Lique Miami-A Refreshing New Waterfront Dining By Betty Alvarez

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I arrived to this quaint restaurant in North Miami which I have only heard about, Lique. This waterfront dining spot is owned by restauranteurs Peter Cumplido and Alex Podolhy who are also behind Fort Lauderdale’s Sweet Nectar. This soon-to-be hot spot has Executive Chef Renalto Medeiros at the helm and I was about to embark on a never-before breathtaking dining experience in a chilly night but that did not stop me.

When I entered the restaurant I realized that I have been here before when it was Rouge Waterfront Dining where everything was red. But this time around, the restaurant is transformed into what it seems an enchanted garden with luxurious white decor furniture, greenery all over, the contemporary pieces that was all over. The decor is truly spectacularly very fresh and inviting. We sat down to our table to begin our journey.

Our dining experience was by candlelight. A nice touch for a romantic experience if you are dining with a loved one. In my case, I was dining with one of my best friends so that did not happen. LOL! I ordered a nice Pinot Grigio and she ordered a nice fruity tall glass drink that our waiter recommended. I was jealous as her glass was bigger than mine! When we were hended our menu it was unique as it was a wood platform wit the menu attached and the logo of the restaurant on the back. It was great as everything was on one page.

Appetizers and small plates is what we suggested therefore it did not disappoint. First serving was the Truffle Big Eye Tuna Carpaccio. I wanted something healthy but nice to start therefore the Tuna was a nice healthy alternative. What a delight! The truffle made the Tuna stand out as all my taste buds sky-rockted. It gave it a distinct flavor. Then came the Bone Marrow-a plate of 4 big oxtail bones filled with shredded beef with toasted bread besides each bone. A true delight to savor.

If the Bone Marrow is too much for you, the Beef Cheek Toast would be more appropriate as it has the same shredded beef on top of a toasted bread. Another real treat is the Escargot Tortellini. A plate of 4 tortellini smothered with creamy sauce with bits of bacon was the utmost satisfaction that we got. It was my first time in a long time that I tried escargot but it actually tasted like beef. Tasty and delicious!

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Lastly, we just had to have dessert therefore our waiter suggested the apple pie but this was not any ordinary apple pie. This was a Desconstructed Apple Pie. The pie was served with 4 fluffy pastries on one side, cinnamon ice cream in one jar and the apple filling in another jar. One had to place all of these items in the plate. It was delish and proved that by this time we were completely full.

Other than the plates we tried, the mediterranean-style cuisine also had more selections of tapas, raw seafood, and a sushi bar. One can sit at the dock area gazing as the marine boats pass by and enjoying a nice night out under the stars. A suitable place to dine with a loved one and/or with friends. A true gem!

Public Art Wednesday: Cultural Souls Art Fair

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The Cultural Souls Art Fair will begin August 22 through August 31, daily from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. The Cultural Souls Art Fair will consist of gallery owners, artists, and art enthusiasts looking to mix, mingle and shop for international masterpieces. Check out artwork displayed at this event from three phenomenal Dominican visual artists Alberto Ulloa, Guillo Pérez and Candido Bido. This art fair will also showcase the Enrique Guzmán Gallery, which features work by Dominican artists Mariano Sánchez, Amin Abel Pérez, Alonso Cuevas, Melchor Terrero, Orlando Menicucci, and Elvis Avilés.

On Friday, August 22, the VIP opening reception will kick off at 6:00pm where attendees can look at the art being presented while sipping on cocktails. Admission to the opening night is free if you pre-register and at door tickets are $25. Doors will re-open Satuday the 23  to the public at 11:00am. Prices for the Cultural Souls Art Fair will be $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

To purchase your tickets and for more information on this event follow this link. 

Do you know of any art fairs or festivals coming up in Miami? Let us know on Twitter at @Loop305 with the hash tag #PublicArtWednesday

 

 

-Samantha Wagner

Where to be: 8/1-8/7

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Here at In The Loop, we know there are always places to be and events to attend. Each Friday, we feature a special “where to be” post on our blog to make sure every day of the week has some sort of cultural event to check out. We hope that you all can come out into the community and learn and commemorate some influential people and events around Miami! Have something coming up that you’d like to see here? Tweet us @Loop305 using #WhereToBe hash tag!

Friday, August 1, 2014 8:30am – 9:45am

Trow Knows CEO’s

Coral Gables Art Cinema

260 Aragon Avenue,

Coral Gables, Florida 33134

Cost: Chamber Member Registration $25, Non-Member/Guest Registration $30

Webpage Link

Saturday, August 2, 2014 8:00pm

Fourth Dimension at Marina 84

Marina 84 Sports Bar and Grill

2440 West State Road 84,

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33312

Webpage Link

Sunday, August 3, 2014 9:00am – 6:00pm

Lincoln Road Farmers Market

Lincoln Road Mall

Between Alton and the Ocean Miami Beach, FL

http://www.themarketcompany.org/lincoln

Monday, August 4, 2014 6:00pm

SkyRobics for Adults

Sky Zone Miami

5450 NW 82nd Ave

Doral, FL

Cost $10

Sky Zone Miami

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 7:00pm – 1:00am

Retro Martini Tuesday For a Good Cause

Vezzoli 69 Italian Martini Bar

6900 Biscayne Blvd,

Miami, Florida 33138

RSVP Link

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 9:00pm – 2:30am

Sizzling Salsa Wednesday at Martini Bar

Martini Bar at Gulfstream Park

601 Silks rd STE 2497

Hallandale, Florida 33160-2141

Cost: $5

Webpage Link

Thursday, August 7, 2014 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Pérez Art Museum Miami Presents Adler Guerrier: Formulating a Plot

Pérez Art Museum Miami

1103 Biscayne Blvd

Miami, Florida 33132

Webpage Link

 

 

 

 

 

Pied A Terre: Lovely French dining in a tranquil atmosphere by Betty Alvarez

You will never know that tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach lies a quaint and dainty hotel in the corner of James Avenue and 17th Street, the Cadet Hotel. This 1941 Art Deco Hotel with 34 rooms and suites is the home to a cozy and elegant restaurant, Pied a Terre. A restaurant with a cuisine like no other.

Pied a Terre prepares healthy french cuisine using classic French techniques used by Michelin-starred restaurants in France today. Their approach to dining incorporates innovative recipes created by seasonal visiting chefs who shares and trains the restaurant’s staff to create recipes especialy for Pied A Terre. Great and different concept.

Our experience started with a refreshing welcome cocktail. Afterwards, Patrick Gruest, Food/Wine consultant explained the different types of dishes and the wine that would most deliciously be a great pair.

For our appetizer, I picked the Fresh Wild Mushroom Risotto. In addition to being the right portion for an appetizer, the outburst of flavor was exceptional. The plate was served hot as the risotto was tender and delicious. The mushroom that complimented it gave its robust flavor. It came with one plantain chip for decor.

As for the entree, I picked the Seabass with Peruvian flavor. I had to try this dish as I am of Peruvian background. The Seabass was very juicy covered with an assorment of Peruvian sauces such as the Aji Amarillo. It also was decorated with tomato, parsley and anchored with Mussels. The meat was tender and melted in your mouth. My dish was paired with a crisp and semi-fruit white wine.

For dessert, the Valhora Chocolate Fondant, a silky smooth chocolate cake with Vanilla ice cream topped with a sweet treat along with rose-shaped strawberries. A great presentation to a tasteful treat. The right portion for the right sweetness. Another guest at the table ordered the chocolate macaroon. Now, I thought they were going to bring the normal small macaroon but boy was I mistaken. It was a huge macaroon with chocolate ice cream on the side with a treat.

All in all the experience was to die for and the ambiance brought a nostalgic memory in me. If you sit in the back table seating for around 10 you can never imagine that you are steps away from 17th Street and Collins Avenue. The curtains really do the trick in hiding it and you feel that you are away in paradise.

It was a pure delight that I want to experience again.

For more information please visit www.piedaterrerestaurant.com

Soul Of Miami Recommends Pay By Phone

A rare word from the Publisher, James Echols:
You all know I rarely write here, but this is something that I know you will want to hear about. I have taken the time to put this together just as a benefit to you, our readers, because this program has been so convenient for us, saving us much time and money, and I know it will for you, as well.

How many times have you gotten a parking ticket because you forgot how long you parking lasted, or you just did not want to go back out to add time to the meter? Many, I am sure. Certainly, the new electric parking meters, that take credit cards and paper cash have been helpful, but far better than those is the City Of Miami Pay By Phone program.

Go and register now and download the app to your smart phone. Do it now. Now! You will be so thankful you did. Not only will you never have to wait in line at those meters, anymore, but you will never have to worry about getting a parking ticket, ever again. Have you registered, yet?

Once you have registered online, it is very easy to use: open the app, type in your location, type in the time you wish to park, wait for confirmation, and you are done. You can even do it walking down the street, saving you precious minutes in your busy schedule. Not only that, but Pay by Phone texts you when your parking is about to expire! Then you can just re-up using the app without ever leaving your party. Go Register Now!

Note that this recommendation is entirely unpaid, we are just doing this for the benefit of our readers. For more information, I reached out to the Miami Parking Authority and and this is what they sent me:

PAY BY PHONE BULLET POINTS

Pay By Phone Background

  • Pay By Phone was founded in 2000 by Verrus.
  • Verrus is a leading provider of mobile commerce payment systems.
  • Verrus pioneered Pay By Phone services in North America.
  • Verrus established the first Pay By Phone parking service in 2001.
  • Since then Pay By Phone has processed millions of parking transactions by mobile phone in a large number of cities and towns worldwide.
  • Pay By Phone Pioneered by Miami Parking Authority
  • Pay By Phone was first launched in Miami on May 28, 2008.
  • Miami was the first parking authority in Florida to adopt Pay By Phone.
  • On May 28, 2014, Miami Parking Authority will celebrate the sixth anniversary of the adoption of Pay By Phone in Miami.
  • With the addition of Coral Gables to the Pay By Phone portfolio, this service is now available in three contiguous municipalities in Miami Dade (Miami, South Miami and Coral Gables) thus making it easier for customers to parking using only one mobile app.

How Pay By Phone Works

  • Pay By Phone is the most convenient way to pay for parking.
  • Once customers register for Pay By Phone (www.paybyphone.com) and download the free mobile app, they are ready to park.
  • It only takes three easy steps: 1) park and enter the location number found on the signage or parking meter; 2) enter the number of minutes desired; and 3) click to confirm parking.
  • Pay By Phone users love the text message reminders alerting them that their parking session is about to expire. At that point, they have the ability to add more time from anywhere without having to rush back to the meter.
  • Another advantage is that customers do not need to carry coins, bills or place Pay and Display receipts on their dashboards.
  • Parking enforcement officers know that customers have or have not paid when they scan the license plate of the vehicle.
  • Other great features include email receipts (ideal for submitting travel expenses).
  • Customers can add multiple vehicles to their account.
  • Pay By Phone can be used in any Smart phone, including iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

QUOTE
“We have achieved a new momentum in reaching our goal of providing easier, convenient and reliable parking solutions for our customers,” said Rolando Tapanes, Director of Planning and Development, Miami Parking Authority. This important milestone is a key to our mission. At MPA, we are constantly searching for customer-driven, innovative products and services in order to make their parking experience more efficient.”

Guest Article by Susan Bodack: Planning a South Beach Getaway: Where to Stay and What to Pack

Planning a South Beach Getaway: Where to Stay & What to Pack
This is a guest article written by Susan Bodack, the Social Media Marketing Manager at InStyleSwimwear.com–your one-stop online shop for women’s designer swimwear and resortwear. Whether you’re a South Florida local or a reader from afar, InStyleSwimwear will help you look South Beach-chic in no time flat.

If you’re looking for a travel destination packed with sexy people, swanky night life and spicy culture, there is no other choice but South Beach. The entire city of Miami is a pretty awesome destination, but this little section of shorefront is particularly well-known for its sultry fashions and sexy nightlife. If you’re not necessarily into the wild parties and club scene, you can equally enjoy being immersed in the Little Havana atmosphere that’s just around the corner, serving up delicious foods and knock-your-socks-off coffee. South Beach really does offer something for everyone–whether you’re into relaxing on the beach, dancing the night away at the club, pigging out on delicious foods, enjoying high-end shopping or all of the above, Miami’s South Beach is the perfect winter getaway.

Where To Stay
broken shaker bar at the freehand miami hostelIf you’re looking to pinch some pennies, there are plenty of budget-friendly accommodations in the area. Since South Beach can draw in a ton of younger tourists, there are many low-cost hotels and hostels. Consider staying at the recently revamped Freehand Miami, a chic hostel offering rooms between $40 and $140 per night, depending on if you share space or not. Complete with a lush pool and a happening bar, this is a great place to recoup after a long day in the South Florida sun. Another affordable option is the SoBe Hostel. Always hosting several international travelers and backpackers, the SoBe Hostel is a great way to meet tons of interesting people all under one roof. Conveniently located near the local hotspots and situated on the edge of a million-dollar neighborhood, the prices are surprisingly low. Rooms can be arranged for less than $30 a night, depending on your accommodation preferences. You’ll have access to a pool, internet café and community kitchen, which can also help offset costs if you choose to prepare some of your own meals.

the setaiIf you’re not into the sharing space scene or are simply looking for lodging that’s a little more luxurious, consider checking into The Setai, an upscale art-deco resort where you’ll enjoy a refined breath of fresh air in all the South Beach hustle and bustle. Situated on the beach but also featuring a stunning pool area, you’ll have easy access to either swimming destination you choose. When you’re done soaking up the sun, you can retire to a suite of your choosing, ranging from a cozy studio to an incredible, awe-inspiring penthouse. With its swanky Asian-inspired atmosphere and ritzy accommodations, The Setai sets a high bar for its competitors. Equally impressive are South Beach’s SLS Hotel and Fontainebleau, but you really don’t have to search very hard to find luxury lodgings in the area!

What To Pack
la fama by luli fama south beachWhen it comes to South Beach style, pretty much anything goes–you can find runway-inspired high fashion, hipster and bohemian trends and skimpy club attire. Obviously you’ll want to look fabulously South Beach-chic, so make sure to pack accordingly. While you’ll definitely need plenty of sexy swimwear, make sure to take some classy “ready-to-wear” pieces as well for covering up on the journey to and from the water. Think breezy caftans with billowy sleeves, sleek maxi dresses and flowy tunics in fun prints, all of which can easily transition your look from the beach to the street. Stick to classic solids or vibrant colors and prints that work well with Miami’s Latin feel. A floppy beach hat and oversized glasses are a must to increase your poolside mystique, and they’ll also offer up valuable sun protection. In terms of shoes, pack for the activities you plan on taking advantage of–flip-flops for the beach and wedges and heels for night.

Regardless of where you stay or what you pack, you’re in for a fabulous fun-filled vacation full of swanky South Beach flair.

Thank You Creativglu – HeArt of the City Show Premium Sponsor

Thank You CreativGlu
HeArt of the City Show Premium Sponsor

CreativGlu is a is a creative collaborative online space providing opportunities to artists and businesses. They are based right here in Miami and have a wonderful vision, very similar to Life Is Art, to help artists make a living at their passion and support the community. They are really showing their support of South Florida artists by coming on board as a Premium Sponsor of the HeArt of the City Show!

Soul Of Miami highly recommends that artists and businesses sign up for CreativGlu and start collaborating! Below is more information.

Creativglu

CreativGlu is a free online community that creates opportunities for artists from various industries by giving them tools to gain exposure, network, showcase their talent, make money and collaborate with local businesses and other artists.

Founded in 2010, CreativGlu set out with the sole purpose of encouraging collaboration and connecting creative communities around the world. Based in Wynwood, CreativGlu released it’s beta website in May 2013 and has been growing rapidly ever since its launch.

CreativGlu is a platform for artists created by artists. Join the movement today at www.creativglu.com.

Atrio welcomes Miami Spice and other delectable cuisine By Betty Alvarez

Ario Restaurant and Wine Room is located in Conrad Miami Hotel’s Lobby Level 25 showcasing panoramic views of the Miami cityscape and bay. It’s a beautiful restaurant served as an appetizing allure to try the latest culinary delights in the Miami Spice and the a al carte menu.

For starters, a variety of warm bread was served along with an adequate portion plate of orange butter, mango butter, and a splash of Olive oil. We needed a second serving of the oil because the flavor had the perfect touch of what an olive oil needs to have. It was great complimenting the bread. I ordered a crisp Chardonnay. An excellent choice considering the cuisine we were about to eat. The mango butter was a first for me as I never tasted such richness and was a bit sweet. Yes, it did have a mango flavor but not too intense. Created by Chef Virgile Brandel, it was delish start that I had seconds! The orange butter was good but to my palate, it had more of the plain butter taste. Since I am more of an Olive Oil fan, I loved the type they served. It was from the Hacienda G Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend which made you want to taste some more.

A variety of appetizers was served. From the A la Carte Menu, I ordered the Red Snapper Ceviche infused with Aji Amarillo, Cilantro, Ginger, and Yuzu. From the Miami Spice menu, one of my friends had the the Salmoon & Grouper Carpaccio served with shaved Bottarga & fine herb sorbet and the other had the Goat Cheese Salad with roasted beets and pecans. They both looked tasty and the presentation was excellent. My ceviche was the right portion and a great refreshing starter to wet my appetite for what was about to come.

As we entertained ourselves in the normal buzz of our lives, our entrees came. I ordered the Grilled Grouper dish that came with crispy yucca fries, pickled green papaya salad, and piri piri sauce under it. When I saw the pickled green papaya salad, I was scared. Anything with the word pickled meant to me lots of salt and processed. Although I was surprised when I tasted it. It just did not taste like a pickled green papaya but the onions that accompanied it really made the difference in the taste. The Piri Piri was a red sauce that I tasted with the grilled grouper. My friends ordered the Seared Scallops with Cauliflower mouseline, Cardamom cloud from the Miami Spice Menu. Also the Mushroom Cannelloni with a creamy gorgonzolla sauce also part of the popular annual menu. OK I tasted a bit of each. The seared scallops had a nice cooked flavor while the mushroom cannelloni was a warm pasta with the right portion.

Now lastly, dessert. An array of selections was served from the Miami Spice menu. Peach Trifle with Amaretto whipped cream layers; Farm Goat Cheesecake with raspberry coulis; Exotic Virgin Daquiri which had a mixture of Passion fruit, mango and kiwi with champagne granite which is more like a sorbet. This last one was rather refreshing and it was like tasting a champagne ice cream. However, the real kicker was the Warm Doughnut Bread Pudding. OMG! I wanted to order one for my own!! Each time I bite into one of these, I was in heaven as I tasted the warm and moist delicacy topped with a honey syrup that is to die for. If you get a chance to get it please do even if it is not in the Miami Spice menu.

Annette Recommends Flame Caffe and Grill

We went for dinner at Flame Caffe and Grill on Española Way, and I have to say the food was absolutely amazing. We both started off with a Sauvignon Blanc – Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve and the Wild Mushroom Vol-au-Vent. I love mushrooms and this was heavenly; mushrooms sautéed in garlic, herbs and white wine in puff pastry, served in a  mushroom cream sauce with a little truffle oil.  For the main course, I had the Seafood Paella Rice and this was the best paella I have had. It had an assortment of fresh Florida seafood; calamari, shrimp, scallops, mussels and fish cooked in lobster broth, saffron and white wine, with a lobster tail on top and served with Valencia rice with Jerez.  James had the 16 ounces of Angus Prime Rib Eye streak with porcini mushroom au-jus, served with roasted rosemary Yukon gold potatoes and sautéed broccolini.  I, of course, had the Flame Blue Margarita, so yummy and not too sweet, and James had an Apple Martini. Both were made perfectly.  Finally for dessert we had the Hot Chocolate Soufflé served with vanilla bean ice cream, it was so wonderful and delicious.

Flame Caffe and Grill
447 Espanola Way
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 397-8950

A New Sushi in Town

(Miami, Florida) – AIJÓ, a restaurant with an exquisite culinary creativity like never seen before, has named JADE in downtown Brickell its new home. With its innovative concept materialized in a contemporary and beautiful setting, AIJÓ has a unique fusion of traditional Japanese bites accompanied by a variety of world flavors. Their signature roll, “Reneboy,” is a splendid piece of fresh smoked salmon, “crispy rice” and sweet eel topping.

Upon its grand opening, owner, Rene Buroz, hosted a private 10-course dinner where handpicked delicacies prepared by Executive Chef, Christian Bonilla, were presented, and paired with a fine Moet & Chandon Rose along with their signature martinis.

Make sure to like AIJÓ on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/aijobrickell. ■

Annette Recommends Bolivar Restaurant and Lounge

This was my first time to Bolivar Restaurant & Lounge and we tried a variety of their foods and everything was amazing.  Started off the evening with one of their signature cocktails a Lulo Bolivartini very yummy!!!!  For the first course had the Arepa con Ahogado  and then they brought out a platter with grilled corn on the cob topped with spicy butter and cheese, Colombian blood sausage, Colombian sausage, grilled artichokes and I have to say it was one of the best artichokes I have had or close to it.  Next was seafood Ceviche shots and they were full of seafood, so yummy.  Then we had some delicious grilled pork and mashed potatoes.  Then I tried a different signature drink the Augua De Florero, a yummy Long Island Iced Tea.  Then my favorite part, dessert, we had the Merenguitos – Meringues with Strawberries…so, so, so Yummy.

Bolivar Restaurant & Lounge
661 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305-305-0801

Annette Recommends of Bernie’s LA Cafe

Bernies LA Cafe is one place I have been wanting to go for some time, but for some reason or another just never made it.  Sure wished I would have the food is so fresh and so good.  We started of with the Crudo – tomato salsa with homemade chips. I got the Foot-Long Choripan (Grilled Colombian Sausage) with chopped red onion and pineapple relish and you can pick between mixed field greens or fresh cut fries.  The sausage was so good and the relish gave it just the right touch, I did not even put any condiments on it, yes it was that good.  I also tried the Yuca fries and I have to say they one of the best Yuca fries I have had, they were so tender on the inside and just the right about of crispness on the outside.  James got the Carne Asada (slow roasted short ribs) covered in grilled onions, the meat was so tender and had such a great flavor, this came with rice, beans and Maduros.  We also got the Mango Bang Bang Shrimp and this is a must have, it was so good, ask for it well done.  And if that was not enough food I had to have one of their chocolate chip cookies and it was so moist, delicious and full of chocolate chips.  So don’t wait as long as I did to go try out Bernie’s LA Cafe and keep in mind they do deliver on South Beach.  Click here to see their menu, Bernie’s LA Cafe Menu.

Bernie’s LA Cafe – Latin America
1570 Alton Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 535-8003

Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery

I recently visited Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery in Homestead, Florida. I was there of course to check out their wines, all of which are made with tropical fruits, like guava, mango, carambola and coconut. And no grapes! But Schnebly’s also recently started brewing craft beers, very interesting ones, also with tropical fruits. I was able to try all of their beers and most of their wines, which I wrote about in more detail on my DailyBeerReview.com site. I will say that the creativity and uniqueness of this family business are off the chart.

President Mauricio Mejia took 30 minutes of his time to speak to us (Ed Roberts arranged that). We talked about what the future holds for the brewery now that they have brewed a few batches of each beer and were ready to start distributing. Mauricio said that they would start with Key West, distributing in kegs first, then would consider bottling and canning. You could tell that the brewery has a careful plan to bring their beers to the market. You could also see the pride that Mauricio, Marketing Manager David, and all of the staff had for their products. They all made us feel and home and very welcome.

I’d certainly recommend taking a trip down to check out their facilities. They have a beautiful tasting room, really nice property, areas for weddings and receptions and parties, just a fabulous space. Schnebly’s is family friendly and they encourage picnics and just relaxing while you visit.

They can be found at:

Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery
30205 SW 217th Avenue
Homestead, FL 33030
Toll-Free: (888) 717-WINE
Phone: (305) 242-1224

 

Photographs from Death and Harry Houdini Cast Questions and Answers on 4/29/12

Death and Harry Houdini Cast Questions and Answers at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, April 29, 2012.  This play is performed by the  Theatre Of Chicago, and wow what an awesome show.  Death and Harry Houdini has all of the components to a great time like comedy, singing, dancing and some amazing magic.  It is performed in the Carnival Studio Theater where you are so close to the action you almost feel as you are a part of the play itself. I was fortunate to sit on the front row and I still can’t figure out how the magic is done.  No, they would not let us take any photos during the play, you just have to go see for yourself.  This is a play you should not miss, it really is so much fun!!!

 Click here to buy your tickets now.

{Please feel free to download and share.}

Preemo Saved My Life

And PhilanthroFest and Soul Of Miami and Life Is Art. On Wednesday, April 11, my computer got hit hard by a virus. Now, I am very careful, use a firewall, an alternative browser, and virus stopping software, but even the most careful of us can get attacked by the right bug.

My computer went down hard just days before the biggest show we have ever done in Miami. Of course, I was in the middle of many projects right at that second and had about 4 days worth of work to do in just 2 days. Now, this.

I immediately called Ivan, my buddy over at Preemo and he had me bring it down right away. He got me in and got right to work on it. He said it would be done no later than the next morning. They had it done in less than 5 hours. I went in that evening and picked it back up. Good as new. Nothing lost.

So, if you need any computer work, I can highly recommend Preemo!

Harvest Delight Grand Opening – Feb 29

Harvest Delight opened the second location in Doral at 3470 NW 82nd Ave.

Awesome middle eastern food in a beautiful location.

Worth a visit.

This is what you get…

I must be the only person in Miami who is not reveling in the afterglow of the Radiohead concert.

If luck is when preparation meets opportunity, the misfortune that I am feeling right now due to my lack of preparation is evidence that procrastinating does not pay.  I will spend the rest of the day thinking about what I did (or didn’t do), and then when I stop doing that, I am sure that someone in some social media channel will remind me of just how awesome it was that they ended the show with Karma Police, and I will go back to where I started.

That’s the beauty of Miami: things happen even when you are not paying attention.

Anyway, while everyone was at the American Airlines Arena for the concert, I was home cooking up one of my favorite dinners: Mexican fish with spring salad and candied sweet potatoes.  Thanks to the amazing vendors at the Pinecrest Farmers Market, I was able to make a dinner with ingredients that were completely seasonal, local and organic.

Many people underestimate the importance of local food.  Until recently, even I did.  Unlike states that have frozen winters and scorching hot summers, we live in a place where we can get locally grown, seasonal food all year round.  In the city of Miami alone there are multiple markets where one can pick up high quality food items often times for a fraction of the price.

Why not go try them out?

As our city grows and changes and we begin to see more people out on their bicycles and with their recyclable shopping bags, it only makes sense that we support local agriculture and locally based vendors.

Many of our local restaurants have embraced the local food movement and that is a clear indication that patrons are becoming more demanding in their tastes.  I mean, doesn’t fresh food taste better?  and don’t even get me started on the health benefits…

What are you waiting for? Try it out for yourself.

You can find a map with all the markets in our area here.

Let me know how it goes.

Valentine’s Day Menu East End Brasserie 2/14/12

Valentine’s Day Menu East End Brasserie
Available Feb 14th
601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL
954.567.8070
www.eastendbrasserie.com

Three-course prix-fixe with amuse bouche & champagne toast ($75 per person | $95 per person with wine pairings)

The only thing more romantic than French cuisine, is French cuisine with ocean views. On Valentine’s Day, Chef Steve Zobel of NYC’s Triomphe prepares a romantic three-course prix-fixe with amuse bouche & champagne toast ($75 per person | $95 with wine pairings). Delicious options include: Ricotta gnocchi with Roquefort cream sauce; Sole and asparagus on a bed of wild mushrooms, topped with lobster hollandaise sauce; Ribeye steak au poivre with potato gratin and julienned vegetables; Strawberry shortcake tart with chocolate covered straw and Fondue for two, Dark chocolate fondue, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, marshmallows, pound cake.

Annette Recommends Capital Grille

We went to Capital Grille on Brickell for dinner, which was my first time at a Capital Grille.  The food was amazing, we started off with the Prosciutto wrapped mozzarella with vine ripe tomato with a balsamic glaze.  For the main course I got the lamb Chops and they were cooked to perfection and tasted amazing. James ordered the Porcini rubbed with 12 year aged balsamic which I have to say was one of the best steaks I have ever had.  To go with the main course we ordered the creamed corn and with smoked bacon and the fresh mozzarella , tomato & basil salad with 12 year aged balsamic. For dessert we had the cheesecake with fresh seasoned berries and the key lime pie both were so good.  The whole meal was amazing, everything was cooked perfectly, displayed beautifully and served from an awesome staff.

Some of their signature items are Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, Bone-In Kona Crested Sirloin with Caramelized Shallot Butter and Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake.

Annette Recommends Exquisito Restaurant in Little Havana

We have heard so many great things about Exquisito Restaurant in Little Havana so we finally decided to go.   Wow, we should have go sooner!  The place is small but the food is awesome. I got the Ham Shank with boiled yuca and the best soup I have had in a long time.  The ham just fell off the bone and the flavor was so good, with just a hint of smoke (Yummy).  James got the Fried King Fish and French Fries, the fish was really good and cooked just right.  Their prices are so inexpensive and their specials are even a better deal.  So if you have not tried Exquisito, don’t wait as long as we did :-).

A Wynwood Photo Essay by Ralph Ventura

{A Guest Article by Photographer and Writer Ralph Ventura.}

Tomorrowland
by Ralph Ventura

Urban, hip, gritty, gentrified, artsy, blue-collar, new, and decaying. Wynwood is a place that defies description and one that presents us with a paradox.

Wynwood had it’s origins in the great Puerto Rican migration of the 1950’s. People came here in droves seeking a better life for themselves and their families, seeking a better tomorrow. Like immigrants before them, they founded a neighborhood that met their needs and reflected their character, all within the limited resources available to them. Through the years, Wynwood remained an island of genuineness in a city that was constantly being remade. It was an area apart.

As with many areas where rents are low and warehouse space plentiful, Wynwood eventually attracted artists. The artists in turn attracted the galleries, which in turn attracted collectors, dealers, restaurants, bars and speculators, all in search of their own tomorrow. Where once much of the neighborhood stood as an example of urban decay, it is now an example of “urban-chic”. The hipsters and the yuppies (can we still use “yuppie” in the 21st Century?) abound. If you look carefully enough, you’ll be just as likely to see young moms carefully cradling their infants as college kids carefully cradling their vintage 1980 Canon A-1s (you know, the one from the Winter Olympic Games?). Of course, this is all you’ll see as long as you stay on the main drags.

Venture just a little bit east or west of Miami Avenue or Second Avenue and you’ll encounter another Wynwood, one where the locals still live. La Boricua Restaurant, La Perla Bar, Guanabacoa Market and many single family houses, duplexes and courtyard apartments reveal a Wynwood that is very urban but not at all “chic”. Not much has changed, here. The locals live and love much as they have for fifty years, each in search of their slice of America, each hoping for their own better tomorrow for themselves and their children.

So, what to make of Wynwood? Well, that leads us to the paradox. For all its recent strides, Wynwood still is an example of urban decay. Many structures are boarded up; many that aren’t are in very poor states of repair nonetheless. Fix it, clean it up, paint it, . . . gentrify it? Still, if we turn the urban decay into urban chic what will happen to the locals? What will happen to their Tomorrowland?

Ralph Ventura is a lawyer, photographer and blogger living in Miami. The entire gallery of 28 images is available for viewing and purchase here. You can also follow Ralph at his blog.
Photos and text copyright Ralph Ventura, 2011.

Club Space: Pinnacle of the Megaclub

I LOVE Club Space. I’ve been going there for years and was a weekly regular at one point. It’s an unruly beast, however, so to optimize your Club Space experience, consider the following.

It is one of the most longstanding clubs in Miami and one of the best known clubs in the world. Yeah, they kinda ripped the name off Space Ibiza, but it’s a minor offense so try to find it in your heart to forgive LP and his crew. You’ll be glad you did.

Your heart will flutter. Your mouth will salivate. You will begin to feel beads of sweat forming on your chest. Your body will pulsate with the bass, thumping through every fiber of your being. And you will have not even entered the club yet, because all that is just the anticipation you feel when crossing the threshold is imminent.

You will hear Alan T. before you see him, but you’ll know him when you do. Don’t even try to beg a favor if you don’t know him or aren’t dressed in the chicest of fashions. You may catch a glimpse of the entertainment for the night: gorgeous go-go dancers made up in costumes dreamt up by the craziest of minds.

As you get ready for your visit, consider the door policy. It is one reason why I love Space so much. The general idea is “come as you are.” Wanna wear a hat? Ok. Sporting your college tee? Sure. Prefer to wear sneakers? Damn right! You better wear shoes because this place gets nasty. No door drama here, because if your money (or your credit) is good, you’re welcome at Space. Yes, there can be a line, but it moves fast (WMC notwithstanding).

Don’t be an ass to the door staff. You don’t know them, so don’t call out to them, even if your cousin’s babysitter’s mother-in-law told you one of their names. They don’t care. Wait your turn, do as you are told, and you will be given your chance. Don’t complain about the entrance fee, because if you don’t want to pay it, there are hundreds of other people who will.

Know what to expect. This is a huge club with an extremely loud sound system and an exceptionally sophisticated lights and visuals show. It’s dark and there’s nowhere for you to sit unless you buy bottles. It’s a DANCE club, after all, so give that a shot. Bring cash, because you will be served more quickly and you really don’t want a bartender in a dark club holding on to your credit card (or worse, debit card) and ID anyway. Be nice to your bartender (and patient) and you will be served efficiently with strong drinks for a fair price.

Don’t bring anything dangerous, don’t start shit with the bouncers, don’t try to skip out on your bill, and don’t even THINK about bringing illegal substances into the club. They are strict at Space because they are nightlife pros, and if you’re just here to have a good time, that should make you feel more comfortable, not less.

Space brings top DJs from all over the world, so figure out who’s spinning at what time when you go. Go upstairs; the terrace is primo at sunrise, even as a solarium. The club has a 24-hour liquor license and will stay open as long as people are spending money.

Those who complain about the prices at Space should consider for a moment what one month’s FPL bill might look like at a warehouse that size. Or payroll taxes for the entire staff. Or, most of all, DJ fees for some of the biggest names in the world.

Bottom Line: Space is the pinnacle of the megaclub in this country. You simply must go, at least once. A visit to Space is, and was designed to be, an experience.

Art Walk in Wynwood, a great experience for art lovers By Betty Alvarez

I have always enjoyed artwalk in the Design District and that is where I usually go when I am in the area. However, I realized that I have not been to a Wynwood Art Walk for as long as I can remember. Therefore, as the date of the Wynwood Art Walk was approaching and two great events were happening in that area, I just had to try it out. This was the beginning of many firsts for me.

To begin, two of the galleries were opening at 5 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m., that gave me more time to scout the area. I parked near a parking lot which was the meeting place of the all-famous food trucks: Ms. Cheezious, The Mexican Gourmet, Daddy’s Grill, Che Grill, Red Koi, Sakaya Kitchen, and many more. It was a food truck lover’s delight. I have heard of the food trucks but never experience eating from one. I tried the pork croquettes from Sakaya kitchen and the Beef soft tacos from The Mexican Gourmet. YUM! It was hot right out of the oven and fresh. You just want to eat it right away. It was a great first time experience. I never knew that the area also had mobile bars and benches which art goers can enjoy their delectable meals. Although I understand that the food trucks have to work in an area where it is feasible for them but I would have liked that the parking lot to be more pedestrian friendly as the ground was not all smooth for walking. I had to walk in the midst of rocks and debris. Apart from that, a very good experience that I want to come back.

One of the first galleries I visited was Miguel Paredes Gallery. This contemporary artist is very gifted in his work. Very modernistic and every artwork is unique in its own way. I never seen anything like it. On this occasion, beverages was sponsored by Chivas and appetizers were from D. Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean. Chivas had two unique drinks: Chivas Smash and Punch. Although both were good, I personally loved the punch topped with an edible flower. Chef Douglas Rodriguez created some scrumptious appetizers such as small Marlin tacos, Tuna Tartar, Chicken Skewers, and the ever popular beef on a stick (it looked liked warm beef popsicle). I so wanted to try the “beef popsicle” but I had to go. That will be my appetizer when I go to the restaurant in the near future.

Gallery 212 was the destination of the launch of the art bus connecting Wynwood and Design District. Mayor Tomas Regalado was the guest of honor in the ribbon cutting ceremony. The Art Bus is a school bus that will take art lovers from Wynwood to Design District without the hassle of going to their cars and going to design district. This is convenient. As I waited for the Mayor and ceremony to begin, I strolled inside the gallery. There were many great works in many mediums but one type of artistic work that caught my eye was Michael Perez’s hand painted wine glasses. These one of a kind wine glasses are the type to have in a girls night. Although the artist told me that the wine glasses were not for drinking use due to the delicate artwork, he will be making wine glasses in a medium that people can drink from them while enjoying the wonderful artwork in them. I truly loved it.

Across the street, Harold Golen Gallery was holding an opening for the launch of Bunny Yeager’s book, Bouffant Beauties which featured her famous photographs of yesteryear’s beauties and centerfolds. As I skimmed through the book, she was incredibly a great photographer especially during the golden epoch era were there were many taboos especially for women.

As the night was heading to a close, I stopped by Cafeina for Miami Magazine’s/One Sotheby Tweet UP event. As this event was winding down, I went in to the gallery where it was suggested to go as there was a new installation. The works were wonderful as it reminded me of Bunny Yeager’s photographic book. As I went outside, the DJ was playing music from the 70’s but as I turned around to face the gallery, I noticed that the video was playing in sync with the music. What a flashback! As I stayed for 30 minutes, music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s played with the video. Definitely a blast from the past.

I visited other galleries in the area earlier that night and every gallery had a story of its own. I never knew how popular Wynwood has become over the years. There were so many people that I could barely walk on the sidewalk. Also, I went back to the food truck area and it was very crowded. People just love Wynwood for its modernistic, independent, futuristic artworks. Being different is to me the overall message that Wynwood wants to disseminate. Saturday, May 14 was a first experience that I want to relive over and over again. Kudos Wynwood as I will be coming back!!

Photographs by Betty Alvarez copyright 2011