Monday, November 30, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Themed Weeks - Miami Art Week and Art Basel 2015

We've been back in Miami for less than 12 hours and we're already back on the road. This week our travels take us to the Keys as part of our "bail on Basel" plan. Don't get us wrong, we loooove Baseling but we've been there, done that. When we got the chance to spend this week in the Keys, it was a no brainer to leave behind the traffic and the crowds. (Funny enough we're heading out of dodge with our favorite Basel co-conspirators—the ones that were with us in Basels past when Metric held a free concert, when we accidentally got into a private LCD Soundsystem show, and when we flirted with Mr. Brainwash to get autographed postcards at his show. Ahh, the memories.)

For those of you staying to "art", we are putting together a short and sweet list of the events we would have attended if we were in town. We're literally posting from the road using a cell phone so we appreciate your patience as we wait to put that together properly on a computer this afternoon. Check back tomorrow morning (and throughout the week) for the scoop. Happy Basel and may the odds be ever in your favor!

UPDATE (11/30/15) Thanks for your patience. Here are the events that caught our attention:
UPDATE (12/2/2015): There is so much amazingness going on this year we're kinda regretting going out of town this week. Anyway, here are additional events we wish we were attending:

  • For those of your looking for a moment of "Bliss at Basel", the Eden Roc Miami Beach is hosting a series of health and wellness events throughout the week for only $20 a class.
  • On Friday from 5 p.m. to 7p.m., the fragrance experts at Babalú's Lincoln Road store invite you to Olfactive Studio: Parfums Inspirés, an event celebrating contemporary art photography-inspired fragrance collection from Paris.
  • On Saturday, OMG Miami Swimwear will make its storefront debut at 815 Washington Avenue with a celebration from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This can't miss event will feature body art, a gallery showcasing local artists Monica Silva and Adriane Leigh, a burlesque performance, a fashion show of OMG Miami Swimwear's covetable designs, and complimentary cocktails and sushi by Planet Sushi.

If you're looking for more social calendar inspo, check out the amazing Art Basel 2015 event guide our friends at Racked Miami put together and the local's guide to Art Basel our friends at The New Tropic released earlier this week.

Friday, November 27, 2015

#ThankYouMiami How-To: DIY Cucumber Shot Glasses

Full disclosure: we suck at DIY. We rarely get the motivation to make something ourselves we can buy online or pick up at a store. The few DIY projects we have attempted in the past have been either cast aside unfinished or have ended in fiasco. But, there is something about being bombarded all day with DIY videos by Buzzfeed and company that makes you think "That looks easy! I can make that!"

The tutorial video that inspired this post showed up on our newsfeed at the right time. For weeks we had been desperately waiting for the perfect occasion to pop open our unopened bottle of Rolling Stones Jose Cuervo (the bottle commemorating the Rolling Stones' historic, Jose Cuervo-fueled 1972 North American tour.)  It is a testament to our creativity—and perhaps our desperation—that we made this video that occasion. After all, the instructions were for transforming cucumbers into Mexican snack cups, not tequila shot glasses.

Whatever you choose to fill them up with (we're partial to using Cuervo), this is an easy and fun Sunday Funday activity to try with friends. We'll leave you with the original video for instructions because our DIY-ing should definitely not be emulated. But we'll also leave you with the photos from our attempt as encouragement to those of you who are also not good at DIY. If all else fails, do as we would have done: eat the ingredients and make yourself one of these Cuervo + Rolling Stones inspired cocktails.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for the A+E District

Can you believe Miami's Arts and Entertainment District is turning one? When we first introduced you to the A+E District in March, we called it Miami's new up-and-coming cultural epicenter. In the months since our claim, NR Investments, the District's developer, has delivered on their commitment to not only construct buildings, but also spur a community in the area. They have transformed the emerging neighborhood between Downtown and Wynwood into a Miami hotspot and earned their programming a permanent spot on our social calendars.

The first event we attended at the A+E District—although we didn't know it at the time—was the launch of NR Investment's collaboration with SHFT Studio at the Filling Station Lofts. You may also remember this momentous occasion as the time we got to interview Adrian Grenier for Société Perrier. During this very early interaction, we learned two things about the team behind the A+E District: 1) they know how to throw awesome events; and, 2) like us, they're all about local love. After all, they had PALO! perform live on an outdoor terrace overlooking the Miami skyline. Can you say, #winning?

The past year has built on the social traction they gathered in their early days, while staying true to their focus on promoting local. They have hosted everything from live art competitions showcasing local artists to yoga classes taught by locals for locals to flea markets featuring local vendors. Through their killer programming, they are giving Miami's creatives a platform to launch their talents, as well as fostering a sense of community that for many of us had previously been lacking. Judging by the exponential increase in participation at A+E District events (some of them, like the yoga soundscape, sell out within minutes), it is safe to Miami is a fan.

"We have been humbled by the overwhelming support for the Arts + Entertainment District in the past year," says Ron Gottesmann, Principal of NR Investments and one of the visionaries of the A+E District. "Our events have truly brought the community together in a celebration of music, culture, the arts, and all that Miami has to offer. The A+E District has created a niche in Miami that didn't exist before, and we are excited to continue our programming and grow the neighborhood into a place where locals live, work, and play."

As locals who have witnessed the A+E District's vision at work, we are excited to continue supporting its growth and being a part of its movement. We are also psyched to see what events it has in store for us this year, starting with it one year anniversary celebration this Saturday, November 28. While we won't be able to attend (ICYMI, we're in Panama for the week), we hope you will join other locals in toasting a successful first year and kicking off what promises to be a fruitful and fun second year!

Have you been to the A+E District? What event(s) did you attend? Which one was your favorite? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Monday, November 23, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for 4 Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving in Miami

Can you believe Thanksgiving week is here? We're having a minor meltdown thinking about how quickly this year has gone by, but simultaneously jumping for joy because tomorrow we leave to celebrate the holiday in Panama. (Basically, as Ron Burgundy would say, we're in a glass case of emotions.) Before we leave, we want to leave you with some Thanksgiving in Miami intel. We've already given you a Miami-inspired Thanksgiving outfit idea, so here are four tips for celebrating the holiday in our beautiful city.

1. Family and friends in town? Take everyone out for pre-Thanksgiving bonding so they can air out their grievances early and you can enjoy Thursday's meal in peace. If your group needs some liquid courage, your best option is Better Days' complimentary booze buffet (yes, you read right) which will be available on Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. You're welcome, Miami!

2. If you're feeling indulgent, give thanks Miami-style over a decadent prix-fixe menu like Seaspice's three-course Thanksgiving Day menu which includes options like pan seared foie gras, slow-cooked lamb chuck and a warm sweet potato clafoutis for $75 per person. A ton of local restaurants (3030 OceanMeat MarketThe DutchLure FishbarQuattro to name a few) offer delicious and varied dine-in options so, if you shop around, you'll find one to meet your price and food needs. Google is your best friend on this one.

3. For those of you who want to celebrate at home but don't want to or can't cook, Toscana Divino has you covered with Thanksgiving Dinner To Go. For $160 plus tax and gratuity, you get all the deliciousness of holiday home cooking—a whole herb and citrus roasted turkey, turkey gravy, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, butternut squash gnocchi, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie—in oven-ready containers and instructions for easy pre-heating at home. You need to call them ASAP to reserve since it sells out every year.

4. Whether you're hosting dinner or headed to someone else's house for dinner, simplify your life by picking up dessert. Miami's vegan options, like Bunnie Cakes and Jugofresh, have the benefit of not only being easy, but also more delicious and better-for-you. On Thursday, Bunnie Cakes will have an array of vegan pies and cupcakes available for pick-up at their store. (Guarantee your order by e-mailing your selection to orders [at] bunniecakes [dot] com.) Similarly, Jugofresh is bringing back their now Vogue-featured raw Thanksgiving pies which you can pre-order at any of their stores. #winning!

Where will you be celebrating Thanksgiving? Do you host dinner? What are your Thanksgiving tips? Traditions? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Friday, November 20, 2015

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Spending One Day in Key Largo

Ever have a day when you wake up wanting to go somewhere—explore a different setting—but you can't come up with where to go? Or worse, you come up with a destination (for us it's Bali or Japan), but it is not realistic or feasible, at least not immediately? Those are the days we end up sulking around, talking about what we would do if teleporting was a "thing" or if we had a private jet, and end up doing absolutely nada

For our collective sakes, we present to you a one-day itinerary to Key Largo that our contributor Brad Wells put together for Localeur. Next time you find yourself in the aforementioned wanderlust conundrum remember we have a lot of beautiful places to discover or re-discover within short distance from Miami. Key Largo is only one of at least three easily-reachable road trip destinations we've amassed in our arsenal of affordable, spur-of-the-moment getaways. Brad's recommendation is here to remind you of the four worthwhile places you've been missing (or that have been missing you since your last visit) down south.

Have you been to Key Largo? What are some of your must-visit Key Largo spots? What is your favorite road trip destination from Miami? Why? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Giving Back on Give Miami Day 2015

Rejoice, South Florida! Give Miami Day is upon us in less than 24 hours. The annual one-day event, which is the brainchild of The Miami Foundation, lets us rub our pennies together as a community to make mucha mula for local non-profits. This means tomorrow you will have the opportunity to donate within your budget and make a sizable financial impact on the causes you support. This means tomorrow you will have the opportunity to get involved in and make a difference in your community from the comfort of your own couch. This means tomorrow you can bring bonus money from The Miami Foundation, Knight Foundation, and their partners to our community by donating as little as $25.

Last year Give Miami Day made history by raising $5.2 million for 520 local non-profits from more than 19,000 donors. From tomorrow 12 a.m. EST through Friday 12 a.m. EST, it is up to us to break our own record by giving more and to more causes. There are more than 500 organizations vying for our support. If you're overwhelmed, we've provided some suggestions by category below. And don't forget to check out the prize schedule, which will help you time your contribution so your favorite organization(s) win(s) awesome bonus prizes!

If you support the arts, consider:
1. Bakehouse Art Complex
2. Life Is Art
3. Locust Projects

If you enjoy cultural programming, consider:
1. Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
2. Buskerfest
3. Miami City Ballet
4. New World Symphony
5. O Miami Poetry Festival

If you believe in empowering and helping youth, consider:
1. City Year
2. Do The Right Thing
3. Educate Tomorrow
4. Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation
5. Project Ready for School

If you support environmental education, consider:
1. The Big Blue & You
2. The CLEO Institute
3. Coral Morphologic
4. Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center
5. Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

If you support environmental conservation, consider:
1. Everglades Foundation
2. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
3. Friends of the Everglades
4. Miami Waterkeeper
5. Pelican Harbor Seabird Station

If you're into fashion, consider:
1. Becca's Closet
2. Dress for Success
3. Style Saves

If you enjoy independent films, consider:
1. FilmGate Interactive
2. O Cinema

If you support sustainable entrepreneurship, consider:
1. EcoTech Visions

If none of the above connect with you, consider:
1. Awesome Miami
2. Dade Heritage Trust
3. Feeding South Florida
4. Give Miami Day Bonus Pool
5. HandsOn Miami
6. Friends of the Underline

Monday, November 16, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Color Run Miami

It feels like every time we want to hang out with friends our options are to grab food or grab a drink. Don't get us wrong, we looove eating and gabbing over a delicious cocktail but we like to shake it up once in a while. Last Saturday's Color Run Miami was a different—a healthier—occasion for catching up with our best friend Morgan. We rallied her into dusting off her running shoes for a best friends date on a rainy, but otherwise perfect, day.

We laughed, we chatted, we complained (isn't that what running a 5K is all about?) and we ate more color and glitter dust than we care to admit. There's a huge chance we're going to sparkle for the rest of our lives. Also, we will probably never shake the good vibes from the dance party that followed the run. The good thing is that we probably fit better into Miami life now that we're emanating good vibes and covered in glitter. So thank you The Color Run for letting our beautiful city be a part of your Shine Tour and letting us be a part of such a positive movement. We think the photos we snapped speak for the good time we had!

Have you been to a Color Run? What did you like best? Who did you bring? What are other fun events around Miami to enjoy with friends? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!


Friday, November 13, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Fashion - Dressing for Thanksgiving in the Tropics

It's #FashionFriday! While it may be too early to start decorating for Christmas, it is not too early to start thinking about what you are going to wear to Thanksgiving. In our latest #ThankYouMiami for Fashion column, we're bringing you "So Miami" inspiration to get your creativity flowing. Read the excerpt below and click on the photo for the full feature. Happy shopping!

Where will you be spending Thanksgiving this year? Do you already have an outfit in mind? What do you plan to wear? What element(s) will make your look "So Miami"? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Fall Cocktails at Quality Meats Miami Beach

In our noble pursuit of blogging we get access to some really cool opportunities—most recently, a cocktail clinic with Quality Meats beverage director Bryan Schneider. We love cocktail clinics because we're not great at the whole DIY thing, but we are good at making cocktails under the guidance of seasoned beverage professionals. So, while Bryan was in town, we stopped by Quality Meats Miami Beach (side note: if you haven't been, it is a Miami must) to pick up tips from the man himself on how to make drinks off of his new Fall cocktail menu.

Bryan's list is divided into four sections, each with a unique theme. The Cubes use ice as a dynamic element. The Tropical cocktails are drinks inspired by tropical flavors and culture. The Classics are old school favorites reimagined. The Tap cocktails, as their name implies, are batch cocktails served on tap. One commonality displayed across the four themes is a tropical or Miami twist—an infusion of fruit, a classic Miami cocktail style—that makes this menu perfectly suited for our barely-there Fall. The best part? They're easy to recreate at home so if you're feeling creative, we invite you to channel Bryan's cocktail creativity with these four recipes off the Quality Meats Miami Beach menu:

Cubes: Rubik's Spritz
Inspired by the Rubik's Cube puzzle, this cocktail is served over colored, flavored ice cubes that resemble the puzzle's different colored squares.

3 oz. prosecco or champagne
1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
Pour over wine glass over four Rubik's Cubes*

*Rubik's Cubes: In separate containers dilute Cointreau, mango puree, raspberry puree, and lime juice with water (5 parts water: 1 part flavoring). Freeze in ice cube molds.

Tropical: Pomegranate Daiquiri
During Fall, this daiquiri is topped with a seasonal pomegranate foam that will be replaced by a blood orange foam in the winter.

2 oz. light rum
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
Shake and strain into a tall glass with crushed ice. Top with pomegranate foam* and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

*Pomegranate foam: In a whipped cream canister add 6 oz. pomegranate juice, 2 oz. simple syrup, 2 oz. lemon juice and 1/2 cup of egg whites. Charge with a NO2 cream charger.

Classics: Pisco Punch
This recipe is derived from a version that was once popular in San Francisco in the 1800's.

2 oz. pisco
1 oz. spiced pineapple syrup*
3/4 oz. lemon juice
Shake and strain into a brandy snifter over fresh ice, then garnish with a pineapple slice and pineapple leaf.

*Spiced pineapple syrup: Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and 1 tsp. whole cloves in a pot. Stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Strain out the cloves and pour the syrup in a blender over 1 cup of chopped pineapple. Pulse a few times to chop the pineapple. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

Tap: Cuba Libre
Quality Meats makes the classic Cuba Libre (also known as Rum and Coke) with their homemade cola and serves it on tap from a beer tower. They make their homemade cola with a syrup that blends spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus zest and coriander. You can make your own using this cola syrup recipe from NYTimes Cooking or take the easy way out—like us—and buy a Mexican Coke at our neighborhood bodega.

Image of the Rubik's Spritz by Atsushi Tomioka

Monday, November 9, 2015

#ThankYouMiami Talks This Month in Miami - November 2015

November is in full swing, as is Miami's famed "season"—of tourists, of part-time residents, of fun events, of new restaurants. You've already missed a lot in the month's first week so we figured we'd bring you up to speed so you can make the most out of its remaining weeks. After all, there are only a few weeks left to make 2015 your best Miami year yet. Whether you're into food, culture, exercise, or helping others, we hope you're amping for November in Miami because there is a lot to look forward to!

1. Pinch Kitchen is officially open. The "freestyle American eatery", the brainchild of two Pubbelly Restaurant Group alums, has taken over the digs previously held by Biscayne Diner at 8601 Biscayne Boulevard. We stopped by on opening day to check it out and discovered nothing but signs of a promising future. For starters, the Pinch Kitchen team killed it with the décor which combines a modern look with pieces that have a history—the pictures on the wall are real photos depicting their families history. Their bar selection is also on point thanks to options by Miami's own M.I.A. Brewing and Cigar City, including a hard cider we're dying to try. And finally the dinner menu, which will soon be joined by a lunch and a brunch menu, is chock-full of exciting dishes (the kind that make your mouth water when you read them on the menu) we can't wait to try.

2. Nikki Beach Miami has a brand spanking new addition to their famous Sunday brunch: a Bloody Mary Bar. The bar, which joins numerous stations of fresh sushi, homemade pasta, waffles, custom omelets and more, offers more than 14 unique bloody mary creations and a Build Your Own Bloody (BYOB) option at $8 each with brunch. As part of yesterday's Sunday Funday itinerary, we brunched at Nikki Beach and tried two of their bloody mary creations: the Bloody Maria and the Bloody Ceasar. Granted they were two of the most traditional options on the menu, but they were two really solid bloodies which is what we wanted. If you're feeling more adventurous, we recommend choosing from the bottom of the menu which has wilder options like the Japanese Mary (blazing wasabi, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar infused bloody mary mix, served with Tyku Sake and garnished with pickled ginger, wakame salad, and a sprig of scallion).

3. Yelp Helps has joined forces to host a Feeding South Florida food drive this week in honor of the holiday season. Tonight (Monday, November 9), Yelp Miami will be having a kickoff party from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Lulu's Nitrogen Ice Cream where they will be accepting donations of unopened food items such as peanut butter, cereal, pasta, rice, canned vegetables/meats/soups, etc (see full list here). Those that donate during the event will get free ice cream. The rest of the week, everyone that donates will get 50% off their ice cream purchase. Yelp's goal is to source over 1,000 pounds of food. 

4. The Color Run will shine on Miami this Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. The happiest 5k on the planet, known for its paint chucking ways, gives us the perfect excuse to get some quality time with our best friend Morgan outside of eating and drinking. And, while it is not a serious race, it has the added benefit of pushing us to get some exercise while we're at it. If you're free Saturday morning, you will want to join us—trust. At a minimum it will make for incredible Instagram photos (wink, wink)!

5. The Miami Book Fair International returns for its 32nd year on November 15. This event is the oldest and largest gathering of authors in Miami, who come from all over the world to read from their books, answer our burning questions, and sign autographs. There are seven full days of programming for kids and adults which culminate in a Street Fair weekend that takes over downtown Miami from November 20-22.

Friday, November 6, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Seed Food & Wine Festival

Last month we chatted with you about sustainable seafood and why we're excited to see it infiltrate the menus of some of our favorite restaurants. This week we're excited to continue the conscious consumption conversation by announcing the return of the nation's only plant-based (read, vegan) food and wine experience: Seed Food and Wine Festival. From November 18 through November 22, the festival will bring diverse programming that simultaneously showcases our beautiful city and the perks of plant-based living. Venues in both Miami Beach and Wynwood will host everything from cooking demonstrations to beer, wine, and spirit tastings to wellness and educational events. We're particularly excited for the first-ever veggie burger battle and for the celebrity chef dinners which will give local chefs a chance to showcase their culinary talent in a unique way.

If you follow us on Instagram you know that earlier this week we previewed what's in store during the festival, specifically on November 21 for the Made in Miami Farm to Table Dinner. We were psyched to discover the six-course menu will be a one-of-a-kind collaboration by our favorite Miami chefs: Brad Kilgore of Alter, Jeremy Ford of Matador Room, Todd Erickson of Haven, Darren Laszlo of Jugofresh, and Jamie De Rosa of Izzy's (one of the hottest restaurants in Miami right now). In our quest for good food around Miami, we've eaten food by all of these chefs but we've only ever experienced plant-based cooking by Chef Laszlo. We can't wait to see how the rest of the chefs use their culinary creativity to make delicious like the ones we sampled during Tuesday's special preview. Catch a peek at what we ate (on your behalf, of course) in the photos below!

For the full list of events and to purchase your tickets, head over to the Seed Food and Wine Festival website. Or, if you're feeling lucky, you can enter to win two VIP tickets to the Festival Day and Tasting Village that will take place at MANA Wynwood on November 21 via our giveaway at the bottom of this post. Bon chance, Miami! And make sure to check back in after the festival to learn more about sustainable food when we recap our experience in our next "#ThankYouMiami for our Natural Resources" feature.

Salad of Brussel Sprouts: Charred Pumpkin, Za'taar Avocado, Mamey, Flaming Walnuts
by Chef Amber Antonelli of The Naked Bite.
Image via Celeste Guerra.

Living Lasagna: Vegan Vegetable Terrine
by Chef Mark Zeitouni of The Standard.
Image via Celeste Guerra.

Black Bean Twinkie: Dark Chocolate Ganache, Strawberry Coulis, Chocolate Chia Seeds
by Chef Darren Laszlo of Jugofresh.
Image via Celeste Guerra.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Mid Beach - Localeur

Today is all about showing some love to the often neglected yet incredibly cool neighborhood of Middle Beach, or Mid Beach for "short". While the abundance of cranes is a harbinger of forthcoming revitalization, Mid Beach is currently the more quiet, invisible persona of Miami Beach (think Mia Thermopolis before her royal makeover) so we started a list on Localeur with four reminders of why you need to visit more often. We encourage you to take a peek at the list by clicking on the photo below and to contribute your own go-to Mid Beach haunts. Think of it as your good deed for the day. Happy recommending! P.S. If you live in Mid Beach, we'd love to feature you on our Miami neighborhood series so leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

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