Co-owners Costa Grillas and Niko Theodorou bring years of Greek restaurant experience to the table at Egg & Dart, but the fact that Niko's mother helps pen the menu ensures the authenticity of the dishes. Meals begin with small plates, or mezze, such as cheese platters, grilled sausages, or spanakopita. Then they move on to shareable salads and main dishes that include braised lamb shank, steamed salmon, or moussaka¬¬––Greece's version of lasagna. International wines and beers complement each meal and creative cocktails are infused with muddled cucumber, kalamata olives, and greek liqueur. The clean white decor is befitting to a restaurant in the Design District but also recalls the whitewashed buildings of the Greek Isles. The restaurant seats 202 guests total, whether in the open dining room, at the cherry wood bar, or in a private dining room tucked behind frosted glass doors and guarded by a storm trooper.
The greatest of meats are paired with sauce sidekicks, slaying the bland and defending the savory. Q's meats are prepared in an authentic Texas-built Bewley pit roaster or infused with woody goodness in an on-site smoker. Pay tribute by plunging face first into a platter of pulled pork with Texas toast, cole slaw, and beans ($16.95), or by cracking open the crispy skin of a brined, glazed whole chicken ($18), topped against every law of decency with sides such as fried okra and cheese grits (both $6). Tip back a three-bourbon Qhattan with cherry and vermouth ($9) or a 13-ounce glass of Shiner Bock ($7) amid the pleasant aural aroma of live tunes on the weekend, or sneak to the back for a wee dessert of buttermilk shortcakes ($7) and a full rack of dry-rubbed pork spare ribs ($24).
Andalus' chefs populate small plates and large pans packed with classic Spanish flavors from an artful, bilingual menu, earning recognition from the Miami New Times as the Best Spanish Restaurant in 2011. The tapas-sized red piquillo peppers overflow with mixed seafood in a white cream sauce ($11) to warm up mouths chilled after a cold plate of thinly sliced cod carpaccio ($15) garnished with grated tomatoes and olive oil. The cuttlefish-and-prawns black rice ($16) simmers refreshing seafood with olive oil and squid ink collected from terrified cephalopod audiences at screenings of It Came From Above. Parsley, garlic, and wine coat the hake filet ($23) with a piquant green sauce, complemented by white asparagus, clams, and shrimp. Chefs stuff the cordon-bleu chicken ($17) with serrano ham, swiss cheese, and pictures of B.B. King. Separate courses with refreshing hot or chilled soups ($6–$8) and go home with a lingering sweet kiss from a slice of almond marcipan cake ($6) or scoop of nutmeg-almond ice cream ($6).
The lunch menu's star starter is hot and sour popcorn shrimp served with Thai vinaigrette ($9). To whet an evening appetite, the dinner menu offers littleneck clams ($12) and soft shell crab ($13). Main courses, such as locally caught grouper ($24) and mahi ($22), are as fresh as a rapper buried in iceberg lettuce. An Indonesian-influenced skirt steak with shiitakes gets high marks ($22) and can cross other transnational borders with a side of Chinese eggplant with red curry ($7) or faro risotto ($8). For dessert, the difficulty of choosing between the drunken grape parfait ($8) and the blueberry meringue pie ($8) can be mitigated by ordering both or by kidnapping Oompa-Loompas to work in an abandoned chocolate factory.
Pizza Volante's meat-and-cheese disks are fired to Roman-style crispy perfection in a wood-burning oven. The signature Volante pie is a margherita, stacked with prosciutto di parma and sun-dried tomatoes ($16). Dissolve the sea's ionic bonds with a Sicilian-sea-salted circle (marinara, garlic, anchovies, Sicilian sea salt, $12) or touch multiple types of cheese on the Bianca, crafted with fontina, chenel goat cheese, arugula, thyme, local cow's milk mozzarella, and bufala milk mozzarella ($15). As a mozzarella bar, Volante champions the soft, milky ropes and curdles; choose a type of mozzarella to try (Burrata D.O.P costs $15, locally made cow's milk varieties cost $8) and accompany it with zucchini salad, Florida tomatoes, olives, capers, organic arugula, and more. Salads, sandwiches, paninis, and a weekly changing selection of pasta (try gnocchi Bolognese for $12 on Sundays) round out Pizza Volante's menu into a melty cheese wheel rolling down a marinara hill and leaving rich cheese deposits in its wake.
Brownes' 75-minute signature manicure and pedicure (a $70 value) will pamper your finger shingles and toe shells. Surrender your appendages to the care of experts as they undergo a salt soak, scrub, and massage. Nails will be buffed, rebuffed, filed, and given an extremely French 'do. You will also receive your choice of eyebrow treatment—give your brows some time apart with a wax (a $19 value) or a tweeze (a $24 value). The massages at Brownes & Co. soothe the work-weary body and soul. A therapeutic rescue massage (a $105 value) utilizes deep-kneading tissue techniques to undo knots and built-up tension, whereas the Well Being massage (a $105 value) synthesizes aromatherapy oils with a multitude of refreshing massage techniques. The combination Swedish and shiatsu massage (a $95 value) ends the longstanding feud between Sweden and Asia by conducting relaxing peace talks on your back. Relight your internal furnace and felxibilify your tense muscles with a Rock Your Kasbah hot-stone massage (a $105 value). Go online to schedule your appointment.