What’s Old is New Again

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 4 - 2009

clevelander1As recent history has proven, the best way to create interest in and excitement over an establishment in this town is to shut it down, make some changes and reopen with a bit of fanfare. Just ask the owners of the Fontainebleau, Eden Roc, Smith & Wollensky, Karu & Y and Mynt (which seems to shut down and reopen every year or two) to name a few. Now we can add the Clevelander and Forge to that successful list.

The Clevelander, which has undergone an extreme makeover and an augmentation or two over the last year and a half, will celebrate its rebirth this Thursday with four days chock full of concerts, libations, and entertainment. Despite its roomier and glitzier revamp, the Ocean Drive staple remains the casual, wildly spirited hang-out that has made it the premier stomping ground for spring breakers of all ages for the past 70 years. Now the place where Spring Break springs eternal features over a dozen spaces to party, including the infamous pool and patio and a new, state-of- the art sports bar, complete with wall to wall High Def plasmas, where many a sports fan can cheer the Heat and Dolphins to victory, just steps from the ocean. The new Cleve also houses 1020 Music Boxx, a bonafide dance club (minus the velvet rope and snooty attitude) and the upgraded Clevelander Café, with renowned chef, Robbin Haas, at its helm. Fret not, you can still get your extra-greasy with a side of greasy chicken tenders and fries, but Chef Haas has added some sophisticated bites as well. The Clevelander’s augmentation also includes the addition of the SPF 4 Sun Deck, where we’re pretty sure a babe or two will be showing off augmentations of her own, and a rooftop terrace. The hotel’s 60 rooms have also gotten a facelift. While rooms are a bargain, starting at just $179.00, to really party like a Rock star, stay in one of the Rock- star Suites, where you’ll have your own butler to cater to your every outlandish whim! For more info or to buy tickets for the weekend celebrations, including concerts by Gym Class Heroes and Inner Circle and DJ sets by DJ Irie, Sky Nellor, Jazzy Jeff and Z Trip, visit www.clevelander.com.

After celebrating 40 years in business, and being honored by Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower on Monday, Shareef Malnik announced that his iconic restaurant, The Forge, would be closing this week to undergo renovations, overdue since its last remodeling in 1991, which was the result of a fire. Malnik, whose family has owned the 1920s storied venue since 1968, proudly declared that the revamp would include radical changes to the Forge’s menu and interior design, stating, “When we re-open in the fall of 2009, our loyal clientele will be blown away by the exciting enhancements and changes that will have been completed. Like the fine wines in our famous cellar, The Forge only improves with age. Here’s to the next 40 years.” To be honest, we kind of love the place as is, with its old world style and gorgeous chandeliers and stained glass ceiling and accents. To the dismay of many a Sugar Daddy and the girls who, ahem, love them, who flock to the Forge religiously on Wednesday nights, the culinary bastion will remain closed until next season. Perhaps the Clevelander can fill in as resident meat market in the meantime!

Celebrating with a BAM!

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 12 - 2009

Renowned Chef Emeril Lagasse celebrated the fifth anniversary of Emeril’scelebrating-with-a-bamromero-britto-presents-emeril-lagasse-with-a-painting-during-his-five-year-anniversary-celebration-2 Miami Beach last Wednesday with a bash benefitting the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. Lagasse’s larger-than-life personality shone through as he addressed the crowd of 400, encouraging them to continue to support MCH. To get everyone’s attention, Lagasse threatened to cut off some of the delectable signature dishes that were being served. “This is how it’s gonna go,” Lagasse shouted, “first go the crab cakes, next is the lamb.” This quieted the rowdy bunch for a short while, just long enough for Lagasse to receive his Key to the City and a gorgeous portrait by Romero Britto, which the artist unveiled on-stage, bringing Legasse almost to tears. Following the presentations, New Orleans jazz vocalist and trumpeter, Jeremy Davenport, a featured musical guest on “Emeril Live” performed. Next up was famed eight-year-old pianist Ethan Bortnick. The pint-sized prodigy really showed his age during his rendition of Billy Joel’s Piano Man, during which he sang, “Singing love to his Sonic and Gym.” Adorable! Bortnick then performed a song he wrote for Legasse, entitled, “Bam – Kick it Up a Notch!” and presented the chef with the song’s lyrics. As expected, the food at Emeril’s anniversary party was plentiful and outrageous, including a raw bar, three carving stations, (one with Kobe churrasco), made-to-order Jambalaya, and tons of passed hors d’ oeuvres- all prepared according to Lagasse’s strict specifications and infusing his unique flavors and essences. VIPs in attendance, who helped raise more than $100,000 during the event included, Michael Aller, Jerry, Sandi and Jacqueline D. Powers, Michael Capponi, Lee Schrager, Gene and Hannah Bortnick, Romero Britto, Thomas and Patricia Cornish, Juan Carlos and Vivian Mas, Shawn Hauver, Emeril and Alden Lagasse, Eric Linquest, Lucy Morillo, Mario and Bibiana Murgado, Luis and Norma Quintero, Leticia Pino, Rick and Monica Schatz, Jerry South, Lyle Stern, Jonathan Tisch, Edgar and Nicole Lozano and Eric and Jocelyn Woolworth.

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