The 2009 Zagat Miami/South Florida Guide was just released -- the Miami portion edited by New Times contributor Bill Citara. Here are some impressions:
Michy’s On Top For Food With 28 Rating
You can’t argue with this -- or, more to the point, you can argue with this, and every other selection. But by any measure, Ms. Bernstein’s restaurant has to be considered one of Miami’s very finest.
Oishi The Biggest Surprise
Oishi Thai, tucked away on Biscayne and 146th Street, scored a 29 food rating -- along with a 27 and 28 in, respectively, decor and service. Caveat: It received too low a vote total to qualify in the official listings of highest scores.
Michael’s Genuine Gets Snubbed
The Design District star earns a 25 rating, the same as Origin Asian Bistro and Andiamo! Pizza. Michael’s Genuine ranks below Tropical Chinese, Caffe Vialetto, and Quinn’s, all of which earned 26. Jeez.
An Uneven Quintet Follows Michy’s
Palme d’Or, Nobu, and Pascal’s On Ponce are three of the five restaurants to come in second with a 27. I don’t disagree. But while I like the other two spots -- Prime One Twelve and Romeo’s Cafe -- can’t say that I’ve ever considered either to be one of Miami’s best six restaurants.
Rest of the 26 Category Looks Pretty Good
Thirteen restaurants grabbed 26 points. I don’t think the trio listed above belong, but the other ten are all excellent restaurants: Azul, Hiro’s Yakko-San, Oceanaire, Joe’s Stone Crab, Cacao, Osteria del Teatro, Escopazzo, Capital Grille, and Matsuri.
Other Notable Snubs
Sardinia, at 22. The Royal Bavarian Schnitzel House got a 23. ‘Nuff said.
Red Light, at 21. That’s lower than A Fish Called Avalon (23). Biggest undercount since Al Gore in Palm Beach.
Ideas Spanish Restaurant, at 20. Way, way low.
Soya Y Pomodoro, at 19. I don’t think so.
Zuperpollo. Really snubbed by having their rankings omitted altogether.
Overrated (other than those already mentioned)
Vix, 25. In fairness, I haven’t dined here in a long time, but I haven’t exactly heard raves about it during this period either.
Baleen, 24. Evidently many voters let the enchanting view go to their heads.
Christabelle’s Quarter, 23. Evidently many voters let the bourbon go to their heads.
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A tie between Barchetta On The Bay and Mango’s Tropical Cafe, each with 13. Well deserved!
Most of the restaurants that opened (or reopened) in 2008 are listed without rankings. These include Abokado, Brosia, Chef Allen’s, Fratelli Lyon, George’s In The Grove, Pacific Time, Philippe, Por Fin, and Prime Blue Grille, among others.
-- Lee Klein