BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING

Nobu

Pan-seared scallops
Pan-seared scallops
BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING Nobu The Shore Club

1901 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-695-3232

www.noburestaurants.com If you want to let this someone else know you're in the know when it comes to hip hotels, great restaurants, and Japanese delicacies, you can do so in one fell swoop by taking them -- or should we say letting them take you -- to dinner at Nobu, in the Shore Club, where chef Thomas Buckley translates master chef Nobu Matsuhisa's brilliant sushi and Asian recipes into breathtakingly delectable cuisine. Start with buttery toro tartare capriciously capped with caviar ($28). It's small, so you might want to complement it with another petite appetizer, the sea urchin tiradito ($20). Next you'll want to sashay into sushi and sashimi. Let's say the exotic scallop and smelt egg roll ($10) and a couple of pristine bites of live scallop ($20) and whitefish ($16). Nothing like a little salad course before the entrée, and we'd recommend the one featuring lobster and shiitake tossed in spicy lemon dressing ($33). The signature black cod with miso exemplifies Nobu's deft touch with cooked fish ($21) and is light enough that you'll have room for a gingerbread island in warm lemon-grass consommé with basil yuzu essence and honey lavender ice cream ($12). It might be considered rude to order a hundred-dollar bottle of premium sake when you can get a delicious brand for half that price ($50). The total: a dining experience you'll remember for years to come, maybe even until the next time this someone else will be able to afford to take you out again.

BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING

Nobu

BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING Nobu The Shore Club

1901 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-695-3232

www.noburestaurants.com If you want to let this someone else know you're in the know when it comes to hip hotels, great restaurants, and Japanese delicacies, you can do so in one fell swoop by taking them -- or should we say letting them take you -- to dinner at Nobu, in the Shore Club, where chef Thomas Buckley translates master chef Nobu Matsuhisa's brilliant sushi and Asian recipes into breathtakingly delectable cuisine. Start with buttery toro tartare capriciously capped with caviar ($28). It's small, so you might want to complement it with another petite appetizer, the sea urchin tiradito ($20). Next you'll want to sashay into sushi and sashimi. Let's say the exotic scallop and smelt egg roll ($10) and a couple of pristine bites of live scallop ($20) and whitefish ($16). Nothing like a little salad course before the entrée, and we'd recommend the one featuring lobster and shiitake tossed in spicy lemon dressing ($33). The signature black cod with miso exemplifies Nobu's deft touch with cooked fish ($21) and is light enough that you'll have room for a gingerbread island in warm lemon-grass consommé with basil yuzu essence and honey lavender ice cream ($12). It might be considered rude to order a hundred-dollar bottle of premium sake when you can get a delicious brand for half that price ($50). The total: a dining experience you'll remember for years to come, maybe even until the next time this someone else will be able to afford to take you out again.

In+and+out+of+the+pan%2C+the+fish+are+just+like+you+find+%27um+in+the+isles+of+Greece
Steve++Satterwhite
In+and+out+of+the+pan%2C+the+fish+are+just+like+you+find+%27um+in+the+isles+of+Greece
BEST GREEK RESTAURANT Mylos 1111 Ponce de Leon Boulevard

Coral Gables

305-461-0403 Some Greek restaurants excel at throwing napkins in the air and smashing a lot of plates. You wouldn't want to do that at Mylos. They need those plates like a painter needs blank canvases. On what else would they serve their inimitable Greek salad? Or the whole fresh snapper that crackles with flame-grilled flavor, the leg of lamb redolent of mint, the homemade dolmades, the heavenly saline taramasalata. Would the moist, multilayered moussaka taste the same if eaten from the hands? No, this charming restaurant in the quaint Chateaubleau Hotel doesn't need gimmicks. They would rather you concentrate on the fresh, traditional Greek foods, exceedingly friendly and attentive service, and, well, um, belly dancing on Fridays.

BEST GREEK RESTAURANT Mylos 1111 Ponce de Leon Boulevard

Coral Gables

305-461-0403 Some Greek restaurants excel at throwing napkins in the air and smashing a lot of plates. You wouldn't want to do that at Mylos. They need those plates like a painter needs blank canvases. On what else would they serve their inimitable Greek salad? Or the whole fresh snapper that crackles with flame-grilled flavor, the leg of lamb redolent of mint, the homemade dolmades, the heavenly saline taramasalata. Would the moist, multilayered moussaka taste the same if eaten from the hands? No, this charming restaurant in the quaint Chateaubleau Hotel doesn't need gimmicks. They would rather you concentrate on the fresh, traditional Greek foods, exceedingly friendly and attentive service, and, well, um, belly dancing on Fridays.

BEST DINER Hannah's Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Boulevard

North Miami Beach

305-947-2255 Judging from the exterior -- a stainless-steel, retro-American diner -- one might expect to walk inside and find the usual menu of meatloaf, milkshakes, burgers, and fries. Granted the neon letters spelling out "gourmet" before "diner" should hint that something a little different is going on inside. But French country cooking? That's pretty surprising. What's even more shocking is just how tasty and affordably priced the cuisine really is (dinner entrée prices start at $9.95 and most are under $20). You can't get anything you want at Hannah's diner, but you can be privy to tender escargots in garlic sauce, gently sautéed calf's liver, lamb shank saturated in red wine, a rare slab of grilled tuna, juicy New York strip, and, for those who insist that a diner in America must offer American food, an excellent cheeseburger and fries. Chalkboard specials are well worthwhile, and the custardy fruit tart is so renowned that patrons call in advance to reserve slices. You don't necessarily have to go that far, but you should order it along with your meal, because it will sell out before the last patron leaves. Best bet for beverage would be one of the medium-priced French wines that dominate the list, but if you're hankering for a Coke, you can get that too. After all, Hannah's is a diner, just one that happens to serve solid versions of rustic French food.

BEST DINER Hannah's Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Boulevard

North Miami Beach

305-947-2255 Judging from the exterior -- a stainless-steel, retro-American diner -- one might expect to walk inside and find the usual menu of meatloaf, milkshakes, burgers, and fries. Granted the neon letters spelling out "gourmet" before "diner" should hint that something a little different is going on inside. But French country cooking? That's pretty surprising. What's even more shocking is just how tasty and affordably priced the cuisine really is (dinner entrée prices start at $9.95 and most are under $20). You can't get anything you want at Hannah's diner, but you can be privy to tender escargots in garlic sauce, gently sautéed calf's liver, lamb shank saturated in red wine, a rare slab of grilled tuna, juicy New York strip, and, for those who insist that a diner in America must offer American food, an excellent cheeseburger and fries. Chalkboard specials are well worthwhile, and the custardy fruit tart is so renowned that patrons call in advance to reserve slices. You don't necessarily have to go that far, but you should order it along with your meal, because it will sell out before the last patron leaves. Best bet for beverage would be one of the medium-priced French wines that dominate the list, but if you're hankering for a Coke, you can get that too. After all, Hannah's is a diner, just one that happens to serve solid versions of rustic French food.

BEST SELECTION OF NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

BEST SELECTION OF NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Icebox Café 1657 Michigan Avenue

Miami Beach

305-538-8448

www.iceboxcafe.com When it comes to quenching a real sun-inspired South Florida thirst, you have to think inside the box -- as in Icebox Café, the sleek, stainless-steel-style restaurant and bakery that attracts a lively mix of locals and the few tourists who accidentally stray from Lincoln Road. What you should be thinking is whether to go with a tall, frosty glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice straight up (carrot, honeydew, watermelon, beet, and more for $3.95) or one of a mix of intoxicating (but nonalcoholic) elixirs named after Greek gods and goddesses ($4.50). Ask for Artemis, the virgin goddess of the moon, and a pastel-hued glass of sweet melon juice, peach nectar, and Italian fizzy water will bubble before you. Or Zeus, the Olympian, a stirring mix of fresh watermelon juice with lightning bolts of ginger and lime. Eros is alluring too, an orange-infused mango juice splashed with sparkling apple cider. And if that's not tropical enough for you, Poseidon surfaces as a concoction of passion fruit, pineapple juice, and coconut as effervescent as island sea mist. These beverages are so invigorating in unadulterated form that we only reluctantly point out that for two dollars extra you can ask for your juices to be juiced with champagne -- especially apropos at Icebox's weekend brunch.

BEST SELECTION OF NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

BEST SELECTION OF NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Icebox Café 1657 Michigan Avenue

Miami Beach

305-538-8448

www.iceboxcafe.com When it comes to quenching a real sun-inspired South Florida thirst, you have to think inside the box -- as in Icebox Café, the sleek, stainless-steel-style restaurant and bakery that attracts a lively mix of locals and the few tourists who accidentally stray from Lincoln Road. What you should be thinking is whether to go with a tall, frosty glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice straight up (carrot, honeydew, watermelon, beet, and more for $3.95) or one of a mix of intoxicating (but nonalcoholic) elixirs named after Greek gods and goddesses ($4.50). Ask for Artemis, the virgin goddess of the moon, and a pastel-hued glass of sweet melon juice, peach nectar, and Italian fizzy water will bubble before you. Or Zeus, the Olympian, a stirring mix of fresh watermelon juice with lightning bolts of ginger and lime. Eros is alluring too, an orange-infused mango juice splashed with sparkling apple cider. And if that's not tropical enough for you, Poseidon surfaces as a concoction of passion fruit, pineapple juice, and coconut as effervescent as island sea mist. These beverages are so invigorating in unadulterated form that we only reluctantly point out that for two dollars extra you can ask for your juices to be juiced with champagne -- especially apropos at Icebox's weekend brunch.

BEST BRAZILIAN RESTAURANT Texas de Brazil Churrascaria Dolphin Mall

11401 NW Twelfth Street

West Miami-Dade

305-599-7729

www.texasdebrazil.com What do Texas and Brazil have in common? Cowboys of course! But in Brazil's southernmost province, an important cattle-producing region called Rio Grande do Sul, they're known as gauchos. Their rodizio style of cooking, in which meats are slow-roasted over an open pit, is the central motif of this over-the-top steak house. Since opening its first location in Addison, Texas, in 1998, Texas de Brazil has expanded to eight cities. Here's the winning formula: Skilled servers roam the restaurant wielding enormous skewers of seasoned beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and Brazilian sausage taken directly from the open-fire grill, stopping at each table to carve slices for diners as they enjoy selections from a 40-item salad bar and side dishes such as housemade cheese bread, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas, and specialty sauces for the meat. Top this off with a dessert, which may include Brazilian flan or banana pie, a couple of caipirinhas, and a fine cigar, and it's easy to see why the way of the gaucho is winning over North America.

BEST BRAZILIAN RESTAURANT Texas de Brazil Churrascaria Dolphin Mall

11401 NW Twelfth Street

West Miami-Dade

305-599-7729

www.texasdebrazil.com What do Texas and Brazil have in common? Cowboys of course! But in Brazil's southernmost province, an important cattle-producing region called Rio Grande do Sul, they're known as gauchos. Their rodizio style of cooking, in which meats are slow-roasted over an open pit, is the central motif of this over-the-top steak house. Since opening its first location in Addison, Texas, in 1998, Texas de Brazil has expanded to eight cities. Here's the winning formula: Skilled servers roam the restaurant wielding enormous skewers of seasoned beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and Brazilian sausage taken directly from the open-fire grill, stopping at each table to carve slices for diners as they enjoy selections from a 40-item salad bar and side dishes such as housemade cheese bread, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas, and specialty sauces for the meat. Top this off with a dessert, which may include Brazilian flan or banana pie, a couple of caipirinhas, and a fine cigar, and it's easy to see why the way of the gaucho is winning over North America.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®