Early each day, the cooks at Mady's Deli & Cafe assemble more than 40 fresh ingredients for their salad bar, chopping up juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and other organic vegetables as they bubble up pots of hard-boiled eggs on the stove. They gather fresh mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, lay out bowls of plump raisins and crunchy sunflower seeds, and craft batches of homemade dressings such as blue cheese, mandarin-orange vinaigrette, and fat-free Italian. Throughout the day, the cooks fold these mostly organic ingredients into customized salads, inviting diners to pick out greens, toppings, dressings, and astrological signs for their unique creations. When not building salads, the chefs slice up a variety of specialty sandwiches, layering crusty rolls with pastrami, roast beef, and grilled chicken. They also extend their culinary expertise to homemade soups and specialty entrees, such as baked lamb and stuffed cabbage. As the cooks busy themselves in the kitchen, their guests can relax beneath colorful umbrellas on the front patio with a cold glass of wine and beer.
The hearty Italian dishes and seafood of Cafe Volare earned praise from the Miami Herald this year for its “wonderful” desserts and dishes such as the “light and elegant” spinach and Parmesan ravioli. Chef Manolo Guerra often prepares whatever dishes customers request, and customizes dishes such as raviole penne and grilled salmon. Desserts range from succulent apple tart to a tiramisu made with Colombian coffee, amaretto, and Sambuca.
Origami Food replenishes pantries with fresh groceries, produce, and organic specialty items. Customers can raid the shelves for wholesome oils and seeds, or stock up on spices, herbs, and dressings to add flavor to everyday foods or an astronaut friend’s idea of dinner. Customers can also browse a selection of potables, from organic green teas and coffees to fruity drinks.
After nearly 20 years under the command of Top Chef star Chef Carlos Fernandez, Hi-Life Café has recently ascended into a new realm under the rule of Chef Virgil Woodard, a master of new-wave American cuisine. According to a feature in the Sun Sentinel Woodard's training in architecture and keen eye for art and symmetry become apparent upon first glimpse of his dishes, each embellished with his signature hand-carved vegetable garnishes. Yet the ornate frills are only the start of the meal’s elegance. Fresh jalapeños packed with shrimp and wrapped in bacon—Cajun Kisses—prelude a full menu of classic American fare with an upscale twist. He transforms pastas with unique sauces, such as a southwestern spin on bolognese and a classic mushroom and madeira wine sauce infused with brie, and he pairs high-end strip steak, pork loin, and seafood with fresh, internationally inspired accoutrements.
The interior of Hi-Life Café mirrors the chic style of the entrees. Candlelight flickers across tasteful urban art photography from John Fifield and Streetmurals.net, creating the ideal ambiance for a dinner date or impromptu murder-mystery game. A granite-topped wine bar hosts a selection of sips, as well as fresh flower arrangements rivaled only by the elegant roses adorning each and every table.
The grill doyens at Commercial Point Cafe have made whipping up classic American eats a tradition of more than 28 years, anchoring plates with fresh ingredients during breakfast and lunch. Their selection of early-morning eats
Café Jamm's upscale comfort fare and daily chef-inspired specials are crafted from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Cast eyes over the menu before summoning starters such as gruyere mac 'n' cheese stuffed with panko and bacon ($5) and crispy sweet-potato fries accompanied by three dipping sauces ($7). A chopped fresh garden salad laden with jack cheese, savory bacon, garbanzo beans and kalamata olives appeases a green tooth ($9), and a hearty roasted duck with a red-wine reduction glaze nests in a bed of fragrant jasmine rice ($25). A certified Angus new york strip steak rubbed with aromatic signature spices tests the abilities of blindfolded competitive smellers ($28), and the Café Jamm cheeseburger is dressed with garlic aioli, fresh seasoned spinach, and caramelized onions before going out in a toasted brioche bun ($11). Once inside Café Jamm's black- and white-splashed interior, slide up to a cozy table or plant stems at the bar to sip a tipple from the wine list.