Best Restaurant Décor - 2007
"Handsome is as handsome does," our wise old grandma used to say. Granny would also tell us, were she alive to critique the lemon caper pan sauce on her ruby-red trout, that you can't judge a restaurant by the number of millions used to underwrite its decorating budget. Happily, there's no disconnect between form and function at Opus 5. The menu is as playful and smart as the butter, cream, and cognac colors and the visually rhyming geometrics of the place's décor. Like the musical opus the name references, the design of Burt Rapoport's gastronomic production in Boca is composed of themes and variations, complexity within unity. The square white plates on which your wasabi-crusted petit filet mignons are served take their cue from whimsical columns that look like those same plates precariously stacked, courtesy of Miami designer Adolfo Galvez; a ceiling of wooden squares recessed in circles mirrors precisely the tables below, like an inverted reflecting pool. And the Floribbean-by-way-of-Asia comfort food is just as reassuringly unpredictable: enough to keep you interested and alert (like a mango salsa with seaweed salad and mustard-crusted tuna) without insulting your sensibilities. And there you have a working definition of harmony. UPDATE: This location is now closed.