Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Hour at the Pelican

Catch South Beach hipsters reveling in the ocean breeze and enjoying bargain-priced cocktails at the Pelican Hotel's new weekday happy hour. Italian apertivos, Martinis, and tropical drinks are 50 percent off. A $7 bites menu sweetens the deal. Monday-Friday, 4PM-8PM. The Pelican Hotel, 826 Ocean Dr., South Beach, 305.673.3373.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Brunch at the Setai

Nasi goreng for breakfast? You betcha. Banal brunch fare gets an upgrade from the Orient with The Restaurant at The Setai's brunch service. James Beard-endorsed Executive Chef Jonathan Wright oversees a feast including Chinese, Thai and Indian chef stations producing pad Thai, Hainanese chicken rice, curries, naan breads, dim sum and dishes from the Tandoor oven. Lox-loving epicureans need not fret: Classics like roast beef, pancakes, omelets and pastries are also be available. As a bonus, the fixed price includes a glass of Veuve Clicquot or a Bloody Mary. Sundays 11:30AM-3PM; $48.
2001 Collins Ave.
South Beach

Friday, June 27, 2008

Restaurants with blogs

It's nice when restaurants do this (and actually update semi-regularly).
Here's Maino Churrascaria and Shing Wang.

Gen Art's SHOP Miami @ The Moore Building

Gen Art's SHOP Miami event was three floors of fashion madness last night. Lots of style mavens in the house trying on little dresses over their jeans and fighting for mirror space behind flimsy makeshift curtain dressing rooms. Once again the Moore Building proved to be a great venue for these types of events (even Shecky's crappy sale bonanza worked well in the space) with the elastic Zaha Hadid installation providing a welcome wackiness. The biggest traffic jam was in the front of the Toff Miami booth where one friend snagged 2 Ana Sui dresses for $140. Now that's a sample sale. The open bars kept the trend crusaders lubricated with Baileys, Peroni and 10 Can rum (although the only mixers were Vitamin Energy drinks, no rum and diet for you, skinny jeans lovers!). Local Miami designers were out in force including Krelwear, Ecoist, Nazly Villamizar and the subject of my latest fashion profile in 944, Tricia Fix, looking happy to be selling.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Indies Night @ Circa 28

After Hours with Daniel

Totally addicted to After Hours with Daniel Boulud. All the episodes are here, including his five shows in Miami. In this epi he gets Michael Schwartz to de-feather fresh game (and Schwartz admits it's his first time). Love how DB is so unapologetically old school.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Get Your 'Cue on at Johhny V's

Thursday June 26: Barbequlooza – a celebration of American BBQ served family-style at Johnny V Las Olas. Priced at $35 per person (plus tax and gratuity). The festivities begin at 7 p.m. with summery cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a decadent spread sure to please. Seats are limited to 40 attendees and must be reserved in advance. Menu items include Chipotle Barbequed Baby Back Ribs and Southern Style Fried Chicken with “White Trash” Gravy.
625 East Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
(954) 761-7920

Thursday Night: Shop-tastic

Thursday night is consumption junction with THREE shopping events sure to attract all the usual hoi polloi. First up, the mammoth SHOP Miami at the Moore Building. Open bar, beauty treatments and lots of local designer goodness. Tix are $20. has a nifty guide to the sample sale madness.
Over on Lincoln Road, the GUESS store is opening (in the old Cafeteria space) with Ingrid Casares hosting and DJ Tracy Young making sure you groove while snapping up skinny Italian jeans.
A few blocks away 944 mag is hosting a soiree a the Miss Sixty store with a live performance by Lady Gaga. Print out this invite for an additional 10%.

Free Drinks!

My Open Bar, the NYC-based free drink event website has just started a Miami edition. Thanky, thanky liquor-sponsor gods!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This past week in New York it was all about the rooftop venues for drinks. The weather was fanstastic so I happily obliged and there were plenty of new skyscraper-grazing outposts to sample. There's the Peninsula Hotel's new Salon de Ning, the Empire Hotel's got a Jefferey Chodorow-run pool deck and there are a plethora more. I even managed to haul ass to Park Slope for a laid-back bbq in honor of a college friend's recent wedding. So on Sunday afternoon we wandered around the Meat Packing district and found ourselves at the Hotel Gansevoort rooftop, chock full of tourists and local cougars doing the drinks at 1pm thing. The pool is tiny by Miami standards, but that didn't stop the hordes of bikini-clad post-sorrority girls from cavorting like it was Ibiza. The best part? The view of the Soho House's rooftop scene.


Oh sweet joy. Is there any better way to start the day than with an almond croissant? Especially when it is courtesy of Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery at the Time Warner Center. The bakery is the high-end chef's stab at plebeian dining; no $350 tasting menu here. Simple sandies and baked goods. We opted for the takeout counter, no need to sit under the giant Samsung sign in the mall. Apparently their homemade donuts are legendary but I just couldn't handle paying $4.50 for a donut. Instead we grabbed a few demi baguettes, almond and raspberry croissants ($3 each) and walked to Central Park. Loverly.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weekend Goodness

I may be in New York this week but my inbox wouldn't know it. Check out these events this weekend.
Saturday June 21st at Mokai:
Invites You To Celebrate Summer
With Cool Cocktails & Special Host
sounds provided by Tom Laroc
RSVP 305.534.4166 or

Coffee and Chocolate

Been running around the city flitting from meeting to lunch date to meeting to coffee date like a mad hatter. Lots of fun stuff to report. Been drinking coffee like a fiend and found possibly the best cuppa at Roasting Plant Coffee on the Lower East Side (above). The place is set-up like with Willy Wonka-esque coffee shoots where you get to choose your beans - all organic with titles like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, etc. - and they roast those bad boys right there on the spot and spark up the freshest brew ever.
Stopped by Israeli import Max Brenner's chocolate emporium in Union Square where a gaggle of Asian tourists were enamored of the Willy Wonka-ness on display there. Sampled some chocolate-covered pecans, pronounced them bittersweet-tastic and was on the move.

Miami Spice Preview

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zyr Vodka Dinner at Ortanique

There's more to vodka than cocktails, you know. Find out when Ortanique on the Mile hosts a Zyr Vodka maker's dinner today. See how the crystal-clear liquor compliments Hawaiian Kampachi ceviche and roasted stuffed quail. Zyr owner David Katz hosts the spirit-soaked repast. June 19, 7PM, $75. 278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305.446.7710

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chow Down

Philippe opens at the Gansy tonight. Take a wok on the wild side.

New York State of Mind

Sorry about the lack of bloggage friends, I'm in New York for the week, catching up with old friends, new friends and interacting with all sorts of humanity. Was the city always this crowded? Damn there are a lot of people here.
Tried blogging from Bryant Park yesterday which was idyllic and quiet and beautiful except for one thing: no outlets. They definitely need to get on that. I've been eating my way through the city of course, with a fantastic Greek feast at Avra (thanks again Greta and Allison!), pickles on the Lower East Side, a stop at my fave falafel shack Mamoun's, and drinks at my old college haunt, The Heights, where I found myself thinking was this place always so...sticky?
More pics and updates on the way. In the meantime you Miamians should read this First Look of Fratelli Lyon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Y-3 Temp Store

Love the futuristic apparel at Miami's adidas and Yohji Yamamoto Y-3 store but too lazy to hop over to the Design District? Fret not, beach bums, the Japanese-influenced fashions have migrated over the causeway with a temporary store in South Beach. You'll spot everyone from bauble-clad socialites to trendsetting fashion junkies snapping up the space-age gear, featuring highlights from the summer ‘08 collection like the funky gold metallic "Honja" hightops. Through June 23.
1655 Meridian Ave.
South Beach

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sat. Night Gallery Haps

If you have yet to attend one of Miami's "Second Saturdays" gallery walks then here's the perfect opportunity for you. Not only is there stellar art to be seen, commented on and perhaps be perplexed by, complimentary Belvedere Vodka cocktails abound while scoping the scene at PanAmerican ArtsProjects, Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, and Kevin Bruk Gallery. June 14, 7PM-10PM.
PanAmerican ArtsProjects
2450 NW 2nd Ave.

Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts
2043 N. Miami Ave.

Kevin Bruk Gallery
2249 NW 1st Place

Also, Milou Gallery celebrates Second Saturday on June 14, 2008 with the opening of ART FIX @ 36th Street exhibition. The reception is free and open to the public from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. with complimentary wine. The exhibition runs through July 11, 2008 at Milou Gallery 17 NW 36th Street, Miami, FL 33127. For information please call (305) 573-8450 or visit

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fridays at Level 25

Friday night happy hour just got an upgrade. Join Brickell power players as they sip $6 cocktails at Level 25's end-of-the-week fest, Elevated Fridays. Nestled in the posh 25th floor lounge of the Conrad Miami, the icing on this cake are chef Michael Gilligan's complimentary hors d'oeuvres served from 6PM-7PM. Fridays, 5PM-8PM. Conrad Miami, 1395 Brickell Ave., Downtown, 305.503.6529.


If there is one thing I heart more than free drinks it is contests prizes, especially when they are sponsored by the best website in town. Today they are giving away a buttload of good stuff including tickets to Undershorts and VIP entrance to The Fifth Saturday night. So get over there and win some swag.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Havana Thursdays @ The Biltmore

Channel Havana's glamorous heyday tonight and every Thursday through September when the old school-glam Biltmore relaunches their popular LIVE at the Biltmore party. Join Coral Gables PYT's and assorted eye candy as the action kicks off at the Cascade Poolside Bar and Grill, where the half-off Don Julio cocktails will certainly get you grooving. 6PM-10PM.
1200 Anastasia Ave.
Coral Gables

Ain't No Party Like a Summer Party

Remember when we used to sit around during the sultry Miami summers and fondly observe how things were so....slow? How there was just nothing to do except drink at Zeke's and see a movie on Lincoln Road?
Well, memo to nightlife denizens: Miami no longer takes a break in the summer.
Case in point - this week. Tuesday night was the Blackbook party at Kobe Club (that's the stingray-skin bar above). It was pretty swank, what will all the free kobe beef ravioli making the rounds. Wednesday night hosted a happy hour at North 110, the Webster boutique hosted a champagne-soaked sample sale, and Circa 28 hosted a Locos Por Juana CD release party. (People still buy CD's?)
And take tonight: The W South Beach is celebrating thier "topping off" with a chi-chi soiree, Abokado and Ocean Drive are teaming up for a Social happy hour, Monsieur the men's elite day spa is hosting an opening bash in Coral Gables and the Biltmore just relaunched their buzzing Thursday night Havana-themed party.

Goth Party @ Upper East Side Garden

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Thursday night catch Undershorts, a late-night series of provocative political plays that poke fun at our current political circus.
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
1300 Biscayne Blvd.

Segafredo Migrates North

Segafredo is coming to the Bal Harbour Shops. Will the high-end coffee lounge lure flashy Euro-trash away from BH Shops stalwart Carpaccio's?
The Brickell location seems to be doing well and they plan more locations in Miami Beach. (They're not associated with the Segafredo on Lincoln Road, they're owned by this company.) It's good to see a hangout-friendly place opening in North Beach. Now there will be something else to do in the 'hood besides sipping wine on the sidewalk outside Ragazzi's.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Webster Temporary Summer Sale

The Webster Temporary is having a massive sale Wednesday, slashing prices on brands like Miu Miu, Lanvin, and Balenciaga so you best get over there before the fashion barracudas snap it all up. Plus, free champagne! Holla!
Wednesday, June 11 6pm-9pm.
919 Collins Avenue; 305.674.7899

Vampire Weekend Loves Miami

Last night's Vampire Weekend show at the Fillmore was oodles of good fun. Lots of fresh-scrubbed indie kids and plenty of late-20's types loving the Cape Cod-themed rock. They played their entire oeuvre (with the exception of "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance") and 2 new ones which really, really reminded me of Graceland but it was more than ok with me and everyone there. The place was packed and I think the band was genuinely surprised at the outpouring of love from the audience. Stage banter was minimal at first and then quirky and appealing: "We like to do a call and response with "Blake's Got a New Face", but if you're not into it, that's ok. Don't leave the safe zone." They also really dug the Fillmore venue as lead singer Ezra observed, "I love these chandeliers, they remind me of UFO's" and promised that next time they came to town they'd have a tricked-out stage design with a diamond-encrusted Vampire Weekend sign. Fun, cute, fun. We walked out of there smiling.
I found this shaky youtube vid of the concert. You get a sense of the energy of the show, with everyone singing along. I realize the lead singer reminds of the kid from Harold and Maude, a good thing.

Monday, June 09, 2008


I honor of Vampire Weekend at the Fillmore Miami tonight. A little something to get you in the mood.

Kobe Club Gets Spicey

Proffering platters of pampered beef, Miami's Kobe Club has joined Miami Spice, both for the preview this week and for the August-September gorge-fest. You may be wondering how the chic eatery, whose menu includes a $225 Wagyu sampler can possibly participate in the $36 three-course menu promotion. By offering upgrades, of course. From the press release:
The three course meal begins with a choice of: Kobe Beef Tartare-fresh wasabi root, quail egg, crostinis; Iced Hamachi with jalapeno, pineapple and scallion; Caesar Salad-romaine heart, traditional dressing, shaved parmesan, butcher black pepper; American ‘Kobe’ Beef Cheek Ravioli in truffle broth; Tomato & Red Onion Salad with aged balsamico; Slow Roasted Applewood Smoked Bacon & Black Truffles; or Iceberg Wedge with tomato relish, maytag blue cheese.

Entrees choices include: Pan Seared Salmon with lobster dumplings & Tarragon beurre blanc; Roasted Kurobuta ‘Black’ Pork Chop with Japanese chili-pepper apple sauce; Wild Mushroom Pasta with portabellas, porcini and chanterelles; Filet of Snapper Meunier; Mustard-Rubbed Organic Chicken with pan roasted vegetables.

Wagyu Filet (Kobe & Kobe style Beef) upgrades are also available: 4 oz American +$30, 4 oz Australian +$40 and 4 oz Japanese +$80 with a choice of gorgonzola butter, toasted peppercorn sauce; or truffle Hollandaise sauce. All Entrees are accompanied by one side dish that includes: Wasabi and Shiso Whipped Potatoes, Sake White Truffle Creamed Corn; or Creamed Spinach. To satisfy the sweet palate, dessert is the chef’s Kobe Club Sampler.
Frankly, it's still quite a bargain. And dining at Kobe Club is a unique death-defying experience, what with all those Samurai swords hanging from the ceiling. Take advantage of the menu madness, people, who knows how much longer those fatty cows will be around!

Miami Boutiques: Boobies, Frocks and Horses

If you love your décolletage, head over to the new Intimacy store at the Aventura Mall to give yourself the royal treatment. Helmed by Oprah's bra goddess, Susan Nethero, this boutique has every style, color and special size that a lady can dream of. The in-house bra fit "specialists" provide individual consultations to fit you perfectly with select European lingerie from brands like La Perla, Aubade and Chantelle. 19501 Biscayne Blvd. 786.629.9229.

The science of dressing well gets a boost from Alchemist boutique on Lincoln Road. The brainchild of powerhouse fashion couple Erika Sussman and Roma Cohen–she's a former magazine style editor, his parents own Oxygene at Bal Harbour Shops–draws serious clothes hounds to their gold-brick store. Relish selections like a cashmere shift dress from Alexander Wang, and frocks from Burberry Porsum to name a few of the chi-chi brands in stock. 438 Lincoln Road, South Beach; 305.531.4653.

Paul Jacober
is bringing horses back. Boutiques quickly sold out of the graphic designer's superthin cotton tees featuring idyllic silhouettes of rodeo scenes for a look that is as much as equestrian-chic as tongue-in-cheek. Creative fashionistas are now hoofing it over to Base to pick up his latest collection Nevermind the Roses, a playful take on Union Jacks and antler fever. Base, 939 Lincoln Rd, South Beach; 305. 531-4982.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Andu Restaurant and Lounge, Brickell

It's not often you find a salad as vibrant and refreshing as the asparagus and beet salad at Andu. Buttressed by baby spinach and gorgonzola, the dish is simple and clean, allowing the subtle flavors of the roasted beets and asparagus to shine through. It's dishes like that unfussy salad that give me reason to like Andu, even if other folks don't agree. I visited the Brickell spot when it first opened for a First Look and recently went back for a casual Saturday night dinner. It is Mediteranean fare, presently honestly and with good feeling.
Recommended dishes:
- Artichoke puree dip topped with feta; tangy and refreshing.
- Yukon potato gnocchi. The cream sauce is lick-the-bowl delicious.
- Grilled yellowtail snapper. A little pricey at $27 but beautifully presented with crispy skin seasoned with lemon and sea salt. Perfect. It comes with a side of fennel slaw that nicely balances the meaty fish.
- Side of sauteed musrooms - a bowl of portabello, oyster and shiitake, flash fried for a crispy finish.
- Side of fries seasoned with cajun spices and Parmesan cheese. The bowl is big enough for four and you'll be fighting over the last one.

It all goes well with a $32 of Martin Codax Alabrino or a $40 bottle of Rosenbloom viognier, both of which are the best bets on Andu's short wine list. According to the owners, they plan to introduce a new summer menu soon, including a chipotle shrimp dish with spicy avocado and hearts of palm salad. They brought out a tasting portion for us to try and it was quite good.
Andu is definitely a downtown gem and not as expensive as other newcomer to the area Badrutt's and Abokado. Make your way over to the NeoVertika building and park yourself at the marble bar. It's a sweet spot.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Fratelli Lyon, Design District

If you like food you should eat at Fratelli Lyon. The food is good. And it's not expensive. The space is cool. Housed in the Driade showroom the restaurant is bright and airy with lots of stainless steel, orange plastic placemats and barstool seating. The stylish modern dining room provides the backdrop for imaginative Italian cuisine tempered with old-world touches. It is ingredient-fetishizing fare with a hefty list of antipasti, meats and cheeses.

The food is artistic but seldom precious, the key to its success. Standouts from the antipasti list included the eggplant capponata (top) made with raisins and pine nuts, the marinated wild mushrooms and the chicken liver crostini. A fennel and shaved Parmesan salad (above) was big enough for two and a nice starter. Chef Ken Lyon gets his mozzarella and ricotta from Vito the cheesemaker from Pompano (some of you may know the cheesy goodness from Vito's table at the Upper East Side farmer's market. The man knows his way around a curd.) That ricotta provided a creamy compliment to a dish of torta di melanzane, a dish of layered eggplant, pecorino, tomato sauce and basil. Portions are generous and the fare is hearty so plan on sharing an order of the fresh pea risotto, not too heavy, but filling nonetheless. Another impressive dish is the filet of sole lightly breaded topped with pickled onion, pine nuts and raisins. It's served at room temperature which suits the dish well, allowing its marinade of cured lemons (the chefs cures them himself) mixed with garlic, vinegar, oregano and bay leaf to douse the fish with a North African tanginess that elevates the dish to something sublime.

For dessert, you can't go wrong with the affogato, a shot of espresso poured over homemade vanilla ice cream. Oh! affogato tell you the best part: the coffee at the bottom of the dish is a perfect post-dinner elixir.

City Beautiful = City Discountful

Coral Gables restaurant week has been extended an extra week. It now ends June 15. Get thee to an eatery!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

V-Necks and Vampires

Well looky here, I interviewed Vampire Weekend. It was a fun 29-minute conversation.
Looking forward to the show Monday night. Should be a good one.

Small Plays, Big Fun

Pressed for time? Not to worry, the city's 13th Annual Summer Shorts Festival kicked off this Saturday with a series of mini-plays concise enough to entertain even the shortest attention span. We caught a performance of Series A and it was chock full of good fun. The eight plays were indeed short (about 10 minutes each) and the topics ranged from seriously thought-provoking - the war in Afganistan, pedophiles, the Holocaust - to the seriously funny: schizophrenic sock puppets and talking mimes. The actors are an impressive lot, taking on multiple roles within each series and giving each performance the necessary nuance and exuberance that a grueling performance schedule like this requires. Watching the plays is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, enhanced by the intimacy of the Arsht Center's studio theater, but it's ultimately 90 minutes of damn good entertainment.
Through June 22. Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Downtown, 305.949.6722.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hot n' Trashy

Ever since learning to make sushi at Doraku I've found homemade sushi-making parties to be the best Sunday night activity. Last week we were craving sushi hard and had no desire to leave the house or brave the supermarket. Luckily we had the basics on hand: sushi rice, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, pickled ginger and a 6-pack of TsingTao beer (yes, beer is a vital component of sushi-making parties).
For fillings we had: a perfectly ripe avocado, red peppers, cucumbers. In the absence of fresh fish we raided the freezer and found a pack of imitation crab and, *gasp*, frozen fish sticks. You heard me, frozen fish sticks. This girl's not ashamed to say I like to channel my 3rd grade years every once in a while with a nice processed piece of breaded goodness. Thus was born the Hot n' Trashy roll, a deliciously low-brow maki filled with strips of fried fish sticks (preferably Gorton's but Mrs. Paul's will do in a pinch) spicy mayo mix and strips of dill pickles. The mingling of the crispy fish, vinegar-inflected pickles and creamy chili sauce is the confluence of so many strong trailer-trash flavors you're almost tempted to slap on a pair of jean cut-offs, tease your hair and declare Bud Light the nectar of the gods. Like a good blogger I'll dutifully proffer the recipe for you here, should you decide to lay an unrefined Yankee hand to what would otherwise be respectable Japanese food.
Hot n' Trashy Maki Roll
sushi rice and nori
2 Gortons's fish sticks (preferably the Classic Golden Crunchy Fillets)
2 spears Claussen Kosher Dill pickles, sliced thin. If you're feeling particularly ballsy, Batampte pickles also work well.
red pepper sliced thin
2 Tbl. mayonaise
1 tsp. chirashi chili sauce
Prepare the sushi rice this way. We don't use a rice cooker and it always comes out fine. But using a wooden bowl is key. Mix together the mayo and chili sauce and arrange one strip of each ingredient on rice and nori. Roll and slice.
Marry your first cousin. (optional)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Get Your Steak On at Raphael's

During the month of June Raphael's restaurant on Lincoln Road will be offering a special "Meat Market" menu. Guests that order from the Meat Market menu will receive a garden salad sprinkled with organic corn oil vinaigrette, a choice of house wine and the Aphrodite Crème Brulee with fresh mint and pineapple.
Choose from a selection of prime-cuts including the Filet Mignon ($28.90); the New York Strip Steak ($23.70); Lamb Chops ($28.80); Kosher Bon- In Rib-Eye Steak ($28.90); Steak and Fries ($15.60). All prime cuts are served with a selection of sautéed or roasted vegetables, homemade mashed potatoes, Raphael’s special round fries and roasted Yukon potatoes.
They also have a Happy Hour from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This promotion runs from June 1-June 30.
Raphael’s is at 530 Lincoln Road.

Feeling Crepey

I'm in the mood for crepes. Light, fluffy, spongy, lovely crepes. Kind of like this dish of pear brown butter crepes with pistachio ice cream that I recently devoured at Joley at the Hotel Astor.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Miami Spice Preview

It's all about the prix-fixe menus these days. Coral Gables restaurant week starts this week and runs through June 9. Menupages blog does a nice job of highlighting restaurants worth checking out. And from June 16-30 several beach and mainland restaurants will be participating in a Miami Spice Preview, offering 3-course meals for $35. Some of the menus are online and a quick perusal shows bargains at places Blue Door and Cioppino. In fact, Cioppino is also offering a wine pairing for an additional $20; that's 3-courses plus wine for $55, roughly half of what a meal like that usually costs. Hello summer!