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Sunset Harbor Cafe No Picnic for VPE; 660 at the Angler's Needs A Reeling In

Reviewing the Sunset Harbour cafe Picnic was, well, no picnic for Victoria Pesce Elliott, who, cutting to the chase opens her review with "It isn't every day that I come across a restaurant as bungling as South Beach’s Picnic." Yikes. Lesson to servers who may be waiting on VPE: don't call her "hon" or "love" as if "she had stayed up nights studying reruns of Alice. But this is no Mel's Diner. The menu is more deep South than Big Apple . . . but the place also wants to be a nightclub." Although she passed on bottle service one night, VPE did go on "feed your family night" featuring $7 combos for kids. But "no one told us, so we ended up spending nearly 90 bucks on a dinner for four that required me to go home and cook." There were a few things that "almost worked" including "a decent trio of sliders that was at least hot and not desperately overcooked," but that was pretty much it. Line of the review: "About the only thing that could have made this Picnic worse is red ants." End result? Zero stars. [MH]

This week, Lee Klein gets cozy at 660 at the Angler's a "peaceful space" where "tables are so close together." As for the food: "mostly Mediterranean menu introduced by 16 "small bites and starters." Among them: "damn near a perfect gazpacho," a "refreshing assemblage" of a salad, and "sticky," "meaty" and "lukewarm" Peking duck wings. Main plates included "distinctively tasty" pasta dishes, "gorgeously bronzed" but "altogether too sweet" sea scallops, and "flavorfully marinated" grilled strip steak with a "bland" peanut noodle salad. For dessert, a milk chocolate pudding "was delicious." Service was "friendly but inattentive," but Klein was most disturbed by the presence of the chef in the dining room for "almost the entire duration of one dinner. You would think a fairly inexperienced chef such as he would be in the kitchen, perhaps even cooking" or "improving menu items--only the gazpacho and pasta were above tweaking." That said, the chef "shows glimpses of true talent. He just needs seasoning." Bototm line: Food is not 660's problem but nearly everything else is . . . 660 feels less like a restaurant than simply a room where food and drinks are served to an assemblage of people . . . It's like a ship without a rudder, a teen without parents, a restaurant critic without a word count." [MNT]

660 at The Angler's

660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 534-9600 Visit Website

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