Prelude is a Perfect Fit

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

Barton G with the Pointer Sisters at Prelude

The center formerly known as the Carnival Center turned two this month, and what better way to celebrate than to open a stylish, beautiful and reasonably priced (no, your eyes do not deceive you) new restaurant in which you can dine before or after a show without ever leaving the building. Prelude, by Barton G. debuted last week with the flair and fanfare that typically accompanies a Barton G. event. The grand opening party included Geoffrey the giraffe, an orangutan, a fireworks display and, none other than the legendary Pointer Sisters.

Prelude offers fixed-price dining with a new-to-Miami twist. “Diner’s Decision” allows patrons the choice of any three dinner menu items for $39 or any two lunch/brunch items for $23 so you can choose 3 appetizers, 3 entrees (if you are just coming off of a juice fast) or 3 desserts. Also featured at Prelude will be South Florida’s most comprehensive by-the-glass wine list, with more than 90 selections available from state-of-the-art wine dispensers either by the taste, the half glass or the glass. For lighter appetites, an à la carte bar menu is available. What’s more, Prelude promises to get you in and out in less than an hour and 15 minutes, just in time for the show.

Expect a scaled-down version of Barton G.’s typical unusual, exaggerated food presentations, such as a wooden cutting board with your skirt steak, hand-blown glass platters and mini-cast-iron pots. Seatings start at 5:00 p.m. with the 6:15 p.m. slot reserved for ticket holders. The restaurant will also be open on days when there are no performances at the center. Don’t miss the beef Carpaccio appetizer, (we wish we would have ordered three of these), the goat cheese tortellini or the “menorah” of custards- with just about every imaginable flavor. Consider dining in a group so you can mix and match your appies, entrees and desserts and sample just about everything.

Just be sure not to over order- food is not allowed to be taken out of the restaurant as per Arsht Center rules, so forget about sneaking a dessert into the show- we already tried. Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 5:00 p.m. until late, dining hours at Prelude cater to folks who seek elegant fine dining in downtown Miami.

Celebrity Sightings:

Lance Bass hung out at the super-chic Club 50 at Viceroy Friday night drinking Atlantico daiquiris and dancing to Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi. Bass made the rounds, going to WALL and LIV on Saturday night and dropping by Pacific Time’s “About Last Night” party on Tuesday and later the Florida Room, after dining at Blue Door at the Delano.

On Friday night at WALL, Transporter’s Jason Statham joined buddy Nicola Siervo to watch “next big thing” R&B artist Chris Jones, son of Foreigner’s Mick Jones, perform tracks off his upcoming album. Also on hand was Jones’ producer, Scott Storch, and the ubiquitous, Lance Bass, who shared a VIP table with friends and showed off some fancy footwork to songs by Will.I.AM, Journey and Jay Z. Later in the night, Statham visited the newly-remodeled SET for its grand reopening to hear DJ Rony Seikaly spin a set of progressive house for the South Beach jet-set including Michael Capponi and SET owner Eric Milon.

J-Lo N.K.A. (now known as) “LOLA,” made an appearance at LIV on Saturday night. In the audience: Marc Anthony, Lance Bass, Kim Kardashian, and Reggie Bush. The former J-Lo greeted her fans and said thanks for coming out and supporting her new video, “Fresh out the Oven” featuring Miami’s own Pitbull, then danced to her remixes with husband, Anthony. According to an insider”I just don’t think “Lola” will ever be as fierce as Beyonce’s alter ego “Sasha” but I hope she proves me wrong.”

Also on Saturday night, Michael Jordan had dinner at Red, The Steakhouse with his girlfriend and a group of friends. Saturday Night Live funnyman, Kenan Thompson, took a table at Louis, sharing a bottle of Belvedere with local buddy Matt Heien, while cracking jokes with his waitress and pretty girls at neighboring tables.

Tennessee Titans, LenDale White and Bo Scaife, were seen having lunch at 8 oz. Burger Bar on Sunday. The Titans were enjoying a bye week and hoping to break their 0-6 record.

For the past two weeks, MTV’s Ibis Del Mar has been a fixture at Pacific Time’s “About Last Night party.” This week, she sat down with chef/owner Jonathan Eismann and VGeorgio Vodka founder, Victor Harvey, to tape interviews for her new show, tentatively titled “Keeping it Real with Ibis.”

Making an appearance at the Tod’s boutique at Bal Harbour Shops: contributor/fashion consultant to the chic (…and the not so chic), Amanda Brooks, carrying a brown mink Tod’s bag. Brooks’ book (say that 5x fast), Love Your Style, was lauded by Anna Wintour, who called the book “candid, canny and cool.”

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