Best Expensive Italian Restaurant

Lorenzo

Lorenzo

Lorenzo, located at the epicenter of Collins Avenue madness, looks like something you'd see on Rome's Via Veneto. Chic chrome accents the inviting brown leather seating. An espresso and gelato bar anchors the dining room. The man behind the recipes is all old-school Chicago. Tony Mantuano has been turning out legendary meals at Spiaggia for probably longer than you've been alive, and he's brought his red sauce and gnocchi to South Beach. Meatballs ($14) taste like Grandma's, and a simple bowl of steaming spaghetti alla nadia is made with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano ($16). But if you want your socks blown off, don't miss the grilled octopus ($14), the most tender and flavorful you'll ever have. Save room for cannoli, made to order and filled with candied oranges inside the cream. A little Roman holiday, via Chi-Town, in SoBe. Molto dolce.

Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners

Pueblito Viejo

Pueblito Viejo
Photo by Ricardo Rubio/Imagen Beyond

Specializing in Colombian dishes, Pueblito Viejo presents an authentic restaurant experience that's aesthetically pleasing and delightfully overwhelming. It submerges guests in Colombian culture with its extensive wall decor, culinary presentations, and live music. From the moment you walk through the doorway, you're surrounded by an eccentric interior design that pays homage to cultures native to Medellín. The entire space is an I-spy game of tropical foliage, indigenous animals, and creepy figurines of prominent Colombian musicians such as Shakira, Juanes, and Carlos Vives. If the vibe doesn't impress your out-of-town guests, the food definitely will. Popular items include arepa appetizers ($2.50 to $5.25), the "Pueblito Viejo en tabla" churrasco platter ($27), and refajo, a specialty drink made with beer and Colombian cola ($12.50 per pitcher). Try the whole fried red snapper (market price), which arrives propped vertically on a stick and served with lettuce, tomatoes, and fried green plantains. Stay late enough and you'll witness a band circling the tables while singing an improvised, satiric tune that will make you laugh while casually insulting you — if you can understand what they're saying.

A dining room reminiscent of a nightclub that's brimming with Miami Beach's glitziest denizens? That's certainly glamorous. Statuesque hostesses in barely-there attire escorting you to your table so you can throw back craft cocktails from the swanky bar and enjoy a Russian royal osetra caviar service costing hundreds of dollars? Glamorous as well. How about feasting upon a heaping seafood platter delivered to you by the BleauFish, the Fontaine­bleau's 43-foot commercial fishing boat? Yes, yes, definitely glamorous. Or what do you make of the fact that Michael Mina 74 is the latest venture from the eponymous James Beard Award-winning chef? Without question, the man behind 20 restaurants, including Bourbon Steak at Turnberry Isle in Aventura, is glamorous. But most glamorous of all is that along with chef de cuisine Thomas Griese, Michael Mina's hot spot proffers dishes that taste as amazing as they look. Bonus glamour: A late-night menu features items such as truffle omelet soufflé with truffle doughnuts.

When Jose Mendin and his partners opened Pubbelly in 2010, it was love at first sight for Miami. After all, who wouldn't fall head over heels for a chef who specializes in all things porcine? Unlike say, your first boyfriend, Mendin didn't become lazy with your adoration. Like a suitor who sends flowers and remembers your birthday, Mendin constantly works to keep the fire burning, creating memorable bites at Pubbelly Sushi and cooking perfect slabs of beef at PB Steak. Then there are his collaborations at the Pubbelly Group's other restaurants. His efforts paid off with a James Beard nod in 2014 and various other accolades, including a People's Best New Chef nomination from Food & Wine. Now Mendin is getting all continental with the highly anticipated opening of L'echon Brasserie, where he will offer his interpretation of classic French bistro fare. Jose Mendin is the gift that keeps on giving.

Best Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Teena's Pride

Contrary to what Publix might have led you to believe, vegetables don't grow out of the ground plastic-wrapped with a three-week shelf life. Industrialized food has so warped our produce sensibilities that you simply must opt into a farm share. A CSA will improve your waistline, your wallet, and all your unseen insides. Payment plans are varied and flexible, but for $46 every two weeks, Teena's Pride provides a quarter-share weekly box of Homestead-grown delights such as plump heirloom tomatoes, staunch bunches of leafy kale, summer squash and zucchini in bright yellows and emerald greens, fragrant Thai basil, and rainbow-hued carrots. The bounty changes every week. It's like Christmas morning for your kitchen. Shares also come in bigger sizes if you're eating for more than one. The program begins in November and ends in May, so you'll have to wait a few months to get on board — but it's worth it. Once you go locavore, you never go back.

Mi Vida Cafe

Don't be surprised if Mi Vida Cafe has run out of what you'd like to order. It's simply a consequence of the vegan restaurant's ethos of using only fresh and organic ingredients (local when possible) and striving to limit waste. Mi Vida also doesn't believe in microwaves, frying, or preservatives; a huge chunk of the menu consists of raw and gluten-free items. Take, for instance, the tango-mango wrap ($14). The exterior is made from dehydrated mango, banana, sun-dried tomato, and flax seed, while inside there's avocado, tomato, cucumber, and sprouts splattered in a spinach cream sauce. It's light yet undeniably filling and tastes best when paired with a homemade smoothie ($6 to $8). There's seating outside along Biscayne Boulevard, but inside is a colorful oasis of calm. Come for lunch or dinner, but remember to silence your cell phone — there's a sign that reads, "You are here, so be here." Well said.

Kim and Louis Duncanson have been farming pure, organic wheatgrass in Miami for about 30 years. They started in an empty yard in Coconut Grove. Then they developed a supersterile hydroponic indoor system in Doral using desalinated seawater and mineral-rich nutrient feeds. Now they produce and distribute a variety of vital, raw, organic greens through every Whole Foods Market in Florida. They also distribute mung beans, sunflower greens, and sprouts through many retailers in Miami. But about a year ago, they opened their first juice bar, Green Garden Organics, where you can buy all of the above-mentioned products, along with traditionally delicious fruit smoothies, raw vegan pies, hummus spreads, and a variety of treats picked fresh from Mother Earth's supermarket — AKA the ground — and made fresh daily. With their dedication to healthy living, longtime experience with all that's good about the Earth, and commitment to clean, delicious excellence, the Duncansons' new juice bar is an amazing addition to the plethora of health-conscious establishments opening in the 305.

Ten Fruits

You're a cleansing pro. You've tried it all, from the Master Cleanse to the Candida Cleanse. But most have left you feeling hangry (hungry + angry) and less-than-refreshed. Luckily, Ten Fruit's Cleanse Professional is a less than painful way to give your bod a break. This is not a fast — just a chance to break your bad habits via an all-liquid meal plan. For $47.50 a day (a steal compared to most cleanses), you get six hearty juices in a supercute to-go carton. And truth be told, you might be too full to make it to the finale. From the early-morning Super Green to the evening Green Day, you'll drink your fill of wheatgrass, parsley, ginger, beet, lemon, cucumber, and kale. Add an impossibly delicious midday almond milk for good measure, and it's a palatable lineup for those seeking internal enlightenment. No stomach pains, no deprivation, no lightheadedness. For three days and $142.50, you'll feel like a million bucks. Your innards especially.

Honey Tree
Alexandra Rincon

Odds are high that your meat-loving friend will have no idea that the "soy and wheatballs" he's just eaten at the Honey Tree aren't animal-based. That's because they're ridiculously comforting, as is most of the vegan fare at this lunch counter. Another equally deceptive and soothing item is the eggplant Parmesan. Its texture is so gooey you'd never know it's made using Daiya nondairy mozzarella cheese. Hidden inside a health-food store, the Honey Tree lets you compose your own plate filled with fresh and mostly organic hot and cold dishes that change each weekday. Everything is weighed and usually winds up costing $10 to $15. The fact that you can mix and match myriad foods and that you never know what will be available is half the excitement. The other half, of course, involves eating.

Once upon a time, there was a vegetarian burger that didn't pale in comparison to its meaty contemporaries. The hearty and protein-rich patty was made with forbidden rice, turtle beans, and shiitake mushrooms and topped with crushed avocado, goat cheese spread, and roasted tomatoes and red peppers. It was then placed on a fluffy and lightly sweetened bun that was delicious enough to eat plain. To savor this Miami Earth burger ($12), you would have to go to a restaurant called Umami Burger. The chain came to Miami Beach in May 2013 via California, where since 2009 it amassed legions of devoted fans. All the burgers were injected with a magic ingredient known as Umami Master Sauce and served in a laid-back dining room replete with TV sets. The term "umami" was defined as a category of taste that was neither sweet, sour, salty, nor bitter and had a mouthwateringly brothy and meaty flavor that lingered on the tongue. At this eatery, you could also get burgers made with meat, including the Umami burger. It featured shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, a Parmesan crisp, and house ketchup ($12). The smart folks would order it with a side of crispy thin fries ($3.50) and call it a very good day.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®