Brrrrrrr Days = Birthdays

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

lisa-bergwin-and-hadley-at-hadley-henriettes-birthday-party21By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore


It seems as though we have been receiving an inordinate number of birthday invitations over the past couple of weeks. We can only surmise that the frigid January temperatures (about 75 in Miami but chillier points north) a few decades ago  resulted in extra canoodling for warmth among the parents of more than a few friends and local personalities, making for some fun and interesting birthday gatherings, to fete our favorite Libras. From Hadley Henriette’s Cuban-Chinese themed party, to Michael Valdes’ soiree in which the best-dressed guests received prizes, to Gino Campodonico’s outlandish Barbie-themed bash at the dollhouse, which featured Lady Gaga impersonator, Rosie Herrera, (who just received rave reviews for her directorial/producer debut with Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret performed earlier this year the Adrienne Arsht Center), Libras celebrate creatively.  Other locals celebrating their birthdays this month include: Katrina Campins, Navin Chatani, Erica Freshman, Michael Madd, Hassan Radouane and Angela Santopinto, all of whom hosted a Libra Zodiac party at Red, the Steakhouse on Wednesday.  More birthday parties are in the works for Michael Leonidas Kirkland, Vanessa Poskanzer, and Max Shore.


About Last Night…Dates, Nudies and Cheeks


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.  O.K., so the food names aren’t so funny in the cold light of day, but they were pretty amusing amidst the glam/hipster (which we’ve recently come to identify as any cute 20/30-something donning a fedora and/or decorative neck fabric) crowd that packed the Design District eatery for the weekly “About Last Night” party, which could be easily confused for the set of a photo shoot or show on the WB, except for the fact that food was present even though the model-types seemed to be more on a liquid diet (duh).  The premise behind the party is that guests spend the night Tweeting and updating their Facebook posts.  How this is different from any other party, fashion show, restaurant outing, date, movie watching, back scratching, driving experience…took us a minute to figure out. Turns out the party’s unique draw, aside from the hot crowd and outstanding food is that the event itself is a Facebook/Twitter “friend” so those who’ve enjoyed a few too many libations and/or suffer short-term memory loss can piece the night together the next morning. (Not necessarily a good thing.) Inaugural hosts Sean Drake and Michelle Leshem drew in a great crowd including Tara Solomon, Nick D’ Annunzio, Megan Harris, Sam Baum, David Glass, Jose Ortiz, Jacquelynn Powers, Eric Newill, Bill Kearney, Debbie Ohanian and Manny Hernandez.  It comes as no surprise that the outstanding food created by Eismann, which is served in style by adorable, friendly waiters resulted in a shout out for Pacific Time by Esquire Magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants in the U.S.” To be blunt, and quote a fellow diner whom shall remain nameless, “Flavors of orgasmic proportions.”

Coming Up:

Ladies Lunch

Ladies Lunch was recently held at Smith & Wollensky, and offered a terrific opportunity to network with women from all different careers and occupations-not that we ever need a reason to “lunch.” At the gathering, each attendee brought materials and causes to share with the group during a 30-second introduction. Which brings us to our point: if you’re ever in need of a divorce attorney, life coach, or locksmith (certain situations may call for all three), Ladies Lunch is the place to make your connections. The next lunch will be held on Thursday, October 8, at La Goulue in Bal Harbour Shops and will feature Michelle Marchand, an expert in training and development, who will get the ladies involved and inspire the group to get motivated. The next Ladies Lunch South Beach will be held on Thursday, October 15. The SoBe Luncheon will feature guest speaker Pat Morgan of Smooth Sailing Success who will discuss Empowering Women to Be More, Create More Fun & Build Better Relationships. We highly encourage you to bring plenty of business cards. For more information, please contact or 305-865-5733.

Perks for those in the Biz


A Fish Called Avalon’s executive chef, Brian Cantrell, invites those in the bar, nightclub, hotel and restaurant industries to experience the restaurant’s award-winning cuisine by offering specialty items including wine by the glass or bottle, beer, well cocktails and all signature appetizers at half off the menu price on Monday nights. The 20 year-old South Beach landmark offers modern American seafood with tropical influences and sleek minimalist décor.  It is open daily from 6:00-11:00 p.m. For restaurant reservations please call 305.532.1727.  Visit for more information.


Celebrity Sightings:

Rapper, Ludacris, was at Meat Market last week, celebrating his birthday and drinking his new cognac. Later in the week, Jared (of Subway fame) dined at Meat Market with five friends. He had the wedge salad and Kobe skirt steak. Sounds like that might be a great addition to the Subway menu. Sing it, 50…50 dollar foot-long!

Josh Groban hung out at W South Beach’s WALL nightclub on Friday night – showing up late with a group of friends. He took two tables and sipped on Grey Goose and Patron. Saturday night, Pete Wentz left his show in West Palm Beach to head down to LIV and DJ at the Ocean Drive Magazine Fall Fashion event for Chloe. Wentz asked party guest, Michael Jordan, for a photo but was denied by security.

Earlier on Saturday, Michael Jordan had dinner with Miami Heat/LA Lakers coach, Pat Riley, at Mr. Chow. Later on, Jordan visited Louis with his girlfriend, Miami girl, Yvette Prieto, where he was low-key, enjoying a bottle of Macallan’s 15 Year old Whisky and puffing on a stogie at a table across from the DJ booth, as his party danced around him and ordered cocktails. Generous as usual, Jordan over-tipped his waitress by $100 dollars.  On the same night, designers, Julian Chang and Karelle Levy along with reality star, Michael Cohen, celebrated Hadley Henriette’s birthday at her gorgeous North Bay home.

The Chapelle Show’s, Charlie Murphy, (fans, insert your Rick James impersonation here, “I’m Rick James, B$%ch”) enjoyed a quiet dinner at Houston’s Coral Gables on Sunday night.

Last, because of chronological order, NOT order of significance, former President, Bill Clinton, dined and enjoyed a cigar (how cliché) at Acqualina Resort & Spa on Tuesday night. The former President was served food from Il Mulino. According to the staff, he was extremely friendly.




An Afternoon in the Garden of Good

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 23 - 2009

Sterling Nancy, Jesse and Al Malnik at Maw Garden Party

Al and Nancy Malnik, lifetime benefactors of the Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, hosted an intimate garden party at their palatial, Art Deco estate on Sunday, for two hundred of the foundation’s top supporters. During his emotional address, Malnik set the bar for this year’s Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball at a record $2,000,000.00, eliciting a collective gasp from the select crowd. The billionaire with the huge heart motivated and moved his guests with a personal account, “Nancy and I have recently been touched with our own personal tragedy with one of our little ones, so the foundation has come to mean even more than ever before.” Al Malnik’s son, Shareef, returning Gala Chair, beamed with pride as his father spoke, making it obvious that the two have a close relationship and that Shareef admires his father’s zeal and stamina, (after all, Al, who is in his mid-seventies, has given Shareef six siblings ages of ten and under!) Now that’s chutzpa!

The jazz band and choir from King’s Academy entertained the crowd, who mingled in the estate’s gardens, just steps from the ocean, enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails on a perfect Sunday afternoon. At last year’s garden party, a team of synchronized swimmers delighted guests by performing various numbers in the pool, with the precision and prowess of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.

Distinguished guests included Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, who assured supporters that he “would not stop, would not sleep, until every wish was granted;” Jack Miller, General Manager of Hotel InterContinental Miami and Gala Host of the IMAW Ball; L. Robert Elias, Chairman of the Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and James Ferraro, of The Ferraro Law Firm and Wish Benefactor of the IMAW Ball. Other notable guests in attendance: champion boxer, Bernard Hopkins, burgeoning singer/songwriter, Jamie Jo Harris, designer, Richie Rich, Baby Chic, Nick D’ Annunzio, Tara Solomon, Fabian Basabe, Antonio Misuraca and Michael Valdes. The palpable excitement prevailed throughout the afternoon, in anticipation of this year’s ball to be held on November 7 at the Hotel Intercontinental. Over 900 guests are expected to attend. This year’s host remains a secret, but several attendees requested Sharon Stone return as host this year. Shareef promised he would try. Kim Kardashian did a good job last year, but Sharon Stone left some pretty tall stilettos to fill after the 2007 gala!