Miami Living Magazine

Harry Connick Jr

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European Eats A sampling of the international fare South Florida is serving up Words by Deb Sittko Do you love international cuisine and world-class cooking? Are you looking for that hidden foreign-food- serving gem? Whether you're a foodie searching for new tastes or an expat yearning for the true tastes of home, Miami has it all and we found the area's best when it comes to Greek, French, Spanish…food. OTENTIC FRESH FOOD RESTAURANT 538 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach 305-531-1464 If you crave French cuisine, head to the charming and chic Otentic in South Beach. This casual and cozy bistro exposes you to all things French. Only in its third year, Otentic already has an enthusiastic and loyal following thanks to their passion for freshness and authenticity. Having grown up in the restaurant business, owner Greg Brown happily returned to it after a career in business. Here, Greg has created a special oasis --with indoor and outdoor seating-- for Francophiles. Sip the complimentary taster of Sauvignon Blanc as you decide between the succulent escargots; the duo of duck terrine; and foie gras, or the red tuna tartar for a starter. Better yet, try them all --all are delicious and authentic. For an entrée, we recommend the enticing, perfectly dressed lamb chops; the Specials of Steak Maurice; and duck confit. And do not miss out on the potatoes --Otentic's Burgundian chef creates the most remarkable, buttery mashed potatoes and irresistible Gratin Dauphinois potatoes that you'll ever taste. The Café Gourmand dessert miniatures will instantly transport you to Paris or Provence. OLD LISBON RESTAURANTS 1698 SW. 22nd Street, Miami 305-854-0039 If you're missing Portuguese codfish or seafood, the Old Lisbon restaurants should be your port of call. Now in their 25th year, they have recently expanded to a third location. Such growth is a clear indicator of quality. And when you hear Portuguese being spoken by everyone in the (free) parking lot, you know you've arrived at the real deal. Inside, the classic white linens and the natural light from the many windows create an elegant, spacious feel. The professional, attentive staff put you at ease and will guide you through the large menu. What do we recommend for starters? The croquettes, which are crisp on the outside and light and flaky on the inside, with the zesty black-eyed pea salad are a great appetizer. The codfish is our No. 1 choice for an entrée. Grilled, fried, steamed, shredded or stewed, the fish known as bacalhao, is a must. Our huge entrées –which can feed at least two adults-- came with roasted potatoes, red peppers, and sweet white onions. Expertly prepared in delectable sauces, every bite was heavenly. Other favorites: the seafood stews, grilled sardines, paellas, and Portuguese sausages. Their large wine list features Portuguese greens, whites, and reds. We recommend the green Vinho Verde. And don't even think about passing on dessert. Try the rich, creamy Delizia de Fatima or succulent "drunken" pears in port wine. A glass of port will round out your meal perfectly.

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