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North Miami Beach/Sunny Isles Beach


Tom
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We'd be very grateful for restaurant suggestions in the North Miami Beach/Sunny Isles Beach neighborhoods. This five-day trip -- beginning 1/17 -- came as a surprise, and I couldn't find suggestions already posted here.

We like good food of any kind and almost any price.

Many thanks!

Tom

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Well, I spend three or four weeks a year there, so I'll tell you what I've found.

The most local place is Timo (17624 Collins), and it's a thoroughly enjoyable place. I've eaten there several times.

Bice is at 18683 Collins, but I've never been.

I used to be very fond of Plein Sud (12409 Biscayne), but the chef has moved on and things have changed.

For thrilling food, and a vibe so happy that strangers actually talk about the food to the tables near them (as in "Hi, you must have the sweetbreads!"), I'd suggest Michy's at 69th and Biscayne. We ate there 3 times in one week over Christmas and I started a separate thread. This is better food than anyplace around (and because of the dining formula, there's infinite variety) and it's also the most enjoyable place to be.

In the Bal Harbour Shops you have the new La Goulue, which I didn't try because the menu didn't appeal to me, and most people are calling it a lunch place anyway, rather than dinner, which is just what I thought.

There's also La Terrazza (Italian) and Tangerine (Russian) around 181 and Collins, but when I checked them out, I just wasn't impressed with the 'feel' of them. Little Havana (127 and Biscayne) is a simple Cuban place with pretty good food, though it doesn't have the 'festive vibe' I like on vacation, and admittedly, I get great Cuban food where I live. Paul (144 and Biscayne in the Biscayne Commons) is the first US branch of a French bakery/cafe, and is a must if you like French pastries (they are spectacular), and is great for lunch.

A great source for restaurants in Miami, one that I have come to trust over the years because of all the great restaurants it has always steered me to, is the Miami New Times.

Do you have a place to stay?

Edited by markk (log)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Thanks, Mark! Our tentative (and incomplete) list:

Bissaleh Cafe

Timo

Hanna's Gourmet Diner

Hiro's Yakko San

Michy's

We'll check back soon for comments and additions.

We do have a place to stay, but suggestions are always welcome.

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Thanks, Mark! Our tentative (and incomplete) list:

Bissaleh Cafe

Timo

Hanna's Gourmet Diner

Hiro's Yakko San

Michy's

We'll check back soon for comments and additions.

We do have a place to stay, but suggestions are always welcome.

Why did you pick the Gourmet Diner? (I know it well, just curious how you chose it?)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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My wife's family has a condo at the Jockey Club (111th and Biscayne) so we get down there from time to time. We have enjoyed Little Havana mentioned above. For breakfast or lunch there's a very good Jewish place (not kosher, they have dairy and pork stuff) that has good bagels, sandwiches, etc. Can't remember the name, but it's on the west side of Biscayne at about 109th street or so, I kind of remember a blue awning with the word "bagel" on it. We get pastrami sandwiches to take on the plane home there also.

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Just got back from Miami.

My research showed that Michy's was tentatively the best and indeed it topped our experiences. Definitely worth it-we would return, but probably not on a Saturday, which was hectic and noisy. Stretch limos, loud neighbors and tables too close together were the problem (stretch limos as the road is down to 2 lanes for roadworks).

We "passed by" Little Havana - planned on lunch there but ran out of time. It looked good and would definitely try on next visit.

As a comparison (they're not on your list, or necessarily in North Miami), but I compiled my list from reccos here and elsewhere, best to avoid Barton G (all show) and Latin American cafeteria - WAY overrated Cuban Sandwich and food tepid (at best).

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If we don't hear back from you before your trip, I hope you post your reviews of all the places you go!

I'd try to talk you out of the Gourmet Diner. The food's not as good as it used to be (or some of the other places around - at least not at the point we stopped going).

I'd have said also that Stone Crabs are a must if you're down there when they're in season, but... We used to go to Billy's Stone Crab in nearby Hollywood and have pristinely delicious specimens, but on our last trip (Christmas) they were sorry specimens instead, and I don't know a better place to suggest.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I'd have said also that Stone Crabs are a must if you're down there when they're in season, but...  We used to go to Billy's Stone Crab in nearby Hollywood and have pristinely delicious specimens, but on our last trip (Christmas) they were sorry specimens instead, and I don't know a better place to suggest.

If you want stone crabs or fresh seafood, I would suggest Captain Jim's, around 130th and W Dixie Hwy. It is a fish market with a great inexpensive restaurant. I'm definitely an amateur when it comes to stone crabs, but they taste like pretty good "specimens" to me. :smile:

I agree with others that Timo is quite good. There is also a good restaurant in that area (on the mainland) called Chef Allen's that you may want to look into. I've certainly enjoyed the food there during spice month, and they always have a chef's tasting menu that sounds great.

"God give us good taste, why bother?" Captain Jim's Sushi Chef
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  • 3 weeks later...
We "passed by" Little Havana - planned on lunch there but ran out of time. It looked good and would definitely try on next visit.

If you are going back, I would definitely recommend Versailles, although you may have a bit of a wait depending on when you go (lots of families). Regardless, the food is great and authentic and you feel like you're eating with real people (no offense, fellow foodies). :wink:

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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