Pacific Time-About Last Night

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 1 - 2009


hipsters-at-pacific-time1 It’s hard to resist a party named after one our favorite 80’s classics, About Last Night.  Enter Pacific Times’ celebrated chef, Jonathan Eismann, with provocatively named, scrumptious dishes such as the gnudi (pronounced “nudie,”) “dates” and “grouper cheeks” and we are hooked.

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Mama Mia!

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On September - 15 - 2009

miaHere in Downtown, Miami, there are definitely a few spots worth mentioning. Mia Biscayne opened with much fanfare in the form of searchlights, throngs of people outside the velvet ropes and special musical guests last Wednesday. This latest addition to the downtown club scene features a restaurant, live music venue, nightclub and outdoor terrace that just screams “happy hour” to those who work and/or play in the downtown/Brickell area. Conceptually, it’s a like Karu and Y, but with a cozier feel, better service and much more convenient (read less life threatening) location. The premise is that Mia is an ideal place to spend an entire evening, where you can grab a good meal, have some cocktails and stay to dance until 5:00 a.m. Upon arrival, we were personally greeted by the adorable Executive Chef, Gerdy Rodriguez, a young-Tyler Florence type, who looks like he stepped out of one of those reality cooking shows. Rodriguez credits his Cuban upbringing for his flavorful fusion concoctions, which include the Mia roll, lobster topped with spicy tuna, crispy plantains (yes, mariquitas), scallions and avocado cream (our favorite), Kobe sliders and piping hot Manchego cheese and Serrano ham croquettes (close second). Another highlight unique to Mia Biscayne is the I-Bar, a translucent runway installation that club goers control by touching, kind of like laser light show meets giant IPOD touch. Talk about ADHD helper- now if only we could send texts on the thing. Hunky award-winning actor/singer, gencarlos-canela3Jencarlos Canela, and American Idols Christina Christian performed live, and DJ George Morel provided the sounds for guests such as Dr. Sanford Ziff; Tara Solomon and Nick D’Annunzio, and notable political figures, Mayor of West Miami, Cesar Carasa, Commissioner, Rebeca Sosa, Commissioner Tomas Regalado and Mayor of Hialeah, Julio Robaina – all of whom presented the owner of MIA, Luis Arias, with a proclamation to the city.

A Birthday Fit for a Queen

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On September - 3 - 2009

roy-blackjason-clarke-roy-jr-lea-black-elaine-lancasterOver 1, 500 guests checked into the Hotel Lancaster last Thursday night to celebrate world renowned, one-of-a-kind personality and Diva, Elaine Lancaster’s birthday. As over the top as Lancaster herself, the ballroom at Score nightclub was transformed into a swank hotel, with staff dressed as bellhops. Creative cake designer, Ana Paz, fashioned the birthday cake after a grand seaside hotel complete with palm trees, working lights and an edible replica of Lancaster standing guard. The party’s décor was enhanced by artists such as: Aaron Powell, Cecilia Paz, Joey Mugica, Samantha Perez, Haviart, Romero Britto, Howard Austin Feld, and Guillermo Manrique, each of whom created a unique, visual interpretation of Elaine Lancaster. Friends from all over the globe flew in to spend this special night by “her” side. Guests included: Roy and Lea Black, Andy and Fran Boros, Dr. Julio Hernandez, Frank Navarro, Adrienne Arsht, Michael Gongora, Flavio Nisti, Dale Stine, Brigitte Grosjean, Merle and Danny Weiss, Omar Gonzalez, Frankie Canas, Ricky Salazar, Aaron Von Powell, Beau Beasley, Mykel Stevens, Dan Sehres, Adora, David Rohn, Lydia Martin, Frank Navarro, Nick D’Annunzio, Red Carter, Samantha Perez, Michael Stanley, Rudy Rafuls, Jason Clarke, Mark Clay, Frankie Canas, Lesley Abravanel, Fabricio Martorano and many others.

Ay, Ay, Setai

If you are considering a chic respite right here in our own back yard, look no further than the Setai hotel. We know it’s not necessarily the newest nor “hippest” (whatever that means these days) nor the cheapest, by a long-shot, but as soon as you step into the lobby, you will discover why Conde Nast Traveler, has named the Setai one of “The World’s Best Places to Stay” for three years in a row. Forbes Traveler, has also included it in its list of “The Sexiest Hotels in America” and “400 Best Hotels” and Gallivanter’s Guide has granted the Setai the “Award for Excellence-Best Resort in North America” since the hotel’s opening. At the cornerstone of the Setai’s success is the service. Guests of all ages (yes, the place is surprisingly kid-friendly- providing treats and even pint-sized robes and slippers for the little ones) receive the VIP treatment from the time they check-in and throughout their stay. Upon arrival, guests wait in the posh lobby and enjoy refreshments while they are checked in and are personally escorted to their room and offered a tour of the property. Once inside the stylish, luxurious room, chocolate truffles and fruit await and beachside and poolside, valets provide Evian water, fruit, spray mists, suntan lotion and even after-sun moisturizer. The best part is that all of these amenities, including the beachside private teak cabanas, are included in the hotel price, unlike many other resorts that charge extra. While the average person may have to take out a loan or consider selling an organ to stay at the Setai during peak season, the hotel is offering some excellent packages to encourage that much needed and deserved end-of-summer mini vacay, including a complimentary night after a two-night stay and special neighbors’ rates for Florida residents. For more information, contact:

Sizzling Summer Steals

The Spa at Icon Brickell is offering The Spa’s 50% off employee discount on all massages, facials and body treatments to all guests until the end of September. To make a reservation, call (305) 503-0369.

Agua at Mondrian introduces the September Sweet Treats promotion this month. From the Dreamsicle Delight body massage to the Sweet Citrus Mani & Pedi, each of the four delicious treatments will set you back just $99 (plus tax + gratuity), and comes with a complimentary glass of bubbly. For $20, guests may purchase the Passport to Pampering that includes use of the fitness center, steam room, sauna and relaxation lounges, along with a glass of champagne, without booking a service. For more information, contact: (305) 514-1950.

Ayama Yoga in Aventura is celebrating by offering free “classes to the masses.”  Throughout the month of September, new students can drop in for any morning, evening or weekend class at no cost.  For a schedule of classes, visit

Fall Flicks

While we can’t get enough of Club 50 at the Viceroy, it is good to sometimes venture out and explore the other offerings at Icon Brickell. Starting this Saturday, September 5, The Spa invites guests to catch a classic movie in its intimate 30-person theater. This spa even has a theater, who knew?! For only $12 each, guests can curl up on the plush Philippe Starck-designed couches, enjoy a film from a specific genre, and munch on a gourmet cupcake and popcorn. This Saturday’s film is Citizen Kane, followed by Casablanca on September 12, Singing in the Rain on the 19, and To Kill a Mockingbird on the 26. Movies begin at 7:30. For the full dinner and-a-movie experience, we recommend making a reservation at Chef Michael Psilakis’ fabulous restaurant, Eos, which is located one floor above the theater. For more information, contact: 305.503.0369 or

The Fontainebleau was the celeb Mecca last week. Last Wednesday,
at LIV’s Dirty Hairy party, American Idol’s, Simon Cowell, Randy
Jackson and Ryan Seacrest enjoyed a boys’night
out, sans Cara and Paula.  On Friday night, at LIV, Kid Cudi performed his hit “Day and Night” while pouring cheering fans shots of Grey Goose. Saturday night Hakkasan hosted a private dinner for director, Michael Bay, pop star, Robin Thicke and his wife, Paula Patton, Kid Cudi and Walter Perez from the new movie Fame. Later the crew held it down at LIV, ordering magnums of Dom rose. Sunday Paul Sevigny spun at Blade pool while Spice Girl, Mel B, and her husband performed synchronized swimming in the pool. Later that night Jazzy Jeff took to the turn-tables for the crew at Imagine Sundays at LIV.
Undisputed World heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, was spotted working out at Equinox South Beach on Tuesday.  On Saturday, Nick D’ Annunzio had dinner at Joe Allen with a few close friends including designer, Calvin Klein, publicist, Paul Wilmot and photographer, Pablo Alfaro.  Ludacris was at B.E.D. last Wednesday for the launch of his new Conjure Cognac, arriving at the club with an entourage, including Miamian Flo-Rida, all of whom carried bottles of Conjure with sparklers high in the air.  Ludacris got on the microphone to greet the crowd, and promote his premium liquor.  Matt Damon and his wife Luciana Barroso enjoyed the Miami Spice menu at Area 31 last week.

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore


Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On September - 2 - 2009

Nick D’Annunzio and Brian Antoni’s “Totally 80s” birthday bash at Viceroy’s Club 50 last Friday night was, simply put, the most fun party we’ve been to all summer, maybe all year. We could even exaggerate a bit and say it was the biggest blast we’ve had in almost two decades. Perhaps it was the 80s theme, reminiscent of a time when life was less complicated, before flat-irons and Facebook, Blackberries and Botox, texting and Twitter. A time when the humidity made for a “good” hair day, being that “big hair” was in, every song on the radio or cassette was totally awesome, the ideal outfit consisted of pretty much anything you could find and throw together, people actually danced at parties and even talked to each other on occasion, and South Beach was a quiet, retirement community. Or maybe we were just a bit (quite a bit) younger. The party’s success could also be due to the fact that business and life partners, Nick D’Annunzio and Queen of the Night, Tara Solomon, Principal of Tara, Ink., know a thing or two about throwing a party. The guest list consisted of over 1,000 of Miami’s most influential VIPs, socialites and hipsters, many of whom dressed for the occasion, just adding to the hilarity and excitement, who danced all night- on the floor, on the tables, on the couches…well you get the idea, to excellent music by master DJs, Sean Drake and Johnny the Boy.   Solomon, who barely stopped dancing for a second, commented: Read the rest of this entry »

Lounging Around

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On July - 24 - 2009

gilles-marini-at-star-lounge1As usual, the Mercedes Benz Star lounge in the Raleigh’s seventh floor Esther Williams’ suite was the place to see and be seen, and take in much needed A/C and refreshments in between shows. At the lounge, we had the opportunity to talk to Sex and the City film hunk and part-time Miami Beach resident Gilles Marini, (made famous by his steamy outdoor shower scenes that got Samantha all in a twist in the movie) whom we barely recognized with clothes on.   The charming Marini, a spokesman for Mercedes-Benz, and Dancing with the Stars runner-up, is scheduled to appear in the upcoming seasons of Brothers and Sisters and Nip Tuck.  He said he loves Miami and was enjoying the shows with his wife, Carole and two gorgeous children.

The Shay Todd show, held poolside at Wet at the W Hotel was delayed by a brief downpour with gusty winds that toppled part of the stage and an alarm that brought out the Fire Marshall.   Despite the setback, the folks at Tara, Ink., including partner,  Nick D’Annunzio, who helped rebuild the stage on the pool, kept the crowd happy and put on a great show.  We couldn’t help but wonder, “Why all the fuss over a little rain?”  After all, the place is named WET! Celebrities who braved the rain delay included actress, Tara Reid and German boyfriend Michael Axtmann; The Howard Stern Show co-host, Robin Quivers; BRAVO TV’s The Real Housewives of New York, Kelly Bensimon; The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Dina Manzo, and BRAVO TV’s Miami Social, Maria Lankina.  After the show, Shay Todd held the after party for her show at the Wall at the W, which opened officially to the public on Saturday night.

As expected, de rigueur after parties took place all over South Beach, including the Raleigh penthouse, WALL at W South Beach, Le Cote at Fontainebleau and Louis at the Gansevoort South.

Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Transformers Hit South Beach

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On July - 3 - 2009

baycapponityreseFamed director, Michael Bay, and actors Ramon Rodriguez and Isabel Lucas hosted a special opening weekend screening of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen at Regal South Beach Cinemas, for a few hundred of their closest friends. The mild-mannered Bay introduced the actors and told guests that he made this film for them to enjoy and ordered them to “Have fun.”  He then asked the theater staff to “Play it loud” and sat and watched the first 30 minutes of the film for the umpteenth time, before slipping out at the same time as the actors and a few VIPs, including Michael Capponi and his goddaughter, Amber, and several Paramount Pictures employees to dine at Scarpetta.    As he watched his latest blockbuster, Bay seemed genuinely in awe of the Autobots, which spend the better part of the movie beating the daylights out of the Deceptacons, and even laughed at the film’s funny scenes.  Among those attending the screening, whom we could actually make-out in the dark,  Tara Solomon and Nick D’Annunzio, Jon and Nancy Batchelor, Antonio Misuraca, and Jorge and Darlene Perez. One of the few actual living things in the movie is Bones (short for Bone Crusher), one of Bay’s  gorgeous, enormous, Bull Mastiffs, whom we had the pleasure of meeting at Bay’s United Way Fundraiser at his home last December, along with Bones’ partner, Grace.  Bay totally lit up when asked about his pooches, with which he travels everywhere- by private plane, of course. After the screening, the director, actors and several VIPs headed to LIV for the official after part