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!
Watch the tourists: dripping sweat, crisped to crimson by hours in the sand, stumbling like zombies along Lincoln Road. Suddenly, they're drawn in. Maybe it's the cool aluminum look of the place, the promise of chill air. Maybe it's that blue umbrella, beckoning: Gelateria. Life returns to their watery eyes as they scan the tubs of fresh-made, silky-smooth gelato. But wait. Confusion. What in hell is that, sitting in the martini glasses in front of each row of gelato? Guanabana? Tamarind? Rice pudding? Rice pudding gelato? If they're brave, they order the mysterious milky-white gelato under the rough-barked tamarind root or the off-white guanabana. They glance around, uncertain, wavering before lifting that first spoonful to the tongue. And then the flavor hits. That's what a happy tourist looks like. That's the power of excellent gelato, spun into otherworldly flavors and made fresh.
Miami Beach Cinematheque
It's hard not to kiss kiss bang bang an art-house movie theater that avoids 3-D blockbusters, sticky seats, and stale popcorn in favor of Citizen Kane, a comfy chaise lounge, and its own line of baked goods. This is especially true when one of the goodies is the Miami Beach Cinematheque's triple chocolate brownie. Thick and made with all-natural ingredients, these moist, heavenly creatures cost just four bucks. And chock full of cocoa (before Chanel) and milk and white chocolate chips, they're truly kick ass. Don't believe us? One bite has been known to silence the lambs, placate seven angry men, and provide eternal sunshine to many a spotless mind. Or, at the very least, with their Vito Corleone-approved size, they are Titanic enough to get anyone through both acts of Gone With the Wind without going all vertigo from hunger.
Chic's
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It's after midnight. You've just spent the past five hours studying for a big midterm exam or finishing a work project that has an 8 a.m. deadline. You need a sugar fix. Not just your run-of-the-mill Snickers bar high, but the sort of mental state brought on only by flan. The perfect flan. The kind with a smooth, sweet layer on top. You'll find it at Chico's, a Hialeah landmark that's open 'round the clock and serves some of the tastiest Cuban cuisine north of Havana. The chances you run into Mayor Julio Robaina are pretty good. The chances you see a customer savoring the flan are even higher. Chico's owner, Jesús Ovides, is there 24/7 to make sure the flan and all the other great eats meet his high standards. And don't let the city's confusing street names scare you. You can get to Chico's from NW 103rd Street (West 49th Street in Hialeah). When you reach West 12th Avenue, head south about nine blocks. Chico's is on the right side, behind a bank.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®