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Jan 6, 2009 05:33 AM

Pacific Time and Brosia

Are these two places in the Design District recommended? We ate at Pacific Time years ago on Lincoln Road and very much enjoyed it, wasn't sure if the new incarnation was as good. I've seen some conflicting comments here. And how about Brosia? I saw some older posts, but nothing recent. We are coming in March for our annual week in Key Biscayne, starting to do some research. We loved Michaels Genuine and will definitely be going back there.
Also, how about Por Fin?
Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. I've only had brunch at Brosia and found all the food very good, as well as the cocktails. They also packed a mean bloody mary. I'd be willing to try it for dinner one day, though make sure the temps won't make you sweat, as most (all?) of the seating is outdoors. Pacific Time is definitely a good choice. Great food, great service.

    I work and lived until December in the Gables, and only went to Por Fin maybe twice. Their menu has changed and last time I looked showed the sort of focus struggling restaurants tend to display (less specific focus, increase of pastas, etc.).

    1. I like Pacific Time quite a bit, Brosia is OK but not at the same level IMO. Por Fin is good if you happen to be in Coral Gables but not a place I'd go out of my way for. As for the comments above on the Por Fin menu, it has actually always been something of a hodge-podge rather than a strictly Spanish restaurant and I have no sense that they are struggling for business at all. I'm usually there for lunch rather than dinner but it's always busy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Agree that Brosia and PT aren't in the same category (PT is a little more expensive, Brosia more casual), I find Brosia more consistent while PT seems to be hit and miss in my experience, sometimes within the same meal. Haven't been in a couple of months but enjoyed our last lunch there. Went to Brosia the other night and had a good meal (nothing spectacular, but very solid). I don't think you could go wrong with either if you manage your expectations for each.

        1. re: lax2mia

          I had drinks and appetizers at Brosia this weekend and was pleased with the level of service, the quality of food, and the atmosphere. The cocktails were great and the food was straight forward. We enjoyed the (short-rib) empanadas, the mediterranean meze platter (liked everything except for the fig paste), and the kabobs. I look forward to going again with some friends that are visiting this weekend.

          1. re: lax2mia

            Brosia is nice for weekend brunch too, which I don't think any of the other D.D. places are doing.

        2. I would rank the classic miami restaurants like this:
          Tier 1 Michael's, Michy's, Talula, Sra Martinez
          Tier 1.5 Pacific Time, Azul, Ortanique, Sardinia
          Tier 2 Por Fin, Fratelli Lyon, La Cofradia, Cacao, Il Gabbiano
          Other: Buena Vista Bistro (recommend this place for brunch over Brosia as well)
          Brosia is not at the same level, and also I didn't like the food

          12 Replies
          1. re: ankimo

            Thanks for all the info. From the list above, we are planning on eating at Michaels, Azul, Sardinia and Pacific TIme. We've eaten at Talula, Michy's and La Cofradia. I would go back to Michy's but for some reason my husband didn't like it. I was thinking of going to Nemo and Pascal's on Ponce as well this trip. Any new intel on those two places?
            Also, what is Sra Martinez? Never heard of it it new?

            1. re: sibeats

              Nemo is one of my favorites but not everyone likes it as much as I do.
              I haven't been to Pascal's in several months but it's reliably good for upscale (i.e. nonbistro) but not too rarified French.
              Sra. Martinez is a new tapas restaurant in the Design District from Michelle Bernstein (Michy's). Lots of discussion here ->
              If you're going to MGF&D and/or Pacific Time, consider popping in for a bite or 2 first.

              1. re: Frodnesor

                We went to Nemo a couple years ago and liked it. We love tapas, so we'll definitely give Sra Martinez a try...and I'll get to eat Michelle Bernsteins food! I just read the thread you linked to and I am sold (and amused by the whole menu description "argument").
                Anywhere else you highly recommend?

                1. re: sibeats

                  Though I'm usually not big on high-end Italian, I thought Scarpetta was very good (note, I've only paid one visit) ->

                  Red Light is occasionally hit-or-miss, but also very reasonably priced, and can be great when they're on their game ->

                  I haven't heard much great about Nemo of late (though in fairness I've not been myself for a while). They're a long time removed from the days when Michael Schwartz was the chef (even though the menu hasn't been updated much). More recently the former chef from Mark's South Beach, Larry Lavalley, went over there, but a subsequent review in one of the papers said they still hadn't really changed much.

                  Have you been to Ortanique before? I'll think about what I'm forgetting.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    Red Light's food is quite good, but the service can really hurt. It's not a lack of professionalism so much as being understaffed. I wouldn't recommend it to out of towners for that reason. It is out of the way.

                    On the topic of Nemo's, I have not been in a while either. They were between hours last time I went. however, they did have good food, and a fun brunch.

                    The operators responsible for Nemo are also responsible for Prime 112 and Prime Italian, both of which are excellent quality, big portion meals with a bit of scene to the spots.

                    For an nice treat, I've been to Area 31 in Brickell three times since it opened and the food is very good, somewhat minimal in flavor accents, but very good quality ingredients (specializing in seafood) perfectly cooked in a very nice environment. Service is hit or miss, while they iron out the kinks, but they will make up for any issues which may arise.

                    1. re: Icantread

                      You should be prepared for a leisurely meal at Red Light. But at least you've got a pleasant view on to the Little River (and the neighboring Club Madonna strip joint's parking lot). It's no more out of the way than Michy's and particularly if you're looking for a nice meal that'll cost $20 instead of $50 a head, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to out-of-towners. Provided they don't have a stick up their ass about a more casual place in a slightly dodgy neighborhood where they may not get the same level of service as the $50 place.

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        Depends what you are looking for. Brosia has a gorgeous outdoor plaza that works well if the weather cooperates. The menu is straightforward and likable. I would definitely recommend Buena Vista Bistro if you like adorable hole-in-the-walls that really deliver, be prepared to absorb some local color; and it is just a few blocks up from the Design District.. Pacific Time has almost always left me cold. The menu excites, but the kitchen rarely delivers. The argument about red light is never about the food, although the atmosphere lately has been up-and-down. Frod, I'm sure you have a blast explaining to your kids what a strip club is every time you go to RL, but that doesn't mean everyone who prefers not to has "a stick up their +ss". I won't even go in there unless I can sit at the bar. "Leisurely meal" is just a lame euphemism for terrible service.

                        1. re: Miami Danny

                          I think my kids know what a strip club is now and I don't have to explain it every time - it's like the place in France where the naked ladies dance. What confuses them (and probably the customers) is when it changes from a straight strip club to a gay strip club every other month and all the signs change.

                          I didn't say everyone who doesn't like RL has a stick up their ass. I'm just saying I wouldn't recommend it to those who do.

                          To be more precise, "leisurely meal" is a euphemism for well-meaning but sometimes ineffectual, and often slow, service. Which I prefer to the loaded-with-attitude, sometimes ineffectual, and often slow service you tend to get at many South Beach places.

                          I do like the outdoor space at Brosia, especially the tables along the wall that are partially covered.

                    2. re: Frodnesor

                      We have not been to Ortanique...and I realize that it is pretty highly recommended here. I've looked at the menu on their website many times, but it just doesn't appeal to me. Maybe the abundance of "sweet" dishes? I don't know...I'm just going with my gut here that I wouldn't like it, but feel free to convince me otherwise!
                      We are close to NYC, so I would probably skip Scarpetta in your neck of the woods. I'll check out Red Light too, although if it's too far away then we probably wouldn't go. We stay out on Key Biscayne, so even going to South Beach too often can become a drag with all the traffic, etc.
                      Is there a menu for Area 31 anywhere? I went to their website but it didn't seem to link to anything.

                      1. re: sibeats

                        Origin Asian Bistro opened a new location on Key Biscayne in the past 6 months or so. Their South Miami location is one of my favorite restaurants in Miami, so I imagine the Key Biscayne one is pretty good too. The Cambodian Scallop Amok is the bomb.

                        Also, another thing I like about Brosia is they occasionally have a killer band jammin outside. You really cant go wrong in that area between MGFD, Sra Martinez, PT, Brosia, and Fratelli Lyon (though Ive only had meats and cheeses there).

                        1. re: Blind Mind

                          Thanks, Origin looks like a nice close option for us, and I'm sure we'll have a hankering for sushi at some point. How about Andu? Is that worth checking out? Also, a few years ago we went to the River Oyster Bar - is that still a recommended spot?

                          1. re: sibeats

                            ROB is still great and I like Indochine next door too. Not the best sushi at Indochine but I like it and they do a great Tom Kha Gai. For sushi, Id go to Akashi (Coconut Grove), Sakura (Rt 1, Gables), Ra (South Miami), or Matsuri (my favorite, South Miami in strip mall at intersection of Bird and Red Rd.)