From its perch inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Lighthouse Cafe's wooden patio overlooks a mile of Atlantic shoreline. In the distance stands the Cape Florida Lighthouse, Dade County's oldest manmade structure. The landscape and salty sea breezes complement the open-air restaurant's seafood-stocked lunch menu, which is served until sundown. Dishes range from salmon burgers and fish fingers to fried cuts of red snapper or hog snapper, which often leap out of the water to attack passing piglets.
The catch that gets the most attention in the Lighthouse Cafe kitchen is shrimp, which is tossed in asopado, spiced up creole style, served in ceviche, or, for breakfast, stuffed into an omelet. Breakfasts at Lighthouse Cafe include traditional items like ham and cheese omelets and french toast, as well as cups of café con leche and cuban coffee.
Tutto's Mare chef Juca Oliveira draws on his own life experiences to craft his menu of international fusion cuisine. Inspired by his childhood in Brazil, he crafts escondidinho de camarão—shrimp creole layered with yucca mash and baked in a wood-burning oven. Drawing on his Italian culinary training, he simmers classic pastas such as al dente black linguine and gnocchi with wine-mushroom sauce. From the cosmopolitan culture of Miami—his home for more than 20 years—he borrows still more eclectic tastes, from Japanese miso to Peruvian spices. He also gathers seafood, fresh fish, and Cordon Bleu–trained mermaid sous chefs fresh from the ocean.
A thick white column supports the high ceiling of Tutto Mare's bright and airy dining room, filled with sleek black tables or cream-colored banquettes. Patrons may also opt to sit at additional outdoor tables or stay inside to pluck utensils from the food-themed graphic art on the walls.
With the deft hands of a veteran baker, Vincent Benoliel keenly measures almonds, eggs, and sugar, because accuracy is essential when making macarons. The ephemeral sweets come in a rainbow of colors and might taste of chocolate, rose petal, or lemon, but every single one has that je ne sais quoi of a macaron made by a native Frenchman. Vincent grew up in France's ubiquitous restaurant industry, ascending to the rank of sous chef in a Parisian brasserie when he was only 18. In 2005, he brought the richness of French cuisine to South Florida by importing the Eiffel Tower in 3-pound chunks and by opening Le Boudoir in Miami. His handiwork includes delicacies such as escargot, steak tartare, and fresh pastries.
Although it has a more limited flavor selection that other do-it-yourself frozen yogurt bars across Miami, YUZU Frozen Yogurt is still ready to satisfy your sugar cravings. The focused range provides for some ten flavors – six that it rotates every few days or weeks, and four staples: chocolate, strawberry, espresso and vanilla. The specialty flavors include cookies ‘n’ cream, red velvet, nutella, green apple, cake batter, lychee and peach mango tart, and there are always seasonal flavors to enjoy. The spare wooden interior is tucked away inside a strip mall, and offers wood flooring, pendant lights and lots of colorful pop, alongside a hefty run of toppings options that keep the locals coming to YUZU until midnight.
The bakers at Mmmm…. Cupcakes whip up artfully decorated handheld treats in a scrumptious spectrum of traditional, gluten-free, and vegan varieties. Utilizing 30% less sugar and a full line of organic ingredients, the bakers craft cakes ranging from full-sized desserts to easily weaponized cupcake push-pops. All baking is done in the shop’s kosher-certified kitchen, allowing customers of all ilks to chomp into freshly baked bites of Butterfinger, cran-orange, or guava con queso cupcakes. Bakers also teach the basic skills of custom cupcakery in one-hour lessons, in which students learn how to decorate and devour cupcakes tastier than a fresh-baked vending machine.
The chefs at Julio's Natural Foods Restaurant concoct fresh, vitamin-packed dishes from healthy ingredients. They boil up pots of organic brown rice and quinoa to accompany grilled organic tofu and fish fillets, and they pack their turkey burgers and zero-fat tuna sandwiches with fistfuls of sprouts, alfalfa, carrots, and other veggies. Signature dishes include Julio's special quesadilla, a popular plate of tortilla, cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and secret sauce. Fresh squeezed juices and complex smoothies wash down these feel-good foods and make guilt-free filling for water balloons.