Doug Rodriguez isn't the daddy of ceviche; the practice of macerating seafood in citrus juice precedes him by quite a few years. One can say, however, that the renditions he has created locally first at Yuca, then OLA, and now at D. Rodriguez Cuba are the mother of all ceviches: snapper marinated with sour orange and topped with a dice of conch, tomato, red pepper, crisp onions, and garlic ($15); salmon with lemon, chives, jalapeño, and dill over yogurt and cucumber granita ($15); shrimp, lobster, clams, octopus, and crab with celery, cilantro, tarragon, grapefruit, and lime juice ($18). These kooky, creative, and ultimately delectable concoctions are to lime juice/onion/cilantro ceviche what Lady Gaga is to Joan Baez. Macerate on that for a while.
Golden Rule Seafood Market
Once upon a time, a Miami girl with Louisiana ties wanted to make gumbo for her friends. She searched and searched for fresh crawfish to no avail, so she had no choice but to settle for the frozen variety, which she found somewhere in Homestead. If only our girl had known about Golden Rule Seafood Market. Established in 1943 and family-owned since 1969, this place in Palmetto Bay has a large variety at reasonable prices, including live crawfish when available. The seafood here comes from all over. You'll find local stuff, including stone crab, Key West shrimp, and Florida lobster, but you'll also discover scrumptious goods from South America, Mexico, Florida's west coast, and other locales. Shelves are stocked with every imaginable seasoning and sauce. And periodically, you can attend a cooking demo to learn how to prepare your dinner. Call ahead to find out what's available.
Bonsai
The $38 "lobster bomb" (lobster tail tempura, crab salad, avocado, lettuce, red tobigo, spicy mayo, and eel sauce with a side of sautéed lobster, scallops, and sautéed mushrooms) is simply to die for at this western outpost. There are also specialty rolls such as the "Bonsai G," with deep-fried salmon, crab, shrimp, and masago. You won't find rolls with Rice Krispies or gummy bears inside — Bonsai's chefs tend to stick to traditional ingredients — but you will discover fresh selections with generous protein-to-rice ratios at a cost that won't break the bank. Unless, of course, your date becomes a lobster bomb buff.
This is our tribute to a toppled threesome: Tuscan Steak, longest-running of the trio (premiered in 1998), became a victim of the economy; it has since donned a sombrero as El Scorpion Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, whose specialties of tacos and tequila are more in line with today's restrained budgets. Still, we'll always be grateful for Tuscan's delectable namesake steak and its white truffle garlic oil — way before the truffle oil deluge that followed. North One 10 fell victim to cruel, thoughtless city construction that put holes in the street and holes in the fledgling restaurant's bottom line. The streets were eventually repaired, but North One 10 never fully recovered from the financial damage. We'll always remember Dewey LoSasso's intensely flavorful, wildly innovative, and thoughtfully sourced New American cuisine; his wacky theme nights; and the stellar service and wine selections orchestrated by wife Dale. Au Pied de Cochon — what can we say except we hardly got to know ye? Turned out this multimillion-dollar newcomer was a victim of not knowing its demographic — South Beach isn't Paris, it isn't Mexico City, and it isn't Atlanta. But that doesn't mean we won't miss the succulent pig trotters and classic French pastries. Sadly, this trio with brio is no more. OK — next group, step right up.
Area 31
They're just too good not to mention.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
Photo courtesy of Genuine Hospitality Group
Gastronomic pairings that will live on forever: Escoffier and Ritz. Batali and Bourdain. Schwartz and Goldsmith. Finkelstein and Frump. No, wait — sorry, we got confused: Finklestein and Frump is our legal team. But it was Michael Schwartz and Hedy Goldsmith who brought Nemo to everyone's attention in 1995, and as good as Michael's Genuine Food & Drink was when it opened, Goldsmith joining the team completed it — just the way one of her dazzling creations completes a meal there. Using local goat's milk and basil-infused strawberries, along with balsamic gelée and pine nut biscotti on the side, she reinvents the cheesecake. Her chocolate cremosos with sea salt, olive oil, sour dough crostini, and espresso parfait succeeds against all odds. A taste of tangerine pot de crème with orange confit and hot doughnuts would alone be enough to convert to Hedy's cause. These desserts are visually vivid and delicately constructed without being contrived and are surely Miami's most iconic postdinner treats — which makes the $9 price very easy to swallow. Schwartz and Goldsmith add up to a sterling dining experience from start to finish.
What's cuter than a cupcake? A puppy? A kitten? A puppy/kitten hybrid tangled in an adorable knot of yarn? No. The only thing cuter than a cupcake is a tiny cupcake, and InStyle Cupcakes — a local, virtual, cupcake-only bakery — has a fleet of sweet. These two-bite delights come in a handful of flavors: vanilla with gooey vanilla buttercream frosting; chocolate with either vanilla buttercream or rich, fudgy frosting; red velvet, dulce de leche, or our fave, the guava cupcake, topped with smile- (and, on occasion, rainbow-) inducing cream cheese frosting. Other than the single metallic ball (yes, it's edible) that dons the tippity-top of each lil' cake's Madagascar bourbon vanilla-spiked frosting swirl, each treat contains nothing but all-natural ingredients: organic eggs, milk, and butter. Orders come in quantities of 24 minis for $24 (also available are a dozen regular-size cupcakes for $21 and a half-dozen jumbos for $16.50) and are delivered in a box that could be a tad cuter if it were decorated with a pastel blue bunny/baby sea otter/cotton candy/sunflower hybrid atop a unicorn.
Mooie's
Aran S Graham
Miami Shores has a tradition of dropping marshmallows from the sky into a field for kids to pick up at Easter. What does that have to do with ice cream? Mooie's owner, Sean Saladino, says he got the idea to open an ice-cream shop after going to the marshmallow drop and realizing how many children live in the area. Open since January, Mooie's has brightly colored walls, games, sidewalk chalk, and fluffy beanbags. House accounts allow parents to deposit money for their kids to buy ice cream after school without having to bring cash. But the rich, creamy, dreamy Blue Bell ice cream served here knows no age boundaries. Try a large cup of double chocolate ($4) with choice of toppings — M&Ms, gummy bears, graham crackers, Famous Amos cookies, Heath Bar chips, and many others — mixed in on a cold stone. Not indulgent enough? Try the banana split ($5.95) or a milkshake ($4.50). You'll feel 5 all over again.
Red Kiwi
Leah Gabriel
You know that feeling of fat-kid disappointment when you've hit the midpoint of your frozen-yogurt takedown only to find you've run out of toppings? Well, Red Kiwi offers a fix: bottoming, otherwise known as double toppings. Yes, that's twice the Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, sprinkles, gummy bears, or whatever spoonful you desire in one small $5 cup. The frozen flavors are original, strawberry, and an alternating third one, which, if you're lucky, is Nutella. They also have fresh-fruit toppings such as kiwi and raspberry for customers who opt to pass on the ode to boxed-cereal thing. And, in true fat-kid fashion, this frozen yogurtery also offers curbside service. Cool, creamy goodness is delivered straight to your car window from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday.
Tutti Frutti
Fill your cup, but leave some space — There's more than just yogurt to stuff your face.Squishy marshmallows, crunchy nutsSo what if you get fatter than all those sluts?Rainbow sprinkles and the choco ones tooEven Cap'n Crunch. Woohoo!Chewy mochi and cookie dough, so sweetChunks of cheesecake and brownie treats.Tiny M&Ms, mints from AndesJust about every chocolate candy. Fruity Pebbles and loops from Sam (the Toucan)More sugar than you thought you could stand.(Oh, and no copycats here. It's all name brand!)Oreos, Sno-Caps, E.T.'s favorite snackGummy bears — there's no turning back.Cups of peanut butter and caramel. I die!Even carob if you're willing to try.Coconut shreds and granola, seeAnd other things that come from the tree —Like nuts and fruit, some kind of sweet,Pour on the hot fudge. Done real neat!

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®