The Biscayne Times

Dec 12th
Sunny Isles Beach PDF Print E-mail

Restaurant listings for the BT Dining Guide are written by Geoffrey Anderson and Dianne Rubin of Miami Food Pug (MFP), Andrew McLees (AM), Mandy Baca (MB), and the late Pamela Robin Brandt (PRB) ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, but restaurants frequently change menus, chefs, and operating hours, so please call ahead to confirm information. Icons ($$$) represent estimates for a typical meal without wine, tax, or tip. Hyphenated icons ($-$$$) indicate a significant range in prices between lunch and dinner.

$ = $10 and under
$$ = $20
$$$ = $30
$$$$ = $40
$$$$$ = $50 and over


Beach Bar
16501 Collins Ave.
For a beach resort town, Miami has surprisingly little waterfront dining, ocean or bay. But it doesn’t get anymore waterfront than this indoor/outdoor restobar; in fact, part of it is actually several feet over the Atlantic, on Newport Pier. Fare includes the oysters and other raw bar selections beach-minded diners crave, but gets more ambitious with two veteran chefs and a two-pronged menu: Mike Jin’s sushi/sashimi/Asian small plates, and modernized retro-American dishes (ranging from cracked conch po’boys to surf and turf (featuring a Ritz cracker crumb-stuffed lobster tail) from Joseph Whitmore. Big cocktail fun, too. $$$-$$$$ (PRB)

Biella Ristorante
17082 Collins Ave.
Romantic dates and family outings are just a few of the situations where a visit to Biella Ristorante is a good idea. This Sunny Isles Beach restaurant welcomes patrons with a vast menu of high-quality Italian favorites. Harissa tuna tartare and beef carpaccio are notable starters that prepare the palate for an onslaught of fun flavors. Entrées like Biella’s pear ravioli and black truffle risotto are full of said flavors, and a dessert menu featuring tiramisu, gelato, and more ensures a memorable evening. $$-$$$ (MFP)

Chayhana Oasis
250 Sunny Isles Blvd.
Sampling traditional Uzbeki cuisine brings to mind a confluence of several Eastern styles, including the best flavors from Turkish, Russian, and Chinese cooking, cherry-picked and mixed to surprising effect. Chayhana Oasis, a bold mid-size restaurant that manages to look opulent without seeming gaudy, showcases Uzbekistan’s diverse cultural heritage in its food, which has a comforting, understated simplicity to it. Vegetarians might have trouble navigating the menu, which skews heavily in favor of carnivorous appetites. If you’re game for a meaty dish, try the deliciously authentic pilaf, the Eastern salad made with cucumbers and fried beef, the lamb filled Manty dumplings, and any one of the many kebabs. Service is also friendly and above average. $$-$$$ (AM)

Il Mulino New York
17875 Collins Ave.
If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -- fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -- that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinner…for the next week. $$$$-$$$$$ (PRB)

Kitchen 305
16701 Collins Ave.
Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -- which is what it was. In fact, it’s still as much lounge as eatery, so it’s best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$ (PRB)

Kyoto Nikkei Cuisine
18146 Collins Ave.
Fusion cuisine can be hit or miss, but the combination of Peruvian and Japanese flavors is usually a good time. Kyoto Nikkei Cuisine takes these two cultures and puts the best parts of each on your plate. Sushi rolls are a given here -- as is ceviche -- and both deserve room at your table. What caught us off guard, though, were the wallet-friendly specials. The strip mall location is deceptive: Kyoto is worth a look. $-$$$ (MFP)

Mozart Café
18110 Collins Ave.
This eatery (which serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner) is a kosher dairy restaurant, but not the familiar Old World type that used to proliferate all over New York’s Lower Eastside Jewish community. Décor isn’t deli but modern-artsy, and the food is not blintzes, noodle kugel, etc., but a wide range of non-meat items from pizzas to sushi. Our favorite dishes, though, are Middle Eastern-influenced, specifically Yemenite malawach (paratha-type flatbread sandwiches, savory or sweet), and shaksuka (nicknamed “eggs in purgatory”; the spicy eggplant version will explain all). $$-$$$ (PRB)

Saffron Indian Cuisine
18090 Collins Ave. #T-22
Saffron Indian Cuisine makes us happy. Miami is lacking in Indian food, and this Sunny Isles Beach addition helps fill that void. The restaurant replaces another Indian eatery -- Copper Chimney -- and fans of that place will find plenty to love here. Garlic naan and veggie samosas are musts as snacks, but don’t overdo it. The lamb tikka masala and kebabs deserve a spot on your order as well. $-$$ (MFP)

Sushi Zen & Izakaya
18090 Collins Ave.
In an area with no lack of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine, it’s hard for yet another Asian restaurant to stand out. But Sushi Zen & Izakaya succeeds by offering variety -- and lots of it. Name any traditional dish, and they probably have it here: ramen, fish balls, udon, pad thai, tuna poke … the list goes on (and on). Don’t miss their Japanese lunch specials. At $12-$14 for a sizable Bento Box, you’ll leave with your stomach and wallet full. $$ (MFP)

Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill

17630 Collins Ave.
Sushi may well have been served in Sunny Isles before this longtime neighborhood favorite opened, but Sumo was the neighborhood’s first sushi bar to double as a popular lounge/hangout as well as restaurant. Ladies’ nights are legend. While Thai and Chinese dishes are available, as well as purist nigiri, few can resist the truly sumo-wrestler-size maki rolls, the more over-the-top, the better. Our bet for biggest crowd pleaser: the spicy Pink Lady (shrimp tempura, avocado, masago, cilantro, and spicy mayo, topped with rich scallop-studded “dynamite” sauce. $$-$$$ (PRB)·

17624 Collins Ave.
Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allen’s and Mark’s South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Don’t bother reading them. Andriola’s dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frisée, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese "white" pizza. $$$-$$$$ (PRB)


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