Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

South Beach Wine & Food Fest: So Much Fun!

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 4 - 2010

Morimoto, Symon, Boulud, Flay at BB2010

The ninth annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival has come and gone, leaving the South Beach sand wine soaked, the air tinged with delicious aromas and our scales tilting in the wrong direction.  This year’s festival boasted an unprecedented number of events, with more than 50, 000 attendees, and over $2 million raised for the Florida International University (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.


The Amstel Light Burger Bash kicked -off the four day festival on Thursday night. Bobby Flay, Daniel Boulud, Guy Fieri, Rachael Ray,Rocco DiSpirito Burger Bash 2010 and Michael Symon all under one tent is any foodies dream, and this year’s carnivorous romp made that delectable dream come true as chefs from all around our nation battled it out to see who could come up with this year’s People’s Choice Award for “Best Burger.” The party, held in a giant tent behind the Ritz Carlton, was a blast, the cool weather adding to the already high-spirits of SBWFF lovers, who didn’t seem to mind the smoke and barbecue “fragrance” which permeated their lungs, hair and clothing.  Last Year’s defending champ, Spike Mendelsohn, wore a heavyweight championship belt, boxing trunks, robe and gloves and had the Rocky theme song blaring from his section, while serving his classic burger with American cheese and bacon on a soft bun accompanied with a cotton candy milk shake (yummy!).  Masaharu Morimoto’s burgers were rumored to be among the best, as evidenced by the line of people waiting that spanned the length of the tent.  The Iron Chef won for best “toppings” and was awarded a Tiffany Heinz Ketchup Bottle.  The 2010 People’s Choice Award winner was Michael Symon of B Spot and his Swiss, pastrami, and coleslaw burger (Pepcid, anyone?).  Former champ, Mendelsohn graciously handed over his heavyweight belt to Symon to solidify the win.  Our very own, Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food (who in our humble opinion makes the best burger in Miami) took top honors earning the Allen Brothers Golden Grill Award – the judge’s choice for best burger for his bacon cheeseburger on brioche with a side of crispy hominy with chili and lime. Other celeb-chefs spotted included Sandra Lee, Michael Chiarello, Sunny Anderson, Rocco DiSpirito, Jeff McInnis, Govind Armstrong, Tim Love, Carla Hall, Art Smith, Anne Burell, and Michael Schwartz among many others. The delightful dessert selections from Jeni’s Splendid Gourmet Ice Creams (almond brittle and Cocoa Zin and salty caramel-ooh la la!) and Levain Bakery’s 6 oz cookies (yes, almost half a pound) capped off a perfect evening. 

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Super Bowl Makes Miami Celebrity Central

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 19 - 2010

The Super Bowl blew through town last week, taxing my endurance, bank account and liver (Forget the guest list, just add me to that transplant list will you?). And in addition to the game, there were celebrity appearances, concerts and parties, parties, parties!  Since the helicopter and speed boat were in the shop, I couldn’t make it to EVERYTHING, but managed to put together a “short” recap of who was where and what they were doing.  Unless otherwise noted most of the A-list celebrities (and B and C for that matter) spent most of their time at the parties they attended just hanging and milling about, as if they were a display at the Museum of Natural History.  The biggest bashes in terms of shear number of guests (Bashes for the Masses) were thrown by ESPN, MAXIM, TAO and Playboy.  Notable concerts included: Rhianna, Marc Anthony at the Icon Brickell, JLO in a cat suit at LIV, Ne-Yo at ESPN at the Fontainebleau, Wycleff Jean and Snoop Dogg at the 944 Hotel on separate nights, and an impromptu concert by Wycleff Jean at the Florida Room during which Queen Latifah and Robin Thicke jumped on-stage.   Read the rest of this entry »

Leighton Meester performs at Klutch

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On December - 30 - 2009

Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester performed a
concert at the debut of new nightclub, Klutch,
in the former Opium space, last week.

Gale Force Gatherings

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On June - 5 - 2009

Frederic Dechnik Laure Heriard Dubreuil Iran Issa Khan Nicola Siervo and Sam RobinHurricane season kicked off this week, bringing with it storms and sweltering weather and putting the kibosh on many an outdoor event.   But even the rain and extreme heat could not keep celebs, athletes and VIPs away from the Eden Roc Hotel on Friday night, where Cindy Taylor and all-pro Redskins football player, Santana Moss, celebrated A Night at the Eden Roc: Reloading Life through the World of Fashion which featured  Frederick’s of Hollywood and Bullets 4 Peace fashion shows.  For a little while, the party seemed a bit “cash bar,” being that guests had to actually pay for their drinks, which were not included in the ticket price, but as temperatures heated up poolside, the event became downright scorching, once the fashion shows began, thanks to models strutting down the floating runway wearing next to nothing.  After the Frederick’s of Hollywood show, actor Steven Bauer addressed the crowd, channeling Sylvester Stallone at the end of Rocky IV, (when he gives the inspirational speech to the Russians- If I can change, and you can change…blah…blah…blah) mumbling about his new show, the Santana Moss foundation and Bullets 4 Peace, we think, as he was virtually unintelligible.  Next came one of the most unusual and visually stunning shows we’ve had the pleasure of watching, as designer Raffi Anteby presented his jewelry collection, Bullets 4 Peace, in which he uses actual bullet casings to create unique works of art.  Instead of the casings being recycled into new bullets, used for destruction, they are artistically revamped with silver and precious stones, promoting “peace” through fashion.  It’s a stretch, but we’ll take it.  What was unusual about the show, which began with shirtless buff boys in combat gear, carrying fake semi-automatic weapons, was that the models were completely naked, except for a tiny g-string, patent leather boots and the jewelry.  Each model’s body was painted to match the unique design of the piece of jewelry she was wearing.  Towards the end of the show, the “soldier boys” made a reappearance, only to be thrown into the pool by the body-painted girls- peace wins! Get it?  Afterward, Anteby presented the adorable Santana Moss with an original piece and the airbrushed models, along with Anteby and Cindy Taylor sang Happy Birthday to Moss, who was celebrating his 30th.   Guests at the bash included Academy Award-winning actor, Lou Gossett Jr., New York Giant, Sinorice Moss, designer, Donald Pliner and his wife Lisa, designer Lei Marco, Michele Pommier, and the Eden Roc’s David Siguaw.  Proceeds from the event benefitted the Santana Moss Foundation, which brings awareness economically disadvantaged communities in South Florida, and around the country, while working to enrich the lives of children and families in these communities through education, health and sports initiatives.

While showing off items which actually cover the human body, The Webster drew quite the VIP crowd to its grand opening on Monday.  With a caviar café and three floors of stunning clothes and accessories for women and men, the Webster inaugurated its permanent locale with a soiree that was more bash than boutique opening.  It seemed everyone we’ve ever met anywhere (with the exception of those traveling abroad) braved the elements and slippery steps to celebrate and marvel at the pricey designer duds.  The party was only supposed to go until nine, but was still hopping after ten o’clock, due perhaps to the free flowing Grey Goose and the “Webster Cocktails” (a mix of vodka, champagne, and Remy Cointreau violets and pearls), and the fact that it was actually indoors, where temperatures are actually bearable. Among the many notable guests at the Webster grand opening: Lennox Louis, Aaron Young, Louis Morais, Danny Santiago, Nathan Browning and Rebecca de Ravenel, Red Carter, Markus Ketty, Craig Robins, Iran Issa Khan, Sam Robin, Louis Aguirre, Michy and Leticia Grendene, Jonathan and Criselda Breene, Shareef Malnik, Ugo Colombo, Gary and Dana Shear, Robert Wennet and Mario Cader-Frech, Nicole Lozano, Michelle Areces-Zandy, Ariel Stein, Hernan Arriaga, Gigi Ganatra and Alex Duff, Tommy and Michelle Pooch, Donald and Lisa Pliner, Jillian Jacobsen-Altit, Alejandro Chaban, Cynthia Olavaria, Kevin and Rebecca Bruk, Tony Goldman, Mehmet Bayraktar, Ricardo Dunin and Stefanie de la O, Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, Walid & Susie Wahab, Brooke Soffer, Andrea Aberegg,  Laura Bucellati, Alison and Mark Zhuk, Sanford Ziff, Hello Campos, Dr. Julio Gallo, and Kelly Gold.

Summer Steals:

Throughout the month of June, Club 50 at Viceroy Miami will continue hosting Art Viceroy, this summer’s free weekly Tuesday night series which presents local artists in the disciplines of video, performance, sculptural and installation art. Guests are invited to take in the sweeping views of downtown Miami, sip cocktails from Ruinart and mingle as they enjoy the art.  Next Tuesday, June 9, will feature the work of Argentine graphic artist, Karin Garcia, who incorporates characteristic decoupage design combinations to transform tired furnishings into dramatic treasures. On June 16, video artist Venessa Monokian will showcase her work.

For a local healthy and economical option, check out Canyon Ranch Grill’s “Nourish” prix-fixe menu series which will focus on heart health during the month of June but will feature a different health topic each month. The $36 per person menu is a bargain and includes dishes teeming with antioxidants, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, and other anti-inflammatory ingredients that are essential for decreasing risk of heart disease.

Another great deal for those of us who are in stone crab withdrawal and seeking another crustacean on which to feast is Smith and Wollensky’s annual Summer Lobster Special, which runs through Labor Day, and includes a slew of menu items prepared with fresh Maine lobster, including an amazing offering of a 2.5 pounder for only $39.  The menu kind of reads like a scene out of the movie Forrest Gump, lobster salad, lobster Mac & Cheese, lobster soup, lobster mashed potatoes…

Celebrity sightings:
Brooke Shields was seen shopping at the Inca boutique at the Gansevoort South last week.  Matt Damon partied at LIV on Saturday night.  Latin singer, Paulina Rubio shot a cover for Glamour Latin America at Icon Brickell and dined at Donatella Arpaia and Chef Michael Psilakis’ Eos restaurant at the Viceroy with a group of ten, including her mother, Mexican actress, Susana Dosamantes.  Rubio looked stunning in her red gown at the Heart Deco Ball at the Eden Roc on Saturday night.

Band from TV Makes a Splash at Shore Club

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On May - 21 - 2009

band-from-tv-james-denton-teri-hatcher-and-bob-guinyBig on enthusiasm and actual musical talent, The Band from TV, comprised of Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar, Teri Hatcher, James Denton, Bob Guiney and Jesse Spencer along with Louise Griffiths (model/actress) rocked the Shore Club Saturday night with their garage band antics, and to quote Paula Abdul from American Idol, “really had fun up there and made the songs their own.” The Band’s energy was evidently contagious, as the packed crowd jumped, sang, danced and shouted requests. Audience favorites included: The Who’s Teenage Wasteland, Kid Rock’s All Summer Long, Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas, and Bruce Springsteen’s version of Presley’s Pink Cadillac, The Charlie Daniels Band’s The Devil Went down to Georgia and to end, Twist It (Shake Your Tail feather) from the Blues Brothers. Teri Hatcher, who sang her heart out and was joined by her daughter onstage, was hot, literally, ending her performance with a dive into the pool. Other band mates followed her lead, ending the concert with a splash. All proceeds from the evening went to the band members’ favorite charities.

Star Gazing

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 21 - 2009

Kellan Lutz at Florida RoomWhether at the racy Raleigh, sophisticated Mondrian, celeb-packed Shore Club or any of our fair city’s other amazing nightclubs, New Year’s revelers were afforded plenty of opportunities for “star gazing” (sans telescope) and rang in 2009 with much fanfare and flare, South Beach Style.

The Raleigh’s Burlesque New Year’s Eve, hosted by famed New York City “Queen of the Night” Susanne Bartsch, was an outrageously raunchy affair that would have had Dita Von Teese blushing: from the gargantuan, inflatable open pair of women’s legs floating in the hotel’s iconic pool, to theatrical performances, unforgettable peep shows, strip teases, flamboyant gender-benders and freak shows including well-endowed men wearing zebra and horse heads and female strippers sizing up their (ahem) man hoods, literally, ruler in hand. Bartsch rung in the new year accompanied by designer Read the rest of this entry »