Off the ‘beach’ and path are where some of my favorite new discoveries lie, although some may not be so new. If you cross Miami Beach’s one of two causeways, here is my guide to la nouvelle discoveries, and truth be told, I hope you enjoy what I dug up.
From consignment digs to Spanish cuisine inside of a wine shop to amazing tomato martini’s (so good, I swear) and some of the most delicious tapas in the lobby of a building off Brickell, Miami is a city that never sleeps, but also never ceases to amaze me. So many gems. Hope you J’adore. XXX.
GLAM in Midtown
Thank god that Midtown Oyster Bar shut down, because let me tell you, that place gave me vile poisoning….although, I could kind of use it again, especially next month before I head to +33. Who doesn’t want to loose a few? Ha. Kidding. Anyways, back to my favorites. Chef Todd Erickson is an old friend of mine, and last news it was made public that this culinary genius is opening a vegan restaurant next week. Although I have not tried his food yet, I SO look forward to heading in and experiencing this meat free ‘haven.’ (how appropriate as his last restaurant was called Haven). 301 NE 1st Ave #103-1.
Happy Wine in the Grove
South Miami, Happy Wine is callin’ your name! Located in the heart of the Grove, Happy Wine is not solely a wine shop! Surprise people, this little hole in the wall has some of the most absolutely incredible, cholesterol filled food in town. I must say, I am a healthy eater, and constantly crave the risotto and papas with egg (huevos rotos). Such a great spot for that boozy brunch with the girls, and the happy hour is said to be superb as well. Let me tell you, when I supped with Ginger Harris, Soledad Lowe, Andy Faerman, Dani Gomez and a few other petite notables, there was no food remaining on our platitos. The proof is in the pudding! Oh, and the wine (there is one of the most beautiful and extensive wine lists + a shop) is always 10 percent off! Who doesn’t love a great bang for their buck? 2833 Bird Ave.
Rik Rak Salon
As we all know, it is not easy to get a great salon treatment, especially a manicure/pedicure. People, look no further than Rik Rak Salon where I had a KILLER, long-lasting golden (with sparkles added) manicure and pedicure before I headed to Aspen for Jenny and James Curnin’s Wedding. It lasted for nearly three weeks, said no one ever, except me! I urge you to head in, and even though it costs nearly 80 dollars, it is convenient (parking) and honestly, I look forward to going back soon. I also recommend Mari for your service, although I hear all of the technicians are superb.1428 Brickell Ave.
What do these 2 have in common? They are in the lobby of 2 buildings on Brickell Avenue and one block apart!
Arketekt by Aficianados
What was once just a wine-liquor-cigar shop has just added an extension which boasts some of the most delicious food in the area. The short rib and risotto dish was OMG, as was the Bloody Mary, which you will learn more about in next issue of Indulge Magazine, the reason behind this discovery. The ceviche was also heavenly, as were the other dishes they sent over. This is guaranteed to be a foodies favorite. The ambiance is also warm and cool. The only thing I would recommend would be great music/dj du Gaby Mejia. 1200 Brickell Bay Dr.
La Petite Maison
Not only is the place giving Cipriani a run for its money, the food has sent me back three times this past month. The escargot taste like a blend of Paris, infused with Lebanon. The shrimp carpaccio in olive oil is show stopping….the ambiance is so sexy, as is the bar and bartenders. A few weeks ago while on assignment for another project, I discovered a fancy, oh-so-fresh, sweet fantasy. The Tomatini Martini is OMG, and made from the fresh tomatoes that are the edible centerpiece of every table. Even if you are not a tomato fan, I have faith you will love this regardless. Oh, you may also fall in love with the managers Arnaud and Richard. Just a warning! 1300 Brickell Bay Dr.
BEST RAMEN in Town
Dashi at River Yacht Club
SO on point from A to Z with the delicate offerings, if you did not know that Stephane Dupoux is a hospitality genius, you should be advised that this is in fact the real deal. The ramen is a foodie favorite and not only does it makes you feel that you are in Asia, it makes you wonder when you will return for your next bowl. The seaweed salad is also heavenly. 401 SW 3rd Ave.
Jason Odio’s latest baby is one of Brickell Avenue’s greatest secrets. Most recently he went to Asia and came back with a chef, who whips up a killer bowl of ramen as well as other delicious options. The fried tofu and pork buns are simply: YAS. The bartenders are also experts in their trade. The Moscow Mule with Tito’s is A-ok for me, any day! 500 Brickell Ave.
Best, most luxurious prix fixe lunch menu’s around
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
At the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key, the restaurant down those magical set of steps to the right hand side of the lobby, lead to a Peruvian heaven. La Mar has been around for quite some time, but the difference now is the lunch menu has insane 3 course meal offerings, Monday through Friday. For 25 dollars per person or 32 with wine, not only do you leave full, you leave with a reservation for the following day. You can also order from the regular menu, and if you do, please get the Hummus Salad. Trust. I also highly recommend the spa. I went in a few weeks ago and had the pleasure of a delicious treatment called The Healing Wave with therapist Beth. Definitely one of Miami’s TOP spa’s, starting with the unique design, professionalism and satisfaction at the end of the experience. Hurry. Run, do not walk. 500 Brickell Key Dr.
Kiki on the River
The food is as delicious as Mandolin and as gorgeous as Milos, and the reality here is you are waterfront. We live in Miami, so why not take advantage?! Plus, one of my friends designed it. Love Jay Wall. Congrats baby!
The three course lunch offerings are available Monday through Saturday, oh, and it is 24.99! I suggest the greek salad, salmon and yogurt desert. GURL! Oh, and to the people who read this and think like me, it gets a bit over botoxed, tush implanted, ‘I wanna be Kim K,’ for my style on Sunday. Then again, that is also similar to their neighbor, party mecca Sea Spice. 450 Northwest North River Dr.
and last but not least:
Vibe Consignment & Vibe Edition by Angie Ferrer Domecq
This woman has estilo beyond belief. You may know Angie if you run in the same social circle as moi, but know her or not, you need to be aware that the consignment shop that used to lie in Ironside has relocated and advanced! Not only is Angie running a consignment empire where you have everything from contemporary to Chanel available at your finger tips, through her subsidiary Vive Edition, you can get great, artisanal and curated items, like beach bags for $35! Can not beat that! 7101 N. Miami Ave. Studio 103.
* Header photo, courtesy of Chef Todd Erickson’s Facebook page*