Winding up as it Winds Down

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 16 - 2009

Typically April signifies the end of the season, as the spring breakers and snowbirds return home and we locals get to reclaim our beloved restaurants and nightclubs.  But this year it seems that season is still going strong- with new clubs, restaurants and spas opening or revamping and fashion, dining and charity events filling our busy social calendars, even as temperatures continue to soar. 

Opium’s New Zip Code

Miami locals trekked to Hollywood this past weekend for the Grand Opening of Opium at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Friday night, which was hosted by Michael Capponi, featured Swedish DJ Steve Angello, known for kicking Paris Hilton out of his booth during WMC, on the turntables.  On Saturday night, reality star, Kim Kardashian, served as hostess, accompanied by her brother Rob Kardashian, boyfriend Reggie Bush and friend, Venus Williams, all of whom were pretty mellow throughout the evening, hanging out in a corner booth talking.  The throngs of club-goers cheered as Kardashian swung an Opium-branded guitar over her head- a Hard Rock opening tradition, before retreating to her table.

Gen Art’s FASHIONscape

As if the Delano’s orchard isn’t already like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland, set designer, David Glass, added to the whimsy during Gen Art’s FASHIONscape on Tuesday night by installing fashion vignettes to showcase the collections of up-and-coming designers, John D. Schoemann, of John David Collection and Claudia Estrada, of Claudiae.  Like living mannequins, the gorgeous models added to the already visually stunning surroundings and seemed to be having just as much fun as the guests.  At one point, two models in the showcase were chit chatting and cutting up to the point that several of their counterparts had to tap them on the shoulder repeatedly so that a photographer could take their picture.  The unique set-up of the vignettes, which were conceptualized by the designers, afforded guests the opportunity to get up-close to the fashions and enjoy them from multiple perspectives, rather than just catching a glimpse of each look on the runway.  This was most appreciated by the FFWADHD:  Fashion Forward with Attention Deficit Disorder, who often miss entire segments of runway shows due to excessive texting, twittering and/or talking, present company INCLUDED.  On-hand during the evening’s festivities were hosts, Project Runway’s, Uli Herzner; celebrity stylist/ costume designer for Sex and the City and Burn Notice, Danny Santiago; 944 magazine publisher, Alan Roth; nightlife impresario, Alexis Mincolla and a few hundred locals.  Gen Art has catapulted the careers of renown designers such as Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, Uli Herzner, Rami Kashou, Eduardo Lucero, Geren Ford, Katy Rodriguez and Vena Cava, to name a few.

Spaaaaaahs

Agua spa at the swanky Mondrian hotel is officially open. Barbara Becker recently hosted a preview of the spa for a few of her BFFs, including: Iran Issa-Khan, Sam Robin, Hello Campos, Tracy Mourning and Amaris Jones, who relaxed in the private lounge areas while enjoying bites from Asia de Cuba.  The gals scored great swag, filled with Sjål Skincare products and invitations to return for complimentary treatments.

 

Equinox, the fitness center of choice around the nation for VIPs and celebs including President Barack Obama, Matt Damon, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mario Lopez, Queen Latifah, Jesse Metcalfe, Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Lance Bass, Dr. Dre, and Ludacris, is not typically thought of as a spa.  However, on a recent visit the gym-to-the-stars, we found that in addition to their rigorous and fun exercise classes, which include Boot-camp Boogie, (personal favorite) and state-of-the-art equipment, Equinox boasts an awesome spa, complete with all the bells and whistles, available to members and non-members alike.  Equinox puts the “ah” in spa!

 

 

Coming Up

Smith and Wollensky, which is known as Smith’s to locals, officially unveils its multi-million dollar facelift on Thursday, with a private party.  The renovations include two new spaces – Smith’s Patio and The Overlook Deck. A major draw of this local favorite is its unique, unobstructed, unparalleled views of Government Cut, Fisher Island and the downtown Miami skyline.  Boasting the longest-standing South Beach happy hour, Smith’s is also ideal for intimate or business dining and private events.

This Friday, Solé on the Ocean in Sunny Isles Beach premiers its anticipated poolside happy hour, Alba, and pool party series overlooking the ocean.  Happy hour goes from 4:00-7:00 p.m. and features two-for-one cocktails. During the weekend pool parties, DJ Baby Dré will spin and a summer “lunch box” menu will be available to nosh on while you bake.

Two and four-legged eaters can blow off steam and get a great bite at China Grill this Sunday, as the South Beach staple celebrates Gay Pride with a Bitch ’n Brunch from noon until 4:00 p.m.  In the spirit of the restaurant’s famous “Dogs Gone Wild” parties, China Grill encourages guests to bring their pooches to the “dog friendly” patio for al-fresco dining.  “Pack leaders” can enjoy a luxurious and recession-friendly three course brunch for just $23 (exclusive of tax and gratuity) while their “best friends” hang out in the puppy play areas or unwind in the puppy lounge provided by Pet Smart Midtown.

You can knock on heaven’s door, (Blue Door, that is) on Monday, April 20, when Blue Door at the Delano, hosts a five-course Joseph Phelps wine dinner featuring chef Claude Troisgros’ culinary creations, which will be prepared by Delano’s executive chef, Maria Manso.   Each of the scrumptious courses, which range from seared tuna to rack of lamb, will be paired with one of Joseph Phelps’ signature wines.   Dinner starts at 7:00 and costs $150.00 per person, exclusive of tax & gratuity.  For more information, call: 305-674-6400. 

Brazil’s most sought-after jewelry designers, Francisca Bastos and Andrea Ventura, will showcase their latest creations during a show at the Conrad from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on April 23.  Brazilian hors d’oeuvres and canapés will be served and a portion of sale proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Greater Miami Adopt-A-Pet.  For more information, visit www.franciscabastodesign.com.

 

 

Celebrity Sightings

 

Josh Hartnett made the rounds last week, starting off on Thursday night, where he took over the Florida Room and performed four songs.  Rumor has it that on Saturday night, Hartnett made his way back to the Florida Room with a hot blonde he had picked up at the club the Thursday before.  Prior to his return to the Florida Room, Hartnett attended Scott Campbell’s Make it Rain gallery show at Miami’s O.H.W.O.W. Gallery.  On Sunday night, Hartnett and a couple of friends hit Bella Rose’s weekly “Black Sunday” party, hanging out at Alexis Mincolla’s table. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony spent the weekend at the posh Viceroy Miami at IconBrickell, where they swam in the pool at Club 50, toured the property and dined at the chic 15th floor restaurant with developer, Jorge Perez and his wife, Darlene.  Burn Notice’s Jeffrey Donovan was spotted grazing on a salad at delicious 8 oz Burger Bar. Really?!!!   Gabrielle Union was the guest of honor at the AE District Gallery event in the Design District.  Former Sopranos’ star, Lorraine Bracco, a.k.a. Dr. Melfi, dined with a friend at The Grill on the Alley last week, as did- A-Rod, who was spotted having dinner with his children.

 


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