Monday, July 25, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for Fashion - Five FOMO Inducing Miami Swim Week 2016Moments

Summer has officially peaked in Miami. We can say this with certainty for two reasons: (1) it's inarguably the hottest month of year, and (2) Miami Swim Week—an exclusively Miami phenomenon—has come and gone. Every year in July models, designers and fashion aficionados flock to Miami Beach (e.g., the bikini capital of the world) to get a first peek of the vibrant, floral, fluorescent patterns that will define swimwear for the season. And, every year beneath the tents we're impressed with how far designers have come from the once spectacular itsy bitsy, teenie weenie yellow polk-a-dot bikini. This year, Margarita was in California and missed it all, but we kept her abreast of all the beautiful madness on her behalf. In her latest #ThankYouMiami for Fashion column, she shares the 5 moments that elicited the most FOMO from our updates.

Which Miami Swim Week events did you wish you had attended this year? Which events did you attend and love? What did you like most about it/them? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for Beautiful Blow-Outs (Plus, Cherry Blow Dry Bar Giveaway)

Have you ever colored your hair? Three years ago we hadn't and would walk around saying we would never do it. Then, in the Summer of 2014 we met Emilee Coyle, the first person who's hair advice we trusted wholeheartedly and whom we allowed to give us this summer hair transformation using her balayage voodoo. Unfortunately our time in the salon with Emilee was cut short when she moved away but, before she left, she kickstarted our love affair with being blonde. (If you look back through our Instagram, you can catch our progression from blonde, to blonder, to blondest now under the  similarly expert hands of Erin at IGK Miami.)

We pride ourselves in being super low maintenance. That said, the minute we started coloring our hair we became marginally less low maintenance about keeping our tresses on point. Sadly for us, learning how to style our hair in our late twenties has not proved an easy task. We're starting to think acquiring basic hair styling skills (i.e., blow drying, braiding) is like learning a new language—there's a critical point at which it becomes exponentially more difficult, and we are well past that point. So, here we are at twenty-eight years old completely incapable of blow drying our own hair.

Enter blow dry bars, absolute godsends that are popping up throughout Miami. A few weeks back, Cherry Blow Dry Bar Coral Gables's newly opened on Miracle Mile came in super clutch when we had to run from a pretty taxing SoulCycle class to our friend Jamison's birthday celebration at Bulla Gastrobar. We popped in on our way to dinner and they had us washed, blow dried and sporting beautiful beach waves in under 40 minutes. Despite our still sweaty clothes, we turned heads as we walked into Bulla because a well-styled mane can make all the difference—something to keep in mind for all of you headed to Miami Swim Week the next couple of days.

Cherry Blow Dry Bar is open to the public. But, if you are blow drying-challenged like us, you may want to throw down for a cost-saving membership like the frequent dryer membership (unlimited blowouts for a monthly fee). Plus, they provide complimentary champagne during your service so it basically pays for itself, right? Anyway, if you're intrigued, next Tuesday, July 19th they are hosting a media only Blow-Out Fiesta Happy Hour with complimentary blowouts, champagne, and bites from COYO Taco. The event is not open to the public but we love you so much that we're giving away our media pass to one lucky reader. To enter, tweet us @ThankYouMiami or leave a comment below telling us why you want to win. A winner will be randomly chosen tomorrow (Friday, July 15) at 5 p.m. EST. ¡Buena suerte!

Monday, July 11, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for Mojitos

Guess who's back? Back again? We are back! Tell a friend. You can thank the old gods and the new that National Mojito Day is a thing because it's the main reason we're back on this glorious day. After all, it is our duty as Miami-ans to celebrate our regional drink—you know, like a State bird or State flower pero más exciting—and today we're doing so by sharing three surprisingly clutch South Florida spots for scratching your mojito itch. (And, for the record, if you're seeing this not on National Mojito Day that's fine too because every day in Miami is pretty much National Mojito Day anyways.) ¡Salúd!

1. Segafredo L'Originale in Miami Beach
Part of what makes drinking fun is people watching and Segafredo L'Originale's Lincoln Road digs are the perfect vantage point for doing just that. (Remember how coveted it is for costume spotting during the Halloween on Lincoln Road mayhem?) But a great location is not the only reason to love this tried-and-true happy hour spot. Their cocktail menu allows you to "Make Your Own" cocktails, including mojitos, by customizing the original recipe with a wide selection of fruits to fit your every mood. Pro tip: the drinks are Miami Beach levels of strong so visit during aperitivo (e.g., weekdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and take full advantage of the free complimentary buffet of bar bites.

2. Pride and Joy BBQ in Wynwood
We've been wanting to check out Pride and Joy since it opened back in 2012 and for one reason or another we never prioritized it. Fate finally brought us here on Fourth of July weekend when we were looking for a place to eat and drink, but our go-to Lagniappe was closed. We sat in the outdoor terrace which had a cool cowboy vibe like the one we loved when we visited both The Rustic and Truck Yard in Dallas and, truth be told, the ambiance had a lot to do with why we're recommending this spot. That said, their mango mojito (in photo above) was not overly sweet and deliciously refreshing, everything we needed to beat the summer heat.

3. Apothecary 330 in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is stepping up its game in terms of restaurants and bars. Exhibit A: Apothecary 330, a speakeasy-style concept inside of Pizza Craft in the downtown area. (It reminds us of Libertine Miami with its low lighting, comfy couches, and cheeky twist on classic cocktail recipes.) Their menu of handcrafted cocktails doesn't usually include a mojito, but they introduced a green tea lavender mojito just for the summer and we can't wait to try it. Any spot that is creative enough to upgrade the traditional mojito with house-made green tea and a lavender reduction is worth the trek from Miami in our book.

What are some of your favorite places to grab a mojito in South Florida? What kind of mojito can we find there? What do you love about it? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

#ThankYouMiami That Summer Is Coming

Make no mistake, summer is coming. In anticipation for June 20 (the first day of summer), Miami has gone from hot to hotter and the humidity in the air has kicked into full greenhouse status. The daily t-storms have returned to their seasonal routine of rolling in between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and kicking our early afternoon outdoor plans swiftly to the curb. And, while it will take us a few more weeks to adjust to the new meteorological normal, we're super psyched for summer. After all, it's our favorite time of the year in Miami.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for Estrella Damm's Chefs Choice 2016

May seriously kicked our butts. The month slipped by as we were trying to simultaneously juggle traveling, working, several major freelance projects (that we can't wait to share!!), and not losing our sanity. Alas you've experienced severe radio silence on here since our Cinco de Mayo how-to. In an effort to make it up to you, we're doing you a solid and clueing you in on Miami time about the dope restaurant promo that ends tomorrow: Estrella Damm Chef's Choice 2016.

The restaurant experience, which is back in Miami for its second year, is kinda like Miami Spice in that 46 restaurants from Miami Beach to Kendall are offering three-course prix fixe menus. However, unlike Miami Spice each menu includes a complimentary Estrella Damm and varies in price from $30 to $70 depending on the venue. Also, all the participating chefs were challenged in creatively incorporating rice as a feature ingredient as a nod to the fact that Estrella Damm is brewed with rice.

Earlier this month we joined Estrella Damm in taste testing a handful of participating menus in Brickell and Downtown. Our tour included a sneak peek at the Chef's Choice entrées from Coya, Toro Toro, Tuyo, and 1111 Peruvian Bistro, photos of which we have graciously provided below. Each spot caught our attention for a different reason. The Arroz Nikei with Chilean sea bass from Coya was our seafood favorite for the night with its citrus and spice, followed in a close second by the Arroz con Mariscos from Toro Toro and the Parihuela from 1111 Peruvian Bistro. At Tuyo, we were mesmerized by the stunning views, the attentive service, and the Estrella Damm-braised duck breast which was coincidentally the only non-seafood entrée on our tour (four for you, Chef Victor Santos, way to be innovative!).

In town for Memorial Day Weekend? Take advantage of Chef's Choice to re-connect with your favorite chefs around Miami as they test their culinary cunning in a new way. For us, that means revisiting Apeiro Kitchen + Bar, Bulla Gastrobar, The Lido Bayside + Grill, Pinch Kitchen, Sugarcane and/or Wynwood Kitchen and Bar. If instead you're looking to try something new, Chef's Choice is your perfect excuse to check out the restos you've had on your must-try list. Participating restaurants from ours include Byblos, Cena by Michy, Chef Adrianne's, Finka Table & Tap, La Mar, Pisco y Nazca, and Vagabond Restaurant. (And, no, we can't believe we haven't tried them yet either...) We've got less than 36 hours so allez, allez, allez!

Arroz Nikei from Coya

Arroz con Mariscos from Toro Toro

Parhuela from 1111 Peruvian Bistro

Estrella Damm-seared Duck Breast from Tuyo Miami

The stunning view of Downtown Miami from Tuyo