BEST SPANISH RESTAURANT Mosaico 1000 S. Miami Avenue

Miami

305-371-3473

www.mosaicorestaurant.com Top ten reasons why Mosaico is better than your favorite Spanish restaurant: (10) Executive chef Jordi Vallés, from Barcelona, trained with three of Spain's Michelin-starred chefs, including a stint at the revolutionary El Bulli. (9) Maine lobster in golden tomato consommé, with avocado sorbet and a sprinkling of olive powder. (8) Lodged in the historic Firehouse Four building, erected in 1923, with arcaded porch and balconies, ornate quoins and cornice. (Does your favorite have ornate quoins and cornice?) (7) More challenging than other Spanish restaurants, more accessible than La Broche. (6) Roasted turbot with sea urchin cream; or seared yellowtail snapper with asparagus, creamy smoked Idiazabal rice, and baby squid imported from Spain. (5) Urban-tropical rooftop terrace. (4) Lamb shoulder braised with strawberry-rhubarb marmalade and dappled with potato foam. (3) Service as sharp as Manchego cheese, and well-priced, well-chosen wines from Spain. (2) Perky desserts such as fresh fruit with tea-mint granité and pineapple sorbet, followed by a complimentary tray of traditional pastries, homemade ice creams, and, um, more foams. (1) Mosaico is better than your favorite Spanish restaurant because we say so -- and aren't we the so-called experts?

Readers´ Choice: Casa Juancho

BEST SPANISH RESTAURANT Mosaico 1000 S. Miami Avenue

Miami

305-371-3473

www.mosaicorestaurant.com Top ten reasons why Mosaico is better than your favorite Spanish restaurant: (10) Executive chef Jordi Vallés, from Barcelona, trained with three of Spain's Michelin-starred chefs, including a stint at the revolutionary El Bulli. (9) Maine lobster in golden tomato consommé, with avocado sorbet and a sprinkling of olive powder. (8) Lodged in the historic Firehouse Four building, erected in 1923, with arcaded porch and balconies, ornate quoins and cornice. (Does your favorite have ornate quoins and cornice?) (7) More challenging than other Spanish restaurants, more accessible than La Broche. (6) Roasted turbot with sea urchin cream; or seared yellowtail snapper with asparagus, creamy smoked Idiazabal rice, and baby squid imported from Spain. (5) Urban-tropical rooftop terrace. (4) Lamb shoulder braised with strawberry-rhubarb marmalade and dappled with potato foam. (3) Service as sharp as Manchego cheese, and well-priced, well-chosen wines from Spain. (2) Perky desserts such as fresh fruit with tea-mint granité and pineapple sorbet, followed by a complimentary tray of traditional pastries, homemade ice creams, and, um, more foams. (1) Mosaico is better than your favorite Spanish restaurant because we say so -- and aren't we the so-called experts?

Readers´ Choice: Casa Juancho

BEST BARBECUE Kyung Ju Restaurant 400 NE 167th Street

North Miami Beach

305-947-3838 People began barbecuing large pieces of meat over open fires some 27,000 years ago, which strongly suggests that Americans didn't invent the practice. (Warning: Do not repeat this in the presence of any Texan who is bigger than you.) Tip o' the cowboy hat to the Pit, Peoples, Bar-B-Q Barn, and Shorty's, all of which serve satisfying portions of wood-smoked chicken and ribs, plates of steaming baked beans, and bowls of creamy coleslaw in their own inimitable ways. But Kyung Ju offers Korean-style barbecue called bulgogi, which won't wean you off your hunger for hickory but might just turn you on to a whole new concept of what can be done with a grill. In fact you'll become quite acquainted with the cooking process itself, as an order of, say, sweet-and-sesame marinated short ribs comes to the table accompanied by a small hibachi-style grill. It's a charming way to get you to prepare your own dinner, and if your sliced rib-eye beef or chicken thigh comes out overdone, you've no one to blame but yourself. It's fun, it's different, it's as inexpensive as regular barbecue, and it's delicious. Plus instead of beans on the side, you can try some spicy pickled kimchi, a scallion-studded egg pancake called pa jun, or any number of adeptly prepared Korean specialties.

BEST BARBECUE Kyung Ju Restaurant 400 NE 167th Street

North Miami Beach

305-947-3838 People began barbecuing large pieces of meat over open fires some 27,000 years ago, which strongly suggests that Americans didn't invent the practice. (Warning: Do not repeat this in the presence of any Texan who is bigger than you.) Tip o' the cowboy hat to the Pit, Peoples, Bar-B-Q Barn, and Shorty's, all of which serve satisfying portions of wood-smoked chicken and ribs, plates of steaming baked beans, and bowls of creamy coleslaw in their own inimitable ways. But Kyung Ju offers Korean-style barbecue called bulgogi, which won't wean you off your hunger for hickory but might just turn you on to a whole new concept of what can be done with a grill. In fact you'll become quite acquainted with the cooking process itself, as an order of, say, sweet-and-sesame marinated short ribs comes to the table accompanied by a small hibachi-style grill. It's a charming way to get you to prepare your own dinner, and if your sliced rib-eye beef or chicken thigh comes out overdone, you've no one to blame but yourself. It's fun, it's different, it's as inexpensive as regular barbecue, and it's delicious. Plus instead of beans on the side, you can try some spicy pickled kimchi, a scallion-studded egg pancake called pa jun, or any number of adeptly prepared Korean specialties.

The thing about croquetas is that every one is different. It's impossible to know exactly what you're biting into. They come in different colors, sizes, and stuffing. Some are crisp and others chewy. Admittedly we bit into some really nasty shit before we found a winner, but Islas Canarias's croquetas takes the prize because they are the plumpest and most delicate of all. They fall apart in your mouth, and they're so good you can't stop at just one. Unlike most, there's no need to worry about heartburn, because they are not overdone in a deep fryer, creating that crisp shell with the raw middle that leads to many a sleepless night. A dab of ketchup creates an interesting, zestful flavor.

BEST CROQUETAS Islas Canarias Restaurant 285 NW 27th Avenue

Miami

305-649-0440

and

13695 SW 26th Street

West Miami-Dade

305-559-6666 The thing about croquetas is that every one is different. It's impossible to know exactly what you're biting into. They come in different colors, sizes, and stuffing. Some are crisp and others chewy. Admittedly we bit into some really nasty shit before we found a winner, but Islas Canarias's croquetas takes the prize because they are the plumpest and most delicate of all. They fall apart in your mouth, and they're so good you can't stop at just one. Unlike most, there's no need to worry about heartburn, because they are not overdone in a deep fryer, creating that crisp shell with the raw middle that leads to many a sleepless night. A dab of ketchup creates an interesting, zestful flavor.

Gelateria 4D
BEST GELATO Gelateria Parmalat 670 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach

305-276-9475

www.gelateriaparmalat.net Once upon a time there was a traffic accident involving a Carvel truck, a Häagen-Dazs truck, and a Vinnie's Italian Ice truck. Moments later an unassuming man, who was fortuitously carrying an empty waffle cone in hand, passed by the messy scene and instinctively scooped up some of the melting debris. It became immediately apparent to him that he had stumbled upon a new taste sensation that was softer and fruitier than regular ice cream. After much experimentation, the ecstatic passerby gained a lot of weight, but more pertinently he came up with a recipe that duplicated the product, and called it "gelato" (which a prankster friend convinced him was Italian for "lucky occurrence"). The concoction became an immediate success, and the now obese billionaire -- um, well, perhaps we're getting off message. What we're trying to say is that we love rich, delicate gelato, especially when we get it at the bright, clean Gelateria Parmalat. You can find the choice of local, tropical fruit (guava, papaya) and traditional Italian flavors (cioccolato, crema, stracciatella, giandula) at other gelaterias, but the fruits here taste fruitier, the nuts nuttier, the creams creamier, all imbued with fresh and natural colors and tastes (the base ingredients of sugar, eggs, and milk come from Parmalat's own dairy). Try a flavor combo of white chocolate/hazelnut. Divine.

BEST GELATO Gelateria Parmalat 670 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach

305-276-9475

www.gelateriaparmalat.net Once upon a time there was a traffic accident involving a Carvel truck, a Häagen-Dazs truck, and a Vinnie's Italian Ice truck. Moments later an unassuming man, who was fortuitously carrying an empty waffle cone in hand, passed by the messy scene and instinctively scooped up some of the melting debris. It became immediately apparent to him that he had stumbled upon a new taste sensation that was softer and fruitier than regular ice cream. After much experimentation, the ecstatic passerby gained a lot of weight, but more pertinently he came up with a recipe that duplicated the product, and called it "gelato" (which a prankster friend convinced him was Italian for "lucky occurrence"). The concoction became an immediate success, and the now obese billionaire -- um, well, perhaps we're getting off message. What we're trying to say is that we love rich, delicate gelato, especially when we get it at the bright, clean Gelateria Parmalat. You can find the choice of local, tropical fruit (guava, papaya) and traditional Italian flavors (cioccolato, crema, stracciatella, giandula) at other gelaterias, but the fruits here taste fruitier, the nuts nuttier, the creams creamier, all imbued with fresh and natural colors and tastes (the base ingredients of sugar, eggs, and milk come from Parmalat's own dairy). Try a flavor combo of white chocolate/hazelnut. Divine.

Barton G. the Restaurant
Max Shapovalov
BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS Barton G the Restaurant 1427 West Avenue

Miami Beach

305-672-8881 When it comes to choosing restaurants for kids, many people think of places that are clean, inexpensive, relatively cheery, and, above all, fast. Which means burger chains, pizza parlors, theme eateries like Rainforest Café, and dining venues that provide distractions by way of video games, thumping music, and giant TV screens. In other words, these children are being taught that dining out is a choice between cheap, unhealthy food and mediocre mass-produced chow accompanied by flashing lights and jungle noises. We have a different strategy: Take the young ones to Barton G, which works like a great family film, the sort that kids relate to on one level, the adults on another entirely. You can relish the fresh ingredients and flawless preparations of contemporary American fare, and they can get their kicks via the fantasyland presentations. It's amazing how excited children become when a skewer of fish the size of a pirate sword comes to the table, or when their macaroni and cheese arrives in the guise of a giant mousetrap (and equally fascinating to see how such foods bring out the gleeful child within each adult). Watch eyes widen at a ficus-size nest of cotton candy, or a milkshake replete with blender and add-ins, or cupcakes with a decorating kit of candies and icings. The little people go home happy and at the same time get to experience a sophisticated dining experience -- well, as sophisticated as a place that serves duck in a duck decoy can be.

BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS Barton G the Restaurant 1427 West Avenue

Miami Beach

305-672-8881 When it comes to choosing restaurants for kids, many people think of places that are clean, inexpensive, relatively cheery, and, above all, fast. Which means burger chains, pizza parlors, theme eateries like Rainforest Café, and dining venues that provide distractions by way of video games, thumping music, and giant TV screens. In other words, these children are being taught that dining out is a choice between cheap, unhealthy food and mediocre mass-produced chow accompanied by flashing lights and jungle noises. We have a different strategy: Take the young ones to Barton G, which works like a great family film, the sort that kids relate to on one level, the adults on another entirely. You can relish the fresh ingredients and flawless preparations of contemporary American fare, and they can get their kicks via the fantasyland presentations. It's amazing how excited children become when a skewer of fish the size of a pirate sword comes to the table, or when their macaroni and cheese arrives in the guise of a giant mousetrap (and equally fascinating to see how such foods bring out the gleeful child within each adult). Watch eyes widen at a ficus-size nest of cotton candy, or a milkshake replete with blender and add-ins, or cupcakes with a decorating kit of candies and icings. The little people go home happy and at the same time get to experience a sophisticated dining experience -- well, as sophisticated as a place that serves duck in a duck decoy can be.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®