Fabulous finds in Miami
Amid 20 degree temps my hubby and I threw caution to the wind and braved the heavy snow fall to get to the airport Hyatt the night before our Valentines Day flight to Miami lest we get snowed in like the rest of the tri-state area. We would have none of that. I may have prayed more than a few Hail Mary’s (mama would be proud) but we did get there unscathed and our flight into Ft. Lauderdale (cheaper than Miami and only a 30 minute drive from the North) took off a mere 15 minutes late. A great start to a fabulous love day getaway.
I cannot pass up lunching on the New River in Ft. Lauderdale to watch the mega yachts troll by so we popped into 15th street Fisheries for a Bloody Mary and fresh fish salad. A leisurely drive south on A1A Blvd landed us in the heart of Miami’s bustling South Beach in no time. However, this time we opted to stay in Midtown Miami at the Viceroy on chic Brickell Ave overlooking Biscayne Bay. The room was spacious and appointed in an Asian inspired mid century modern motif. I always love when the bath is equally as large if not larger than the bed chamber and includes a separate soaking tub and enclosed shower. As we got unpacked, I booked a “let’s get this weekend started off right” detoxifying massage. The eclectic decor of the spa mixed with equally eclectic guests made for an interesting experience. The “relaxation” room where you wait to be retrieved by the therapist was giving off more of a “pool bar” than “pool spa” vibe due in large part to the layout that is open to the registration room above (odd) and the rowdy, selfie taking, “just met each other but are already tipsy and planning to hook up later this evening” patrons. I lounged on a baroque, white leather settee gazing out onto the bay, thoroughly relaxed and amused when a male guest asked me why it was so loud and had I been here before. As his girlfriend approached he attempted to inform her that I too had escaped the north east tundra but she did not acknowledge me at all and I got the feeling he may be in the “habbit” of striking up “conversations” in her absence. I closed my eyes and relaxed in spite of the scene until I was whisked away to my massage.
After a thoroughly amazing deep massage mixed with reflexology, I roused myself and we dined at New York based Catch on Collins and 15th. Much like the northern flagship, this South Beach outpost delivered an amazing experience. The industrial brick space with high ceilings was softened by the obligatory votive candles, white drapes, funky art and beautiful people in love. Splurging on the pricey Champagne paid off in that I polished off the bottle and had not even a hint of a headache the next day. The Lobster was as good as any I had recently enjoyed on the coast of Maine and in fact, was the most filled Lobster I have ever seen. My hubby raved about his Sushi appetizer, fish and decadent chocolate dessert.
Saturday morning brought an early breakfast on the patio at 15th & Vine at the Viceroy where the service was excellent and the steel cut oats with walnut & pear and hand crafted chicken sausage were just what my diet needed after an evening of bubbly. Did I mention the Illy espresso machine en suite? It was all too perfect. We headed back into South Beach for a stroll and shopping along Collins Ave. Barneys’s Co Op, as always, left me a bit dissatisfied, but I did covet a fantastic, Chanel inspired jacket by Isabel Marant. I find them to be a bit hit or miss and their selection a tad too basic. I had to pop into Dash to see how it measured up to their Soho version and I must say the new space is bright and airy and the brands and price points were approachable. Notable were pieces from Equipment, Alice + Olivia and Keepsake. I was pretty stunned to see an $85 jacket by Aryn K. I liked that it was not merchandised with Kardashian paraphernalia and seemed to be more of a boutique than the old location. Of course the tourists are in there to get a glimpse of something, but I was pleased with the very helpful sales girl and cute selection. My only real complaint was that every piece I liked had only one left in a size 2, which I am not ~ that and the out of place Arthur George socks which only reminded me of how poorly that kids gets treated.
Of course I found more than one piece to fall in love with at Intermix and decided on a Rag & Bone black blazer with open back panel and a super fun mixed media silk/knit top with an animal face print on the front by Torn by Ronny Komo. I was obsessed with the funky, hot pink Sergio Rossi pumps in the fitting room to try on with all your smashing looks ~ nice touch. The local client spilling out of a small Herve Leger frock yet insisting to the somewhat irritated sales clerk that she needed the extra small was an added bonus.
Next stop was the Fontainebleau for lunch where we found a darling little retro bar for cocktails and relaxation before hitting the boat show across the street. If you are used to the show in Annapolis, this is on a much larger scale and you practically need to sign over your first born to get onto some of the mega yachts. We managed to get some tours and they did not disappoint. As an avid boater and albeit rare, female captain, I fell in love with the Azemut 58 which had a head (bathroom) unlike anything I have seen on a yacht of that size. It boasted an open, full size window, large vanity, separate shower and toilet stalls~ it was unbelievable. That just doesn’t usually happen on a yacht even as sizable as that. We then got a private tour of the Sunseeker Predator 60 which we were told does 48 knots (uncanny for a boat that large) but was being offered for a cool $3.2 million at the show because the owner, A Ferrari/Maserati dealer, wanted to go 55 knots. The grass is always greener…
After Bellini’s on the patio at The Victor Boutique Hotel on Ocean, we changed for dinner. We dined on the terrace at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (not Puck, the other one) overlooking the canal and bright lights of the Midtown high rises. It was an enchanting and romantic evening and the food was good, although it fell short of the meal at Catch. The back wall was plastered with photos of the proprietors with every celebrity to come through Miami and we learned that Anthony Bourdain will host a meal there next week for The Sobe Food & Wine Festival. We loved that it was only a short walk from our hotel and we didn’t have to brave the legendary Miami traffic after an hour long trek back from the boat show.
No trip to Miami is complete without a stop in the Design District so we decided to head there the next day after a morning soaking up the sun poolside. Speaking of the pool ~ the views from the 15th floor pool were captivating. The weather was sunny and breezy with no humidity, the perfect time to see Miami before the wet heat moves in. Once in the uber cool design district, we enjoyed a tapas style brunch at the bar at legendary Michael’s Genuine (tables are too hard to come by as they begin turning guests away at 2:00). The spicy kimche slaw, fingerling hash, creamy deviled eggs and seared sirloin steak bites were to die for. You can usually tell a good chef by their expertly crafted salad with the perfect touch of dressing and flavor and this was no exception. Basic greens never tasted so good! My fave item on the menu, however, was my fresh squeezed, heirloom tomato bloody mary. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it.
Across a shared courtyard was a very cool shop ~ Trend by Sebastian James. A menswear designer with roots in Paris, Mr James also possesses an eye for women’s clothing and offers a well edited selection from the standard cool lines like Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang and J Brand. The sales girl, Maeva, also Parisian born, was as helpful as she was darling. I picked up a silk white collarless blouse from Rag & Bone to slip under my blazer but could have spent another hour as the tops and denim section was full of goodies.
Further up on 40th street, among high end labels like Christian Loubitan, Prada and a stunning new Louis Vuitton outpost, I found a hidden gem ~ En Avance, a locally owned upscale boutique. The owner, Karen, waited on me personally and chatted with me about her years in the business. A native of New York, she got her start 21 years ago on Lincoln road and pioneered the move of upscale shops to the now hot spot on 40th street. With friends like new Floridian resident Gabrielle Union who shops there often and a keen eye for original pieces, you can see why she has been at it so long. She carries limited selections from such designers as Barbara Bui, Mirco Giovannini, Naeem Khan and La Petite Salope. She also sources from Italy and was describing a shipment of shoes coming in soon from Spain. A few dresses from Miami local, Robert Rodriguez and the ever sophisticated Ports 1961 had me wishing I had an event to get dolled up for. However, I tried on the most chic, raw edge, ivory metallic sheath by Marques Almeida that usually would not flatter my shape (pictured above) but when paired with an outrageous Agate necklace and Vince peep toe “shoeties” I was ready for a night with the Miami jet set. I left with a pair of the shoes in taupe with a silver heel… (pictured below in black). They will be my go to with dresses this season!
Now I am back in the cold Mid-Atlantic and super excited to see temps soaring up to the 60’s on Friday!!!