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.
Considering Juan and Alvaro Gorrin studied medicine and business, and went on to forge careers in real estate and banking, it's probably surprising to many that they found their ultimate success in a totally unrelated field: baking. The Gorrins, who were born in Spain but moved to Venezuela in their youth, found there was a demand for European-inspired baked goods in South America. They developed the Don Pan brand in Venezuela in 1982, and eventually relocated to Miami, where they opened their first North American bakery in 1995.
Today, their menu maintains distinctly Spanish and South American accents. A bounty of pastries includes guava danish and tres leches, as well as brazo gitano, a sponge cake rolled with chocolate or cream that's popular in both Spain and Venezuela, as well as the section of Canada that uses cake as currency. There are also plenty of savory menu items, including cachapas—corn pancakes served with meat or cheese—and Venezuelan-style tamales bursting with pork, beef, chicken, and veggies.
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.
Yogurtland is a colorful, dreamlike destination for frozen-treat fanatics, softly serving up a variety of fun flavors. In addition to offering an impressive mix of classic and creative yogurt flavors such as New York cheesecake, praline, blueberry tart, peanut-butter cup, vanilla wafer, dutch chocolate, and root-beer float, the store lets customers customize their portions of tasty goodness with a variety of toppings. Decorate your dairy delight with fruit such as strawberries, pineapple, peaches, or pomegranate arils, or prove at last that gummy bears, Fruity Pebbles, and frosted animal cookies can get along, provided they have a chill place to hang out together. Yogurtland also offers a variety of flavors with no sugar added, as well as many that are gluten-free.
Drawing on the traditions of her baker-to-the-stars mother while adding her own artistic flair, The Office Cake's master baker Sarah Paz custom-makes a variety of cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for any event, but particularly specializes in last-minute office celebrations. Give a coworker the gift of good taste with a 6" mini white bow cake ($18), available in base flavors like chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, or marble, with optional fillings ($7) like rich custard cream, guava, kahlua, and amaretto. The Office Cake's more festive signature cake, the Fondant Confetti ($26+), comes adorned with frosting balloons and curled streamers, and can be used to celebrate particularly joyous office events, such as funny YouTube videos involving cats and a fresh pot of flavored coffee. Cakes can also be specially made in the shape of football helmets, open cigar boxes, 3D computer laptops, the Simpsons, and more. Cupcakes ($15+ for a regular-sized six-pack) make a deliciously backhanded treat for micro-managing managers, while cookies ($24 for two doz.) provide the necessary energy needed to endure a long PowerPoint presentation about how to make compelling PowerPoint presentations. Because her shop has a strict policy against freezing its wonderful wares, Sarah bakes her morsels fresh each morning, then applies icing, filling, and décor once the order has been placed.
Le Café Bistro treats Francophile tastes with classic French dishes served in an eclectic, cozy atmosphere. Diners can choose from a slew of starters populating the varied bistro menu. Begin with authentic escargot ($7), or savor the french onion soup topped with a baked cheese-and-bread beret ($5). Classics, such as croque-monsieur sandwiches ($7), rib-eye steak with crispy frites ($15), and succulent braised-beef bourguignon served with mashed potatoes and rice ($14), give this spot a je ne sais quoi that's particularly difficult to describe. Crack through the caramelized sugar crust of a vanilla-bean crème brûlée ($5) while sipping a beverage from the drink menu, which touts various wines, beer options, and Segafredo coffee and tea.