BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Pacific Time 915 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach

305-534-5979 They are white, they are off-white, they are pink; some may be described as a pearly shade of gray. They come by boat from close by and are flown in from afar. More often than not they appear draped in fashionable Pacific Rim dress. They are always fresh but never ostentatious. They are tender, chewy, briny, and sweet. More specifically they are Pacific blue mussels with Rocky Mountain sake and lime leaves; tempura-crisped, ginger-stuffed whole yellowtail snapper from our local waters; fresh steamed Atlantic halibut with crushed tomatoes, lemon grass, fresh coriander, and sea vegetables; pink shrimp netted in the Keys and abetted on the plate with green curry, green bananas, coconut juice, and jasmine rice. To be even more precise, they are the fish of brilliant chef Jonathan Eismann's Pacific Time (far and away the best restaurant on Lincoln Road), and you won't find as diverse or impressively prepared an assemblage anywhere.

Readers´ Choice: Joe´s Stone Crab

BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Pacific Time 915 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach

305-534-5979 They are white, they are off-white, they are pink; some may be described as a pearly shade of gray. They come by boat from close by and are flown in from afar. More often than not they appear draped in fashionable Pacific Rim dress. They are always fresh but never ostentatious. They are tender, chewy, briny, and sweet. More specifically they are Pacific blue mussels with Rocky Mountain sake and lime leaves; tempura-crisped, ginger-stuffed whole yellowtail snapper from our local waters; fresh steamed Atlantic halibut with crushed tomatoes, lemon grass, fresh coriander, and sea vegetables; pink shrimp netted in the Keys and abetted on the plate with green curry, green bananas, coconut juice, and jasmine rice. To be even more precise, they are the fish of brilliant chef Jonathan Eismann's Pacific Time (far and away the best restaurant on Lincoln Road), and you won't find as diverse or impressively prepared an assemblage anywhere.

Readers´ Choice: Joe´s Stone Crab

BEST DIM SUM Jumbo Chinese Restaurant 1242 NE 163rd Street

North Miami Beach

305-956-5677 Kon Chau and Tropical Chinese Restaurant have dominated the dim sum awards for many a year, and rightly so. Both serve incontestably tasty and authentic dishes for almost minuscule amounts of money. Then again, so does Jumbo, and has done so since the Tang family, from Canton, opened the 95-seat spot in 1989. No trolley trolls the room. You just get a checklist of dim sum delicacies and mark the numbers down as if buying a lotto ticket. Here's a winning combo: steamed pork ribs; leek dumplings; rice pastry ravioli plumped with shrimp (har kow); turnip cakes stuffed with sausage, minced pork, and scallions. For dessert steamed sesame seed bun with lotus paste inside. Hard-core dim summers swear by Jumbo's chicken feet and beef tripe, but everyone gets knocked out by the pork-filled taro balls in crunchy yet airy crust. Nobody, not Tropical or Kon Chau, makes these better. Dim sum can be eaten any time of day, which is about when Jumbo serves it -- 11:00 a.m. (10:00 Sundays) until 9:30 p.m. (closed Wednesdays).

BEST DIM SUM Jumbo Chinese Restaurant 1242 NE 163rd Street

North Miami Beach

305-956-5677 Kon Chau and Tropical Chinese Restaurant have dominated the dim sum awards for many a year, and rightly so. Both serve incontestably tasty and authentic dishes for almost minuscule amounts of money. Then again, so does Jumbo, and has done so since the Tang family, from Canton, opened the 95-seat spot in 1989. No trolley trolls the room. You just get a checklist of dim sum delicacies and mark the numbers down as if buying a lotto ticket. Here's a winning combo: steamed pork ribs; leek dumplings; rice pastry ravioli plumped with shrimp (har kow); turnip cakes stuffed with sausage, minced pork, and scallions. For dessert steamed sesame seed bun with lotus paste inside. Hard-core dim summers swear by Jumbo's chicken feet and beef tripe, but everyone gets knocked out by the pork-filled taro balls in crunchy yet airy crust. Nobody, not Tropical or Kon Chau, makes these better. Dim sum can be eaten any time of day, which is about when Jumbo serves it -- 11:00 a.m. (10:00 Sundays) until 9:30 p.m. (closed Wednesdays).

BEST HOMEMADE PASTA Lucciano Pasta 18288 Collins Avenue

Sunny Isles

305-792-6940 It's time to bring in the lawyers and file a class action suit against Atkins. The case is simple: Any diet that requires the relinquishing of pasta constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Wait -- not a good idea. We could never assemble a jury with impartial views toward pasta because everybody loves the stuff -- but hardly anyone knows about Lucciano Pasta, which means almost everybody is missing out on the freshest, eggiest, tastiest homemade noodles this side of Bologna. The cozy wholesale/retail shop quietly opened two years ago in a Sunny Isles strip mall, since then supplying restaurants and grateful neighborhood residents with fresh fettuccine, spaghetti, pappardelle, gnocchi, and their signature filled pastas: ravioli, caseritos (big ravioli), and sorrentinos (round ravioli) sumptuously plumped with choice of spinach, ricotta, chicken, pumpkin, beef, or ham and cheese. Take 'em home and cook yourself up a beautiful budget dinner (a dozen sauces are for sale as well), though it might be even less expensive if you grab one of the 22 seats in the store's cafe and order from the menu ($6.50 to $11.50 for pasta entrees). Lucciano makes thin-crust pizzas too, and in a shrewd nod to the neighborhood's ethnic makeup, puts forth surprisingly delicious empanadas and pierogis. Well, a stuffed dough is a stuffed dough, and nobody's dough, stuffed or otherwise, is as good as Lucciano's. Now everybody knows.

BEST HOMEMADE PASTA Lucciano Pasta 18288 Collins Avenue

Sunny Isles

305-792-6940 It's time to bring in the lawyers and file a class action suit against Atkins. The case is simple: Any diet that requires the relinquishing of pasta constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Wait -- not a good idea. We could never assemble a jury with impartial views toward pasta because everybody loves the stuff -- but hardly anyone knows about Lucciano Pasta, which means almost everybody is missing out on the freshest, eggiest, tastiest homemade noodles this side of Bologna. The cozy wholesale/retail shop quietly opened two years ago in a Sunny Isles strip mall, since then supplying restaurants and grateful neighborhood residents with fresh fettuccine, spaghetti, pappardelle, gnocchi, and their signature filled pastas: ravioli, caseritos (big ravioli), and sorrentinos (round ravioli) sumptuously plumped with choice of spinach, ricotta, chicken, pumpkin, beef, or ham and cheese. Take 'em home and cook yourself up a beautiful budget dinner (a dozen sauces are for sale as well), though it might be even less expensive if you grab one of the 22 seats in the store's cafe and order from the menu ($6.50 to $11.50 for pasta entrees). Lucciano makes thin-crust pizzas too, and in a shrewd nod to the neighborhood's ethnic makeup, puts forth surprisingly delicious empanadas and pierogis. Well, a stuffed dough is a stuffed dough, and nobody's dough, stuffed or otherwise, is as good as Lucciano's. Now everybody knows.

Whole Foods Market
BEST HEALTH-FOOD STORE Whole Foods Market 21105 Biscayne Boulevard

Aventura

305-933-1543

www.wholefoodsmarket.com Whole Foods Market doesn't just talk the talk, it walks the walk. For twenty years this national chain has been advocating and supporting organic agriculture, working with ranchers and producers to raise hormone and antibiotic-free animals, promoting products in reduced or reusable packaging, and encouraging shoppers to cut down on waste through their nickel-per-bag rebate program. Heck, PETA handed Whole Foods its Best Animal-Friendly Retailer award in recognition of the supermarket's Animal Compassion Foundation -- and for offering a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan foods. Wide might be an understatement, for there are thousands upon thousands of items and dozens and dozens of departments -- about anything you can find at Publix, you can find here, usually in healthier form. The prepared foods department boasts more than a hundred items made with natural ingredients. There's an excellent cheese section (inclusive of cheeses made with soy, rice, and other nondairy products), eclectic wines (many organic grape choices), and a great bakery that crafts European-style loaves with floury crusts, as well as cookies, cakes, and gluten-free baked goods. React badly to wheat and gluten? Check out the aisle of homeopathic and holistic remedies. We've talked the talk -- now you walk the walk.

BEST HEALTH-FOOD STORE Whole Foods Market 21105 Biscayne Boulevard

Aventura

305-933-1543

www.wholefoodsmarket.com Whole Foods Market doesn't just talk the talk, it walks the walk. For twenty years this national chain has been advocating and supporting organic agriculture, working with ranchers and producers to raise hormone and antibiotic-free animals, promoting products in reduced or reusable packaging, and encouraging shoppers to cut down on waste through their nickel-per-bag rebate program. Heck, PETA handed Whole Foods its Best Animal-Friendly Retailer award in recognition of the supermarket's Animal Compassion Foundation -- and for offering a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan foods. Wide might be an understatement, for there are thousands upon thousands of items and dozens and dozens of departments -- about anything you can find at Publix, you can find here, usually in healthier form. The prepared foods department boasts more than a hundred items made with natural ingredients. There's an excellent cheese section (inclusive of cheeses made with soy, rice, and other nondairy products), eclectic wines (many organic grape choices), and a great bakery that crafts European-style loaves with floury crusts, as well as cookies, cakes, and gluten-free baked goods. React badly to wheat and gluten? Check out the aisle of homeopathic and holistic remedies. We've talked the talk -- now you walk the walk.

Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market
Photo by Michael Campina
BEST RESTAURANT FOR LUNCH Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market 398 NW North River Drive

Miami

305-375-0765 Grab a chair on the patio overlooking a particularly rickety stretch of the Miami River. We're talking about that old Miami River, scene of frequent drug busts during the Eighties and costar of the Miami Vice television series, the river that rolls by as you spread Garcia's complimentary dolphin dip onto your Saltines, and rolls by more as a peerless conch chowder is placed before you, and as a grilled snapper (or dolphin or grouper or mullet) fresh from the market up front arrives folded into a soft bun, and a side plate of fried plantains or regular fries or any of a number of choices gets plunked down on the wooden table. Yeah, that river keeps on rollin' as boats chug by and seagulls flock, as the sun glistens off the water and shoots sparkling rays that reflect coolly off your shades, and as you pour yourself an ice-cold beer. My, that key lime pie looks good. River rolls. Time flies. Lunch hour is over. Back to work.

BEST RESTAURANT FOR LUNCH Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market 398 NW North River Drive

Miami

305-375-0765 Grab a chair on the patio overlooking a particularly rickety stretch of the Miami River. We're talking about that old Miami River, scene of frequent drug busts during the Eighties and costar of the Miami Vice television series, the river that rolls by as you spread Garcia's complimentary dolphin dip onto your Saltines, and rolls by more as a peerless conch chowder is placed before you, and as a grilled snapper (or dolphin or grouper or mullet) fresh from the market up front arrives folded into a soft bun, and a side plate of fried plantains or regular fries or any of a number of choices gets plunked down on the wooden table. Yeah, that river keeps on rollin' as boats chug by and seagulls flock, as the sun glistens off the water and shoots sparkling rays that reflect coolly off your shades, and as you pour yourself an ice-cold beer. My, that key lime pie looks good. River rolls. Time flies. Lunch hour is over. Back to work.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®