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billwisserphoto.com

The Continental

billwisserphoto.com
For years, Stephen Starr had an eye on Miami Beach's Motel Ankara and even once considered buying the art deco grande dame. The chance arose when Starwood Hotels purchased the Collins Avenue property and embarked on a $100 million makeover. The only thing that could go inside, he said, is the Continental. The retro-chic restaurant helped establish his Philadelphia-based empire but today seemed a risky proposition with out of vogue items like cheesesteak in egg roll form and hyper-Americanized Chinese food. Yet thanks to the kitchen's deft hand, every sweet has a bit of salt, and the Continental succeeds where so many others could fail. Korean lettuce wraps pop with sweet, galbi-marinated beef and fizzy kimchee. A whole fried snapper with tostones and an avocado-tomato salad is a perfect homage to Miami, where having fun at dinner is OK again.Read our full review.

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