The Biscayne Diner is a meat-and-potatoes kind of place with black and white floors, padded banquettes and a counter with stools. It may be homey, but the food is hearty with gourmet touches like red pepper mayo on the 9-ounce burgers and bourbon-spiked maple syrup on the fried chicken and waffle.
Chef-owner Jonathan D. Leoni grew up on Miami Beach and went to college in Tallahassee, where he majored in multinational business and Italian. Then he went abroad to Florence, where his father is from, to attend culinary school.
Leoni thought he’d open an Italian restaurant, but ended up going into property management. He fulfilled a lifetime dream when he opened the diner June offering wings, sandwiches, meatloaf, pastas, platters and daily specials that run the gamut from roasted quail to braised brisket with mashed potatoes.
Start the day with French toast or an omelet. Daily homemade soups include carrot ginger, split pea with ham hock, clam chowder, lentil and chicken noodle.
Sandwiches range from steak and cheese with onions on a hoagie to smoked turkey and brie with pesto sauce on ciabatta. The no-carb burger (Angus beef or turkey) is bun-less and topped with sautéed mushrooms and spinach with crumbled feta. Add bacon, jalapeño or a fried egg.
Dinners are large, and regulars come for spaghetti with meatballs, chicken marsala over pasta and fettucine alfredo. The all-day Sunday brunch includes pulled pork tacos, huevos rancheros, Belgian waffles, crab cake benedict with fries and corned beef hash.
End a lunch, brunch or dinner here with Key lime pie or chocolate layer cake.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.