Shareef Malnik Settles Down

February 01, 2011 | by —bill kearney | Talk of the Town

Shareef, clad in gym gear, escorts me through his airy Palm Island Spanish Colonial to the backyard, where Gabrielle is practicing yoga on the dock. She stops her routine to come say hello. “Yoga, jujitsu or both?” she asks. I opt for the wrestling mats, where Shareef is being coached through a series of street-ready judo throws by Brazilian jujitsu instructor Jorge Pereira.

Shareef shows me how to perform a front headlock by putting me in one. Once I regain my breath, we take a break and I survey the backyard. Aside from the combat sports, it’s really quite a domestic scene. “Your life’s changed a lot in a year,” I note. Shareef agrees: “I went from having the ultimate bachelor pad on Ocean Drive to this. We’ve got three dogs running around, three cats, three kids. I feel like I’ve been training my whole life for this.”

Though Gabrielle thinks she’s eating at Cecconi’s, Shareef has planned a surprise picnic on the beach. Once we settle in under the canopy and sample a bit of the cheese plate, I ask how they met. “We both happened to attend a dinner at Paradise Farms about a year ago,” says Shareef. Gabrielle adds, “We ended up in this competitive banter about who could throw a better party.” For Shareef, who deems being a restaurateur a calling as much as a business, a gauntlet had been thrown down. “A week later he invited me to this wildly romantic, silk-draped Bedouin feast,” says Gabrielle. “There were little fish in bowls all over the place, and this phenomenal flamenco dancer.” “When did you get an idea that this might be something special?” I inquire. “When I saw the fish,” she says. Turning to Shareef, she wryly asks, “Did you even have that moment yet?” “When I got out of the car at Paradise and our eyes joined,” he answers. “That was it. I was done.”

Shareef’s University of Miami law school buddy, trial lawyer Jim Ferraro, shows up. Gabrielle gets down to business, giving him relationship advice and checking out the girls in question on his phone. Exasperated by Jim’s romantic choices, she schemes a cameo role for him on Burn Notice—as a gangster. As a ridiculous array of desserts are served, three pretty young things walk up and give Shareef’s shoulder a squeeze, inquiring about a table. “They smell so lovely,” says Gabrielle. “Have them sit nearby.” Shareef leans into Gabrielle and inhales deeply. She responds with a rather grand smooch. OD The couple picnics at the Soho Beach House.

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