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Miami, From Beach to Town

shopping

Not every über-cool outfit comes from South Beach. Just ask the models who drive 15 minutes inland to Miami Twice (6562 S.W. 40th St.; 305/666-0127) for Kabuki platform sandals, Swedish tie pants, and killer coats like the "Cruella Deville Psychotic Fur" in silver tinsel.

Fly Boutique (650 Lincoln Rd., South Beach; 305/604-8508) takes a similar approach, offering meticulously reconditioned fashion beside new couture at bottom-line prices. Consider the never-worn Missoni dresses that go for $80 here, or the $88 silver-studded Versace jeans.

Get a glimpse of rural Miami (yes, it still exists!) at the Sunday farmers' market on Lincoln Road Mall in South Beach. Homestead-grown tomatoes, starfruit, orchids, and ponytail palms line the canvas-covered tables. Occasionally there's also an antiques market, offering both the standard and the strange (recently spied: an Indian shisham-wood daybed made from old oxcart parts).

How about this for a spiffy gift by mail: a box of stone-crab claws with a side of mustard sauce?South Beach Stone Crabs (927 Lincoln Rd., South Beach; 888/229-2722 or 305/538-5888) sells the claws by the pound ($35 for large, $40 for jumbo). Owner Shelly Abramowitz claims to ship 20 boxes a day just to Aspen. "People come off the slopes and the stone crabs are sitting there in the snow."

next great neighborhood

A thriving enclave of to-the-trade-only furnishings stores in the 1970's, Miami's Design District hit a rough spot in the eighties when crime soared in the surrounding neighborhood and businesses fled. Fast-forward to 1996, when developer Craig Robins, the man who helped launch the South Beach renaissance, began buying property in the area and wooing back furniture and design companies from around the world. Today more than 100 stores, a mix of small specialty shops and impressive anchors like Waterworks, Knoll, and Holly Hunt, fill the cheerful area. To explore, walk along 39th and 40th Streets around N.E. Second Avenue.

new food find

Further proof that North Miami Beach is raising its cool quotient: Pulcinella's (3207 N.E. 163rd St., North Miami Beach; 305/948-6166), a new marketplace-café combo drawing on the talents and experience of New York restaurateur Silvano Marchetto (of Da Silvano and Bar Pitti). In addition to the customary charcuterie, fromagerie, and patisserie, the market has a prepared-food department where you can pick up superlative wood-roasted snapper, osso buco, and zucchini trifolate. The café (under the command of chef Riccardo Michi) does two meals a day; try the steamed-tuna salad with Tuscan beans and red onions, and the Florentine-style grilled T-bone.

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