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Chef Allen's

The refurbished restaurant is now billed as a "modern seafood bistro," the emphasis being placed on local, sustainable fish and produce - and on lower prices, an effort to change the perception of Allen's from fine-dining destination to casual neighborhood haunt. Start with seafood chowder - a thin, bracing broth brimming with fresh shellfish - or with a sprightly salad of roasted gold and red beets, feta cheese, and organic baby arugula leaves dressed in sour-orange vinaigrette. You can't go wrong with shrimp-and-grits "brûlée": plush Florida crustaceans baked in stone-ground cornmeal enlivened by Manchego cheese, tamarind, and shallots. A main course of swordfish astonished with its bold and unique accouterments of smoked almonds, chanterelle mushrooms, and red grapes in Pinot Noir pan sauce. Also noteworthy are meats, imbued with fantastic smoky flavor thanks to a 720-degree wood-burning Lyonnaise grill. A double-cut Berkshire pork chop, served with not-too-sweet mango chutney, is as fine a plate of food as you will find for $22. Susser's signature double Valrhona chocolate soufflé is still the number-one crowd pleaser here, although fresh fruit sorbets offer a lighter, more refreshing finish. In short, the reinvented, reinvigorated Chef Allen's has reasserted itself as one of Miami's premier restaurants.

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