Montefiore Café: Kosher with a Twist of Lemon and Parsley

Categories: First Bites

Photo courtesy of Montefiore Cafe
The atmosphere is what you might expect from a kosher restaurant in Mid Beach: an Israeli having a pressed bagel sandwich while talking business on his cell phone, two Orthodox women wearing tichels (kerchiefs) on their heads and donning casual uniforms of long denim skirts.

Located at 41st Street and Prairie Avenue, and situated in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Mid Beach, Montefiore Café is a no-frills dining spot that has a variety of menu options, from salmon burgers and sandwiches to Israeli dishes like shakshukka and Jerusalem bagel toast.

Montefiore is a certified-kosher restaurant, and for all the gentiles out there, that means you can't mix dairy products and meat.

But you can't have a café without an American cheeseburger on the menu, so the chef, Mike Rodriguez, puts a twist on an old favorite: the American cheeseburger with all the usual accompaniments but made with a salmon patty instead of the red meat variety.

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La Gazzetta in Mary Brickell: Try the Pizzettes and Desserts in Jars (Photos)

Categories: First Bites

All photos by Carla Torres
Sit down in La Gazzetta and you'll be welcomed with a monthly newspaper -- or actually a menu. The modern Italian restaurant, which quietly opened three months ago in Mary Brickell Village where El Vato used to be, boasts an outdoor terrace and a large indoor space occupied by booths, high tops, and a projector screen showing old Hollywood films.

The menu shares its pages with restaurant news, paparazzi pages, and classifieds for happenings during the month. Short Order was invited to taste La Gazzetta's offerings. Read all about it after the jump (get it?).

See also: Babylon Turkish Restaurant: Authentic Cuisine and Belly Dancing

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The Special: Can You Say Hawaiian Kale Salad Delivered?

Courtesy of Andres Orjuela
Healthy and convenient aren't two words that typically go together. Although your stomach might not agree, fast food is easy and cheap, two highly valued qualities in today's fast paced, expensive world.

Maybe you should follow the advice of your cardiologist and stop shoveling pizza and French fries down your gullet. But who has the time or energy to chop vegetables and wash dishes after a long day? Or the money, for that matter, since organic broccoli costs about $8 at Whole Foods?

Imagine if you had your own personal chef who did all of your grocery shopping, chopped all the vegetables, and then combined them into a tasty balance of savory, sweet, and tangy. That is where the Special comes in, It provides a completely different way of thinking about lunch.

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Babylon Turkish Restaurant: Authentic Cuisine and Belly Dancing

All photos by Laine Doss
Miami Beach is transformed into the hanging gardens of Babylon.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon remain the most mysterious of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Unlike the Great Pyramid of Giza, which can still be visited, scholars and historians are still debating over whether the gardens ever existed at all. Whether fact or fiction, the gardens are legendary for their lush beauty and it's fitting that Babylon Turkish Restaurant was named after them.

The restaurant, which opened about two months ago in South Beach, features a gorgeous garden courtyard, with trees covered in lights and glass evil eyes for good luck.

See also: Miam Cafe & Boutique: European Cafe Life Comes to Wynwood

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Miam Cafe & Boutique: European Cafe Life Comes to Wynwood

All photos by Laine Doss
Miam's turkey and avocado club on Zak the Baker bread ($10).
Two years ago, Miam Cafe's owner, Alexis Jacot, was on vacation with his wife from Switzerland, when he fell in love with the idea of opening a cafe in Wynwood. The former Proctor & Gamble executive noticed a vacancy inside the Wynwood Building and, right then and there, made a deal to snag the space.

"This neighborhood, and especially this building, are so special. I fell in love. I have a hospitality background, and always wanted to open a cafe, and everything was pointing in that direction so I just jumped!"

See also: Miam Cafe Opening in Wynwood

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Ironside Pizza: Italian Off the Beaten Path

Categories: First Bites

Holly Wachowicz
Just south of NE 79th Street and west of Biscayne Boulevard is a soon-to-be-hot neighborhood called Ironside.

Started by a local visionary, Ofer Mizrahi, it is still mostly warehouses and commercial space on the railroad tracks. But it is becoming a trendy, unique, and green-friendly atmosphere of hipster realism. One of the first places to arrive at this outdoor carnival is Ironside Pizza.

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The Seven Dials in Coral Gables: Foie Gras on Zak the Baker Toast and Fried Kalamata Olives

All photos by Carla Torres
This bone marrow has ginger.
Coral Gables isn't nationally known as a dining destination, but the place is actually swarming with hidden gems and restaurants that have put the area on the map. Sure, you have the ever-popular Ortanique on the Mile, Eating House, and Swine. But there are also lesser-known options like Uvaggio and Seven Dials, which quietly opened a couple of weeks ago.

The gastropub describes itself as eclectic American. It's run by British chef Andrew Gilbert, whose resume includes Michy's, Sra. Martinez, and the Local Craft Food & Drink, who deemed it time to open his own restaurant. Short Order was invited in for a bite of Gilbert's offerings.

See also: The Seven Dials American Gastropub Opens in Coral Gables

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Lilt Lounge at the Epic: Oysters, Caviar and Champagne Cocktails

Photo by Carla Torres
Well aren't you excited that it's a three-day weekend? If you're staying in town and are in need of some food and drink, you might want to check out Lilt, the new lounge at the Epic.

You'll find live music and champagne cocktails poured tableside from a trolling champagne cart. Oh, and don't forget the oysters with green apple caviar and cucumber granite. Don't worry, it's faux caviar.

See also: Lilt Lounge to Open at the Epic

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Kaiseki Your Way at N by Naoe

Categories: First Bites

All photos by Zachary Fagenson
Box of treats at N by Naoe.
Kevin Cory's newest undertaking, N, which opened July, is far different from the neighboring Brickell Key omakase temple that earned him bundles of praise.

For most of your $100, hourlong meal at N, you won't see the soft-spoken chef. Also his staff has grown beyond Wendy, Naoe's longtime manager, to include a small troupe who tend your every need. They pour toasty, earthy Sencha tea, a variety commonly use in Japan's orderly tea ceremonies, into diminutive earthenware cups.

See also: N by Naoe Opens on Brickell Key

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Janette & Co. Opens in Coral Gables: French Macarons Done Right

All photos by Cassie Glenn
Meet your new favorite sweet treat.

Let's start with the basics: macarons and macaroons are not the same thing. So dispel any image in your head of coconutty cake balls (macaroons) and instead, visit Janette & Co for a taste of France's beloved sweet treat (macarons).

Quentin and Agnes Garrigou opened their first shop in South Miami nearly two years ago. Last week, they debuted another outpost on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Together, the pair is educating neighborhood folks on the art of French pastry and preserving their sugar high with delicious macarons of all flavors.

See also: With Macarons, the Price Isn't in the Bite

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