BEST NEW RESTAURANT North 110 11052 Biscayne Boulevard

North Miami-Dade

305-893-4211 It's the nailing-down of a simple formula that makes North 110 better than the other notable new restaurants in town: great food plus great service. Chef Dewey LoSasso's New American cuisine is a clean presentation of local seasonal ingredients heightened with inspired and invigorating twists. The food can be clever, as in a glazed brùlée of goat cheese atop ripe red beefsteak tomatoes splashed with lychees and black peppercorns. It can be brilliant, like duck with figs, gorgonzola, and orange-lavender sauce. The flavors, though, are never cluttered or fussy. Prices are lower than other eateries of this caliber: Most appetizers are under $10, most entrées under $30. Dewey's wife Dale runs the front of the house with equal acumen. Her waitstaff is personable, professional, and wine-savvy -- though perhaps not as knowledgeable as Dale herself, who is a seasoned connoisseur and who'll be happy to take you on a wine flight if you'd like. If not, simply dining at North 110 should be enough to keep you floating on air.

BEST TAPAS Salero 1000 S. Miami Avenue

Miami

305-371-3473

www.mosaicorestaurant.com Contrary to popular belief, the word tapa does not translate to "small snack" or "little bite," but rather it means "lid." The story starts in the mid-Nineteenth Century, when barkeepers in Andalusia and other warm regions of Spain would protect slender glasses of poured sherry against dust and insects by covering them with a piece of bread, cheese, sausage, or ham. Customers would satisfy their mid-afternoon hunger by eating the salty morsels on top of their glasses, which in turn made them want to drink more. It wasn't long before tapas became an attraction themselves, which they remain to this day in cafés and bars stretching from Seville to South Florida. A choice spot to enjoy them in the latter area would be Salero, the tapas-café-bar situated in the Firehouse Four building, right below its more formal sister from Spain, Mosaico. The setting is breezy, stylish, and relaxed (although crowded on weeknights, owing to its proximity to downtown). A fresh assortment of traditional hot and cold tapas is offered for between $2.50 and $5.00 per plate. Fried Camembert, tuna empanada, and a cazuelita of chorizo cooked in cider would be a nice warm trio to start with, contrasted by a chilled trilogy of white anchovies in vinegar, Serrano ham, and salted Spanish almonds. Most important, a fine selection of Spanish wines and a savvy menu of wine flights allow for pairing tapas with appropriate grapes -- which, remember, was the whole idea in the first place.

BEST TAPAS Salero 1000 S. Miami Avenue

Miami

305-371-3473

www.mosaicorestaurant.com Contrary to popular belief, the word tapa does not translate to "small snack" or "little bite," but rather it means "lid." The story starts in the mid-Nineteenth Century, when barkeepers in Andalusia and other warm regions of Spain would protect slender glasses of poured sherry against dust and insects by covering them with a piece of bread, cheese, sausage, or ham. Customers would satisfy their mid-afternoon hunger by eating the salty morsels on top of their glasses, which in turn made them want to drink more. It wasn't long before tapas became an attraction themselves, which they remain to this day in cafés and bars stretching from Seville to South Florida. A choice spot to enjoy them in the latter area would be Salero, the tapas-café-bar situated in the Firehouse Four building, right below its more formal sister from Spain, Mosaico. The setting is breezy, stylish, and relaxed (although crowded on weeknights, owing to its proximity to downtown). A fresh assortment of traditional hot and cold tapas is offered for between $2.50 and $5.00 per plate. Fried Camembert, tuna empanada, and a cazuelita of chorizo cooked in cider would be a nice warm trio to start with, contrasted by a chilled trilogy of white anchovies in vinegar, Serrano ham, and salted Spanish almonds. Most important, a fine selection of Spanish wines and a savvy menu of wine flights allow for pairing tapas with appropriate grapes -- which, remember, was the whole idea in the first place.

BEST RESTAURANT FOR SOUTH MIAMI-DADE CHATTER

Capri Restaurant

BEST RESTAURANT FOR SOUTH MIAMI-DADE CHATTER Capri Restaurant 935 N. Krome Avenue

Florida City

305-247-1542

www.the-capri.com Capri, opened by Richard Accursio and family in 1958, offers good, solid Italian-American fare, including various pastas, steak and prime rib, and a number of seafood dishes. Now run by son James, it's also a great listening post for the current affairs and intrigues of life in Florida City and Homestead. Crowds from the racetrack sit elbow to elbow with the farmers, bankers, real estate agents, and politicians who make up the regular clientele. For instance, the current mayor of Florida City, Otis Wallace, worked at Capri as a dishwasher when he was a boy, and he can still be found there hobnobbing with the locals. Lunch 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; dinner 4:00 p.m. till closing. Closed Sundays.

BEST RESTAURANT FOR SOUTH MIAMI-DADE CHATTER

Capri Restaurant

BEST RESTAURANT FOR SOUTH MIAMI-DADE CHATTER Capri Restaurant 935 N. Krome Avenue

Florida City

305-247-1542

www.the-capri.com Capri, opened by Richard Accursio and family in 1958, offers good, solid Italian-American fare, including various pastas, steak and prime rib, and a number of seafood dishes. Now run by son James, it's also a great listening post for the current affairs and intrigues of life in Florida City and Homestead. Crowds from the racetrack sit elbow to elbow with the farmers, bankers, real estate agents, and politicians who make up the regular clientele. For instance, the current mayor of Florida City, Otis Wallace, worked at Capri as a dishwasher when he was a boy, and he can still be found there hobnobbing with the locals. Lunch 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; dinner 4:00 p.m. till closing. Closed Sundays.

BEST U-PICK Grandma's Garden 18001 Krome Avenue

South Miami-Dade

305-232-2823 Forty minutes southwest of Miami is the Redland, where secrets of the Tequesta and their Paleolithic forebears lie below massive layers of ancient oolitic rock, which itself is covered in red clay (thus the name). The diverse agricultural district was developed in anticipation of Henry Flagler's railroad, which never came, but that didn't stop the lush vegetation from continuing to sprout upward. Play farmer for a day at Grandma's Garden, a verdant 80-acre farm formerly associated with Norman Brothers but operated by Linda Whitley since 2000. Fill your baskets, depending on the season, with strawberries, tomatoes, peppers (including jalapeños), eggplants, collards, cabbage, corn, and other produce whose equivalents in Publix are but pallid impersonators. U-pick and U-pay but a pittance: Most vegetables run sixty cents to a dollar a pound, explosively juicy strawberries are two-fifty. Afterward head to the stand in front and knock back a milkshake made from those berries, or from pineapple, mango, papaya, mamey, and other exotic fruits grown in the neighborhood. Hours vary year round.

BEST U-PICK Grandma's Garden 18001 Krome Avenue

South Miami-Dade

305-232-2823 Forty minutes southwest of Miami is the Redland, where secrets of the Tequesta and their Paleolithic forebears lie below massive layers of ancient oolitic rock, which itself is covered in red clay (thus the name). The diverse agricultural district was developed in anticipation of Henry Flagler's railroad, which never came, but that didn't stop the lush vegetation from continuing to sprout upward. Play farmer for a day at Grandma's Garden, a verdant 80-acre farm formerly associated with Norman Brothers but operated by Linda Whitley since 2000. Fill your baskets, depending on the season, with strawberries, tomatoes, peppers (including jalapeños), eggplants, collards, cabbage, corn, and other produce whose equivalents in Publix are but pallid impersonators. U-pick and U-pay but a pittance: Most vegetables run sixty cents to a dollar a pound, explosively juicy strawberries are two-fifty. Afterward head to the stand in front and knock back a milkshake made from those berries, or from pineapple, mango, papaya, mamey, and other exotic fruits grown in the neighborhood. Hours vary year round.

BEST BAGELS Mo's Bagel & Delicatessen 2772 NE 187th Street

Aventura

305-936-8555 If you're looking for authentic hand-rolled bagels New Yorkers are always raving about -- we're talking real bagels and not those dense, giant softball-like beasts other places sell -- then Mo's is the place to be. They've got fourteen golden-crusted and chewy varieties, with a nice mix of the salty and the sweet to serve up with your favorite smears. Mo's Bagels is open Monday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

BEST BAGELS Mo's Bagel & Delicatessen 2772 NE 187th Street

Aventura

305-936-8555 If you're looking for authentic hand-rolled bagels New Yorkers are always raving about -- we're talking real bagels and not those dense, giant softball-like beasts other places sell -- then Mo's is the place to be. They've got fourteen golden-crusted and chewy varieties, with a nice mix of the salty and the sweet to serve up with your favorite smears. Mo's Bagels is open Monday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Captain's Tavern
BEST WINE SELECTION IN A RESTAURANT The Captain's Tavern 9621 S. Dixie Highway

Pinecrest

305-666-5979 For very old and very expensive Bordeaux, you can go to The Forge. For big names from Old World and New, visit Norman's or Mark's South Beach. For an eclectic and sophisticated inventory arranged by taste, try North One 10. In fact at any of South Florida's top restaurants you can expect to find a first-rate wine list, often with interesting geographic concentrations -- California, Europe, South America. But this year as last we must bestow our award on Bill "the Captain" Bowers, owner of Captain's Tavern. This 33-year-old fish shack is not the sort of place you'd expect to encounter a list offering more than 500 wines, much less at prices guaranteed to be lower than any other restaurant in the area. Simply put, Bowers loves wine, a passion he wants to share with his customers. Unlike nearly every other restaurant on the planet, the sale of wine at Captain's Tavern is not expected to be a principal revenue source. Historically Bowers has never charged more than twice wholesale price for any bottle, and the more expensive the wine, the less the markup. Plus he regularly features specials that are sometimes priced at or below his cost. Couple that with the freshest seafood in town and you have a winner. Again.

Readers´ Choice: The Forge

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®