery located across from the Shops at Sunset Place, recently succeeded in doing just t...

    by Lee Klein on September 6, 2001
  • Article

    Serious Series Food - Gourmet Gourmet

    An authentic version of chau mien as they do it in Canton would be reason enough to patronize any Chinese restaurant. And Gourmet Gourmet's double-yellow gourmet version does largely qualify as authentic. Traditionally chau mien simply was pan-fried...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on September 6, 2001
  • Article

    Planet Versace - So much more than a meal

    Most of us remember the shooting death of Gianni Versace at his Miami home, Casa Casuarina, the way our parents recall the assassination of President Kennedy: as a tragedy of international proportions. Many vividly recall the resulting hordes of tour...

    by Jen Karetnick on September 6, 2001
  • Article

    Features from the Back Lagoon - Lagoon

    As someone who has earned a living in two pretty damned privileged fields -- writing about food and playing rock music -- I've always felt as if I was getting away with highway robbery, even in months when I can barely pay the rent. One of my grandmo...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 30, 2001
  • Article

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Nobu - The best I've had

    The potted palms are empty of greenery. Many of the rooms are bereft of beds. The lobby boasts a silence so profound it's almost religious in quality. But the Shore Club, along with its dining destination Sirena, is indeed open. More important, Nobu,...

    by Jen Karetnick on August 30, 2001
  • Article

    Le Bouchon Bien - Le Bouchon du Grove

    A caf, bistro, and brasserie are different from one another. In France that is. Here in the States we tend to blur any distinctions, choosing one term over another mostly by phonetics. An informal French restaurant opening in Okeechobee, for example...

    by Lee Klein on August 23, 2001
  • Article

    The King and Stir-Fry - The King and I

    The version of Thai food one encounters at the King and I restaurant is about as real as the vision of Thai culture one encounters in the Rogers & Hammerstein musical of the same name -- which is to say, not very. Not that this is necessarily bad; it...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 23, 2001
  • Article

    Pretty in Pink - Cocktail chic

    The cosmopolitan is dead. I know, I know. I enjoy that particular vodka martini too, vibrant as it is like an Art Deco building on Ocean Drive. But the cosmo is so pass it has become an umbrella drink, and you can get a frozen one at, appropriately...

    by Jen Karetnick on August 23, 2001
  • Article

    Bacalao Rules - Old Lisbon

    Before even a short vacation in any foreign country, I always try to learn about the food of the place, in the language of the place -- nothing really daunting in terms of grammar or vocabulary but enough to cover the basic amenities and practicaliti...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 16, 2001
  • Article

    Crouching Tilapia - Chung Hing Oriental Mart

    Chien Chung Peng from Hong Kong opened the Chung Hing Oriental Mart on NE 163rd Street and Eighteenth Avenue ten years ago. I can't imagine anything even vaguely Asian that isn't on some shelf somewhere in the ten aisles of this sprawling, cluttered ...

    by Lee Klein on August 16, 2001
  • Article

    Word to the Unwise - Reviewing food reviews

    What, you believe everything you read? Of course not. As a member of the media, I'm very familiar with what kind of jarred pabulum we're spoon-fed like babies. I do my best not to contribute to it -- I try to present a well-researched, critical point...

    by Jen Karetnick on August 16, 2001
  • Article

    The Oriental's Mandarin - Caf Sambal

    Tony Chi's interior design of Caf Sambal is chic and sleek, with white walls, dark wood tables, and a black staircase in the center of the dining room leading up to the Mandarin Oriental hotel's more haute Azul. Sounds coldly minimalist, but seashel...

    by Lee Klein on August 9, 2001
  • Article

    That Age Barrier Redux - The great Gatsby's debate continues

    A few weeks ago, when I wrote about the 21-and-over policy at Gatsby's, I asked you to spare me your vitriolic opinions on kids and fine dining. Of course you haven't. The responses have been pouring in, and in a way I'm grateful; reading the riotous...

    by Jen Karetnick on August 9, 2001
  • Article

    Side Dish - Restaurant openings, closings and changes

    While the Murphy bed had yet to be installed, the rest of Rumi was indeed finished enough to open last week, only about ten days later than announced. Invitations for the opening festivities -- Romero Britto-designed martini glasses, numbered and sig...

    by Jen Karetnick on August 9, 2001
  • Article

    Subcontinent Kulcha - Imlee

    There is nothing like a week in London, home to more than 1500 Indian restaurants, most specializing in dishes never heard of in South Florida, to make a grown-up restaurant reviewer feel as if she's back in kindergarten. Which is why Imlee sounded s...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on August 2, 2001
  • Article

    Down by the River - Joe's Seafood Restaurant & Market / Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market

    Historical Miami, you might say, is a thing of the past. Sure, there are still rickety pockets of the original city to be found, but it's not easy. Most old structures lay holed up in neighborhoods like bandits with high bounties on their heads. One ...

    by Lee Klein on August 2, 2001
  • Article

    Cooool Breez - Breez

    Breez currently is blowing a breath of cool fresh sushi and seafood into the northern reaches of Ocean Drive, but as the base of the not-yet-completed, four-level, 40,000-square-foot Billboard Live, it will be hot soon enough with frenetic overflow f...

    by Lee Klein on July 26, 2001
  • Article

    Fishy Reaction - Off tuna

    Miami may be a fabulous place for a free spirit, but it's a darn tough town for a lady. For one thing table manners and dining etiquette are all but impossible to pursue when the restaurant employees don't even set silverware properly. So I've been s...

    by Jen Karetnick on July 26, 2001
  • Article

    Some Yum Fry - Sum Yum Gai

    The first change you notice about the place is its name -- part Chinese, part gay, all cute and commercial, as owner Chong Li (a former employee of the Chinese Restaurant Formerly Known As Charlotte's) well knows: "Hey, that's the neighborhood, right...

    by Pamela Robin Brandt on July 19, 2001
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