Having recently moved out to the 'burbs, I have been scouring the local scene for non-chain options, and frankly it's been depressing.
However, I have found a gem, which I feel safe recommending now that I've been there twice and had a fantastic meal both times. Funny thing is, it's about 14 years old, but I never see it mentioned on here.
In a strip mall on the corner of Sheridan and Hiatus is La Brochette Bistro. While the brochettes (skewers basically) are a key part of the menu, I have been extremely impressed with the fish - in fact for a wide variety of fresh seafood, it is better than almost anyplace I have found in the Miami-Ft Lauderdale area - and it is all the way inland in Pembroke Pines - go figure. Last night's menu not only featured excellent sounding preparations of standards like Chilean Sea Bass and Snapper, but also featured Skate Wing, Bronzini, and Barramundi - as well as a seafood special Cobia. I had the Bronzini, an excellent portion served tail-on in a lobster sherry sauce with lump Alaskan King crabmeat.
The specials are also amazing - this visit my wife had a generous portion of sliced hanger steak with a duo of sauces. It was cooked expertly. The daily soups are also top notch. On my previous visit I had a roasted squash soup served in the hollowed out squash rind. And last night was a tomato bisque that was wonderfully smoky and included a dollop of pesto and tiny shrimp. Desserts are also not to be missed as most are housemade.
Finally, the presentation of the dishes is beautiful, and the service is friendly and knowledgeable. There was a large party last night who's entrees were scheduled to be served right when our appetizer was also due. Our server notified us of this and said that our app may be slightly delayed, but if we wished we could get our soup and salad first and then get the app - which worked perfectly and showed a real partnershp between the kitchen and the waitstaff.
So often in South Florida we get caught up in the new and trendy, recommending the latest and greatest to our visitors and friends, but there is something to be said for a neighborhood place serving really fine, exciting food and doing it for over a decade. So often when we hear neighborhood, we think simple or average. La Brochette is as good a FOOD place as exists in Miami.
If you do not live near it, I recommend the drive. You'll be happy you did.