Author Archive

Osteria Miami: an Italian Gem in MiMo

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On September - 1 - 2022

Tucked away unsuspectingly in Miami’s trendy MiMo district lies one of the best new Italian restaurants in town. Already a  neighborhood favorite, Osteria’s rustic, welcoming atmosphere and vibrant mix of authentic Italian comfort foods, creatively crafted and prepared table-side, make guests feel as though they are dining in someone’s home in the Italian countryside; and are already part of the family. 

 With a rich history steeped in Italian tradition, the Osteria is best known as a humble neighborhood eatery, a place to enjoy good wine and simple yet elegant food. But the true essence of the Osteria is more than just a place to feast – it’s a place for family. Osteria Miami is true to its name in every sense.

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Escape to Cocoa Beach

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On August - 3 - 2022

Well-known for its seamlessly endless miles of pristine beaches, Cocoa Beach offers a stretch of ankle-deep water, where you can park your chair and umbrella for hours on end; as well as big, fun, rolling waves perfect for surfing and boogie boarding. This makes Cocoa an ideal year-round destination for families and beach goers with varying interests. 

view from Sandcastles

We stayed at Sandcastles Condominiums, in one of Jill Bavetta’s magnificent, 3 bedroom/2 bath, oceanfront condominiums, which offer wraparound balconies with sweeping views of the beach  and top notch amenities. To book, contact:

In addition to the beach, there are a number of up-close-and-personal animal experiences in nearby Merritt Island. Space enthusiasts will also want to check out the Kennedy Space Center and may even have the opportunity to witness a rocket launch.  But by far, our favorite experience was located a scenic 40 minute drive from Cocoa Beach, where we  enjoyed one of the most unique, fascinating experiences in the world.

Bioluminescence Adventure 


Florida bioluminescence is the #1 kayaking trip in Florida and one of only a few locations in the world in which to experience bioluminescence. Florida Adventurer Tours took us on the adventure of alifetime! 

While kayaking at night can be thrilling on its own, when you throw bioluminescence into the mix- things become particularly magical. Paddling out on the Florida waters after the sun goes down is the only way to see dinoflagellates, AKA tiny, glowing plankton. 

When dinoflagellates are disturbed by motion around them, they emit a green-blue glow. This is why kayaking is the best way to witness this marvel – when the hull of your kayak cuts through the water or you plunge your paddle into the sea, these microorganisms sense the motion and fill the surrounding water with an other-worldly glow. Be sure to place your hands in the water to watch them sparkle with hundreds of twinkling lights- like handfuls of stars.
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Cèrto Risto & Pizza- Authentic Italian Food in a Great Location

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On July - 11 - 2022

Cèrto Risto & Pizza recently opened in the Coral Gables/ West Miami area and locals couldn’t be happier. “Cèrto”which means truth, is used a great deal in Italian as an affirmation, and the truth about Cèrto is that it offers guests a comfortable, convenient setting in which to enjoy a variety of authentic Italian dishes. “I wanted a short, positive name that would give customers a good memory when thinking about their visit to Cèrto, shares Certo’s owner, Giovanni Astudillo (Gio), who was born in Ecuador and moved to New York when he was 16 years old. Gio finished high school and attended college before deciding to dedicate his life to  the restaurant business. He  saved money little by little with the hopes of one day opening a small restaurant.  Gio gained extensive restaurant experience at New York’s Barbetta,Remi, Palio and Becco to name a few.

In Miami, Gio helped to open Anacapri on Ponce de Leon and was instrumental in the opening of  Farinelli, where he served as General Manager. He later became the GM of both Apizza Brooklyn locations. After years of hard work, Gio’s dream of opening his restaurant came true, and Cèrto was born!

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Loretta and the Butcher

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On January - 11 - 2022


Tucked away unsuspectingly in Coconut Grove’s bustling Commodore Street, Loretta and the Butcher is a quaint and charming cafe/restaurant that serves simple, albeit expertly prepared dishes hailing from Argentina and the Mediterranean, as well as a wide array of unique wines. The brainchild of longtime friends and coworkers, Mariano Codaro and Costa Grillas, who met  in Miami in 2007 and worked  together for almost a decade before teaming up to open up their dream boutique restaurant: where residents from the community could feel at home and enjoy a great meal at a fair price with impeccable service. Loretta and the Butcher is that dream fulfilled!

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Taste of the SLS- a Culinary Celebration

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 19 - 2021

On November 11th, SLS South Beach, hosted Taste of SLS South Beach, an evening of unique culinary experiences. The star-studded culinary celebration brought together award-winning chefs from across the world affording guests a taste of the very best of SLS properties in one glamorous location and an exclusive performance by award-winning producer Mark Ronson.

Encompassing culinary and mixology experiences staged throughout the resort, an exclusive performance by Mark Ronson topped the event along with culinary collaborators: Dario Cecchini (Carna), Sara Aqel (Fi’lia), Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya). The event paired gourmet food and beverage offerings with exciting entertainment at one of Miami Beach’s hottest properties along with access to its entire beachfront amenities and afterparty at Hyde Beach Club.

Presented in collaboration with Chase Sapphire®, Red Bull, Danone, Lavazza, and ALL – Accor Live Limitless, guests enjoyed hand-crafted cocktails and energetic refreshments from Red Bull & Lavazza as they appreciated never-ending culinary creations by SLS’s participating restaurants and mixology concepts.


Say “Eau Yes!” To Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 14 - 2021

By:  Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

The embodiment of luxury, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, has recently embarked on an extensive, multimillion-dollar re-imagination to its social spaces, on the heels of its 8th anniversary.  It comes as no surprise that this oceanside retreat,  which offers a quintessential, modern Palm Beach experience, has earned the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award for six consecutive years. Situated on seven pristine oceanfront acres, among the most beautiful stretch of beach in Palm Beach, the resort features an underwater paradise- with snorkeling steps from the shore thanks to a huge coral reef which is home to  thousands of colorful tropical fish, an added bonus to the relaxed glamour that is the ethos of Eau Palm Beach. The resort combines oceanfront luxury with whimsical decor by Jonathan Adler, along with impeccable service and unexpected experiences, including al fresco dining at Breeze Ocean Kitchen, the island’s only oceanfront beach restaurant. Guests also have access to two oceanfront pools, tennis courts, a state-of-the-art fitness center and world-class spa.

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