They Don’t Call ‘em Dog Days for Nothing

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On August - 10 - 2009

By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

whotelsouthbeachAs summer drags on and kids prepare to go off to school next week, locals strive to find creative ways to entertain themselves amidst the mugginess, summer storms and a sluggish social calendar. The good news is that although celeb sightings are scarce this time of year, fun times can still be had at hotels such as W South Beach, various wine dinners, cool restaurants offering terrific deals and events such as RA Sushi’s Anniversary Party and the Brickell Art Crawl.

W South Beach has served as a ground zero of sorts for socialites and A-listers over the past couple of weeks. Gigi Levangie Grazer recently hosted a party for the Miami launch of her fourth book, Queen Takes King, alongside tastemakers including Alejandra and Tico Torres, Lisa Pliner, Eva Chow, Fernanda Dormit, Francesca Leoni, Frederic Dechnik, Hernan Arriaga, Karim Masri, Laure Hériard Dubreuil, Leslie Wolfson, Paul Bacardi, Richard David Story, Rita Schrager, Sam Robin, Sarah and Jason Callender, Sarah Harrelson, Suzy Buckley, Valeria and Ugo Campello, and Nicola Siervo, who celebrated his birthday last Saturday at W South Beach with a dinner at Solea and a party at Wall. In honor of the title of her sexy new novel, the striking Grazer was dressed like a queen. All of the servers wore silver tiaras as they passed the party food and cocktails on wooden chess boards, instead of trays. Grazer’s guests were treated to GREY GOOSE La Poire Peartinis, Caipiroskas and hors d’ oeuvres from Soleà, while Grazer mingled and signed copies of Queen Takes King.

The following day, luxury, fashion, lifestyle “expert” and author, Lara Shriftman, co-founder of PR firm, Harrison & Shriftman held a Day of Beauty for forty five of her closest friends at, you guessed it, the W South Beach. The lucky ladies were treated to a day of beauty, shopping, gifting, and relaxation, oh and let’s not forget the delicious lunch and cocktails. Guests also received astrology readings by Barbie Leyva and makeovers. When asked about the party, Shriftman, with baby Lucas on her hip, explained, “All of these activities and treatments created an ambiance of feminine worldliness, allowing all the guests to feel relaxed and effortlessly beautiful.” Upon leaving the party, each guest received a suitcase (yes, you read correctly) of fabulous gifts, including products, clothing, and gift certificates! Friendship definitely has its privileges.

Coming Up

Don’t Miss RA’s Sake-Tea-Ni

RA Sushi in South Miami’s celebrates its one year anniversary this Thursday, August 20, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. The theme for the restaurant’s special celebration is a “Mad Hatter’s Sake-Tea-Ni Party” complete with themed food and cocktails, dance beats by DJ Johnny the Boy and local celebrity drag queen Daisy Deadpetals reigning as the night’s “Queen of Hearts!” The party will boast everything from wild and crazy hats worn by staff, to a “Pin the Grin” on the Cheshire Cat game, flavored hookahs, and themed décor throughout.  Specially priced rolls and cocktails will be available throughout the night, with $ 2.00 from the purchase of each menu item going to The Wellness Community of Greater Miami.

Badrutt’s is the Place to be for the Brickell Art Crawl

Badrutt’s Place, the European gem in the heart of Brickell, will be the focal point during the Brickell Art Crawl, this Friday, August 21, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The Crawl is part of the highly- anticipated celebration of the recently completed Heineken Miami Mural, designed by Kiki Valdez. The works of other local artists will be revealed as well, with art installations by Carlos Lizano, Damien Cruz, Ruben Ubiera, Victor Payares and Renier Gamboa. Four other restaurants including Segafredo, Novecento, Piola and Dolores Lolita, will participate in the crawl, with Badrutt’s Place at the center being that it is located exactly at the halfway point. While at Badrutt’s, make sure to take advantage of the weekly happy hour and enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails, wine, and a beer along with a specially designed bar menu created by internationally renowned mixologist and chef Mario Da Como.  We highly recommend staying for dinner and sampling Da Como’s delicious creations and charming “table-side” manner. Some of our favorites include: tiradito, shrimp, risotto, crab cakes, cheeseburger bites, albondiga ‘Jeremy style’ tomato dip and pepper crusted beef medallions with horseradish sauce. To get more of a sophisticated dining experience make sure to get to Badrutt’s by 8:00 p.m. At around 11:00 p.m., the party bus arrives and the entire vibe changes, as the DJ and party people take over.

Sizzling Summer Steals

Start Wining

Canyon Ranch Grill invites guests to “Name that Grape” during an evening showcase of fine sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines. On August 20, guests will be guided by wine professionals through a tasting and Q & A session as they sample delicious hors d’oeuvres by Executive Chef Elizabeth Barlow. This month, guests will participate in a “blind tasting” featuring six anonymous wines. The guest that correctly guesses the most wines at the end of the evening wins a free bottle when dining at the Grill. The tasting begins at 6:00 p.m. and tickets are just $20 including complimentary valet parking. Call 305.514.7165 to RSVP.

On August 25, Eos continues its monthly wine dinner series with specially selected wines from the Tuscan Hills region. Guests will enjoy a delicious reception and multi-course dinner paired with five wines from Tuscany’s western border, a region recognized for its use of traditional grape varieties in its production of high quality Italian wines. The featured wines including the Chianti Classico by Fontodi 2005 and the Brunello di Monalcino by Tenuta Friggiali 1999 are ideal compliments to Chef Michael Psilakis’ signature dishes – Muscovy duck breast with dried cherry bordelaise, radicchio and truffled potato, and the grilled dry aged sirloin among others. Reception begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $95. For reservations, please call 305.503.4400, ext. 7151.

Meat Market, continues its popular monthly Wine Dinner series, organized by sommelier Gabriel Varela and rising star chef/co-owner Sean Brasel, on Tuesday, August 25, 2009, with a 7:00 p.m. reception and 8:00 p.m. seating. The third of many wine dinners, Varela pairs Brasel’s bold, contemporary American cuisine with the award-winning wines of Château St. Jean winery. The five-course dinner menu, with paired wines, priced at $160.00 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity.

Step Aside Kernel Sanders

Chef Michelle Bernstein has rolled out a special summer menu at Michy’s, her flagship Miami restaurant. Every Wednesday night, Bernstein is cooking up an endless fried chicken feast, priced at just $33 per person. In addition to the artery-clogging fried chicken, the Wednesday night smorgasbord features a bottomless parade of sides: biscuits n’ gravy, coleslaw, and watermelon Greek salad. The dinner includes a slice of luscious dark chocolate cream pie.

Celebrity Sightings

Mos Def brought down the house during his performance at the Arsth Center over the weekend. Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Alvarez, walked down the aisle at Mansion’s celebrated dinner theatre show, Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, on Saturday night with his entire family. The Mayor feasted on an Italian spaghetti dinner and wedding cake, and partook in the interactive show, dancing in the conga line with 200 other “wedding crashers” to the tune of “HOT HOT HOT.”  Last week, retired football player Warren Sapp keep things “kosher” at Rare kosher steak house with two guests.

Kayne West and John Legend shot their new music video at LIV Sunday night. West’s girlfriend, Amber, danced the whole time cheering on her boyfriend, while the crowd went nuts. Last Sunday, Ludacris and Manezane of The Runners partied at LIV’s Imagine Sundays. Rapper, Pitbull, received a Key to the City on Wednesday. Pitbull will perform along with Crystal Waters, Doug E. Fresh and Anita “You Can Ring My Bell” Ward for 944’s Nightlife Issue Celebration at LIV this Thursday.