Bowlmor Lanes Times Square with Thomas Farley

Looking for new and fun places to hang with your friends? Or maybe you’re looking for a place to relax at with your co-workers, or bring the family for some quality time. Well, Bowlmor Lanes in Time Square solves all those problems. Bowlmor Lanes is the hippest bowling alley you will ever find! They have multiple themed lounges decorated to represent the different boroughs of New York City. So you will feel like you are bowling in China Town, or Time Square, or even Central Park! (Yes grass is included between the lanes). Don’t let your night end up in a gutter, make sure you check out Bowlmor Lanes. That is if you can spare the time.

The River Seafood & Oyster Bar: Aphrodisiacs galore

The ambiance at the River Seafood & Oyster Bar is a cross between restaurant and after work, happy hour hot spot. It fits the bill for both and they’re doing it nicely either way.

The bar area lends itself to hanging out with friends enjoying some cocktails after a long week at work and since it’s just steps away from the Brickell Financial District and Downtown Miami let’s just say, Fridays are hopping here. The time to go is Mon.-Fri. 4-7 p.m. for drink and food specials.

As a restaurant, Chef David Bracha’s been packing them in since 2003. Naturally, the menu is jam-packed with seafood — Key West snapper, Alaskan halibut, crab po’ boy, ceviche, conch chowder and tons more. Landlubbers can enjoy an angus beef cheeseburger, chimichurri style skirt steak or grilled chicken salad.

Overall, the River’s inviting ambiance, great location and stellar menu make it a place worth stopping in.

Located at 650 South Miami Ave., 305-530-1915,

Mayfair Hotel & Spa: Elegant style in Coconut Grove

The iconic and elegant Mayfair Hotel & Spa has been a landmark in Coconut Grove for more than 20 years and their boutique style makes staying here a true getaway.

This luxurious 179-room all-suites hotel is located in the heart of the neighborhood, near great shopping, restaurants and nightlife, yet is quiet and secluded. Perhaps it’s the private balconies and Japanese hot tubs featured in most of the rooms. The rooftop pool and cabana club could be yet another reason.

The rooms, designed by legendary Miami architect Ken Treister, feature a door set in a hand-carved mahogany frame, sculptured plaster ceilings, Tiffany stained-glass windows and furnishings from Europe, Asia, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.

The on-site spa features seven private treatment rooms, couples suite, relaxation lounge and boutique and there’s also Spartico, the on-site trattoria featuring gourmet pizzas and Italian fare.

Mayfair Hotel & Spa is located at 3000 Florida Ave., Coconut Grove, FL 305-441-0000 or 1-800-433-4555,

Loews Miami Beach: Elegant, hip, gorgeous

With a recent $50 million renovation (who would’ve thought that was necessary), the already spectacular Loews Hotel in the heart of South Beach is now well…beyond chic. The re-designed lobby, guestrooms, entrance and addition of ice cream shop and boutique take the hotel to another level.


With 790-gorgeously appointed rooms and suites, they are spacious with flat-screen televisions, comfortable and luxurious seating areas, bedding, bathrooms and balcony views. For those who need to stay connected there’s hi-speed WiFi.

The oceanfront pool is the perfect spot to relax and for the ultimate in massage, facials and more the Elemis Spa awaits with yoga and fitness classes, a rooftop sundeck and full hair and nail salon. They make getting ready for an evening out on South Beach a breeze.

The Loews is located at 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 305-604-1601,

Fruit & Spice Park: A visit to this South Dade gem is priceless

The trek to Fruit & Spice Park in The Redland may be a far jaunt but it’s worth the trip. The 37-acre park is the ideal way to take in the natural setting of this southern area of South Florida.

Thanks to the park’s tropical climate, the grounds are home to more than 500 varieites of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts as well as a variety of exotic plants. The varieties of fruits and plants is astounding like 150 of mango, 75 of banana and 70 of bamboo. Also growing here are pumpkins, avocados, persimmons, black sapotes, papaya, starfruit, dragonfruit, guava and jackfruit.

They all make the perfect ingredients for the fantastic smoothies prepared at the on-site Mango Cafe. They’ve also got a Fruit & Spice Park sampler, a variety of fresh salads, wraps and other specialties.

Fruit & Spice Park is located at 24801 SW 187 Ave., 305-247-5727,

Salt Factory

Salt Factory is an impressive and refreshing contender in the gastro pub circuit. Though once inside you forget you are in suburbia, Salt Factory definitely gives some trendy relief to the famous Canton Street in Roswell. Burly servers discuss the merits of Belgian beer and the difference between a British pint and an American pint (Brits beat us in ounces), and while the list is selective, it isn’t as, er, stout as it could be. Be as adventurous as possible and stick with the interesting imports and save the Stella for a Buckhead bar. Split up a meat and cheese plate with the table or grab a bleu burger for yourself. Visit for more information.

Red Door Tavern

Come to Roswell’s neighborhood friendly bar, perfect for any occassion. Offering a large beer selection and a great pub menu, Red Door has a weekly happy hour and nightly drink specials. We are open late every night. Perfect for after work, a singles meet and greet or your weekend spot to watch television sports, visit Red Door Tavern today.

Gems of Africa

You don’t have to travel to Africa to view authentic African art.

A family business owned and operated by Keith Washington and Wallene Jones since 1981. Originally located in New York, we have been in business in Atlanta since 1997.

The staff at the Gems of Africa Gallery is dedicated to presenting you the best of African Art. To ensure the quality of their merchandise and to keep abreast of new artists and artifacts available, they travel to Africa twice a year and hand pick all of the items for the gallery. Many of the artists that they deal with are not interested in the marketing aspect of the business, so they provide the marketing expertise for them.

They are Atlanta’s leading resource in contemporary African art. Featuring original paintings, Shona sculptures, Tribal masks, South African pottery, Ngwenya Glass and many other items which are all hand crafted in Africa. Although they carry art from many countries in Africa, we specialize in original art and sculpture from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Although the actual retail gallery closed at the end of May, the online gallery is free for you to view at Feel free to contact Keith or Wallene at 404-876-8200.

Kai Lin Art Gallery

Kai Lin Art is a contemporary art gallery located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta that focuses on local, emerging artists. The gallery runs on an accelerated exhibition calendar with a new opening every eight weeks.

Our gallery includes all mediums of art from works on canvas to photography, sculptures to handcrafted pieces. The gallery is available for event rental and the state-of-the-art facility is host to many monthly community events from fundraisers and fashion shows to workshops and art classes.

Midtown Tavern

Established in 2005, Midtown Tavern, nestled in the heart of Atlanta’s SoNo District (south of North Ave.), is a neighborhood gathering spot that offers a hearty, yet innovative “from scratch” American style menu, a seasonal beer list, and a warm environment in an urban loft setting.
With a diverse American menu derived through a “from scratch” philosophy, our chef Hunter Keels uses all-natural ingredients to create unique cuisines that can still be enjoyed in a tavern-style atmosphere. Visit for more information.

Hotel Urbano: Chic, artsy in heart of Brickell

Most of the hotels around Miami’s upscale Brickell area near Downtown Miami are big name large hotels so when Hotel Urbano opened its doors hailing itself as an “urban, art boutique hotel with a resort flavor” it was a welcome addition to the area.

The 65-room, three-story hotel features double and king rooms with pool and city views, balconies and walk-out lanais. Comfortable seating area with balcony view, flat screen television, premium cable channels and comfy robes make the getaway experience even more complete.

Highlights at Urbano include a rockin’ menu at the Bistro Urbano Restaurant & Bar by Executive Chef Anthony Velazquez, ecclectic art that rotates regularly when art shows are held and a relaxing, inviting pool area with firepit, waterfall and comfy lounge and covered couch seating. Sipping a cocktail from the bar and nibbling on some killer apps by the pool is the way to go. And it’s easy to stretch out the evening with the nearby pulsating Brickell nightlife.

Hotel Urbano is located at 2500 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL

Palmer House

The Palmer House didn’t become a beloved downtown Chicago hotel by chance. It did so by design. Since 1871, the iconic Chicago hotel has been host to countless celebrated figures. Today, having undergone a meticulous renovation, the Palmer House awaits those stories yet to be written and forever to be retold, from legendary weddings to grand meetings to moments of pure pleasure.

Park South Hotel

In midtown Manhattan on 28th Street between Park and Lexington avenues is The Park South Hotel, a rare gem among New York City boutique hotels. The beautifully restored 1906 building lies between the stylish Gramercy Park and Murray Hill neighborhoods, drawing discerning corporate and leisure travelers alike.

Four Points by Sheraton

Stay close to the action in one of New York City’s hippest neighborhoods. Where the heart of the action is always just steps away, you won’t need to go far to find a popular restaurant, theater, or gallery. In addition to ideal surroundings, Four Points by Sheraton Midtown – Times Square offers simple, uncluttered design in each of the 244 guest rooms – plus every room in the house is non-smoking, to keep our air a little clearer.

Distrikt Hotel

Located in the heart of Manhattan on West 40th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, Distrikt Hotel New York is steps away from The New York Times Building and Times Square. Distrikt Hotel New York offers a dedication to detail with impeccable service, cutting edge technology, comfortable yet luxurious guestrooms, four -star amenities, and fresh cuisine with locally grown ingredients.

Villa 221: Party in a Downtown house

There’s no shortage of creative thinking in Miami when it comes to the nightclub scene after all, they’ve been doing it on South Beach since the 1990’s when they turned the Versace Mansion into a nightclub and now into a boutique hotel and restaurant.

Now Downtown Miami is getting in on that scene with Villa 221. On their website it’s billed as a special event venue but it’s definitely a club space also. Sizzling Salsa Wednesdays, College Night Thursdays, 80s Night on Fridays and music by DJ Mark Leventhal on Saturdays. 

Villa 221 is located at 221 NE 17 St., Miami, FL 305-416-5280

Cape FL Lighthouse: Shining beacon of Key Biscayne

The island of Key Biscayne is a haven for nature lovers, beachgoers, hikers, bikers and explorers and one of the best spots to enjoy all of these is at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

The park is comprised of nature and bike trails, a beach with picnic tables and barbecue grills and one of the most impressive sites on Key Biscayne, the Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Built in 1825 and reconstructed in 1846, guided tours of the regal white lighthouse that greets beachgoers at the tip of the park, as well as the lighthouse keeper’s cottage, are available twice daily Thursdays through Mondays. The lighthouse is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County.

So, cook up some grub or eat at Lighthouse Cafe or Boater’s Grill, do some kayaking or snorkeling and by all means, be prepared to climb the lighthouse steps and be amazed by the view.

1200 S. Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne, 305-361-5811,

Deering Estate: Lush gardens, perfect setting for strolling, events

The historic Deering Estate at Cutler is one of Miami’s best known attractions and an absolute don’t miss when visiting. This historic 444-acre estate built by Charles Deering and occupied by his family until the 1980s when the attraction became part of the Miami-Dade Parks system.

Aside from featuring the glorious estate home which is open for tours, the grounds encompass a variety of rare and native plants, more than 40 species of trees, inhabiting birds, butterflies, foxes and other wildlife and several nature trails. And there’s always something going on here from art exhibitions by master sculptor Dale Chihuly to special events like the annual Chocolate Festival, Moonlight and Music series and Ghost Tours.

Conservation and Preservation are major components of the work done to keep the Deering Estate at its peak. It’s well worth a visit for a leisurely day on the bay strolling the grounds.

Deering Estate at Cutler is located at 16701 SW 72 Ave., Miami, FL

Dr. Paul George walking tours offer a Miami history lesson

Miami-Dade professor Dr. Paul George is an iconic figure in the Miami community thanks to his popular walking tours of the city’s historic neighborhoods.

For more than two decades, Dr. George has shown tourists and locals alike what makes the Magic City tick when it comes to places like Little Havana the home of famed Calle Ocho, the Miami Cemetery where legendary Miami figures like Julia Tuttle are buried and the Miami River cruise along the historic body of water that meanders through the now skyscraper-like landscape of Downtown Miami.

His tours touch on the architecture of the area as well as the historic figures responsible for developing it; local black history; the influence of Al Capone and other mafia figures and historic events like the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The tours usually depart from History Miami located at 101 W Flagler St. 305-375-1492,

Lowe Art Museum: Showcasing worldly classics

The massive 17,500-object collection on view at the Lowe Art Museum, located in the heart of the University of Miami Campus in Coral Gables, features a vast array of artworks from around the world.

They focus on the classics here and have spent decades perfecting and expanding their pieces. Renaissance and baroque paintings and sculptures, Native and Ancient American art as well as Asian works share space. And that’s only their permanent collection.

Their changing exhibitions include photography, African-American art, lithographs, watercolors, pastels, acrylics and screen prints. Special events hosted at the Lowe include lectures, dance performances and family days.

Their billed as showing 5,000 years worth of art and that’s worth checking out.

The Lowe Art Museum is located at 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables

New World Symphony: Classy new venue

The New World Symphony is known for presenting classical music with a few re-interpretations and now they’re presenting them in a brand new venue on Miami Beach. Just to see a master like Michael Tilson Thomas waving his conductor’s wand and leading this masterful group is exciting enough.

Now however, NWS has a new venue, the state-of-the-art New World Center designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry as well as an outdoor venue called Soundscape and designed by Dutch architectural firm West 8.

So now it’s even easier to catch a performance by this talented orchestra in a great outdoor setting on the 7,00o-square-foot projection wall in the 2.5 acre public park. Along with their regular performances they also host monthly special events including family days, solo spotlights and Pulse where they transform the already incredible indoor venue into a nightclub setting.

The New World Symphony’s New World Center is located at 500 17th St., Miami Beach, FL

Coral Gables Art Cinema: Reel indie films shown here

Lovers of independent films usually have to wait until March for the Miami Film Festival to come to town but the Coral Gables Art Cinema’s, a new 144-seat venue, run by Coral Gables Cinemateque, Inc., has changed that.

With stadium seating and rare 16/35 mm films shown in HD professional theater-quality sound, the bill includes American independent, foreign and classic films not found in typical multi-screen movie theaters.

The intimate cinema is a welcome addition to an already vibrant restaurant, cultural and shopping scene in Downtown Coral Gables. Housed inside a historic building on one of the city’s best known streets, Aragon Avenue is home to some of the City Beautiful’s best restaurants taking dinner and a movie to another level.

Coral Gables Art Cinema is located at 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, FL, 786-472-2249,

Jimmy’Z: Monfongo dish is star here

Jimmy ‘Z Kitchen in Wynwood is a great casual spot to try some of the best mofongo, the Puerto Rican diet staple, prepared in Miami and the variety of ways they serve it is impressive.

Mofongo with churrasco. Photo by Charles Buscemi @barefootcount

Located inside a cool, huge space in the artsy Wynwood District, Chef Jimmy Carey, a veteran of kitchens around Miami, is creating the amazing dishes here. Mofongo is a mash of fried green plantains, garlic, olive oil and crunchy pork rinds served in a mound in the center of the plate on a bed spicy tomato sauce. They serve it with juicy, succulent shrimp or tender, moist churrasco steak or lambchops.

The panini sandwiches here are tops too, along with Cuban-inspired roasted mojo pork, Caribbean shrimp or chicken creole and scrumptious salads. They’ve also got grilled skirt steak with chimichurri (parsley and oil-based) sauce. That’s an Argentinean specialty so it’s almost like an homage to Latin American flavors.

Jimmy’Z is located at 2700 N Miami Ave. 305-573-1505

Morgan’s is great any time of day

The lilac color is immediately recognizable and helps Morgan’s in Wynwood stand out from the pack. The wooden house structure is also unique to the area. They also have another location in Miami Beach.

Brioche French toast at Morgan's

What’s great about Morgan’s is they’re good for anytime of the day. Their brunch is phenomenal and lunch and dinner are fantastic too. They bill themselves as “Miami’s Modern Homestyle Comfort Food” and on that, they deliver.

During the day, this bright and airy place offers delectable brunch items like pillow light brioche French toast, eggs benedict with smoked salmon, a cheese board with gruyere, stilton, brie, fig paste, fresh fruit and crostini and on the heartier side, Kobe style sliders with caramelized onions and cheddar. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s…lunch and dinner. The center cut pork loin with apple brandy sauce and butternut squash or the pan roasted herb chicken with gigante bean salad and preserved lemon are two great choices.

Morgan’s is located at either 28 NE 29 St. 305-573-9678 or 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach 305-397-8753

Harry’s Pizzeria: Chef’s homage to his son

Guess running one of the most successful restaurants in Miami isn’t keeping Chef Michael Schwartz busy enough since he’s now launched Harry’s Pizzeria just a few blocks away from his signature restaurant Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.

Named after his son, Harry’s is located in a quaint space that used to be Pizza Volante, a restaurant closed by fellow renowned South Florida chef Jonathan Eismann. Harry’s though is quite different in that Chef Schwartz continues using only the freshest, local ingredients.

Walk up to the front doors and guests are immediately greeted to wooden planters filled with fresh herbs that are most definitely used on the variety of incredibly crispy wood-burning oven pizzas served here. Fresh arugula, figs and pork is just one of the unique combinations offered on a pizza here. The polenta fries and trio of meatballs in homemade sauce are more than worthy appetizer choices.

Harry’s Pizzeria, 3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963,!/pages/Harrys-Pizzeria/246223715420127

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar: Classic eats meet urban art

Like most venues in the Wynwood area, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar is a unique restaurant that offers diners great classic food along with funky urban art. One of the new kids on the block in the neighborhood, this spacious eatery offers both indoor and outdoor seating.

The feeling here is industrial warehouse meets comfortable and natural. The decor is a blend of driftwood accents, dark oak tables, high ceilings and oversized, colorful graffiti almost tattoo art. Outside the art continues with garden seating among the famed Wynwood Walls which are filled with artistic graffiti.

Enough about the decor though after all, it is a restaurant so food’s the main draw here. Clay pots are the hit here with snapper and mussel curry with  charred pineapple and basil or braised lamb with carrots, mint cardamom-panko bread crumbs and sour cherries. All are served with jasmine or brown rice. Skewers make good appetizers with choices like pork with cilantro-sesame dipping sauce or beef with basil dipping sauce.

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar is located at 2550 NW 2 Ave., Miami, FL

The Forge: Miami Beach’s legendary eatery

The Forge Restaurant/Wine Bar has been the mainstay on the northern end of Miami Beach since the 1920s, known as an old-world steakhouse with matching elaborate decor. Current owner Shareef Malnik, who took ownership in 1990 from his father who owned it since 1969, has given the place a makeover, both in decor and on the menu. 

It’s still elaborate and decadent but instead of the dark wood, robust interior things have been lightened up in tone, lots of whites, silvers, mismatched chairs which give the place character and a wine cellar/selection that can only be described as massive.

Executive Chef Dewey LoSasso, a veteran of New York and Miami restaurants, has created a menu all his own with pastas and risottos, unique appetizers like smoked salmon croquettes and quinoa pancake stacks plus main entrees like steamed local snapper in a bag and to keep with tradition an entire section of select meats.

Eating at the Forge is an experience like no other. They’re located at 432 41 Street, Miami Beach, 305-538-8533

Brook Dorsch, a pioneer of Wynwood’s Arts District

When Miami’s Wynwood Arts District was beginning to take shape more than a decade ago, gallery owner Brook Dorsch immediately moved into a 3,600+-square-foot warehouse space and along with a handful of other daring and fellow gallery owners pioneered what is now considered a hotbed in Miami’s thriving arts community.

And with that, who better to dish about his favorite Miami spots, hangouts, etc…than someone who’s in the thick of it all, making it happen.

What is your favorite season in Miami?

My Favorite time in Miami is the Fall/Winter, it’s the best time to be outside, especially since biking is my favorite activity during the winter months. Als, the city is alive those months since it’s the time of the art fairs, so it is nice to be able to wear a jacket and not be drenched in sweat. I consider Spring/Summer more of a slow time, a time to relax.

What’s your favorite neighborhood for dining out, for nightlife?

My favorite Area for eating out is MIMO, the Biscayne corridor between 50th and 79th streets. Although Wynwood is adding new spots every week. Then there are always the food trucks which don’t tie you down to any neighborhood.

For nightlife I like the 14th street area in Downtown Miami, particularly for  The Bar and The Vagabond but my personal favorite is Churchills in Little Haiti. West of Wynwood has some new DYI spots that have just opened – Chum Bucket and Beelzebub’s Cave – and I can’t wait for the opening of Lester’s.

Where do you like to shop?

The best place to shop for Seafood is Casablanca market on the Miami river. I don’t generally just shop – but I stumble… I usually prefer smaller stores to any big chains. Sweat Records and some small secondhand shops on NE 2nd Avenue are fun. Markys on 79th for all things Russian. Everything else is online.

What inspires you about Miami?

The attitude. Miami has an attitude that most people don’t like, and scares away the people that can’t handle it. Sort of like being a tough New Yorker, that has been stuck in a Spanish sauna for 44 hours. I have lived in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Miami, and people are great! You just have to go with the flow. I couldn’t live anywhere without culture, or a diverse population – I feel that that is how we can become real Americans (by jumping into the middle of the melting pot). Miami has this strange mix of culture, sun and booze to create a place with character. Miami forces you to become resilient.

Do you have an insider tip for tourists visiting Miami for the first time?

Go with the flow. Don’t eat on Ocean Drive – unless someone else is paying! Seek the quiet spots, and absorb the local flavor – with an exception of the best tourist destination are the real kitschy ones, everything from Coral Castle way down South to Jimbo’s on Virginia Key.

Are you a regular somewhere, have a favorite local hangout?

Churchills, Buena Vista Deli in nearby Buena Vista near the District and Club Deuce and the Abby when I am on the beach. They don’t yell “Norm”, but they know who I am.

Do you have a secret spot in the city (to unwind, get away, people watch, read a book, escape)?

Simpson Park, Shark Valley, the Bird Sanctuary in Grenoylds Park, and Miami Beach, the actual beach at night…for places to chill and enjoy. For peoplewatching check out the alternative non-profit art spaces — Locust Projects, Dimensions Variable, Swamp-Space, the Little River Yacht Club and Bas Fisher. And when Lester’s in Wynwood – a coffee, beer and wine bar  opens – it will be my new second home.

What are your favorite restaurants/museums/parks/ shopping places/bars/etc?

I support all of the Museums – so I can’t pick favorites, but I will always recommend them. But the Private Art collections are fantastic as well. The Marguiles, De La Cruz, Rubell and World Class Boxing are great to visit. For Places to eat – Gigi’s, Metro Bistro, Magnum (for fun). Did I mention Churchill’s?

db Bistro Moderne:

In Miami a top-notch restaurant doesn’t have to be free standing to be respected, take db Moderne Bistro inside Downtown Miami’s swanky JW Marriott Marquis Hotel. They’ve nabbed acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud to work his magic in the kitchen to come out with their stellar menu.

Three times a James Beard award recipient, Chef Bouloud is revered for creating a menu that’s traditional French bistro mixed with contemporary American flavors. The dining room’s elegant design and great view of the Miami river are the perfect complement to a menu ripe with original creations and a wine list with amazingly affordable bottle selections beginning at a modest $25.

Taking advantage of the bounty from the sea in Miami, there’s a tasty selection of seafood appetizers. Classics like coq au vin and tomato tarte tartin are listed alongside the popular db burger which is an exercise in decadence. They take a sirloin burger and fill it with braised short ribs and foie gras on a parmesan bun and serve it up with pommes frites (the real French fries).

db Moderne Bistro is located inside the JW Marriott Marquis, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, FL

Xixon: Spanish chef serves passionate menu

Xixon Cafe has settled in nicely into their new digs on Coral Way and what a phenomenal location it is. The place is elegant, sophisticated while still maintaining a casual touch that evokes the look and feel of Spain throughout.
Upon entering there’s a market and deli selling specialty cheeses, hams, chorizos, peppers, olives and olive oils all imported from Spain.

The new larger location has two floors in addition to the main floor and each space supplementing the other by offering different dining ambiances, downstairs the Vinoteca and upstairs the Mezzanine with oversized tables for larger groups and private parties along with a main dining room and Tapas bar.

In the kitchen, Chef Jon Gonzalez, a native of San Sebastian, is preparing the classics as well as some more contemporary recipes. He uses plenty of fresh caught fish and seafood for his recipes and introduces daily tapas and entrees to keep the menu interesting.

Xixon is located at 2101 SW 22 St. Miami, FL 

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar: Comfort food done right

With a website name like, there’s no doubt that Miami Beach’s Yardbird Southern Table & Bar takes their chicken and comfort food for that matter, seriously. They don’t even call it a dinner menu, it’s called supper.

A rustic interior with small jam jars on display, cute sayings printed along the bar like “Say Please and Thank You” and “Run Chicken Run” and lots of natural wood to evoke a country setting.

Things to try here: Shrimp ‘n grits made with Florida shrimp, crisp Virginia ham and South Carolina stone ground grits (they love using the best Southern ingredients here and make sure to name them too). The Llellewyn’s Fine Fried Chicken is a 1/2 a Bell & Evans bird served with  cheddar and chow chow waffle, spicy Tulepo honey and citrus pepper watermelon. The melons and cheese appetizer of fresh melons, grilled farm cheese, fresh celery in Meyer lemon Texas olive oil is a great starter.

The restaurant is located at the corner of 16th St. and Lenox Ave. in Miami Beach, 305-538-5220

Seasons 52: A fresh take on seasonal faves

At Seasons 52, they pride themselves on offering fresh, seasonal ingredients with a casual and unique flair. Organic greens, vegetables, seafoods and meats command the menu as well as a wealth of eye-pleasing appetizers, flatbreads, entrees, salads and desserts.

Some of their tasty selections include an all-natural chicken cabernet with Lundberg organic wild rice, vegetables and red wine sauce; a lemongrass salmon salad with organic field lettuce, grilled pineapple, jicama and sesame dressing and flatbreads topped with garlic chicken, balsamic red onions, roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese, to name just one of five delectable ones offered.

And to match the casually elegant menu, the restaurant’s atmosphere is a pleasant cherry wood interior with warm lighting, an inviting bar and wood beams running along the ceiling.

Seasons 52 Restaurant is located at 321 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL

Deposits, withdrawals and partying at The Bank

Leave it to Miami club promoters to concoct an idea as outrageous as using a historic bank building in the heart of Downtown Miami, and one that’s on the National Register of Historic Places no less, as the latest hot club venue.

That’s exactly the idea behind The Bank. One thing’s for sure, the interior is brimming with exquisite architectural touches like vaulted ceilings and ornate Roman columns, evocative of the 1920s economic boom and when the building was created.

They’ve split the place into four separate rooms — The Garden, The Vault which is their main room, The Gallery and the appropriately named The Capone Room. 

The Bank is located at 139 NE 1 St., 786-309-BANK,

Crepes at the Eastern Market

With 20 years of baking experience, spiced with years of globe-trotting and a passion for tasty treats, Crepes At The Market is a must-go hotspot for crepe connoisseurs.

Just a whiff of the creamy, rich batter, and you will know that this is the perfect pour to an unforgettably delectable crepe. Most importantly, the filling of the crepe is gathered from the local vendors, ensuring that the crepes are dressed by the freshest locally grown produces.

Located near the Eastern Market, this joint for made to order crepes promises an amazing start to the day. Enjoy those jealous stares as you saunter down DC’s oldest fresh food public market, munching on your mouth-watering crepe.

To be or not to be at the Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger Shakespeare Library is home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art. It proudly serves as the primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750).

Not only is this a world-renowned research center and a leading conservation lab, the Folger Library is also known for its plays, concerts, literary readings, exhibitions, and family activities year-round!

The Folger Shakespeare for Kids program offers beginners’ activities, while local family workshops introduce the world of Shakespeare to kids and parents together. Believing that learning has no age limits, Shakespeare for Seniors strives to engage senior citizens with activities of the Elizabethan style.

Most notably, the biggest event is hosted on the Sunday closest to Shakespeare’s Birthday where the whole Folger is open to visitors with cakes, entertainments, crafts and tours!

Wholesome American Goodness at The Blue Duck Tavern

The Blue Duck Tavern located inside the Hyatt Hotel offers a sunken garden veranda with an outdoor fountain, adding a distinct element of romance and elegance.

Featuring its classic and wholesome American meals with a market-based menu, the Executive Chef Brian McBride offers delicacies made with the finest and freshest locally sourced ingredients. Time honored cooking methods such as roasting, braising, preserving and smoking, are techniques that are used to create each tantalizing dishes.

The restaurant welcomes guests with an open staff pantry and kitchen, complete with a wood-burning oven. The hand-crafted furnishings and heavy, wooden tables keep the restaurant warm, homey, but contemporary, offering a welcoming dining experience.

It’s all about the Dough

Dough, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria out of San Antonio has opened up shop in North Dallas with gourmet ingredients and an 800+ degree brick oven. Dough hand makes their own mozzarella fresh daily or give the option of buffalo mozzarella imported from Italy, all topped off with a topping list to make any foodie salivate. A few favorite pies include the Fontina (oak roasted mushrooms and caramelized onion topped with Fontina cheese), the Pork Love (red sauch, Fior di Latte, salami, sausage, pancetta & speck) or the Margherita “STG” (traditional margherita topped with Mozzarella di Bufala and Parmesan Reggiano). Ingredients aside, it’s the hand-tossed pizza dough that turns into a puffy, flat bread-like crust that brings Dough’s pizza to the next level.

Take Me Out To A Ball Game at Nellie’s Sports Bar

Nellie’s Sports Bar is Washington, DC’s first gay sports bar featuring an expansive rooftop deck which is as much of an attraction as the flat-screen TVs. Nellie’s is considered THE go-to place for LGBTQ sports fans.

True to its theme, the sports bar sticks to showing games on its plasma TVs and displaying tennis rackets, oars, and trophies as decorations. No worries, the athletically challenged customers will not be left out of the fun, since Nellie’s provides board games galore.

Don’t forget to check their website for fun activities like Drag Bingo and brunch! Visit for more information.

Shhh…. The insider tip is that the earlier you get to Nellie’s the cheaper the drinks will be from Monday through Friday!

Dine on fine French food at The Mansion at Turtle Creek

The Mansion at Turtle Creek has been a staple in Dallas’ fine dining scene for over thirty years. An upscale atmosphere and excellent service only add to The Mansion’s French-inspired menu. Sip a little bubbly while enjoying seared foie gras with a pineapple-raisin chutney, roasted duck breast with carmelized turnips, quince and a black current reduction, or enjoy any number of Chef Chef Bruno Davaillon’s seasonal tastings. For a switch, enjoy your meal on their picturesque restaurant terrace or reserve an intimate private dining suite for a cozy dinner for two or for a crowd. Dining at The Mansion is the perfect start to enjoying a night on the town.

The Stage: Live music adds to vibe here

The live music scene is abuzz in Miami and there’s no better area for a  hotspot like The Stage than the super cool hipster Design District. Housed in a spacious warehouse type venue, it’s wide open in here but at the same time intimate. Music lovers can sit or stand as close to the stage here as they like or relax on a comfy couch and take in the cool sounds that way.

The bar’s fully stocked here and is matching in its grandiose size after all  this place is 10,000-square-feet with a 200-square-foot stage. New Orleans was the inspiration for the design and performers include local favorite Joe Donato as well Atlanta’s Stokeswood and Arboles Libres.

The Stage is located at 170 NE 38 St., Miami, FL