For my first dinner in Miami on this trip, I asked Chantal about going to Sra Martinez in the Design district; ironically she had already planned to take me there because she knows the parents of the chef!

Sra Martinez is in an historical building that was once a post office, and has been immensely popular since it’s opening, with waits for tables that exceed an hour on week-ends. Even during the week, it is best to reserve a table, especially if you want to eat at a popular nightlife grazing time like 9pm.

The menu is a range of hot and cold appetizers or tapas which you can mix or match. We chose 5 and asked our server to recommend the order of arrival, which he orchestrated very well. Prices range from about $11-$25, with medium sized portions for tapas; as appetizers, each plate was enough to share for two, but you get just a bite for three people, if you are hungry figure on 2-3 plates per person for a full meal. It can get pricey depending on your choices, our dinner came in over $100 for two of us (not counting wine).

We began with the cold shrimp tiradito in a light white sauce with kernels of popcorn; yes, I found it looked strange too, but upon tasting the combo, I can say I was very happy with the inventive combo, and we ate every bite. Next came the lemon coriander fried baby artichokes with a creamy aioli which we could not stop eating throughout the meal, the lemony flavor and crisp texture stood up even after they had cooled to room temperature. The beet salad was a medley of colors and a light contrast between the plates of hot dishes we had coming of roasted pork belly and lamb lollipops. The pork belly was very rich, but so good we even ate the fat. The lamb was one of my favorites, with a perfectly tender center and crusty glaze that was savory without being sweet or spicy. The lamb was served with a nice light cucumber and yogurt dip that was refreshing and a nice accent to the char.

You would think after all this we would have no room for dessert, but after we finished our wine, but we found we could squeeze in the torrejas, a sweet, warm and rich offering of bananas, figs and bread that would make any dessert lover happy. Perfect espressos finished off our meal as we drifted off in a haze of great food to window shop in the design district and walk off some of our meal before heading home to bed with visions of beautiful furniture and food dancing in our heads.