Miami Magazine Food Event

Every year, MIAMI Magazine (a publication I contribute to) hosts an annual celebration of their restaurant issue – Live and Dine Miami.  It’s a really great tasting event with Miami’s best chefs – who all take it very seriously.  Fun atmosphere, an overwhelming amount of ridiculously delish food, and a chance to chitty chat with our city’s top food talent.  What more could you want?

This year’s event is next week – July 31st. The tickets are going fast, so be sure to get yours soon – definitely babysitter worthy.

Food from Catch, Swine, The Dutch, Cypress Room and more.  Like going to ten restaurants in one and only trying their best dishes (last year I overloaded on Haven’s Tiger Shrimp…yum!).

Mister Wolfe opens at TownHouse

The old Bond Street space in TownHouse South Beach has now been filled by a stylistic club/bar serving food as well.  A powerhouse team is behind this locale, let’s all hope for the best! I’m not sure if a lounge concept fits into my lifestyle anymore ( I can barely stay up for drinks after dinner and can barely wait to eat dinner, so stopping for drinks beforehand never seems to happen), but you never know.  Either way, when you’re using a babysitter for nights on the town, there is no hit or miss – these places better be good!

I may try it out and will udpate if I do (with a babysitter worthy or not judgement).  See Press release and pix below.



The Creative Pop Up Bar Offers Sophistication, Style and Substance

Mister Wolfe, in the former Bond St. Lounge, is the natural evolution of the traditional bar and lounge.   Enticing and intimate, Mister Wolfe is sophistication through simplicity for the savvy crowd who gets it, been there, and craves an alternative.

Mister Wolfe is familiar yet fresh.  Max Pierre, owner of Arrive Miami, AE District Concept Gallery and CMO of Public School, a contemporary menswear private label; Erik Yehezkel, former nightlife director at the Delano; and AE Collective, one of the leading DJ management and booking agencies, bring you Mister Wolfe.  The exceptional DJs offer an eclectic and continually progressive range of music rooted in quality.  With its stylish new build-out, Mister Wolfe is not just a place or persona; it’s an ideology to bring a new perspective to nightlife and entertainment.

Much more than a bar, Mister Wolfe delivers great food through the culinary expertise of Nuno Grullon, owner of Ironside Cafe, and responsible for the first all organic menu at Metro Organic Bistro.  Passionate about all natural and local, Grullon adds a delicious dimension to social eating by bringing his philosophy across the bridge.  The bar program serves signature cocktails like the Wolfe Bite and Townhouse Secret, along with wine, Champagne and a full bottle list.  Mister Wolfe draws a diverse crowd from the social set to the cultural influencer looking for something as simple as good food, good people and good music.

Mister Wolfe at Townhouse, 150 20th Street, Miami Beach, FL  33139.  Hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.,Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Sunday 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The kitchen serves until 1 a.m. daily.


Last week, one of the most important, extravagant and lucrative events in the world descended upon Miami…and there wasn’t an A list celebrity in site (unless you count a video address by President Obama). Cruise Shipping Miami, the Cruise Industry’s Premier Global Event, took over Miami Beach Convention Center from Monday to Friday and the occasion was, in a word, fascinating.  The cruise industry is a HUGE part of Miami’s business landscape, so I wanted to report back on the major findings…

The event kicked-off with a “State of the Industry” Address from all of the top industry CEO’s as well as tourism professionals.

I’ll admit – upon first inspection, I didn’t expect this panel to be nearly as interesting as it was.  I was sort of just waiting for the recap of the recent Carnival Triumph “incident” (more on that).  But listening to advancements and stats about cruising as well as travel and tourism in general, I realized how truly and unequivocally important this industry is to our fair city (and state).  In fact, travel and tourism employs six times more people than the auto industry, has a 6.6 trillion worth and makes up 9% of the global GDP.  Not to sound nerdy, but WOW!

Enter cruise lines…  The industry is worth $36 billion.  And the #1 cruise destination? North America (fueled by the Caribbean)!  The U.S. needs to be at the forefront of this push, as we can expect to add five million jobs from tourism over the next few years (hence the Obama video, which was presented at the G20 world summit this year). As our fearless leader pointed out, “we have a great product to sell”

After the “rah rah travel industry” discussion wrapped up, all eyes turned to Gerry Cahill – CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, to see what he had to say about the recent Triumph incident (reminder: engine fire, loss of power, cruise ship adrift for days with little food and poopy water splashing around).

Cahill’s summary went like this, “Once the fire occurred, I can tell you that our highest and only priority was the safety of our guests and the crew.  Trying to make things as comfortable as we could for them in a tough position and also to get everyone home as quickly and safely as we possibly could.”  He also gave a nice shout out to the crew saying, “When I visited the Carnival Triumph when it got to Mobile…it was very heartwarming to talk to so many guests to find out what a great job the crew had done.”

He continued to explain that Carnival is taking many steps to figure out what happened and review safety procedures.  The moderator of the panel then asked Gerry how can he can make first-time cruises feel safe, and his answer put this whole fiasco into true perspective, “If you look at the history of the industry there have been very few incidents like this and the good news is that when we’ve had things like this, we’ve always been able to deal with it safely. No one was injured on the Carnival Triumph, no one was hurt, no one was ever at risk…”

So that’s the serious stuff.  Onto the fun stuff.  Cruising folks are constantly under pressure to come up with cool new sh**.  And indeed, they are doing just that.  One major element is new destinations being added (Carnival just launched a ship in Australia and the company, in an effort to relate to the light-hearted Australian spirit, made Cahil wear “the tightest shorts I’ve ever seen in my life” at the launch).  Disney recently added a cruise to Spain, Celebrity has set up three offices in China to address to booming Asian market, and of Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman of Silversea Cruises mentioned expansion into the Galapagos Islands, the Coral Islands and St. Petersburg, Russia.

As far as trends, the panel went through a “lighting round” where they discussed new and exciting elements we can all look forward to.  See summary:

  • Michael Bayley, President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises pointed out that the desire for good Food & Wine is the most important desire they are seeing in the U.S. market. He explained, ” One of the things we’ve executed over the past 6-9 months is this idea of Pop Up Restaurants. We’ve introduced this concept in key markets where we’ve literally put together a pop-up, best chefs for a week, invite influential people, come and experience the food from Celebrity Cruises.  This helps significantly in trying to remove the obstacles people have in their mind of cruising/the overall experience. ”

    A Display of creative food options from Indonesian Tourism

  • Adam Goldstein, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International said the Dreamworks experience has been very compelling, especially to potential first timers – now they know such entertainment exists on your ships.  He also mentioned the Chinese cruisers LOVE the characters!
  • Carnival’s Cahil said they will expand on “Fun Ship 2.0″ targeted at young people and have 30 new branded experiences and spaces in the pipeline. Specifically, the Guy Fieri burger joint has been very successful – they’ve already served a million burgers since that’s gone on the ship.  Aligning yourself with a celebrity that fits your brand is important. 
  • Possibly the largest advancement came from Norwegian Cruise Lines, who announced the “Norwegian Breakway” – the largest ship to ever port in NYC.  The ship will be christened by the Rockettes and the hull is designed by NY Icon artist Peter Max.  It features an open-air quarter mile boardwalk, three Broadway shows, an environmentally friendly fireworks display, the debut of Geoffrey Zakarian’s first restaurant at sea: Ocean Blue, hot dog carts, and the first ever Aqua park at sea – five multi-story water slides.  Additionally, the ship will have the largest youth and teen dedicated facilities in the fleet – two decks separated by age group.  Presumably this is in an effort to avoid the, “OMG mom, these stupid ten year olds keep trying to snap my bikini top” fits from teenage girls.

Indonesian Tea boxes – seem much cooler than Capri Sun, no?

Walking around the floor, it was amazing to see exhibitors from EVERYWHERE.  As was much discussed in the lecture, Asia is the fastest growing region for cruising.  Distributors from China, the Koreas, Japan, Indonesia, etc. were all vying for attention.  And those countries are pouring money into building this industry.     Two major things dawned on me while walking around – 1) Isn’t it amazing to see all these countries, many of whom are “enemies” could work side by side when it came to something as simple as travel.

2) I never thought I wanted to go on a cruise until now.  Did you know DISNEY CRUISES GO TO SPAIN?!? hmmmm

A small corner of the show room

Alaskan Cruises drawing people in….

Food & Wine Fest: Fun & Fit Family + Recipes

This weekend, we did some fun Food & Wine Festival outings, one of which was a great family affair at Jungle Island.  The “Florida Blue presents Fun and Fit as a Family Sponsored by Carnival featuring Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen” (I guess they couldn’t find any sponsors).  Long title aside, the event was well done.

The main area had little tents with snacks & food activities (see my son’s first-ever macaroni bracelet), with information about each product.  There was also a fun obstacle course – my son did it four times in a row, and the super-buff dudes leading it served as great cheerleaders as well as nice eye candy :)

The only down side was that I started to get that  “where should we go – are we doing this right? Did we start in the right place? Am I missing something” anxiety, but that’s just the vestige of my crazy New York days inside me…

The best part of the event was the Kelloggs Kidz Kitchen, where celeb chefs showed off a recipe, discussed food,  and played with the kids.  We saw Robert Irvine, who was specifically discussing eye health as he works with Transitions Lenses and talking about is show, “Restaurant Impossible” (I’ve never seen, but want to now).  The array of KitchenAid products spread over the area were quite enticing as well…I need a bright red cake mixer, right?!?

Irvine was adorable – funny and engaging with some real information.  He talked about his general mission, “my job in life is to educate parents and children” and did some serious name-dropping, “I’m working with the first lady. I don’t care about your politics, I’m all about good health!” He also showed that it doesn’t matter what you grew up on, anyone can turn things around – and if all else fails, go for Corn Flakes, “my mom was a terrible cook- I grew up on two boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes a day”.

The team also shared all the eye-healthy/kid friendly recipes from the Chefs with me, which I’ve included here.  Click link SOBEWFF RECIPES

Shop Miami!

Raise your hand if you need a good excuse to go shopping.  Ok, put your hand down, every single woman I know.  Good news – It’s Shop Miami month!

February 2013 celebrates Greater Miami and the Beaches’ leading retail destinations.  Here are a few reasons you can justify your J Crew dollars this month:

  • You can win money and cool stuff – Consumers who spend $500 or more over the course of the month of February at participating Shop Miami Month malls, marketplaces and retail establishments will receive a $20 Shop Miami Month Reward Card.*  Ok, it’s not the BEST cash back reward, but if you’re gonna spend $500 anyways, at least you can say you only spent $480?!?
  • Also, consumers who spend $500 or more will also be entered automatically to win great prizes such as airline tickets, MSC cruise for two and hotel stays (that part is cool!)
  • The Retailers are good – not random or sucky (Aventura Mall, Bloomies, etc.)

For more information check out the link –

WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – One for the Fam

Wine & Food Festival is coming up – which is always a fun time of year for Miami.  While the festival does bring some extra beach traffic (not as much as the boat show, but more on that complaint another time), I do love the energy and excitement it brings to our city.  I don’t love the extra four pounds it always brings to my ass, though…

I’m covering a few events and will report back with fun details, but for those who aren’t budgeting hundreds of dollars to wait 45 minutes for a hamburger, and can’t get a sitter to watch our kids for 5 hours in the middle of the day while we get drunk at a “tasting” (and come back the next morning), I wanted to share this event that involves the whole family and isn’t too expensive.

On Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, Jungle Island will play host to The Fun & Fit Family Events.  Join your favorite chefs and culinary talent for two fun-filled days of food, fitness and learning at Florida Blue presents Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival featuring Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen at Jungle Island. Children will have the chance to explore the food garden, play sports on the beach, get their hands messy in the interactive kitchen and explore the animals of Jungle Island while learning the basics of preparing nutritious meals and having fun doing it. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TICKETS. 

I’ve been to this event before and it’s definitely fun.  It has been getting more popular each year, so ARRIVE EARLY.  Another tip – if you want to watch the cooking demos – Giada, Robert Irvine, Rocco, etc. get a seat at least 20 minutes before the start. It fills up fast!


Crafting Adventures

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really bad at arts and crafts.  And not in a self-depricating “look at my toilet paper roll turned into Mt. Rushmore…isn’t it horrible?” way, but in a – this stuff really sucks way.

Luckily, I find my kids don’t care about the results, they just love the process.  So, last weekend we were up really early and found ourselves at Michaels buying supplies at 9:30 a.m.  Yah, I’m that cool.  M wanted to make a spider, of course, and we had just finished a carton of eggs, so I researched egg carton spider crafts. Literally.  Luckily, a lot of results came up.

Our efforts produced the below.  The scene: Our craft/snack/breakfast-while-watching-TV-when we’re being bad parents table….and graffiti painted wall in the background.  My kids are trendy like that.

I’d do a step by step but I think it’s pretty self explanatory. You need – paint, egg carton, glue and pipe cleaners. We also got some cute little googly eyes, which added a lot of fun. You also need to be smarter than I am and poke holes for the legs BEFORE you’ve painted the egg carton, making it wet and flimsy.


So, again, not the coolest craft ever but the kids really enjoyed the process (including the trip to Michaels), and even played with the spiders and lady bug for a while!


Claudia E Sale

A great sale next Thursday from a fun, local line.  Support Miami Designers and check it out! Nice beachy/flowy clothing to rub in the faces of everyone in 20 degree weather :)

Sale items will be 20-70 % off and you’ll be able to check out their new spring ‘13 collection!


A Small Park, A Nice Outing

The day after Xmas.  Time to waste, high-octane kids, tough to break them away from their new toys for too long.  But we were all feeling a little stir crazy.

So we decided to take a little family outing to a nearby Park – Arch Creek, and it was really  nice.  The park regularly hosts eco-adventure tours and ghost tours, butterfly garden and a museum with artifacts.  They also offer special events right now including campfires, canoe tours, guided hikes and more.  Check out the schedule of events here.  They even have a winter camp for kids – next session starts next week.

Since our outing was a last minute “get out of the house” kind of thing, we just stopped by to walk around for a while and it was quite enjoyable.  Quiet, peaceful and beautiful. This bridge was a stop and stare kind of moment.


Dinner & A Movie

With a lot of time on everyone’s hand this week and next, and in honor of the Jewish Xmas tradition, I wanted to share information about the BEST movie theater in town – Paragon Grove at CocoWalk.

Full disclosure, I’ve worked with Paragon over the past two years, but in all honesty, I’m now addicted to the theater and all of its amenities (more on that).  More importantly, they just expanded their menu and upgraded four of their auditoriums to huge, VIP seats with tables- the Prestige Imports Premier.  You can eat in-theater, before, or after the movie.  With kids, this is a GREAT option – the menu features yummy and easy finger foods like burgers, wings, tacos, and flatbreads as well as really, really, good desserts (zebra popcorn…life-changing). FULL MENU. 

The already existing theater amenities include reserved seating (as in – pic your actual seat), and HD Sony 4k picture. (A note on HD – I used to argue with the owners of Paragon (male) that women don’t care about HD/technology stuff and we shouldn’t promote it so heavily.  Then, after seeing many movies at Paragon, I went to an old theater w/out HD.  Suddenly I felt like a baby with a pacifier yanked out of his mouth. I NEEDED it.  You’ll see).

I secured a feature for them on Deco Drive that explains it all – check it out this video.

Also, If you happen to be in the Broward area, their theater at Deerfield has a $2 kids holiday movie special right now – see details here.

You can see showtimes and reserve your tickets/seats at