Angry Shrimp at Smith & Wollensky

Caffe Abbracci’s Tortellini Tatiana
For more than 23 years, diners have flocked to Caffe Abbracci for its northern Italian specialties. Make sure to try the pasta, especially the Tatiana, named after one of owner Nino Pernetti’s daughters. It consists of homemade tortellini richly filled with Asiago cheese and pears in a pink Champagne sauce. 318 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-441-0700

Escopazzo’s Asparagus Flan
The only dish that has never changed in this restaurant’s 20 years is the asparagus flan—and for good reason. Where else can you get a fine, savory flan made with a blended asparagus mixture and completed with a Fontina Val d’Aosta and aged Provola cheese sauce, plus crunchy seasonal mushrooms and drizzles of white truffle oil? Delicious. 1311 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-9450;

The Forge’s Chopped Salad
This Miami Beach staple was one of the first local eateries to serve chopped salad—more than 40 years ago. The formula worked, so when The Forge was revamped in 2010, the basics remained: crisp, hewn pieces of greens, bell peppers, cabbage, onions, and caper berries, topped with Gorgonzola and garnished with a wraparound cucumber slice for an aesthetically pleasing finish (though customers can also add beef tataki or tuna tartare to the mix). 432 41st St., Miami Beach, 305-538-8533

Joe’s Stone Crab’s Key Lime Pie
A Chicago food critic once mistakenly wrote that the best Key lime pie was Joe’s—even though the restaurant didn’t serve the dish. That was the impetus for developing the original Joe’s recipe, which has been refined and now is a luscious classic—perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, with a creamy texture and a crumbly graham cracker crust. 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-0365;

Macaluso’s Meatballs
Tender, juicy globes of beefy delight are king at Macaluso’s, where chef/ owner Michael D’Andrea has been lovingly hand-rolling them for 14 years. The secret recipe has been robustly time-tested, combining elements from both his mother’s and grandmother’s versions to achieve a lip-smacking result— served with homemade marinara sauce, a spoonful of ricotta, or side of artisanal pasta (though diners can also get the meatballs sliced and sautéed, or even atop a bed of romaine as a salad). 1747 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 305-604-1811

Prime One Twelve’s Lobster Mac ’n’ Cheese
The steaks at Prime are delicious, but don’t pass on the decadent lobster mac ’n’ cheese. Perhaps it hasn’t been around as long as other dishes on this page, but epicures still swear by it nonetheless. Baked with fresh Maine lobster, breadcrumbs, and a high-end five-cheese combo, you’ll yearn for more even after you’ve licked the plate clean. 112 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-532-8112;

Shorty’s Bar-B-Q Ribs
Rib lovers rejoice at Shorty’s, a Miami institution since 1951. What makes its barbecue so good is the simple, traditional, hickory-wood slow-smoked process that gets the meat done just right (with a flavorful tomato-and-vinegar-based sauce). Add to that some fries, house-made coleslaw, and a hefty piece of garlic bread for a proper barbecue feast. 9200 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami, 305-670-7732; other locations across South Florida

Smith & Wollensky’s Angry Shrimp
Locals gravitate to S&W’s Angry Shrimp, created to reflect the “bold and spicy” nature of Miamians. This brazenly piquant dish features thick, Cajun-seasoned shrimp with a lobster-basil beurre blanc, served over whipped potatoes with a fried basil garnish. It’s available as an appetizer or main course, and occasionally a lobster variant appears as a special. 1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-2800;

Like what you're reading? Get it delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now for our newsletters >>