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Six Meals in Miami

Richard Ouzounian is a columnist with the Toronto Star. His restaurant reviews entitled, 'Six Meals in ...' are among Journeywoman's favorite travel reading. We asked Richard about posting his six meals in Miami. He writes...

When you talk about dining in Miami, you really have to include more than one place in your calculations: there's the retro charm of Miami Beach, the naughty appeal of South Beach, the cool elegance of Coral Gables, the subdued funkiness of Coconut Grove and so much more.

No matter what style of dining you're in the mood for, Miami has a place for you. So whether you're staying here for a week, or just stopping overnight before or after a cruise, let me suggest some places worth trying.

 

MICHY'S ...

Address: 6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001: Everybody loves chef Michelle's Bernstein's warm, friendly place where she mixes tapas presentations from Mexico, the deep South, France and all over America. It's hard to get into, but once inside, the staff are totally friendly and the prices aren't that steep. One warning: The surrounding neighbourhood is a bit sketchy, so you might want to hail a taxi instead of leaving that rented car on the street.

 

VILLA HABANA RESTAURANT...

Address: 3398 S.W. 22nd St., 305-446-7427: The decor is a little shabby, but the waiters couldn't be nicer and the food has been delighting people for more than 20 years. The roast pork is moist and flavourful, but never greasy, their black beans are heaven and if you needed a further inducement, they had a $5.50 lunch special the last time I dropped by which was beyond belief.

 

GRILLFISH...

Address: 1444 Collins Ave., 305-538-9908: This casual South Beach establishment has the bravado to cook grilled fish simply and without ostentation. That means two things: They know their fish is impeccably fresh and they know their chefs have the art of grilling down to a science. I've had swordfish here that qualified for sainthood, and their twin sauces (caramelized onion and piquant-garlic) will send you to the moon.

 

VERSAILLES RESTAURANT...

Address: 3555 S.W. 8th St., 305-444-0240: Sooner or later in Miami, you're either going to stay up very late or get up very early. Either way, the Versailles will be there for you. Despite its name, this place is 100 per cent Cuban and proud of it. Their ham croquettes served with stuffed, fried yucca will either put you to bed or wake you up in fine style.

 

RUSTY PELICAN...

Address: 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, 305-361-3818: Would you like to pretend you were a Miami millionaire, just for brunch? Then come out here for the spectacular view of Miami, while feasting on stone crabs and scampi or ordering up lighter than air omelettes. The all-you-can-eat champagne brunch is one of the city's great buys.

 

SHORTY'S BAR B Q...

Address: 9200 South Dixie Highway, South Miami, 305-670-7732: You can't leave Miami without at least one barbecue meal and this is the original branch of the five-store empire that's been cooking since 1951. I've been going there since I was a kid and it always pleases. It's loud, casual and friendly with people crowded together at long trestle tables, but the food hits the spot. Their pork and beef sandwiches remain my favourite and their onion rings are killer.

Richard Ouzounian is the Star's theatre critic. Reach him at rouzounian@sympatico.ca

 

The Big Cheese...

This is a tip from Carolyn, a Journeywoman living in Miami. She writes...

The Big Cheese, a hangout near the University of Miami is a favorite of students and local families, who appreciate the casual atmosphere and Italian-American cuisine. Decor is casual with lots of sports memorabilia. The menu features a wide array of pizza, pastas, subs, salads, fried calamari and buffalo wings. Portions here are made to feed at least two, so if you're vying for dinner and dessert, order one entree to share or expect to take some to go. 8080 SW 67th Ave, Phone: (305) 662-6855. Website: http://www.bigcheesemiami.com

 

Take an Art Deco walking tour...

Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving, protecting, and promoting the cultural, social, economic, environmental, and architectural integrity of the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District. One of the walking tours they present is called, Ocean Drive and Beyond.

This 90-minute guided walk provides an introduction to the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MiMo) styles found within the Historic District. Explore hotels, restaurants, and other commercial structures with a visit to a number of interiors. Tours leave every day from the Art Deco Gift Shop on 12th Street just west of Ocean Drive. For dates, times, fees and other details, click here.

 

For more information see GirlTalk Florida

 

 

 

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