2.5 stars for South Street's soul food in Miami's Design District

You’ve got to love a place that adorns its bathroom doors with pictures of Foxy Brown and Jimi Hendrix. (Are you feeling sexy or electric?) As further proof of the feel-good vibe at South Street, the “neo-soul” restaurant in the historic post office that once housed Sra. Martinez, consider this: A waiter can forget to deliver your mac and cheese, charge you for it, and still leave you liking him.

The clever creation of restaurateur Amir Ben-Zion (Miss Yip, Gigi, Bond Street) and concierge-to-the-stars Amaris Jones (luxury-home manager for music producers Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Timbaland, among others), South Street is named for the famous thoroughfare in Jones’ hometown. Its recipes draw from the food she grew up eating and cooking, but with a health-conscious twist.

Ambience: You’re so busy digging the waitresses’ frilly aprons and a soundtrack that reflects the old album covers on the wall — Teddy Pendergrass, Prince, Michael Jackson, Coleman Hawkins, Sly and the Family Stone — that you forgive the sweet potato muffins that aren’t half as moist as your mother used to make. That’s not to say there aren’t some stellar dishes at the groovy, 65-seat eatery.

What Worked

  • Shrimp and grits with low-country gravy
  • Light & slightly salty fried chicken with a crumbly crust and moist meat
  • Tangy & sweet blackened snapper topped with okra-tomato stew and served over jasmine rice
  • Smothered turkey chop
  • Catfish fingers
  • Grilled green tomatoes
  • Deviled eggs
  • Collards with smoked turkey, candied yams and black-eyed peas
  • Kale salad that mingles sautéed carrot medallions and caramelized onions with greens softened by a superb, grainy mustard dressing
  • Clafouti-like apple cobbler

What Didn’t Work

  • Mac and cheese lacking flavor and depth
  • “Just meh” desserts