Drive east on Atlantic Boulevard and evidence of the Brazilian enclave of more than 20,000 leaps out at you, from flag symbols on hair salons, cafés, and newsstands to the Saturday special called feijoada served up by Panorama Restaurant. The eatery has been preparing top loin steaks such as picanha e alcatra panorama, picanha a cavalo, and other favorites such as oxtail stew and tripe for a largely Brazilian clientele for nearly a decade. The only other thing that may divert your attention from the waft of seasonings coming from the kitchen is the large-screen TV in the front that broadcasts the jogo bonito -- the beautiful game that is Brazilian soccer.
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Colby++Katz
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When you're in Mulberry Street, do as others do: Order as many courses as you think you could possibly eat. Then, after you tuck into the first dish, order three more, making sure to drip whatever it is you're eating onto the menu. That way, diners who come in after you can follow in your knowledgeable, if greasy, thumbprints. The desire to sample a wide variety of the delicious fare is by far the biggest reason Angelo's has been launched into the "expensive" category. In other words, things tend to add up, especially if you ask for a bottle of the Ornellaia Super-Tuscan to drink with dinner. But in the end, the quality and value of the portions jibe so right with the Little Italy pedigree of the restaurant that chances are you'll remember the meal and "fuhgeddabout" the final bill.
Cafe Martorano
Cafe Martorano
Given the lack of a written menu in this trendy, eat-what-they-serve Italian bistro, prices are an equally unknown entity. Allow us to give a general guideline -- they're high. Really high. You just don't know it till the bill arrives. Which is why it's always wise to be supping with someone whose favorite phrase is (insert South Philly Italian accent) "Lemme take care of that." When it comes to chef-owner Steve Martorano's establishment, where gangster movies play ad nauseam and the scenes where characters get beaten down get turned up by The Man himself, trust us: There's no forgot-my-wallet, dishwashing option here.
De la Tierra at Sundy House
Liz Dzuro
Go ahead, write in to the editors. We know that technically, this isn't a new restaurant. The Sundy House, where De La Tierra is located, was restored about five years ago and has since undergone various menu and design changes. But the most recent transformation, which took place at the end of summer last year and continues in its evolution to date, is the one that has truly made Sundy House a dining destination of national note. The truth is, we could have given the De La Tierra restaurant any number of awards -- Best Outdoor Dining for its tables poised under fruit trees so ancient they could have inspired Adam and Eve to sin with a mango instead of an apple. Best Organic Fare, not just in terms of the lack of pesticides that many of the tropical, locally grown ingredients boast but in the sense that the New World dishes derive naturally from the very land on which they are served. And let's not forget Best Chef on the Fast Track for a James Beard Award, Johnny Vinczencz, who migrated northward from South Beach and has recently been tapped to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. So you might prefer the word reinvented or maybe even renovated. But we'll stick with new, not just because this eatery has been so dramatic in its turnaround but because that's how we feel -- new as a just-born, subtropical, martini-lovin' babe -- every time we dine there.
Eduardo De San Angel
Every year, it has become a challenge not just to find a truly fine Mexican establishment to rave about but to find the one that will topple chef-owner Eduardo Pria's long-running institution from its near-permanent number-one position. The obstacles for newcomers are many -- they have to visualize items like fresh diver scallops that have been dry-rubbed with Mexican herbs, skewered on sugar cane, pan-seared, and finished with a smoked chipotle aioli. Or learn to make empanadas like the ones filled with duck and topped with a green chili-toasted pumpkin seed sauce. Or become such an expert with chili peppers that pistachio nut-crusted pan-seared Keys yellowtail spiked with guajillo chili sauce is simply par for the course. So far, the only real competition has been Anita's -- and that Coral Springs restaurant is Eduardo's sibling. But we're begging you. Isn't there any chef worthy to take up the blue crab-stuffed Gulf shrimp with pickled jalapeño tapenade gauntlet?
The best part about eating at Yíasou comes when you order the flambéed cheese appetizer. A slice of the salty saganaki cheese comes sizzling to tableside in a shot of vodka that's quickly set on fire. That's cool, but what comes next is even better: The owner, or another family member working at this quaint restaurant, yells out "yíasou," the Greek word for "hello," as the alcohol sends flames to the ceiling. You might be thinking this sounds as genuine as the "Happy Birthday" songs at chain restaurants, but the sincerity of the gesture is indicative of this family restaurant. Follow the saganaki with the chicken Mykonos, a stuffed breast filled with spinach, feta, onions, and tomatoes. Finish with the unpronounceable galaktobouriko, a custard pie in honey-glazed phyllo.

Rainbo Cafe
Kids love stories, and the history of this place is quite a tale. Why are the men's room walls 16 to 18 inches thick? Because they are part of an old vault used by gamblers. See, the Rainbo opened in 1933 and was, until the 1950s, a casino that hosted gangsters including -- and this is documented -- Al Capone. It was closed until 1990, when Jim Durfy first unlocked the doors. In Rainbo's modern incarnation, scenes from the film Cape Fear, with Robert DeNiro, were shot here. Then there's the 124-year-old potbellied stove and the sitting area that Durfy has established in the front window. Our kids love wandering around the joint. They also get a kick out of the life-size dancing Santa Claus that Durfy, who is 70 years old, places outside the door every Yuletide. Our kids especially like the fact that there is no kids menu. If you are a clueless parent, you might not have realized that kids hate kids menus. Makes 'em feel inferior. But just a word to the waitstaff here and they will whip up kid-size portions. For breakfast, a pancake shaped like a rabbit goes for a mere $1.25. At lunch, a hot dog and fries sell for $1.95. But the real reason the Rainbo tops this category has little to do with any of this. Rather, it's that all of Durfy's nine children, as well as four of his grandchildren, work here. If he can deliver this many kids to this downtown Hollywood institution, then you should bring your tiny brood too. The place is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Christmas.
32 East
A few months ago, executive chef Nick Morfogen placed an order for a pound of truffles. To his extreme surprise, not to mention his great pleasure, he received his order in a lump sum -- a black Perigord truffle that weighed one pound. Being the savvy cook that he is, Morfogen immediately set about devising and advertising a menu that would highlight this rare treasure to its fullest potential, rather than exchanging the truffle for smaller ones that he could parcel out pasta by pasta. The customers who were fortunate enough to sample the truffled dishes that week were indeed impressed. This type of inspired opportunity-taking is only one of the reasons why 32 East has the edge on the competition, not just on the avenue but in the county. The others? Oh, just the usual: Morfogen's outstanding technique and great imagination, stellar service, and superb wine pairs. If the East stands for all things rising, then we can expect 32 East to continue to grow in stature -- even without the benefit of a one-pound truffle.
The Dutch Pot Jamaican Restaurant
Photos courtesy of The Dutch Pot Jamaican Restaurant.
This place ain't much to look at, but try finding a joint in these parts with tastier Jamaican food. Run by two sisters from Jamaica, Dutch Pot is part of Westgate Plaza at Broward Boulevard and 441. There are only three tables in the triangle-shaped dining area, and service is negligible, but the food is great and, judging by the high percentage of island clientele, quite authentic -- and not overspiced in an overcompensating, American sorta way. You'll find all the usual suspects -- jerk and brown-stew chicken, stewed chicken, oxtail, rice and peas, escovitched fish, curry goat, jerk pork, steamed veggies, plantains, dumplings, yams, boiled bananas -- in all their succulent glory. Best to just order ahead, pick it up, take it home, and enjoy.
With the advent of this year's Oscars, the Moulin Rouge obsession may be publicly overshadowed by a fascination with Chicago. But the "gay Paree" theme survives at Satine, where the luxe atmosphere is slightly wicked and the Caribbean-French fusion fare is a trifle sinful. So live a little. What makes this restaurant surprising is not that veteran executive chef Donna Wynter's food is so darn good or that its afterhours nightclub fetes are so well-attended but that Satine is located in the lobby of the restored Diplomat Hotel. If the can-can heralds a new age in hotel dining, then do-do book us a room.

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