Side Dish

Reports of Turks' death are greatly premature. The South Beach restaurant was reported closed in the November issue of the South Florida Gourmet magazine, which owner Orhan Yegen says is printing a retraction this month. Meanwhile Turkish cuisine just might be Miami's newest ethnic fare. Joining Turks and Efesus, also on South Beach, is Turkish Grill in North Miami Beach. The rule of three says this could be a trend.

The rumor floating around town that South Beach Brasserie is about to become a Red Lobster may be without claws. Catering director Cindy Hill says the brasserie actually is going to reopen in late December under the same name. Celebrity restaurateur Michael Caine still owns the place, but his partner Ray Schnitzer, who also owned the 11th Street Diner, has sold his shares in both ventures. 'Course that leaves the rest of Lincoln Road as fair game for the Lobster....

Meanwhile Nemo, closed for lunch for the past ten weeks or so owing to renovation/construction of the hotel above the restaurant, is once again serving the midday meal. Owner Michael Schwartz, who's thinking about adding an upscale sushi bar to the ground floor of the sister hotel next door, says he's also pulled out of plans to open a Big Pink on Harrison Street in Hollywood. Probably a wise decision. It's going to take more than a "build it and they will come" philosophy to resurrect this neighborhood, which not so long ago was heralded as the next South Beach.

From Johnny V's to Jonathan E's: Jonathan Eismann of Pacific Time has taken over the space that was formerly Johnny V's Kitchen. Eismann says it looks as though he'll open in February, partly owing to his indecision -- he doesn't know what he wants to do with the place yet. "Could be a diner, could be a noodle shop," he says. "Got any ideas?" Well, yeah, there's a dearth of Ethiopian food around here. Maybe Eismann could even coin some pan-African cuisine. One thing we do know, since Eismann and wife Nia will become parents in a few months: The eatery will be baby-friendly.

Kvetch: It could be the curse of the "Next Door" modifier. Or it could be the fact that Norman's has won another bunch of awards, leading to sold-out dinners nightly. But as a result, Norman's Next Door is no longer open for lunch. "We felt that staff was really being stressed; we had to reassess the pressure and extra effort it was taking," says co-owner Marsha Talianoff. Norman's Next Door is now what it was intended to be in the first place: a private party facility and extended dining room. Bummer. Back to canned tuna for lunch.

Send your tasty tidbits to Jen Karetnick at 2800 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137. Or e-mail [email protected]

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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick

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