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SkyRise Miami

24 Mar

ImageDesigned by Bernardo Fort-Brescia, this iconic structure will be the second tallest observation tower in the country. The steel and glass giant will be situated on the waterfront of Bayside Marketplace in Downtown Miami. Skyrise will have a sleek, hairpin-like form, which will help the tower withstand strong hurricane winds. The tower will feature an upscale restaurant, a formal ballroom, three observation decks and a nightclub perched 1,000 feet above ground. SkyRise will also offer a number of attractions for the adrenaline rush seekers; a bungee jump-like SkyRise Drop system, a SkyPlunge free fall ride and a Flying Theater simulating a ride through Miami, the Everglades and the Ocean.

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SkyRise’s developer, Jeff Berkowitz hopes to begin construction by summer of 2014 and complete the work by 2017. “It is going to allow Miami to assume its rightful place on the global map of world-class cities,” Berkowitz told Local10. “It’s iconic… It’s going to be Miami’s Eiffel Tower.”

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The construction price of this phenomenal project? SkyRise might end up costing $430 million and while Berkowitz hopes to raise $270 in investments, he will also be contributing a “significant” amount of his own money, Miami News Today reports. Not only will this development draw foreign investors to the area, but it will also help create jobs for Miami residents. According to the Washington Economic Group Report, SkyRise will create some 7,100 jobs during its construction phase and an additional 17,000 once it opens its doors to the public. And the local economic stimulus doesn’t end there! The SkyRise website boasts that the tower is projected to attract 3.2 million visitors every year upon opening, which should help further boost the 305 economy.

 

For more pictures and information about the exciting future addition to the Miami skyline, please see:

http://www.skyrisemiami.com/

http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/02/12/states-tallest-observation-tower-advances/

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/20/3767826/developer-plans-1000-foot-bayfront.html

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Tickets sold out…WTF!

21 Feb

ImageThis weekend Miami is hosting one of the nation’s largest celebrations of food and wine, The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. This four-day event brings together thousands of people from all over the world. Boasting a star-studded guest list including award winning chefs and celebrities, the festival will offer attendees an opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of the finest haute-cuisine tastings. The good news is you don’t have to be a foodie or a wine connoisseur to enjoy the Festival. With events planned all around the city ranging from 3* Michelin extravaganzas to late night after party bites, everyone is bound to find something fitting for their taste buds. The bad news? As with any nationally famed event, the tickets are mostly sold out. However, there are still a number of available exciting events you shouldn’t miss if you’re in Miami this weekend.

Probably one of the most legendary events of the grand opening is Moet Hennessy’s “The Q” on Thursday night.

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This year it will feature signature BBQ themed dishes by the best chefs from around the world paired by various Moet Hennessy specialty cocktails. The party is to be hosted by the renowned chef, Michael Symon and a couple of supermodels featured in the 50th anniversary edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Tickets are sold out on the festival’s website but can still be purchased here:

http://www.stubhub.com/south-beach-wine-and-food-festival-tickets/moets-hennessys-the-q-2-20-2014-4379596/

If you can’t make the daytime events but find yourself craving a late night snack, check out the midnight event Pubbelly will be hosting. What could be better than trying a pork belly medianoche with bacon-wrapped dates and chorizo created by Chef Jose Mendin? Trying it for free! This event is perfect for those who are looking to be a part of the festivities on a budget. Pubbelly will be showcasing Jose Mendin’s creations from 12 – 2am on Friday, February 20th. Make sure you send your RSVP to smithfield@hunterpr.com and get there early as the rules of the free food game call for first come first serve. Just like last year, the Burger Bash hosted by Rachel Ray is sold out. However, there are still tickets available for “Burgers and Binoculars”, an event that will take place at the Ritz-Carlton in South Beach. Attendees are invited to enjoy burgers on the beach while using their complimentary binoculars to sneak a better peak at all the A-list attendees. The event will be held on Friday, February 21st from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Craving something sweet? Why not treat yourself to an afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton getting educated on the art of macaroon making? If you are more of an eater then a chef, just go and eat the macaroons that the chefs in training are preparing while you pretend to cook. This go-to gourmet dessert has won over the hearts of millions of foodies around the world. Go see what all the fuss is about at the degustation presented by pâtissier Francois Payard. If the macaroons alone don’t win you over, the impeccable wine pairings presented by sommelier Josh Wesson sure will. A perfect post-brunch stop offering the two essential components of a great Sunday: fine wine and forgetting about your diet. #yolo so hurry and get your ticket here:

http://www.sobefest.com/payardseminar

Swine Southern Table and Bar – Guest post by Stephanie Wajsman

24 Apr

It’s the new place to see and be seen in Miami. Reservations are booked for months and already glowing reviews are being spread. So what’s this next trendy Miami hot spot? Swine, a BBQ restaurant from the creators of Yardbird and Khong River House.

Swine Southern Table and bar in Coral Gables

Swine Southern Table and bar in Coral Gables

Now let’s get this straight—BBQ and Miami are not a great fit together. I hail from the great Atlanta, Georgia and went to school in gamecock country (South Carolina for all the college sports illiterate folk) so I’m fairly up to speed on the difference between great BBQ and imitation BBQ.

Moving down to Miami was a BBQ culture shock. When I first moved to Brickell and started walking around to get to know the area, I saw Brother Jimmy’s. I immediately was intrigued. How did this BBQ place get to Miami? Is it any good? Obviously, I tried it out that night. You know those movies that have the servers dressed up to please the tourists and their food is nothing like what they advertise? That was Brother Jimmy’s and an “Oh Brother” it was. I felt like Jennifer Anniston and her “flair” were going to come up behind me and bring the check. I was heartbroken. I figured if I ever wanted to have the BBQ I have grown accustomed to, it would have to be when I crossed the Georgia-Florida line. Luckily I was wrong.

14-Hour House Smoked Brisket

14-Hour House Smoked Briske

The redneck-flannel-down-and-dirty-BBQ made its way down to Miami in the form of a posh and popular restaurant aptly named Swine. Despite our 10:30 reservation (all that was available on a Saturday night), the place was crowded and loud enough so that you knew people were there but quiet enough so you could carry a conversation. But really, enough about the place—let’s get to the food.

My favorite kind of BBQ has always been brisket, so we went with the Black Angus Burnt Ends as our appetizer. It. Was. Amazing. Perfectly tender and juicy with an authentic BBQ sauce. Add in the fried cornbread and dare I say they were the best burnt ends I’ve ever had.

Our main meal was the ribs. Now you may want to ask me, “Stephanie, if your favorite is brisket, why go with ribs as the main and brisket as the appetizer?” Well, let me answer that for you: the place is called Swine. How was I going to go with something other than pork the first time eating there? And people, I got it right. Next time, sure I’ll get the 14-hour smoked brisket; but this time the ribs were absolutely necessary. Again, cooked perfectly and full of flavor (And not that gross smoky flavor that tends to infiltrate the meat but a real made-in-my-backyard-next-to-the-moonshine flavor). It’s something you can’t describe but you feel. Trust me—it sounds crazy but go get you some ribs and brisket (and wash it down with some whiskey) and get for “y’all” to become a part of your vocabulary.

-Stephanie Wajsman

Miami Must: Wynwood Art Walk

13 Apr

Street Art and Graffiti at Wynwood Walls

Whether you’re an art aficionado or just appreciate a great people-watching crowd, Wynwood Art Walk is definitely a MUST in Miami.  Held every second Saturday from 7-11pm in Wynwood (an artsy spot nestled between Downtown Miami and the Design District), Art Walk is essentially a smorgasbord of art, food, music and mingling.  If you haven’t yet checked it out, be sure to catch the next one this Saturday [tomorrow], April 14th.

Outdoors dining at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar 

These days, there’s so much to take in and see at Art Walk with over 60 art galleries, art complexes and collections in Wynwood [check out the Miami New Times’ guide to 8 “unmissible” shows this Saturday here].  But one thing you cannot miss is The Wynwood Walls –  an open-air “art park” featuring incredible murals of street art and graffiti [see top photo for a glimpse].  Take a stroll around the park, stop by the outdoor bar for a drink, groove with local DJs, and check out the black-light bus that’s like a time warp to the 70’s.

Artwork inside Wynwood Kitchen and Bar

 While you’re feeding your soul with art, why not feed your stomach?  Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is a great spot located right at the Wynwood Walls.  Or, if you prefer to eat and walk, hit up the food trucks for an incredible array of cuisine, from tacos to falafel to burgers and grilled cheese.  Check out the full food truck lineup for this Art Walk here.

Checking out a gallery with friends at Art Walk.

Caipirinhas food truck parked at Art Walk.

Although Art Walk technically ends at 11pm, the party definitely doesn’t stop [this is Miami, after all].  If you’re looking for some “after hours” fun, check out Wood Tavern for a chill bar experience, Bardot for a party atmosphere, or Cafeina for a lounge ambiance.

The main area of the Wynwood Art Walk is between 20 St & 36 St and from NW 2nd Ave to NE 2nd Ave. – if you plan on driving, get there early for best parking.

Have a great weekend!

DH

[All photos shot by Lindsay Rubens]

Foodie Finds: Eating House

9 Apr

“Fried Chicken Thighs”: Photo via miaminewtimes.com

The latest foodie hotspot to hit the Miami scene is Eating House, a “pop-up” restaurant in Coral Gables.  Despite its popularity in other major cities, the pop-up restaurant is a relatively new concept to Miami.  Essentially, a pop-up restaurant is a temporary restaurant that “pops up” in an already existing restaurant space.  It’s a great way for young chefs to gain exposure and experiment without the financial risk of opening a restaurant.

At Eating House, local Miami chef Giorgio Rapicavoli (who you might recognize as the winner of “Chopped” on the Food Network) has taken over dinnertime at Cafe Ponce, a quaint eatery in the Gables that serves only breakfast and lunch.  And by the looks (and taste) of it, it won’t be long before Giorgio sets up shop in a permanent spot of his own.

“Homestead Tomatoes”: Photo via yelp.com

The ever-changing menu consists of about a dozen small plates meant to be shared (although you won’t want to – the food is too good).  I went with a small group and we ordered one of every item on the menu  – and asked for a second (okay, and  third) of dishes like the fried chicken thighs and waffles, korean BBQ brussel sprouts, homestead tomatoes, braised short rib, and the duck breast.

But be sure to save room for dessert: treats like the “breakfast” (two words: coca puffs) and the “dirt cup” (salted Oreo crumbs? GENIUS) are too good to pass up.

“Breakfast”: Photo via http://bvsc.tumblr.com/

Eating House is open from 7pm-1am, Tuesday through Sunday.  Be sure to check it out before it closes up shop late this summer – you’ll be sad you missed it!

Beyond Ordinary

27 Mar

Aside from its soaring luxury condo buildings, everyone knows that Brickell offers an energetic nightlife for 20 and 30 somethings looking for an alternative to the flashy and oftentimes pricey Miami Beach nightlife.  But even the Brickell scene can get a little “same-old” and sometimes you’re just in the mood for something different.  I was recently introduced to Blackbird Ordinary, a new Mad Men-inspired Brickell hotspot, and it was exactly what I was craving. 

And it’s no wonder I immediately felt right at home at Blackbird; the geniuses behind the new spot are the same guys who started Purdy Lounge on Miami Beach (an old favorite), and The Bar in Coral Gables. 

Their concept is clear — it’s about having good, old-fashioned fun.  No fighting behind a velvet rope at the door to get in, and you don’t need to spend a dime to get a table.  Walk right in and find a cozy seat at one of their many booths or hit the dance floor where you can find an ecclectic mix of tunes from 80’s hits to electronic beats.  Grab a board game (Jenga, Candyland, Connect Four, anyone?) or head to the patio out back. 

Co-owner Dan Binkiewicz says: “People forget it’s about having a good time. And I’m here to remind them. All four of my bars are for regular people, because to me everybody’s a VIP. I’ll never have a door guy that picks and chooses people out of line or discriminates. All of my bars will always be affordable for everyone even if we are making delicious handcrafted cocktails.”  

 And the cocktails are delicious indeed.  Try the house-named “Blackbird” for Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka with freshly muddled blackberries, fresh lemon, a touch of simple syrup served over crushed ice.  If you’re a Southern belle, you might like the “Blue Bonnet,” made with Bulleit Bourbon, Georgia peach purée and fresh mint served Kentucky julep style in a tin cup.  Looking to add a little protein to your diet?  Try the “Red Footed Booby”: a frothed egg white tops off fresh muddled strawberries with agave nectar, lime juice, Cocchi Americano, and Don Julio Tequila Reposado. 

Should your drink need a little extra mint?  No problem.  Each table is complete with a growing mint plant.  No need to bother your waitress or get up from your Jenga match to walk to the bar.

Blackbird Ordinary has definitely found a fan in me.  I highly recommend you checking it out when you’re in the mood for something a little out of the ordinary. 

729 SW First Avenue, Miami, Florida 33130.

Bottoms up!

DH

Foodie Finds: The Federal

14 Mar

There’s a new restaurant in town and it’s just too good not to share.  The Federal Food Drink and Provisions opened its doors in January and word has been spreading fast.  The new eatery features savory American cuisine with a twist and the ambiance is casual and charming with a rustic, old timey meets speakeasy feel.  Located at 5132 Biscayne Blvd., The Federal is one of the latest hotspots to hit the Midtown/Wynwood/Design District Area.

[Buffalo-Style Pig Wings]

I’ve been here a few times now and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve tried more than half of the items on the menu.  Some of my favorites?  The pig wings (think buffalo-style little bites of heaven with meat so tender it falls off the bone), the biscuits and gravy (topped with sweetbreads), the Grove Farm’s Lamb Burger (served on a pretzel bun with goat cheese), brown-butter squash (enough said) and the bay scallops (served with blood orange and a side of barbecue chips).  Other menu highlights include the Jar-O-Duck (with candied sweet potato and charred marshmallow fluff) and Short Rib Wellington (a hearty, pot-pie style treat).  They also have a great selection of cured meats and cheeses, and a crafty cocktail list to boot.

[Grove Farm’s Lamb Burger]

The best news yet?  The Federal’s brunch launches this Sunday, March 18, 2012 and the menu looks insane.  With everything from flapjacks (topped with peaches ‘n cream), waffles (with smoked maple syrup) and french toast bananas foster (made with challah), to  steak and eggs (with pumpkin hash) and Jackalope Benedict (with rabbit and elk sausage), the Federal obviously takes its brunch very seriously.  Some of the sides include grits and butter, apples and bacon, and a “Sweet-Uns Bar” featuring savory baked treats like Philadelphia Apple Salted Caramel Cake and Pecan Sticky Buns.  Bottomless mimosas and jugs of bloody mary’s complete the feast.

Is your mouth watering yet?  The Federal is definitely not to be missed.  Check it out and let me know which dishes top your list!

DH

*Photos via http://www.thefederalmiami.com

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