Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 29 - 2009

Danielle Hernandez, Fabian Basabe, Shari Liu, Rene Ruiz, & friendsSummer is officially here, time to bring out the white sandals, up the ante on the anti-frizz products, increase the SPF and put away all your black clothing in exchange for some cooler, brighter duds.  While summer typically signifies a time to unwind, take-off and recover from the many wild antics of the non-stop social season, this summer is throwing us a bit of a curve, in that there are still restaurant, club and store openings and fabulous events to attend, making it seem that like our year-round summer weather, the social season is, well, endless.  For those of us lucky enough to live in the city where most people vacation, there are also a few summer steals of which to take advantage.

Imagine That

Thursday evening, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida and InterContinental Miami hosted a prelude kick-off celebration attended by over 200 philanthropists, to commemorate the 15th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, to take place this November. During the celebration, which included a lavish seafood buffet, scrumptious food stations and dessert bar, both Norm Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and Lifetime benefactor, Al Malnik, assured the A-list crowd that every single wish would be granted.  Following inspirational speeches by young wish recipients, this year’s gala theme, Imagine, was unveiled by Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge restaurant and returning gala chair of the IMAW Ball.  Once again, the theme will be conceptualized by event producer, Bruce Sutka.  Esteemed guests at Thursday’s event included Make-A-Wish Foundation Chairman of the Board, L. Robert Elias, Make-A-Wish of Southern Florida Board Chairman, Ben Eisenberg, Antonio Misuraca, James Ferraro, couturier Rene Ruiz, Lady Monica Heftler, restaurateur/man-about-town, Fabian Basabe, and. Other key MAW supporters in attendance: Howard and Barbara Glicken, Gillian Dinnerstein, Jonathan Basicka, Nicole Lozano, Merle Weiss, and Jackie and Johanna Abraham.

Luca Luca Here

Earlier on Thursday, Norma A. Quintero, Julie Todaro, Karen Gottlieb, Nicole Lozano, Beth Tasca, and Marilyn Wagner hosted an exclusive luncheon and fashion show at Villa Vecchia to benefit Young Patronesses of the Opera.  After lunch, guests were treated to a runway presentation of the Luca Luca fall 2009 collection, wherein 1930’s styled, red-lipped, gorgeous models graced the catwalk. Raul Melgoza, Luca Luca’s new creative director made his first Florida appearance.  Many of the attendees then placed personal orders in which a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Young Patronesses of the Opera charity.
Now Open

An Apple a Day

One of Miami’s original nightlife ambassadors, Sean Saladino, (behind such landmarks as Groove Jet, Rok Bar, and Crobar) along with brother, Michael Saladino, has finally opened a Southeastern outpost of LA celebrity hotspot, Apple, on 14th and Washington, in the former Snatch space (which was a Payless back in the day when throngs would mob outside to get into renowned, and greatly missed, Liquid on the second floor).  Apple South Beach is sure to become a celeb Mecca just like its sister in LA, frequented by A-listers  AnnaLynne McCord, Ashton Kutcher, Tila Tequila, Christina Milian, Benji Madden and Paris Hilton.  No word yet on whether the old bra collection, stripper poles or mechanical bull which so appropriately graced Snatch have been somehow incorporated into Apple’s décor.  Upstairs, in the old Liquid-turned-Suite space will be the restaurants’ club/lounge, Kore, (get it?) scheduled to open in mid-June.

Summer Steals

This Friday, May 29, Morton’s the Steakhouse in Coral Gables hosts Greetings from Argentina, during which Argentina’s Malbec wines will be paired with Morton’s signature hors d’oeuvres, including cheeses, broiled sea scallops, sliced tenderloin and hot chocolate cakes- YUMMY! The tasting’s a bargain at a mere $45 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity.  For reservations, call 305-442-1662.
In case you’re still hungry after all that eating on Friday, don’t miss the Mediterranean Experience, which returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center after a two year hiatus this weekend, May 28-30.  For the first time ever, this expo is open to the public, offering access to foods and wines from 13 different Mediterranean countries– we know, your stomach is growling as you read this.  Nearly 150 exhibitors will sample their homelands’ wine and food, while the wine challenge panel makes their “Best in Show” selection.  Seth Levine, season 5 contestant of “Hell’s Kitchen” will be on-hand for the gluttonous adventure and to ensure that guests feel their $35 entry fee was well spent.  The event is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.
Coming Up

Celebs, Athletes, Lingerie and Body Paint

The Eden Roc Hotel, together with Washington Redskins’ wide-receiver, Santana Moss, will present A Night at Eden Roc: Reloading life through the world of Fashion on Friday May 29th.  Racy lingerie line, Frederick’s of Hollywood, will showcase its Seduction collection (makes you wonder what the other collections are called) and jewelry label, Bullets 4 Peace, a celebrity- favorite, will be worn by models otherwise clad in body paint.  Confirmed guests include: Lou Gossett Jr., Academy Award-winning actor; Ed Weinberger, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and television producer; Ángel Salazar, actor and comedian; Romero Britto, internationally renowned neo-pop artist; Carlos Navarro, neo-pop artist; Barbara Palacios, Miss Universe 1986; Steven Bauer, actor; Cindy Taylor, model, actress and television host; Willy Chirino, singer-songwriter and his wife, Lissette Álvarez. A bevy of athletes will also be part of the celebration, including:  Sammy Sosa, baseball great; Clinton Portis, player for the Washington Redskins, Alonzo Mourning, former Heat star; Sinorice Moss, of the NY Giants; Reggie Wayne, of the Indianapolis Colts; Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans; Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens; Mark Randazzo, former boxing heavyweight; and O.J. McDuffie, former NFL playe.  General admission tickets cost $40.00 and VIP tickets cost $100.00.  For more info, go to:

Betty Bangs Pool Fun

Solé on the ocean officially launches its weekend pool series this Saturday, May 30 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. with a Betty Bangs fashion show, featuring designs by Beth Gerharts, Bacardi drink specials, gourmet grill bites and live tunes by The Hep Cat Boo Daddies!

A Night in Havana

On Saturday night, May 30, the Mercy Hospital Foundation will host its sixth annual Havana Nights Casino event, at the Grove Isle Hotel & Spa.  Sponsored by John Hancock Financial Network, the 1950’s Havana-style event, promises guests a night reminiscent of an evening at the famed Tropicana nightclub, in, you guessed it, Havana.  Partygoers will be able to try their luck at casino games such as roulette, black jack, craps and poker, all while enjoying a night of dancing, dining and prizes. For more information, please contact Ady Arrieta at Mercy Foundation at or by phone at 305-285-2711.

Webster gets its Permanent Address

The highly-anticipated opening of the fashion-forward Webster boutique is finally here. The chic shop, a favorite of Martha Stewart and Brooke Shields, has been in its temporary location for a little over a year. Owners, Laure Hériard Dubreuil, Frederic Dechnik and Milan Vukmirovic are opening the store’s permanent doors, located at 1220 Collins Avenue, this Monday June 1st with a private soiree hosted by Barbara Becker, Susanne Birbragher, Christina Getty-Maercks, Monica Kalpakian, Norma Quintero, Michelle Rubell and Lydia Prio Touzet.  Influential jewelry designer, Solange Azagury-Partridge, will be the guest of honor, showing off her pieces, which will be sold at the 20,000 square foot luxury multi-brand fashion boutique.   Caviar Kaspia, the first US outpost of the renowned Parisian institution, which is located on the ground floor of The Webster, will provide the bites for the grand opening. Cocktails will be provided by Grey Goose Vodka.

Celebrity Sightings:

Former Celebrity Apprentice contender and basketball star Dennis Rodman was quite subdued at Crobar’s new hotspot Exit 66 in Fort Lauderdale this weekend.  Rodman sported a simple black t-shirt and jeans and hung out with a couple of friends, who polished off half a bottle of Jagermeister.  He spent half the night with a blonde atop his lap in the club’s VIP section, took a tour and later took over one of the cabanas surrounding the venue’s Chiki Tiki pool until 2:30 a.m.  Fortunately, Rodman actually paid his bill prior to leaving.
Petit player, Alan Iverson, enjoyed himself poolside at the Shore Club sipping Leblon during Memorial Day Weekend. Earlier in the week, the Kardashian sisters, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney opened up their store, Dash, and made appearances at the requisite launch parties at the Clevelander and LIV.  Eva Longoria and husband, Tony Parker were spotted house-hunting on Dilido Island not too long ago.  Yankee turned Dodger, Joe Torre, recently dined at Il Mulino at Acqualina Resort & Spa.

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