Ceviche and Grille helps guests expand their palates with a spread of vibrant Peruvian ceviche, steaks, chicken, and fried fish. Much like Picasso’s food period, each dish is a delightful burst of color and flavor, with lime-garnished platters of shrimp ceviche, red sauce drizzled on fried fish fillets with yucas, and yellow Peruvian chili cheese slathered over shredded chicken. As they twirl forks into strands of buttery pasta or dig into strips of Angus beef, guests lounge on the open-air patio with a frosty Peruvian beer or Inca Cola in hand, or nestle into brightly colored booths in the dining room.
La Cocina Puertorriquena's specialty is mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish made of mashed fried plantains. Chefs use that recipe as a foundation, preparing more than 20 varieties of the dish with chunks or pork, skirt steak, and breaded shrimp. They also showcase a variety of other traditional specialties, including roasted meats and fried whole snapper. On Saturday nights, servers clear away tables to make room for live musicians and dancing until 1 a.m. The restaurant’s walls proudly display the Puerto Rican flag, which should never be nibbled on, despite its mofongo taste.
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.
Sushi Leno’s chefs merge Japanese and Chilean dishes to satisfy cravings for empanadas and sashimi in one stop. After visitors enter the 75-seat restaurant and take a peek behind the sushi bar, the diverse menu diverts their attention to pasta dishes and Chilean-inspired sandwiches such as the chacarero, with steak, steamed green beans, and an avocado spread. With dishes that cater to a wide range of tastes, Sushi Leno can whip up a memorable meal after a long day of disposing grass clippings down a neighbor’s chimney.
Beachfront dining and an expansive assortment of culinary delights create a commodious yet casual atmosphere as Nikki Beach sates eclectic appetites with a menu of fresh sushi, pizza, steaks, and more. An array of raw seafood, caviar, and succulent appetizer selections such as cornmeal-crusted calamari ($15) complement cocktails and sun-worshiping sessions, and gourmet pizzas created by Italian dough-diviner Enrico Sautto, such as the rocket and rocchetta pizza bubbling with rocchetta cheese and prosciutto crudo beneath fresh arugula, olive oil, and shaved parmesan ($16), satisfy followers of the latest circular-food diet craze.
Chef Scott Fredel claims that his "true love is the ocean." It was this love that led him to work as a commercial fisherman while still in high school and eventually inspired him to compete in fishing tournaments across Florida. Running the kitchen at Pilar Restaurant & Full Bar, the Miami native combines his passion for seafood with the techniques he learned while attending the Culinary Institute of America.Fredel demonstrates his expertise through simply prepared entrées that flaunt their ocean-fresh flavors. Filets of salmon and yellow-fin tuna can arrive grilled and glazed with pomegranate molasses or shiitake-mushroom vinaigrette (respectively), but not before starters such as flash-fried calamari lay a proper foundation. The menus also feature pan-roasted servings of free-range chicken as well as paella with more seafood than the national aquarium of Atlantis.Capable of seating up to 90 guests, the dining room boasts a relaxed charm that led Hello Miami to call it "the 'Cheers' of North Miami." Recessed ceiling lights illuminate the rich wooden floors and artwork-lined walls while potted dragon plants add a verdant splash of color and an endless backup supply of leafy napkins.