Similar to my wedding Anniversary (18 years and counting!), every year I celebrate the Anniversary of Art Miami Basel (15 years and counting!) with my wife. It is the perfect excuse (and usually needed after Thanksgiving...) to sneak away to spend quality time together (as well as with friends) without children. This pilgrimage to Miami has grown substantially from its humble beginnings when the main fair was cancelled in the aftermath of 9/11. In addition to the main fair, there is also Design Miami, Scope, Untitled, Pulse, and Art Miami to name a few. At the same time, mirroring this expansion, is the substantial growth in development of every inch of Miami from South Beach (1st Street all the way up to Bal Harbour), to Brickell Avenue, to Downtown, as well as out West to Wynwood and the Design District.
On the Anniversary of the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of Art Miami Basel, I reflect on what the bride should wear and what you should do in Miami; something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue (Kyu)!
Located in the heart of Wynwood, this Asian inspired wood fired newcomer is serving some of the best dishes in Miami! It is no wonder given the impressive culinary resume of its Executive Chef and Founder, Michael Lewis. In addition to working under Chef David Bouley at Bouley Bakery and Chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernadin, at the age of 25 he became the Executive Chef at Jean Georges (3 Michelin Stars at the time!) on CPW. Critical to his training was traveling the world and experiencing all the culinary diversity it has to offer. Subsequently, he became Executive Chef at Zuma (yum, yum, yum) for 6 years before this venture came to life. The open kitchen barely hides the flames coming up from every direction cooking vegetables and meat to perfection. The vibe is very hip, as expected, but don't be surprised when you realize that the food is excellent. Nuanced and tasty, this meal won't disappoint ... now work your magic to get in!
Zak the Baker
Some people like to roll downstairs from their hotel room and enjoy a $40 (or more) breakfast buffet in their hotel, if they wake for breakfast at all. Not me! As you might expect, I will travel far and wide to find that someplace special. I was on the hunt after doing the breakfast buffet the day earlier! Therefore, I followed the advice of fellow Louper Jason R. who said the best and most innovative food was coming form the bakery/kitchen of Zak the Baker! He recently separated the baking operations from the restaurant and opened a walk-in bakery down the street. Go to the bakery if you want a sliver of unbelievable babka, croissants, etc. Go to the cafe if you want the perfect egg platter, savory or sweet toast, or insanely good sandwich. The key here is the artisanal bread! Trust me, it's carbs that are worth it.
Athens Juice Bar
This family owned and operated juice bar has been on North Miami Beach since 1942. It predated Juice Press and every other trendy juice spot! When I mentioned it to a born and bred Miamian (fellow Louper Michelle R.) she couldn't believe I knew it, and disclosed she has been going there her whole life! It is a very simple spot. They take incredibly fresh fruit and either blend it into incredible smoothies or will it into slices or fruit salad. These slices may be combined together or thrown over their locally procured cottage cheese (or greek yogurt) which is incredible; not really sure when the last time I had cottage cheese but now with Athens I need to more often! Owners John, George and Oscar greet customers like old friends at this vintage and authentic Miami Beach institution.
Do you like to peruse travel magazines? I do, especially when they are exactly where I am, with no other options, like the doctors office (with no cell reception) or my bathroom doing my business. With alluring (to this expeditionist) glossy pictures and great stories about places I'm dying to get to (eventually), I don't know what to do with all this great information. Do I tear out the page and file it in my Japan or India folder (NO!), I'm not that organized. So, if you are not headed to that spot imminently, how is that useful to you besides adding the spot to your mental bucket list? That is where Fab Search comes in; this website organizes all these fabulous articles about travel found in the most discerning magazines (Vogue, Vanity Fair, Wallpaper to name a few). Therefore, they are exactly where you want them, when you need them, and organized neatly by location. While you are browsing, you can even save articles that interest you in My Clippings. Happy fab-searching!