What We're Reading
Local stone crab supply plummets, Cooper Avenue temporarily shutters...
December 21, 2012
Just as Lee Klein touted Cooper Avenue on bonappetit.com, the haute food hall temporarily shut down
As you contemplate your New Year’s resolution, consider the fact that basketball superstar LeBron James bikes from his home in Coconut Grove to downtown’s American Airlines Arena for most home games. (The ride takes 40-plus mintes, each way) That’s an eco-friendly workout if we’ve ever heard one. [Sun Sentinel]
Don Shula, Romero Britto, and a slew of other local celebs came together to read and record "The Night Before Christmas." Watch the video for a good laugh and a spirited start to the long holiday weekend. [SouthFlorida.com]
Veteran local restaurant critic Lee Klein shines the national spotlight on some of Miami’s best food haunts for bonappetit.com. [Bon Appetit]
A stone crab shortage is causing prices to soar and fishermen in Florida to call it quits just two months into the season. [Huffington Post Miami]
Weekend Recommender: December 20-24
An end of days dinner party, a fashion-forward man-iversary, and more!
December 20, 2012
STK Miami will host an end of days dinner party this Friday
The Man's Store Anniversary Event
Thursday, December 20, 6:30 p.m.
Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour celebrates the anniversary of its renovated Man's Store with cocktails, Texas de Brazil bites, and a sneak preview of the new 2013 Range Rover. 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, 305-993-4612; email@example.com
Thursday-Monday, December 20-24
The Miami City Ballet closes its annual production of The Nutcracker this weekend at The Adrienne Arsht Center, dazzling audiences with its world-class dancers, stellar costumes, and hundred-plus person cast. 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722; miamicityballet.org
End of Days Dinner Party
Friday, December 21, 9-11 p.m.
STK Miami at The Perry South Beach rings in the predicted doomsday with a Mayan-themed party. Dancers will be dressed in Mesoamerican garb and guests will enjoy Don Julio cocktails and a DJ set by Afro Kumbé. 2377 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-604-6988
Seasonal Sangria Recipes
Nutmeg, cranberries, and vanilla transform traditional sangria into a holiday treat.
December 20, 2012
The workweek is almost over, the holidays are in full swing, and today is National Sangria Day! Take a load off and invite some friends over for an impromptu celebration with these seasonal sangria recipes from organic, low-calorie Eppa Sangria.
Spiced Warm Eppa
1 bottle sangria
1 red or green sweet apple
1/4 cup premium gold rum
1/3 cup honey or sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
8 to 20 cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Combine ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker. Gently warm on low to medium heat to avoid boiling for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasional until the sugar (if using) dissolves and ingredients are well blended. Ladle the mulled sangria (leaving out cloves) into mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
2 bottles sangria
1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
12 ounces cranberry juice
1 cup sliced green apples
1 sliced orange
1 sliced lemon
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and chill for one hour before serving.
3 ounces sangria
2 ounces apple juice
1/16 tsp. vanilla
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cranberries and apple slices.
Petra Nemcova Teams with Clinique
A sweet fragrance does worlds of good for children and schools affected by natural disaster.
December 19, 2012
A sought-after model who has worked for all of the major magazines, Czech beauty Petra Nemcova is also a model humanitarian. After surviving the catastrophic 2004 tsunami that ravaged Thailand, Nemcova established the Happy Hearts Fund, which rebuilds schools in areas devastated by natural disaster, in 2006. Joining Nemcova and the Happy Hearts Fund's plight to help those in need is Clinique and its popular fragrance, Happy Heart, which has been specially repackaged for the partnership. For each $37 bottle sold, Clinique will donate $10 to the Happy Hearts Fund.
To launch the initiative in Miami, Nemcova made stops at Bloomingdale’s in Aventura and Macy's in Dadeland. Here, we learn more about the Happy Hearts Fund, and its partnership with Clinique, in a conversation with Nemcova and Clinique vice president of global communications CeCe Coffin.
Was it challenging to get the Happy Hearts Fund up and running?
PETRA NEMCOVA: Since I started without having any background in philanthropy, you are learning on the go. One of the most important lessons was to focus. Without focus you can't really tackle a challenge and create tangible results.
It seems like a very grassroots effort, but a hugely successful one.
PN: Showing a clear mission, tangible measurable results, and having zero percent administration costs, all help to engage people. They see there is purity in it. We've been growing in supporters internationally and are establishing local boards in Indonesia and other countries. We raise funds in the U.S. and Europe, but the funds are leveraged through organizations in the countries where we rebuild schools. It gets people within the country involved in rebuilding their own school, which is very important to us.
As someone who helps survivors of tragedy, what are your thoughts on the Sandy Hook school shooting? How does the healing process begin?
PN: The pain they are going through must be unbearable. It's so hard to wrap your head around it because it should not have happened. My heart goes out to the families and the whole community. We see families losing their children through natural disasters and there are no words that can make it better, only love and care. Tragedy creates very special bonds that will be there forever and I hope they find the strength within each other.
How did the partnership with Clinique come to be?
PN: It came like a blessing from the sky! [Laughs] Clinique had been talking with their consultants about what they care about most and the results were education and education for children. So that was one of the synergies and philosophies we share. We have similar brand identities and with Clinique already having a Happy Hearts perfume, there were many touch points that were alike.
CECE COFFIN: We knew whoever we were going to align with that there had to be authenticity and passion and the education initiative. The minute we met Petra and Happy Heart's executive director Phil Caputo and they talked to us about their mission and where they were going, there was just a mutual respect for each other.
Can you describe the scent of Happy Hearts?
PN: It is sweet with notes of mandarin orange, water lily, and geranium. The new packing is representative of both brands with hearts drawn by children. The perfume is now pink and orange and when you align the four boxes side-by-side, the hearts connect. It is a reminder that your heart is connected to those of the children you are helping.
What other goals do you have for this partnership?
CC: There is a lot to accomplish and huge opportunities here. We will continue to develop employee engagement programs and we think we will roll out globally—right now the perfume is only available in North America. This is just the beginning of the journey for us. We're just excited.
PN: I go to New York tomorrow for one night, then for a few hours to London, then to Thailand, and then to the Czech Republic to visit my family.
CC: She's unbelievable. Talk about a woman who is committed.
We agree. And speaking of travel, what are your on the go beauty rituals?
PN: Obviously drinking lots of water is important. Clinique's All About The Eyes serum is also one of my secrets. I've also narrowed it down to traveling only with carry-ons; I can't be bothered with too much stuff, even if the trip is two or three weeks. People who travel a lot are at risk for getting blood clots, so I eat dark berries or beetroots before a flight to thin my blood. I always have a large scarf—it's my sweater, my dress, my everything.
Pop the Question at The Ritz
A new hotel package offers the ultimate romantic setting—and a diamond ring.
December 19, 2012
The Love Knot ring, part of The Ritz-Carlton's new To Di For package
Calling all couples: The Ritz-Carlton South Beach has conjured up the perfect package to pop the question—or just indulge a few days of luxury—with its new, dripping in diamonds To Di For package. For $4,954 per night, guests will slumber in a recently renovated ocean front suite and enjoy a custom diamond-infused facial treatment, foot ritual, and scalp massage. In addition to any gifts bestowed to each other, guests will also receive a sparkling 18k white gold 1.02 carat diamond Love Knot ring by Coralie, of Duchamp Jewelers. Though the diamonds themselves may last forever, the To 'Di' For package will only be offered through December of next year. 1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 786-276-4000
Holiday Dining Recommender
Three of Miami’s best restaurants cook splendid Christmas suppers—so you don’t have to.
December 18, 2012
The chef's daily mussel special at Angelique Euro Café
Angelique Euro Café
This charming Miracle Mile eatery will serve a special Holiday Spice prix fixe dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The three-course meal ($35) starts with bites like escargot in butter and wine sauce or the chef's daily mussel special. Scottish salmon, scallop risotto with truffle oil, and chicken breast with braised lentils round out second course offerings. For dessert, choose from raspberry white chocolate bread pudding, chocolate raspberry ganache cake, or vanilla bean ice cream with Amaretti cookie crumbs. 117 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305-529-9922; angeliqueeurocafe.com
Available Christmas Eve and Christmas, BLT’s à la carte holiday offerings include chestnut apple soup with ginger whipped cream and apple tuile; roasted porcini mushroom with fonduta, pomegranate, mâché, and shaved white truffle, and a 20-ounce Kansas City strip steak with smoked brisket marmalade. Dessert promises a traditional Bûche de Noël with candy cane buttercream. 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-673-0044; thebetsyhotel.com
The Fontainebleau's anchoring Italian outpost will open on Christmas Eve, but its fabulous feast takes place on Christmas Day, with a one-night-only prix fixe dinner. For $75 per person, guests can indulge in four courses, including plates like yellowtail and polenta, Alaskan halibut, and coconut panna cotta. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 877-326-741; fontainebleau.com
Photos: Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival
Recapping the annual five-day celebration of food, wine, and star chefs.
December 17, 2012
The Grand Tasting at the seventh annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival
Lavender-infused cocktails with giant orchid-studded ice cubes scented the air at Daniel Boulud’s kick-off party for the seventh annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, a high-end bacchanalia that went on for five days. The opening night party brought together local and out of town toques, along with TV personalities like Restaurant: Impossible’s Robert Irvine, “Sandwich King” Jeff Mauro, and Top Chef alums Fabio Viviani and Lindsay Autry (who has just taken over the stove at Sundy House).
Saturday afternoon, the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach held an afternoon burger cookout by the ocean while The Breakers hosted an evening reception and tribute to legendary restaurateur Sirio Maccioni. In the days following, Marc Murphy prepared a sustainable dinner at PBCatch, Miami’s own Jeff McInnis joined fellow chefs like Elizabeth Falkner to cook a “Last Supper” at Buccan restaurant, and for the festival finale, an acclaimed group of chefs served unforgettable bites at the Grand Tasting at 150 Worth. Highlights from the tasting included The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach chef Matthew McGhee's crispy pork belly with smoked pineapple ketchup and cocoa; Addison Reserve Country Club's crispy pork belly with terrine forestière; and The Dutch Miami's crispy lamb belly with olive caramel, couscous salad, and lemon Greek yogurt.
Also on hand was chef Michael Wurster, who just took over Michelle Bernstein’s post at the Omphoy Ocean Resort. “After [hurricane] Sandy, I decided to move from New York to Florida,’’ he smiled. At that point, the sky opened up, and the tony Palm Beach crowd rushed for cover.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Lauren Lieberman and Michael Pisarri / LILA PHOTO
Miami’s Own Sugar Plum Fairy
A Q&A with The Nutcracker star Patricia Delgado, plus behind the scenes rehearsal photos.
December 17, 2012
The Miami City Ballet will present George Balanchine's classic holiday ballet The Nutcracker at the Adrienne Arsht Center this Thursday, December 20, but we got a peek at the production last week, during the final rehearsal at Broward Center. Dancing in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop is Miami native Patricia Delgado, who has been with the company since 2000 and famously shares the stage her sister and fellow principal, Jeanette. The New York Times has called them both Miami's best. Between acts, we chatted with Patricia about her dream-come-true stint as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the rigors of the ballet.
When did you start dancing?
PATRICIA DELGADO: I started dancing when I was five years old. I actually did the kid roles in The Nutcracker. I would always look up to the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop—even the Flowers and Snow roles—and I would wonder, Will I ever get to do those parts?
Did you and your sister, Jeanette, start dancing at the same time?
PD: We started dancing around the same time. As kids we were always in different classes, because we are two years apart, but once you join the company, and especially now, we're right there supporting each other through everything.
What are the difficulties of playing multiple roles in a production like The Nutcracker?
PD: Fatigue is definitely one of the main challenges. After a night of doing the Sugar Plum Fairy, you're really exhausted. And if you have a matinee the following day as Dewdrop, it's a complete switch in physicality. You do get used to it. Once you are warm and it's showtime, the adrenaline kicks in and you make it through.
What will you be working on after The Nutcracker?
PD: Program II in the beginning of January. I think it is our best program. We have a world premiere by Liam Scarlett, who is a very young British choreographer. That is our closing piece. We have a couple days of vacation, but a lot of us are going to use that time to continue training.
Will you be taking time off?
PD: I'll take Christmas and New Year's, but it's a hard time to completely take off. It's harder to get back in shape. Then it's also Duo Concertant and Divertimento No. 15 time, which is pure, classic ballet. It's fun to go from The Nutcracker, which is up in spirits, to something classic.
Have you trained in other styles of dance?
PD: I did flamenco, jazz, modern; I think it helped immensely because now most ballet companies and choreographers are pushing the boundaries and limits of classical ballet.
What is your favorite style outside of ballet?
PD: I love doing more contemporary stuff. We've done a lot Twyla Tharp, which is grueling on the body—but I get incredible satisfaction from it. I think our reputation will start to change a little bit with doing Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett's work. I feel like it's been challenging but it's been fun.
The Nutcracker runs through Monday, December 24.1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722.
Luxe Last-Minute Gifts
From a Ferrari joy ride to a must-have Miami cookbook, these gifts get the job done.
December 17, 2012
For Well-Dressed Men: Del Toro Slippers
Smoking slippers have never been so chic as they are now that Wynwood’s own Del Toro Shoes has brought them back into fashion. The brand’s latest collaboration with menswear line Street Etiquette has yielded these sleek Portofino Slippers ($325) with a neutral braided beige exterior and stacked wooden heel.
For Speed Demons: Ferrari 458 Spider Joy Ride
Miami weather is ideal for convertible outings, and Lou La Vie is serving up the most exclusive exotic car rental experience on the market. Give the person you love the ultimate joy ride by renting the Ferrari 458 Spider (which retails for a cool $257,000) for the day. Rental price quotes are available upon request. 333 N.E. 24th St., #309, Miami, 877-595-4329
For Trendsetters: RK New York Finger Clutch
If you're looking for an accessory with attitude, Miami Beach brand RK New York has you covered with this leather Spiked Finger Bag Clutch ($695), which as been snapped up by the likes of Maria Menounos and Jessica Stroup. It’s also available in a cool camel shade.
For Glamazons: Robbie Lip Gloss
Robbie Lip Gloss founder Shira Kastan was inspired to create her cosmetic line after kissing her boyfriend goodbye for good. Since then, her nourishing glosses ($16.50 each) have become a favorite among stars like Kristin Cavallari. Local retailers include Exhale Spa at the Epic Hotel, Blush Boutique, and Electric Couture.
For Foodies: Michael Genuine Food Cookbook
Simple, farm-fresh recipes abound in Michael's Genuine Food: Down-To-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat ($35), penned by Miami chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz. The book covers everything from pitch-perfect lamb shanks to sweet and spicy pork belly. Autographed and personalized editions are available online.
Dinner Plans: Serafina
One of New York’s most beloved (and starry) Italian eateries lays roots on Collins Avenue.
December 14, 2012
Prosciutto and mozzarella at Serafina
The newest hot spot to hit South Beach is, like many of its predecessors, a New York import. Italian power lunch locale Serafina is where the rich, famous, and well-heeled meat to eat crisp black truffle pizza and classic pastas inside the Dream South Beach Hotel. Opened by owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato during Art Basel Miami Beach, Serafina has already served stars like Kim Kardashian and Padma Lakshmi. Besides New York and the Hamptons, Serafina has outposts in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
So what's on the menu? Simple but scrumptious Italian staples with a tropical Miami twist. We highly recommend the refreshing but filling chicken, mango, and hearts of palm salad with an order branzino ceviche, which packs papaya, mango, and tequila marinade. Also divine: The prosciutto with moist Buffalo mozzarella and the carpaccio with boiled potatoes and black truffle sauce. A best bet for pasta is the farfalle al limoncello, a plate of bowtie pasta tossed with baby shrimp, lemon zest, and cream.
For dessert, a tiramisu trio serves up classic ladyfingers alongside strawberry and green tea variations. Meanwhile, an assortment of alcohol-infused popsicles keep things very Miami Beach. Choose from Champagne and strawberry, tequila and watermelon, or vodka and passion fruit flavors. 1111 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-534-8455