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Otentic: French and Great Value; Delicias del Mundo a Work in Progress

Lee Klein braves the "fast food stretch of Washington Avenue" to review the 18-seat Otentic, a "clean, bright, contemporary bistro" where things are "slow: the cooking of food, the movement of workers, seemingly time itself." Workers in the "cheery room" "pour wine, flip crepes, and prepare cafe au lait." Although French, "the wine list, besides being concise, is disappointingly uninspiring." Klein favored the tart of the day, but said the "salmon tartare was just plain weird." Quiche was "the best of the official starters," but Klein also recommneded the cheese plate and cold cut platter. Specialty of the house are crepes, "another absolute beginner." For main courses, the tilapia fillet "came gorgeously roasted," and "farmer steak was good too." The chief complaint was "that there wasn't enough to this slender slab of meat." Ratatouille was "a terrific take on the traditional." Sweet crepes are "lucscious." Bottom line? "Otentic should be more crowded because of its genuine value . . . Otentic represents great value." [Miami New Times]

Victoria Pesce Elliott heads to Pinecrest to check out the "months-old" Delicias Del Mundo, "where an international tapas menu is combined with global entrees in a something-for-everyone approach." Despite the "rustic charm" and flamenco dnacing on weekends, VPE would prefer "softer lighting" which "would make for a cozier, more authentic atmosphere." As for the cuisine, the best dish sampled was "slivers from a fat jamon Iberica." A "traditional tortilla espanola is tall, dense and full of just-right buttery potatoes" that were "clearly the work of someone practiced in the art of the famous Spanish omelet." That was about it, though. "Other than that, though, the deli case is uninspiring." Tostones rellenos "hold a nice array of hand-shredded chicken breast flavored by a zingy sofrito," and "another good choice is the tender pork nuggets souvlakia." Fish in the ceviche "was bland." There were more disappointments: "Soupy, neon-yellow paella with overcooked seafood," "greasy croquetas de bacalao," and "stiff beef sliders," among other things. Staff is "pleasant" but not well versed in the menu. Bottom line: "Delicias del Mundo is a work in progress, but if you''re in the neighborhood, there are some tasty offerings to be had here." Two stars. [Miami Herald]