Friday, October 30, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Stone Crab Season

Stone crab season is officially here and no one’s better at kicking it off Miami style like the South Beach Seafood Festival. If you missed out on last week’s shenanigans, worry not! As we mentioned earlier, the South Beach Seafood Festival is just the beginning of a glorious time in Miami. Plus,  today we’re sharing the mouth-watering scoop on everything you missed.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

#ThankYouMiami Talks Our New Intern, Celeste

If you (accurately) noticed that we've regulated our posting schedule to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday, you may be wondering why there is a new post today—a Thursday. Well, we come to you with super exciting news that couldn't wait until tomorrow: we have a new intern and she is awesome! Her name is Celeste; she's a business/marketing undergrad at FIU; and, she loves everything we do (read, loving Miami, eating delicious food, dressing fashionably, and being a savvy girlboss). We promise you will get to know much more about her through our social media and blog in the coming months. In the interim, keep an eye out for her posts starting with her South Beach Seafood Festival recap that will launch tomorrow morning.

Welcome, Celeste! We're super excited to welcome you onto our team and look forward to having you contribute your perspective as a Miami local to #ThankYouMiami!

A photo posted by @celeste.jg on

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Fashion - Fall in the Outer Banks

Today we're bringing you a triple-threat post where in we give you a sneak peek to our Outer Banks travel diary; we bring back Miami style content to our #ThankYouMiami for Fashion column; and, we talk about how challenging it is to pack for cooler climes when you're not used to factoring weather when getting dressed. Read the excerpt below and click on the photo for the full feature. How are you transitioning into Fall fashion? What are your tips for packing when you're traveling to colder destinations? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!


Monday, October 26, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for New Neighborhood Eats - TiramesU & Marion Miami

Happy Monday! This week we're in North Carolina exploring the beauty of the Outer Banks and drooling remotely at the exciting new Miami restaurants that are opening up for the season. We're particularly amped about the re-opening of South Beach staple TiramesU and the arrival of Mediterranean restaurant, café, market, bakery, and oyster bar Marion Miami to Brickell. Between trips, we had the chance to visit both restaurants, check out their new digs, and sample their menus. Here's the scoop.

101 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach

TiramesU's return to South of Fifth—it's original neighborhood—was a smart move. Its previous location on Lincoln Road did not evoke the air of modern elegance its new location offers. The facelift comes with a new menu to match starring the delicious Italian cuisine for which TiramesU is known, with unanticipated modern twists here and there. The stand-outs from our dinner were the polpo antipasti with potatoes, crispy speck (similar to bacon), and salsa verde and the pesce del giorno or fish of the day, which during our visit was a perfectly seared branzino (Exhibit A, below).  If you're not a seafood person, not to worry. Their menu includes options with lamb, beef, duck, and veggies that look just as enticing.

We left most impressed by TiramesU's new cocktail program which is based on exciting combinations of fresh ingredients. We had a hard time choosing between the Fighting for the Flag (tequila, agave, lime, cocchi americano, orange bitters, salt, coffee rim), the Kingdom Come (gin, watermelon, basil), and the Caribbean Lust (rum, jalapeño, mint, passion fruit, lime, soda) so we tried, and loved, them all. In fact, the Fighting for the Flag was featured last week in's Go Drink This column as one of Miami's must-have cocktails. We can't wait to make TiramesU our new neighborhood hang, especially between midnight and 2 a.m. when your first cocktail is free!

Tiramesu's Fish of the Day: Branzino

TiramesU's Fighting for the Flag cocktail.

1111 SW 1st Avenue

Across the bay, in Brickell, the opening of Marion Miami means amazing things. It means a three-course lunch of dishes like sea bream crudo, organic vegetable tarte and bomba rice for only $24. It means elevating cocktail hour with Bar Lab cocktails, raw bar and plates of charcuterie (the artisanal cheese selection is brought to your table in a cheese trolley!). It means indulging family style on suckling Berkshire porchetta and Maine lobster paella. It means catching up with an old friend over Panther Coffee and pastries. It means gossiping with your girlfriends on a Saturday afternoon over flutes of bubbly and fresh seafood platters. We don't know about you, but we can find at least one reason a day to visit Marion Miami and each one is distinctively different. Who knew so many concepts could be cohesively brought together under one roof?

Marion Miami's charcuterie

Marion Miami's pastries

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

#ThankYouMiami Talks Miami Cocktail News

There is much excitement in the land of Miami cocktails. For starters, the much anticipated Total Wine opened its doors last Thursday at Miami Beach's 5th and Alton Shops, the white building you see as you come over the McArthur previously dedicated to errand runs to Publix, Best Buy, Staples, etc. This means that moving forward our fridge will be filled with growlers (yes, the new Total Wine fills 32 oz. and 62 oz. growlers!) instead of groceries and that our electronic and office supply problems will have to be resolved over vino. Because, you know, priorities. 

Meanwhile in classy man pastures, Botran Rum launched #TheBotranMan contest to give South Florida a chance to recognize and show appreciation for the men in our lives who goes above and beyond for their family, friends, and community. Exemplified by Miami legend Emilio Estefan, #TheBotranMan is someone who exemplifies the brand's legacy, heritage and excellence with a signature style. If you know a man that fits the bill, you have one week left to enter his name into the contest by emailing  a brief description of him to thebotranman [at] rock orange [dot] com. The winner gets an ultimate prize package inspired by Emilio Estefan. Did we mention Emilio Estefan will be one of the judges?

Last, but not least, it's Fall in cocktailandia. We may be sweating our butts off, being blown to Kingdom Come by the hurricane-like sea breeze pero in the land of cocktails it's all Ugg boots and PSLs. We'll leave you with these three delicious Fall cocktail recipes for when you're ready to join in on the sweater weather fun:

1. In The Rough
2 oz. Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila
3 dashes sour cherry bitters
Pomegranate molasses
2 brandied cherries as garnish

Add all ingredients to mixing glass, add ice, stir until properly diluted, and strain into a Coupe.

2. Warm Up
2 oz. Maestro Dobel Reposado Tequila
2 oz. apple cider
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 cinnamon stick and dusting of All Spice for garnish

Add all ingredients to tin, add ice, shake and strain into a Coupe.

3. Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkinshine by Challo Shott
Puréed pumpkin pulp/meat
Brown sugar
Apple juice
Apple cider
Cinnamon whipped cream for garnish

If you know how to make homemade moonshine, good luck to you. We'll just be heading to Better Days where they've already done the hard work for us. Cheers!


Monday, October 19, 2015

#ThankYouMiami For Our Natural Resources - Sustainable Seafood

Image via Sushi Maki

Happy Monday, Miami! Sorry for the delay in getting you today's post. We had family in town for the weekend so we spent our usual writing time hopping from hotspot eatery to hotspot bar to hotspot eatery, so on and so forth. We rounded up the weekend with a seafood feast from Joe's Take Away (breaking news: stone crab season is back!) over which we discussed some stone crab fun facts. For example, did you know that leaving a crab with one of its claws doubles its chances of survival and regrowing its claw? Following this and other stone crab harvesting best practices like the recreational requirements set forth by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are the key to ensuring that we can feast on stone crab every year until we move on to the great stone crab feast in the sky.

The same goes for our other seafood favorites. Granted we're not perfect—we indulge in bluefin tuna more than we probably should—but we make a conscious effort to eat more sustainable seafood than not. It's one of the reasons we fan girl-ed when we found out our favorite Miami-founded sushi chain, Sushi Maki, is the first and only sushi chain in the U.S. to earn a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. To become MSC-certified, businesses and products must prove they meet specific fishery standards and/or they are obtaining their seafood from fishery that is well-managed and sustainable. This means Sushi Maki is placing importance on preserving the natural resources on which their business is based. You can find several MSC-certified seafood options on the Sushi Maki menu, as well as sustainably-raised salmon from the Faroe Islands (which coincidentally is the same source for the salmon Paradise Farms served when we went to Dinner In Paradise.

We summarized three years of marine science undergrad and two years of marine science grad school in only two short paragraphs with muchos, muchos links so we'll leave you here to click around and process. If you have any questions, comments or thoughts, please leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami. We'd love to hear what you learned, what you found interesting and what else you want to know about sustainable seafood. Let's get a conversation going! (P.S. While we still have your attention, don't forget the South Beach Seafood Festival is this weekend! You can still buy your tickets at 20% off with code THANKYOUMIAMI here.)

Friday, October 16, 2015

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Coping with Miami Life at the Spa

You need a spa day. We say that with confidence because we need a spa day. After years of living in Miami, we've learned that a spa day is a necessary coping mechanism for Miami life so we pre-empt a passive aggressive attitude and burnout from stress with regular trips to the spa. This is your friendly reminder that you too need to find your zen (more so if you're one of the numerous passive aggressive Miami-ans we've been coming across lately). Close your eyes for a moment and think of a reason you could use a spa day. You probably came up with 20, but stick with the first one or the best one—whichever will help you quiet that voice in your head that has kept you from absolute bliss. 

Excellent. Now that we're all on the same page, you need a spa. We're spa aficionados so we've tried several around Miami but, outside of Miami Spa Month, we stick to our list of tried-and-true favorites. The most used and abused one on the list is the Standard Miami because they offer a wide range of treatments, they have one of the best hammams in Miami, and their pool has the best views. The newest addition to the list is The Spa at Conrad Miami.

You may remember Conrad Miami's rave reviews in our summer review of their restaurant Atrio or our Miami Spa Month 2015 picks. Well, earlier this month we stopped by to test out their seasonal treatments and we were blown away. If you're looking to try a new spa or a fun twist on your favorite treatment when you book your spa day, below are three Fall packages available this month only at The Spa at Conrad Miami. The best part? They all include  complimentary glass of wine or champagne, 3-hour self parking, and access to the spa, fitness center, tennis courts and rooftop pool!
  • Fall Into Balance ($149): one 50-minute pumpkin firming body wrap with full body exfoliation, hydrating body mask and skin firming treatment AND one 50-minute facial with a yam/pumpkin enzyme peel;
  • Autumn Solstice ($149): one 50-minute Autumn Swedish massage, one 25-minute aromatic hydrotherapy bath AND a scalp massage with optional bergamot oil OR one 25-minute essential spa facial; and,
  • Harvest Spice ($59): one 75-minute spa manicure and pedicure with paraffin and hydrating pumpkin mask for hands and feet.
As your resident Miami spa experts, we're happy to answer any questions you have about what spas or treatments to consider based on your personal taste. Plus, we'd love to hear where you end up and what you think so leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Magical Promo Codes - South Beach Seafood Festival

Do you run on Miami time like us? Then today is your lucky day. Exactly two weeks ago we told you about the fast-approaching South Beach Seafood Festival (it's in 7 days!) and gave you a chance to score a pair of free tickets. Maybe you were unlucky in our giveaway or maybe you were late to the freebie boat—whatever the reason, you are running out of time to join us for seafood, seafood, and more seafood. The fortune lies in that, since our last post, we've acquired a magical promo code that gives you 20% off your tickets to next week's seafood heaven. All you have to do is enter THANKYOUMIAMI at check out and voilà! deliciousness like these mouthwatering dishes from Poseidon Miami shown below will be at your reach. Which South Beach Seafood Festival event(s) are you most excited to attend? Which of the 15 participating restaurant will you be visiting during the festival? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Images via Celeste Guerra

Monday, October 12, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for a Rich History - Photo Contest

Photo via Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority

We apologize for the radio silence the past few days. We traveled to Dallas last Thursday and, in an unanticipated turn of events, we fell in love with this city so we took a short hiatus to make the most out of our stay and enjoy its magic, rather than yearn for the fabulousness waiting for us back home. That said, we are looking forward to going home later today. To celebrate, we invite you to enter the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority's (MBVCA) latest photo contest which relishes in the rich history that Miami Beach has amassed in its first century of existence.

Participating is simple. All you need to do is recreate and submit one of eight vintage photos of Miami Beach pre-selected by the MBVCA before 11:59 p.m. on November 15. Our favorite of the eight photos is shown above but you can find all eight, as well as the full contest rules on the MBVCA's photo contest page. The top ten photos with the most likes will be chosen as semi-finalists and will be judged by the MBVCA judges for similarity and photo execution, clear-in focus images, creativity and originality, relevance, and overall impression to win one of these great prizes:
  • First place: One (1) $500 gift card
  • Second place: One (1) $250 gift card
  • Third place: One (1) $100 gift card
Only five entries may be submitted per person. Open to legal U.S. residents 18 and older. For the full list of official contest rules, please visit the MBVCA photo contest page. Good luck, Miami!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Escaping City Life Without Leaving Miami

Miami has a lot of great assets but they often come at the cost of loud noise, never-ending traffic, and other stressors common to big city life. It is one of the main reasons why we love to go on staycations, like our frequent roadtrips to Melbourne Beach, and on vacations to our favorite international travel destinations. However, a short supply of vacation days and a bank account that leaves much to be desired often limit us from getting away as much as we want (read: need). To stay sane, we fill those travel gaps with day trips to hidden gems right in our own backyard—that is, those Miami spots that make us forget we're in a big city. In his latest Localeur recommendation, #ThankYouMiami contributor Brad Wells shares the four places where he can escape city life. Which one is your favorite? What other spots do you recommend? Tell us in the comments below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!


Monday, October 5, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for @GoSushiMaki Memories

I will always remember Sushi Maki as the place where my hair caught on fire. It happened the summer between my freshman and sophomore year at UM when my friend Zac and I treated ourselves to dinner at the Sushi Maki on Sunset Drive as a reward for surviving another week as camp counselors. The meal began great (read: without incident). Per usual, we ordered edamame to start and two rolls each—a California roll and a salmon roll for me, please. Then the check arrived...

You know how girls rummage for their wallet when the bill comes and they are not sure if they are expected to pay? I don't do that. Instead, I ask to look at the bill when it arrives and take it from there. On this particular day, this practice prompted me to lean over the table so Zac and I could look at the bill together and discuss who owed what. The discussion was in its infancy when a terrible smell overpowered our nostrils. "Ugh, what are they burning in there?", I said as I turned toward the kitchen. That's when I noticed the flames traveling up the candle on the table up my long, brown hair. Houston, my hair was on fire.

Only five seconds elapsed from the moment we processed the smell to the moment I smothered the flames with my hands, but it felt like a good five minutes. In fact, no one at the restaurant but the man sitting solo at the neighboring table had the chance to witness my America's Funniest Home Video moment. They did, however, pick up the quickly-spreading scent of burnt hair (probably one of the worst, most persistent smells I have ever come across) so Zac, in tears of laughter, put down his credit card and asked me to wait outside while he paid.

Now that I am over the shock of watching half of my hair fall out in burnt strands on the Sunset Drive sidewalk, the big Sushi Maki hair fire of 2007 is one of my favorite memories. That's the thing about veteran Miami staples (Sushi Maki celebrates its 15th birthday this year!), they give you an opportunity to build memories with them. But, as important as it is to cater to nostalgia, it is also important that they continue to evolve. In the case of Sushi Maki, it means refining their beloved menu with new dishes and incorporating more sustainable seafood starting today.

We'll be talking more about Sushi Maki's sustainable seafood certification and what that means in our next #ThankYouMiami for our Natural Resources column. (Follow us on Bloglovin' so you don't miss it.) In the interim, here are some photos and brief descriptions of the new Sushi Maki menu items you HAVE to try:

The Veggie Head Roll was one of the table's top three favorite items from the new menu. I attribute it to the aji amarillo sauce draped over this veggie roll. You don't even miss the fish!

The Salmon Ceviche is the perfect balance of flavor (subtle citrus from lime and grapefruit) and texture (creaminess from the avocado).

Another one that made it on our table's top three list is the Snowed In Roll. We can't believe no one has ever thought to pair a crab-based roll with ponzu butter before. Genius!

I'm not really a potato person, but the fantastic thing about the Sweet Potato with Shitake Bacon is that it has shitake bacon. And I am a bacon person. P.S. Mushroom bacon is another evidence of genius on the new menu.

If you're a fan of DIY dishes or not in the mood for fish, the Tiger Cry Lettuce Wraps are for you. The skirt steak was perfectly cooked and I loved the flavor profile you can create with the toppings. 

I am on a serious dessert kick and this Japanese Steamed Cake really hit the spot. The cake is not too fluffy, not too dense, not too moist, and not too sweet. It was perfection. 

Do you have any special memories from a visit to Sushi Maki? From a visit to another Miami staple? Which dish are you most excited to try from Sushi Maki's new menu? What are you most excited to learn about sustainable seafood during our upcoming feature? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Friday, October 2, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Fashion - Design and Film Superstars in the Magic City

As we celebrate the end of another work week, we are looking back at the artistic minds that visited our beautiful city last week and talking about how Miami gives us access to incredibly talented creatives from around the world that awe and inspire us every time they visit. Read the excerpt below and click on the photo for the latest feature in our #ThankYouMiami for Fashion column.

What type of talent that visits Miami are you most excited to have access to? How do you put yourself in front of Miami's talented visitors? Absorb their teachings? What tips do you have for others looking to connect with or learn from the individuals that inspire them? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!
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