By Evan S. Benn
From heirloom tomatoes to hormone-free beef, organic food has found a foothold in Miami. Dine out knowing your salmon is sustainable and your mojito is made with organic agave nectar. Or join a farming co-op and get first dibs on cage-free eggs and fresh microgreens. Some options:
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink has been a foodie destination since it opened in Miami's Design District in March 2007. Chef Michael Schwartz sources his ingredients from local, organic growers and pairs them with pedigreed pork, antibiotic-free chicken and Harris Ranch beef. Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 11 p.m., Friday 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 6 p.m. to midnight, Sunday 5:30 to 10 p.m.
130 NE 40th St., Miami; 305-573-5550; michaelsgenuine.com
Soli Organic Ice Cream scoops out a refreshing treat made with cream from vegan-fed cows and with 100% organic agave nectar instead of sugar. Its bold flavors like lemon basil and raspberry pomegranate acai make vanilla and chocolate seem downright tepid. Try some in a homemade organic waffle cone or in a biodegradable cup and spoon made of sugar cane fiber. Open every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
7209 SW 59th Ave., South Miami; 305-663-9399; soliorganic.com
Sublime in Fort Lauderdale strives -- usually successfully -- to make vegan fare with mass appeal. Portobello "tenderloin," homemade "ricotta" and eggplant "sushi" are all tasty and cholesterol-free, as is everything on the menu. Even the wines and several spirits behind the bar are certified organic. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 10 p.m.
1431 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-539-9000; sublimerestaurant.com
The menu at Seasons 52 changes four times a year, for every new season, but every item is always under 475 calories. (They get away with this by serving desserts in shot glasses. Order several.) Everything is fresh, and because the chefs go easy on butter and oils, individual ingredients shine through. Despite the calorie limit, even meat and seafood dishes are satisfying and filling. Open every day at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. for dinner.
2428 E. Sunrise Blvd., Galleria Mall, Fort Lauderdale; 954-537-1052; seasons52.com
Markets, Clubs and Co-ops
Glaser Organic Farms hosts a farmers market in Coconut Grove most Saturdays. People choose their own organic fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruits out of big cardboard boxes. Pick up some gourmet raw-food spreads, fruit pies and natural juices from an adjacent stand. 3300 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove; glaserorganicfarms.com.
The Organic Produce Buying Club of South Florida lets members buy about 20-40 lbs. of local, organic fruits and vegetables every other week for $43. Learn more at organicbuyingclubsofla.com.
Redland Organics in South Miami-Dade connects a network of farmers, providing fresh veggies, greens and (if you sign up early enough) eggs to members from Broward to the Keys. Memberships start at $360 for a five-month season. More info is at redlandorganics.com/csa.htm.
Web-based grocer Delicious Organics brings the co-op experience to your door. The North Miami Beach company delivers any of its 5,000-plus items throughout South Florida, or you can order online and pick it up. The minimum delivery order is $100, plus a delivery fee, but the company keeps prices below retail. Call 305-655-3344 or visit deliciousorganics.com.
The Slow Food movement is building a base in South Florida. Join at slowfoodmiami.com.