Monday, August 3, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Themed Weeks - Miami Spice Month 2015

Most cities track the passing of time with calendars. In Miami, we keep track by the theme of the month, which in August and September means Miami Spice Month. In past years, we have researched the entire list of participating restaurants (a record 194 this year!!) and released a list of our top choices. This year we're shaking things up by pointing you instead to the top pick lists of our go-to Miami food resources and sharing which of their recommendations we're most excited to try. Make sure to search each one on the official Miami Spice Month page for the full details of their participation, including available days and menu options. Bon appetit!

1. Evan Benn, Miami Herald Food Editor
Evan broke down his "Best of Spice" picks into four categories: Newcomers, New chefs, High-end, and Off the beaten path. We've been dying to try all three Newcomers since they opened (and we probably will at a $23 prix-fixe price tag for lunch and $39 for dinner) but, after our recent experience at Chef Bernstein's Sra. Martinez pop-up at 1930s House, Cena by Michy is priority number one. Spanish food is our default comfort food so, where New chefs are concerned, you will find us eating our feelings about Chef Julie Frans' departure from Essensia at Piripi. As far as Evan's High-end and Off the beaten path suggestions, we're still undecided. We agree that we should use Miami Spice as our excuse to shoot for the stars and venture beyond our usual haunts, but we're looking at our other foodie friends to recommend options already on our Miami food bucket list.

2. Mitch Nover and Mel Garcia, Mitch and Mel Take Miami
They may not know this yet, but Mitch and Mel are our food soul mates. Everything they eat, we have eaten, are eating or may eat in the near future so it made perfect sense to peruse their blog for Miami Spice inspiration. We were not disappointed. We found a "Miami Spice 2015 Preview" that starts with a ton of Toro Toro food porn and delves into their individual restaurant picks. Reasons why we love Mitch? He offers two suggestions, Milos by Costas Spiliadis and Izzy's Fish and Oyster, in our neighborhood (and you know how much we hate leaving South of Fifth...) so we'll definitely be trying both. Mel also caters to us by making her four picks restaurants already on our aforementioned Miami food bucket list: Byblos, Chef Adrianne's, Cena by Michy, and Izzy's.

3. Dianne Rubin and Geoffrey Anderson, Miami Food Pug
Dianne and Geoffrey are onto something. After all, they gained over 10,000 followers in only their first year as Miami food bloggers. In their "Miami Spice 2015: Our Top Picks", they list over 25 options on the Beaches and the Mainland. They took the time to breakdown what is offered, what sounds delish, and a special tidbit for each. We were happy to see them include a couple of our Miami culinary favorites like Dolce Italian, STK Miami, Bocce, The Federal, Ortanique On The Mile, The River Seafood and Oyster Bar, and Sugarcane. We also spotted restaurants from our Miami food bucket list that have not been previously mentioned including Michael Mina 74, Red The Steakhouse, Fooq's, and Mignonette.

Which Miami Spice participating restaurant(s) do you have on your must-visit list for this year? Will you be visiting them for the first time? Will you be going for lunch or dinner? What are you most excited to try from their Miami Spice menu? Which of the restaurants above did you just add to your list? Are there any that we missed? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

#ThankYouMiamiGoesToNewYork - Our Windham Summer As Memorialized by Music

Have you ever been listening to music and thought "this song is the perfect soundtrack for this moment"? We have and it gives us chills. Ever since we were teens, we've dreamt of curating the soundtrack to a movie - the way Zach Braff created magic in Garden State and Hans Zimmer did in the Gladiator (and all the other movies he's scored for that matter). We're suckers for accompanying an experience with a song that properly conveys or heightens our emotions and, during our summer trip to Windham, New York, jazz vocalist Kat Reinhert's album "Spark" did just that.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Fashion - Miami Does Swim Week

Okay, so this post has been way overdue. Nevertheless, one cannot rush greatness and there is nothing greater than a recap of the best Miami highlights from this year's Swim Week. So, go forth and behold our latest #ThankYouMiami for Fashion column and make sure to check out our Instagram page throughout the weekend for snap shots from our featured events. There's a little bit of girl power, a little bit of do-gooding, a little bit of fun, and a whole lot of fashion talk. Miami fashion bunnies, this ones for us!

What was your favorite Miami moment of Miami Swim Week 2015? Who is your favorite Miami designer, brand or store of the season? What is your latest swimwear must-have? Beach accessory must-have? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for New Neighborhood Eats - Sugarloaf Gastrobar

As sign of our sincerest apologies for the brief blogging hiatus, today we're spilling a juicy secret that we've been keeping for over a month: Sugarloaf Gastrobar in Sunny Isles Beach. Way before our trip to New York, pre-Miami Swim Week, in the long, long ago, we heard rumors that the unknown land of Sunny Isles Beach had a new spot that promised great food, handcrafted cocktails, and an inviting gathering space. Sunny Isles is not particularly known for these things so we initially called "shenanigans" but we were also intrigued. Alas, a few days later we found ourselves driving out of Miami Beach, through Haulover, and into Sugarloaf.

Sugarloaf's décor alone, with its use of brick, succulents, and eye-catching art, was a sign that its creators Tatanka Guerrero and Luiz Fleury and their team gets us - in fact, we welcome them to come re-decorate our entire apartment in their restaurant's likeness. The second sign was their cocktail menu with its spicy tequila drink (because we LOVE spicy drinks) and its red pepper-infused rum offerings. Then, there's the fact that they leverage local talent in their inclusion of Miami micro-brews in their bar stock and their eagerness to allow a local resident to paint a dope mural on one of their walls. Last, but not least, the food options are varied, delicious, and impeccably plated (see below for our photographic proof).

We can personally vouch for the beet salad with its tender, sweet golden and red beets and just the right amount of goat cheese, as well as the crudo with its thin and crispy brioche crostini. We can't wait to try the fall-off-the-bone confit duck and the zesty fried chicken entrées when we come back with more friends. In fact, between the statement picnic table in the dining room and its "sharing is caring" philosophy, Sugarloaf is made for indulging with friends. Beyond that, it is as welcoming as it aims to be - not only in its ambiance, but also in its staff who is the perfect mix of friendly and helpful. As a whole package, Sugarloaf is definitely worth a visit and is just what Sunny Isles needs to get back on Miami's radar.

If you want to check it out for yourself, this week brings you the perfect opportunity (read, excuse). On Friday, July 31 at 6 p.m. Sugarloaf will be hosting their "Grand Social Gathering" debut party and you're invited for complimentary welcome cocktails sponsored by VeeV, small bites, live music and a ribbon cutting. This is your big chance to sneak a taste of Sugarloaf's twist on Poutine and Wagyu beef sliders. Just make sure to arrive before 7 p.m.!

What do you think of Sugarloaf Gastrobar? Which of their menu items sounds most enticing? What other restaurants or venues do you visit in Sunny Isles Beach? What other new neighborhood eats are you excited about? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Friday, July 24, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Being Hot-As-Hell - Miami Swim Week 2015

This summer in Miami has been inarguably hot but it hasn't all been about sweat and discomfort - it's also been about sassy babes and sexy bikinis. No one delivered that better this Miami Swim Week than Sharleen Ernster who launched her first swimsuit and lingerie collection Hot-As-Hell (HAH) this year. In the name of Société Perrier, we followed Sharleen's swim week journey starting from HAH's exclusive launch party at the Soho Beach House on Friday night, to the showroom at the Hammock Show, and ending at HAH's first runway show at SwimMiami on Sunday night. Each and every event was flawless and, more importantly, flawlessly conveyed the brand's wild child, bombshell vibes. Sharleen was kind enough to take a break from the madness to talk with us about HAH and the events leading to her successful debut at Miami Swim Week. Read the excerpt below and click on the photo for the full feature.

What did you think of Hot-As-Hell's debut collection? Which was your favorite piece? Which of their events was your favorite? What did you think about their premiere fashion film? Who was your favorite designer of this Miami Swim Week? What did you like about their collection? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!