Tuesday, Sep. 22, 2009

8. Michael's Genuine Food and Drink, Miami

Printed at the bottom of the menu at Michael's is the dictionary definition of the word genuine: "authentic; real; free from pretense." It's a fitting description of the skilled cooking at this Mediterranean-influenced eatery in the Design District: a mix of homey, seasonal dishes, many of which emerge piping hot from the restaurant's wood-burning oven. A roasted sweet onion is stuffed with fresh ground lamb and apricots. Thin-crust pizza is topped with roasted yellow tomatoes and organic ricotta. The wine list is equally inspired. (Look for vintages from Betts & Scholl, the award-winning wines produced by Miami art collector Dennis Scholl in collaboration with master sommelier Richard Betts.) Don't have a reservation? Show up by 7 p.m. to land a seat at the bar in the back, which has uninterrupted views of the open kitchen.