Side Dish

I've spent so much time lately looking at the restaurants that haven't opened, readers tell me, it's almost like I've neglected the ones that have. Intrepid new eateries, forgive me. Downtown Italian restaurants La Loggia and La Nota, I didn't mean to give you the Side Dish boot, even if we do need places for pasta in this city as badly as the Pope needs rosary beads.... Maroosh in Coral Gables, customers and critics may or may not find your Middle Eastern cuisine to be crown jewels, but surely no one will fault the Saturday evening belly dancer's winking navel.... Entertainment also is the key to Dreams in Coconut Grove, which promises jazz ensembles, flamenco dancers, and murder mysteries that could just as easily turn dinner nightmarish.... The tongue-twisting Bleau View (think rhyme), designed like a European piazza, has been unveiled in the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.... Since we Miamians don't spend enough time in our cars, now we can eat in them, too. Or at least in an authentic '59 Chevy Impala at American Classics at Miami Beach's Dezerland Hotel.... In Surfside, Artichaux, a "gourmet gallerie" that is supposed to be the art-lover's equivalent to a bookstore café, has a special salad; guess its main ingredient.... The Matrix Grill in North Miami Beach is insisting that the Iron Chef competition is nothing compared to the fusion hijinks here, though I wouldn't expect Keanu Reeves under the knife, so to speak.... Saigon Palace in North Miami is the latest restaurant to take over the old Tark's spot, attached to Dairy Queen by a breezeway which, incidentally, is where the restrooms are located.... And finally, Café Del Mar (see this week's review) in Miami Shores may sound Latin, but the accents of the staff are as French as the tarte tatin they serve.... Okay? Everybody happy now?

•After releasing the third book in his barbecuing series called How to Grill, being hyped on the cover of the June issue of The Good Cook, contributing a feature on perfect grilling in the June issue of Food & Wine, and publishing a series of barbecued chicken recipes for the July issue of Bon Appétit, Steven Raichlen must be wondering where to go from here. We suggest he lose the grilling theme and think about chilling -- either that or apply for sainthood. After all, he has been tried by fire.


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