Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chow Down Grill x Wok Star This Weekend

My favorite Wok Star and my favorite neighborhood dim sum parlor are teaming up this weekend to host a family-style Chinese feast. See details below. More info here.

Pre Christmas Chinese Family Style Lunch
with Chef Josh Marcus, Chow Down Grill

Mandatory RSVP; prepayment on first come, first served basis
Seating is limited to 36
Reservations closes THURSDAY, Dec. 16, TOMORROW!!
Call Chow Down 305-397-8494, mention HOH WOK CLUB, Sun. Dec.19 lunch
Provide number in your group
Prepay $17 per person includes tax and tips
Cash bar: any drinks should be paid separately

Starter to share at table: Chow Down Chop Salad (no meat)
Family Style Plate: Steam dumpling with organic chicken and basil, Angus Steak w/ Mongolian BBQ Sauce, Broccolini, pepper, onion (picture shows different veggies, just so you don't expect this!)
Dessert: family style surprise platter to share

As a courtesy to Josh, please be ON TIME...
12pm - arrive, meet and mingle, drinks at bar.
12:45pm - seating at community tables

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hanuka Haiku This Wednesday

Hanukah Haiku featuring Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Next@19th (137 NE 19th Street, Miami)
Tel: 305.542.7732

Next@19th proudly presents a night of creativity, humor and entertainment with Hanukah Haiku and Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad. On the brightest and last night of Hanakuh, poets, artists and writers will come together to share original haikus about Hanukah and Jewish culture at Next@19th in downtown Miami. Slated for December 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m., this celebration also marks the official launch of the non-profit organization, whose goal is to move Jewish culture forward with an inclusive, cutting-edge program.

Burlesque entertainers Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad bring a combination of parody and burlesque to the night: a refreshing mix of comedy, cabaret and spoken-word with must-have archetypal characters including the gals who learned to smoke at Hebrew School, got drunk at their Bat Mitzvahs and would rather have more schtuppa than the chupah. In keeping with the theme of the party He’Brew, ‘The Chosen Beer,’ will be on tap throughout the night.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Design Miami Photos

Native Shoes Art Basel Pop-Up

Native Shoes is hosting a pop-up shop this weekend at the Friends With You Rainbow City installation in the Design District. The shoes are sort of the happy love child of Crocs and Ked's or Chuck Taylors. I'm sort of in love with them. Also, they gave me a free pair to try out and I broke them in over a day hard core Baseling and was impressed with how they held up. I got a pair of tiny stompers for my toddler and the little dude loves them, refusing to wear anything but the red slip-ons. And for someone with an amphibious lifestyle ( i.e. constantly navigating water sports or rainy climates) they are truly brilliant, whimsical, and fun. If only the world would embrace wackiness more often. The spongy material is akin to walking on a firm marshmallow. The playful holes provide much needed A/C for overworked toes. There are those who refuse to give in, who shun the mere suggestion that the candy-colored sneaks could be respectable footwear. And to those I say - endure the agony of de feet.
Adult shoes: $49
Kids: $38

Friday, December 03, 2010

Fiat and FADER Party Tonight

Come out tonight and listen to music from DJ Nick Catchdubs and DJ Artime. There will be FREE food and drinks.

RSVP here.

Event is tonight from 8-11pm. The address is 70 NW 25th St, Miami FL 33127
DJ Artime and DJ Nick Catchdubs will have sets. Live art by Jesse Nite and 131 Projects. Complimentary food and beverages.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Art Basel Schedule: Thursday Night

The plan for tonight - clone myself.
There's a Bruce Weber party at the Standard. The Camper store on Lincoln Road opens with a cocktail party.  Dror Benshetrit unveils his TRON chair at Capellini. NERD performs at Rainbow City. The MAM has their party on the plaza. There will be cocktails and art from Antwerp at Maison Martin Margiela.Wynwood Walls will be throwing down with Shepard Fairey. Back on the beach NADA kicks things off at the Canyon Ranch. Scope is getting jiggy with Artists Wanted. And everyone gets free tattoos at the Sanrio pop-up in Wynwood.

LCD Sound System @ The Raleigh

Saturday: Primary Flight's Closing Party

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Andres Balazs Goes Barefoot For a Good Cause

Well, sort of.
If by "good cause" we mean a sleek speedboat designed by Marc Newson. Which is doing the world a service in some way, if we consider that there are wealthy people out there who may find themselves on the high seas in a vessel not designed by a cultural superstar.
But forget about the boat, which was gorgeous and arrived with much fanfare and then spent the night docked by the Standard's pool deck. Let's focus on the champagne, which was flowing and made by Dom Perignon. And let's get back to Mr. Balazs (the debonair fellow to right) and his impeccable smile. It takes a special kind of cool to pull off the barefoot-in-a-suit look and the hotelier, oozing relaxed charm and weaving his way through the crowd, certainly seemed at home. Because, in a way, he was. Now that he's given up the Raleigh, his bayfront Standard is his Miami crashpad of choice. And the place is still holding its own against the newbies like Soho House and the W. The key to maintaining its cool cachet? The man himself.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eurocinema @ Plunge at the Gansevoort

Art Basel Schedule: Tuesday Night

What's on the event agenda for tonight?
Art Miami opens tonight for VIP's. Magrit Mondavi is hosting a wine dinner at the Soho House. Then there's the MOCA/Vanity Fair party, of course. Andre Balazs is unveils a shmancy new boat designed by Marc Newson at the Standard pool deck (expected guests: Thomas Krens, Ryan McGinness) . The Townhouse rooftop hosts a cocktail party for Trey Speegle. The official Art Basel opening party hunkers down at the W South Beach. There's a Pulse VIP preview party with the New World Symphony. Emmanuel Perrotin hosts an opening of Daniel Arsham's new show (didn't he shutter his gallery?). The Marquis building downtown is graced by performance artist Pamela Masik. And the MOCA Shakers get busy at Bardot after the museum's opening tonight.
-photo via C-Monster's Flickr

Basel Kickoff: Bubbles and BBQ @ The Soho House

It used to be that Basel kicked off Tuesday with the MOCA/Vanity Fair party and the usual Calvin Klein/Chuck Close/bald-headed cross-dressing twins sightings. But this year things got all Monday night on us with Design Miami's Veuve Clicquot beach barbecue at the Soho House.
I promised myself I wouldn't start Basel week with a hangover but, alas, like all good Basel parties, the booze was easy to procure, the food, not so much. But the champagne was abundant, crisp and refreshing. The party wasn't really on the beach, but rather at the Soho House's tiki bar, a space built for an intimate gathering of 30 that then accommodated oh, about 200 mostly-French speaking arty types.
Typical ensemble: crayola-red pants, leather moccasins (no socks), pastel sweater tied around the shoulders. Also, a few extras from an episode of Schprockets.
The grub: delicious mini hamburgers that were too few and far between, spicy lamb skewers, truffle pizzas, chips and salsa.
Sightings: Marc Jacobs having dinner at Cecconi's.

-photo via WorldRedEye

Monday, November 29, 2010

Le Baron Miami @ The Florida Room

This year the French nightclub lands at the Florida Room. Expect plenty of socialites, collectors and assorted riff-raff acting naughty and doing karaoke until 4am. Also, expect a strict door policy. But something tells me if you're wearing something like this you should be fine.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Art Basel To Do Lists

I'm still putting together my Art Basel must-see and must-drink/play list (hint: lots of champagne and ping pong, and maybe a boat ride with Andre Balazs, god that hotelier is handsome) but it's good to take a gander at the rec's from fellow mavens.
The New Times has an exhaustive list of events and their blog, Cultist, has loads of Basel-y goodness here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Duncan Quinn's Basel Party

For this year’s four-night bacchanalia UK designer Duncan Quinn is taking a page out of the Daniel Craig handbook by transforming his Design District store into a Casino Royale wonderland. Expect a black tie staff serving gin cocktails, a gambling pit and a screening room streaming Michael Caine movies. Also, you can stock up on limited-edition ties and slim-fitting polos.
December 1-4, 11am – 7pm, 4040 NE 2nd Ave,786-972-5021.

MOCA/Vanity Fair Party, November 30

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blue Velvet Makes So Much Sense Now

Plenty of silliness makes its way to our city every year for Art Basel (cue Dita Von Teese straddling a giant lipstick that bucked like a mechanical bull above the Delano pool in 2006), but this temporary installation put together by Isabella Rosselini is a special kind of crazy. It's called Seduce Me and it's a series of five short videos written, directed and starring the Blue Velvet icon in which she explores the seduction rituals of seahorses, dolphins and ducks.
And in honor of artistic exploration why don't we take one minute and fifty-nine seconds to have our minds blown with Isabella's depiction of the mating habits of bedbugs.

December 1-5, 12-6p, $7, at The Wolfsonian 1001 Washington Ave,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Soho Beach House

Ah, the British.

So polite. So understated. So buttoned-up. So at odds with the Miami we know and love.

Or not. It remains to be seen how much our sun-kissed city will take to its latest European import, the London-based Soho House, dubbed Soho Beach House for its prime oceanfront spot. But since its October debut the hip clubhouse has been the place to bask in the glow of the city’s assorted VIP’s, media mavens, coiffed publicists and scruffy artists.

This is the third American outpost of the exclusive club (in addition to the famed New York and LA branches), and it’s a stunner. The house comprises a hotel, spa, two restaurants, a rooftop bar and a smaller tiki bar by the beach. It’s all housed in the deco confines of the former Sovereign Hotel, a historic building one block south of the Fontainebleau behemoth.
There are subtle Bristish touches-all the toiletries in the rooms are Cowshed Spa products offered in generous full-size bottles. They are labeled with phrases like "knackered cow" (a tension-releasing blend of lavender and eucalyptus) and "bullocks bracing body wash" made with petitgrain and grapefruit. I have no idea what petitgrain is but I certainly wanted to slather it all over my body. It's the James Bond of body washes.
There are only 50 rooms to the hotel – tiny by Miami standards and no contest for its neighbor’s thousand-room campus. But the idea here is to curate the crowd, to make sure it’s a small, eclectic group that sunbathes by the pool, sips ciapirnhas on the roofdeck and dines on lobster spaghetti in the courtyard restaurant. The design has a sexy Old Havana look to it – faded upholstery, geometric-patterned rugs, mosaic tiled floors, rustic tables, glamorous chandeliers. There’s lots of leather, mid century pieces, studded stools, brass fixtures.
White, minimalist Miami is out. Quaint, British-Caribbean grandeur is in. The Soho Beach House is a bit like Miami meets Stratford-upon-Avon, except that Soho House founder Nick Jones, not Shakespeare, is the presiding genius. And it is indeed genius, convincing locals to pony up around $1800 for an annual membership to hobnob with the folks they already know, and those they want to know.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

If the Glove Fits...

Wynwood at midnight is a pretty scary place on its own, but the folks at Cafeina are turning things up a notch with their “Nightmare on 23rd St” party. Cocktail servers dressed like the cinematic slasher will pass out gratis shots of Southern Comfort every time the Nightmare on Elm Street theme song “1, 2, Freddy’s Coming for You” is played, party girl Miss Elaine Lancaster will DJ, and the outdoor courtyard will be a spooky haze of fog and bottle service.

8p-3a, October 30.
297 NW 23rd St, 305-438-0047.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Creek 28 Up the Creek?

Sad news to report. Creek 28, the quaint, mostly-outdoors spot at the Indian Creek hotel, has closed. This from a former manager who explained that the restaurant took a break for the summer and was scheduled to reopen October 1. "But as the summer went on it became clear the owners of the hotel had no intention of reopening the restaurant." As for chef Kira Volz, whose farm-to-table food we had grown to love? Apparently she's looking for other opportunities....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Gatsby-ish Halloween

I've always felt the Raleigh would be the perfect setting for a haunted 1920’s mansion party, and so did the hipsters behind this bash. The entire deco gem–including the restaurant, ballroom and penthouse–will transform into a burlesque-strewn flapper-fest with gratis Heineken from 9-10p. Downstairs in the ballroom Toronto-based synth-pop group Parallels will make their Miami debut alongside Panic Bomber while upstairs in the 8th floor penthouse DJs Ess & Emm, Troy Kurtz and Mister Drake will curate the prohibition-era beats. Finally, an excuse to break in that gramophone-shaped flask.

October 30, 9p-2a, $20-$35. Raleigh Hotel, 1775 Collins Ave, 305-534-630
Tickets here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

il Mercato: German Tapas in Hallandale

Don’t be alarmed: I'm sending you to a strip mall in Hallandale. The good news: the chef’s background includes stints at New York’s Eleven Madison Park and Miami’s Table 8. The better news: German and Scandinavian dishes available in half portions like Kn√∂del (potato dumplings), house-smoked salmon, confit chicken wings and artichoke ravioli. Il Mercato opened about two months ago and has one of the most interesting wine lists in the city with rare bottles like a Quattro Mani Tocai from Slovenia for $6 a glass and an Ametzoi Txakolina, a Spanish white for $42 a bottle. Prices are low (starters average $8, mains are less than $20 and all can be had in half-portions for $7-$9), the space is modest, the eating is good. Afterwards you can go to Wal-Mart. Someone out there considers that paradise.

1454 East Hallandale Beach Blvd, 954-457-3700.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tokyo Blue: The Maki Daddy

A Nobu veteran has hightailed it to the north and opened a neon blue raw fish temple on Ft. Lauderdale beach. I was invited to a food press/blogger dinner a little while ago and tasted half the menu in a feast of Asian-inspired dishes. There were plenty of Nobu homages in the mix - the rock shrimp tempura, jalapeno hamachi - and some Thai staples like coconut curry and pad thai. All of it was tasty, though nothing really blew my mind. Yet it's a fine addition to the dining scene up there.
Next time you’re in Broward and craving classics like Miso Black Cod and Bali Lobster make your way to this clubby spot where the bartenders wear black corsets and a giant aquarium greets you at the front. It doesn't get much classier in Lauderdale.

4040 Galt Ocean Mile, 954-566-7500.

Obligatory Vampire Weekend Post

"It was like Urban Outfitters vomited out a catalog into the Fillmore."
-commenter on this New Times Review of Vampire Weekend's show last night.

I missed the show, sadly. No live preppy rock for me. Here's an appropriately fun video from them with an appropriately smug Jake Gyllenhaal hamming it up.
Can't help but fall in love with sweat bands and tennis shorts all over again...

Friday, October 08, 2010

Fin is fin?

I'm not sure what the deal is with Jonathan Eismann's seafood spot Fin. It's sold. It's closed. It's on hold? Whatever the case, it's a shame because I enjoyed my meal there a little while ago. I should have posted these pics sooner, but alas, I am a lazy lass. Herewith some sea-oriented food porn to get you through the weekend.
PS - the banana shrimp curry was insanely good. RIP Fin.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Hot Cheeca...Lodge

We recently took a jaunt down to the Keys and parked ourselves on the salty grandeur that is Cheeca Lodge. We felt the sand under our toes…and took a baths outside. Facing the ocean. At sunset.
The boutique sleepery reopened last year after a year-long renovation with oceanfront villas that have outdoor tubs facing the sea and a restaurant run by South Florida celeb-chef Dean Max. The 27-acre resort sits on a sliver of land halfway between Miami and Key West and has been the go-to getaway for political royalty since it opened in the 60’s (President Bush senior stayed there on a fishing trip or two).

There’s an old-school charm to the place, with rooms outfitted like Caribbean estates – large mahogany beds, plush ottomans and polished teak chairs on the balcony where you can spy seagulls flying low over the beach. The resort’s classic 525’ wooden fishing pier is still intact, with fishing rods available for hotel guests, and there’s a saltwater snorkeling lagoon nearby, should you want to get up close and personal with the area’s oceanic bounty.

All that is exciting enough but we directed our attention to one of the 62 newly constructed suites with oversized tubs on outdoor patios with views of the Atlantic at sunset. For an extra dose of drama you fill that tub via an overhead cascading water spout, sort of like your own private waterfall.

I so needed my own waterfall.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Brunch @ One Bal Harbour

Ever since Mark Militello left the kitchen at One Bal Harbour no one talks about the restaurant any more. And while I haven't been back there for dinner since the change I have stopped by for brunch. And there's lots to love at the midday feast. The spread is sized just right. There’s a modest buffest set atop a marble high top table in the oceanfront dining room. You'll find large white bowls filled with chilled jumbo shrimp, square plates of petite tomato caprese with basil and baby arugula, gazpacho soup shooters, beef tartar and silky salmon that’s been marinating in a bath of olive oil, key lime juice and kumquats.
The chef is young Frenchman Thomas Rossi. Nobody's heard of him down here but if more folks sampled that salmon he might start making a name for himself. There’s a choice of three entrees – depending on the day it could be grilled swordfish or roasted chicken with creamy polenta. Then there’s the dessert table, with mini Key lime pies, panna cotta and chocolate mousse.
Ask for a table on the terrace, overlooking the Haulover inlet, and watch the fishing boats putter by. Or sit indoors, where there’s anything from live jazz to bossa nova, samba, Latin and Brazilian music.
Sundays, 12-3pm, $35 or $45 for unlimited champagne and Bloody Marys, 10295 Collins Ave, 305-455-5460.

Vinyl & Kai, South Beach

At first it seemed too good to be true.
A locals-friendly sports bar with four massive projection screens and reasonably-priced drinks in the middle of club land?
And yet here it is: Vinyl and Kai, a comfy New Zealand-influenced bar, with round-the-clock drink specials and belly-filling pub grub. When it opened in February the black and red bar quickly established itself as the place to watch the Olympics, the World Cup, whatever raucous sporting event happened to playing on any given day. The place feels like a sports bar crossed with a revamped record store: there is an elevated loft for a live music, and the walls are covered with new and old vinyl album covers (there’s even a Bee Gees gem in the mix). Owner Chris Barron, a native Kiwi, infuses the space with an easy-going atmosphere that makes it easy to linger over lamb ribs and sweet potato fries.
I'm a fan of the jalapeno margaritas (just spicy enough) and the mezze platter (not really New Zealand-y, but I can forgive that). Prices are reasonable: $6-$10 for apps and most sandwiches are under $14. Happy hour is M-F with half off drinks and appetizers.
1131 Washington Ave, South Beach.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Inspired by the Beat @ CIFO

Creative Children Therapy (CCT) is a local non-profit organization selected earlier this year for Ad2 Miami's 2010 Public Service Campaign. On September 30, CCT will host their 4th annual exhibition “Inspired by the Beat,” at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in Miami. All event proceeds will go to funding the organization’s art programs, which focus on helping special needs children in the Miami community.

This year’s event will feature local Cuban artist David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard alongside 23 artists from CCT’s Artistic Realization Technologies program, also known as CCT/A.R.T. 4 Collaborative Works between the Artists of CCT & LEBO will be auctioned off @ event, the Debut of 'LEBO LIVE' - A Multimedia Experience including Live Painting, Video Mixing & Music will take place and LEBO's new coffee table book "Inspired by the Beat" will be available for viewing/purchase.
September 30th from 6:30PM-10:30PM
$20 pre-sale here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sample Stephen Starr's Pop-Up Tonight

The swanky Bal Harbour Shops transform into a block party tonight in honor of the global shopping event known as Fashion’s Night Out. Swing by Agent Provocateur where live models will be showing off the latest in corsetry while Thomas Pink will be passing out complimentary pink champagne and woven silk cufflinks with every $200 purchase. There’ll be a Bocce court outside Tiffany’s, and you'll have a chance to sample Stephen Starr's new restaurant slated to open at the Shops in December.

The pop-up will be serving the following bites gratis:
Baby green peaches, whipped tofu, olive oil, sea salt
Spicy Tuna maki, Crisp rice Cracker, serrano chile
Chicken and ginger tsukune
Nitro Cookies - Green tea cookies, deep freeze

September 10, 7-10p, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave, 305-866-1816

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Cape Cod Room Closed?

Sad to report the closing of Ken Lyon's Cape Cod Room. Now fresh seafood at J Eismann's new Fin in Design District!!

Avec 'appy 'our

The best thing about happy hour in France? The cheap booze, of course - a carafe of syrah for 10 Euros - and the free snacks. In addition to small cups of marinated olives we were treated to baskets of home made waffle chips constantly replenished by the ingenue waitress at Cafe Blanc, a sidewalk spot down the street from the Louvre.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Good Morning, Paris: Breakfast @ Le Meurice

We had a few elegant meals (and a few glorified happy hours) in Paris, the first of which was the breakfast at Le Meurice. First, there was the platter of bread and pastries - flaky chocolate croissants, sweet brioche, fruit-flecked financiers, mini-baguettes with pointy tips. All this flanked by jams from Fauchon (red currant, apricot, acacia honey) and soft butter. Next, impossibly fluffy omelets stuffed with chantarelle mushrooms. Strong coffee. Gracious service. Japanese businessmen feasting at tables nearby. A dining room dating nearly two centuries. A crisp International Herald Tribune. Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. Silver coffee pots. Toast with the crusts trimmed.
It was so proper, so delicate, so French. And it was a great introduction to a city whose formality and attention to culinary detail I was just slowly beginning to understand.

European Vacation

It's been a while since I've posted here my friends. Apologies. Needed a break from writing, the internet and computers. Also needed a break from Miami. It happens. As opposed to our usual international destinations (Asia and Israel) we decided to go Western world on this holiday and headed to Switzerland, France and Germany. Lots of lush countryside, beer drinking and croissant eating ensued. I'll be sharing some highlights soon.