Tag Archives: Coral Gables

Eat your way around the “City Beautiful” during Coral Gables Restaurant Week

Getting a jump on the summer season, when mostly locals are in town, Coral Gables known as the “City Beautiful” is offering diners incredible deals at some of the area’s best known restaurants. Similar to the Miami Spice promotion in August, this one lasts only two weeks from June 4-17.

Caffe Abbracci

The Fifth Annual Coral Gables Restaurant (a misnomer since the promotion lasts two weeks) includes 20% off regular prices on a fixed three-course lunch and/or dinner menu. The list of restaurants is impressive and features some of the city’s finest, as well as some newcomers.

Italian restaurants like Anacapri on Ponce, the classic and institution of Italian cuisine in the Gables Caffe Abbracci, Caffe Vialetto and Randazzo’s Little Italy are participating as are Le Provencal, Cibo Wine Bar, Talavera Cocina Mexicana and John Martin’s Irish Pub.

Click here to view all participating restaurants and their menus.

Game watchin’ and gourmet noshin’ at Duffy’s Tavern

When it comes to Miami sports bars, Duffy’s Tavern located on the cusp of the Coral Gables/South Miami neighborhoods, is an institution where just about any University of Miami sports fan has spent some time, no doubt downing many drafts while watching the ‘Canes and the Miami Dolphins in action.

This locals hangout, filled with memorabilia from those football team’s glory days, is the ideal spot to soak in and experience old Miami. The jukebox here is legendary as are the autographed photos that adorn the walls.

There’s nothing fancy at Duffy’s, it’s the typical wooden bar, table and chairs and the friendly bartenders and loyal patrons who love to reminisce about good times they’ve spent here. It’s the type of place that gets recommended when you say “I want to avoid the tourist traps and go where the locals hang.”

Duffy’s Tavern is located at 2108 SW 57 Ave. 305-264-6580, click here to visit their FB page.

Meinto.com: Boutique shopping’s just a click away

Meinto.com is revolutionizing online shopping, giving fashionistas exactly what they want, boutique shopping that’s just a click away.

Originated in Denmark, the site features clothing, accessories, shoes and more from more than 100 boutiques in South Florida. The idea behind the site is to offer the best of fashion boutiques combined with the flexibility and availability of online commerce.

There are shops from Miami all the way Palm Beach featured. Names include Cheap n Chic in Miami, Deco Collection on Miami Beach, Essence and Emporium boutiques in Coral Gables, Isabel Riera in Coconut Grove, Kristine Michael in South Miami, Lorie Lester Studio & Boutique in the Upper East Side and several others.

That’s just a sampling of what’s available at Meinto.com. This user-friendly site gives big box retailers some much-needed competition and provides a more unique shopping experience.

Artefacto: Contemporary and classic home furnishings

The quality of the home furnishings created at Artefacto is unmistakable since they’ve been at the top of their game for 35 years. Their designs are a combination of contemporary and classic looks that help give their furniture and accessories lines a unique feel.

An Artefacto-decorated home is one where the homeowner is seeking to create an interior that’s personalized and reflects their personality. Value, functionality, superior design and eco-conscious products are at the forefront of the Artefacto philosophy.

Headboards combine tufted leather and wood and even wrap around the bed a bit; armchairs range from antique-looking to ultra-modern; side tables and coffee tables are available in every shape imaginable and made from a wide range of materials while daybeds, chaise lounges, ottomans and sectionals comprise the seating selection.

Knowing accessories complete the look, they make everything from lampshades and bases to trays, magazine stands and pillows. These perfectly complement their expertly made furniture.

Artefacto has just two locations in Miami-Dade County in Aventura at 19915 Biscayne Blvd. 305-931-9484  and Coral Gables at 4440 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Ste. 1600, 305-774-0004, www.artefacto.com

Louis Vuitton: Exclusively carried by only a few

There’s something about carrying around that handbag with the LV insignia all over it. The matching keychain, wallet, luggage and other accessories make for an even bigger fashion statement.

The Louis Vuitton name still carries that element of panache and so the company likes to keep it that way. Their stores can only be found in the most exclusive of stores around Miami. Aventura Mall in the northern part of Miami, The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Dadeland Mall in the south end of Miami . The latest announcement is that LV will open a free-standing store in the hip Design District so that’s another one to look forward to. No worries either, these are not typical malls because of course LV would only be sold in very high-end shops which these are.

To find these exclusive spots where LV is sold visit www.louisvuitton.com and check the store locator section of the website.

Classic Carolina Herrera threads at Village of Merrick Park

The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables is a classy, upscale, chic and elegant shopping venue (this is no mall) and that’s why classic and iconic fashion designer Carolina Herrera chose the venue for her store.

Evoking the Mediterranean feel that makes the Gables unique, Merrick Park is open-air and features lushly landscaped tropical gardens and fountains throughout and is truly a shopping destination. Having the legendary Herrera choose this as the home for one of her stores is the perfect fit.

The store features both men’s and women’s fashions in what could only be described as the fashion designer’s instantly recognizable clean line and timeless look. Fashionistas who need a jolt of that in their closet will certainly find it here. Her signature CH fragrance for women is also available here.

The Village of Merrick Park is located at 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables 305-448-3333 www.villageofmerrickpark.com

Nosh on unique eats and craft beers at The Local

A new incarnation has arrived in Downtown Coral Gables and it’s called The Local Craft Food & Drink, an idea whose time was overdue in the area. At least that’s what the two young owners thought and so they tapped an experienced and equally young chef and created this place.

The menu is a blend of many components, some of which incorporate well known ingredients from the owners Hispanic backgrounds. For example, their unique take on some classic barfood, instead of chicken wings, they’re serving buffalo-style sweetbreads instead with blue cheese and a unique apple, chayote and celery slaw. Chayote? That’s all Hispanic. Those sound perfect too paired with one of their many craft brews. It’s bar food taken up a notch. They’re even serving charcuterie prepared on premises and as many fresh local South Florida ingredients as possible.

Photos by Sebastian Rusk / SocialBuzzTV.com

The Local Craft Food & Drink is located at 150 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables 305-648-5687 www.facebook.com/thelocal150

No pretense at The Bar

Established in 1946 and a staple of the Coral Gables community, hangin’ out at The Bar (once known as the Hofbrau Haus) is almost a rite of passage for folks who like to party in “The City Beautiful.” But don’t be fooled by the fancy surroundings because this place is no pretense and all good times. The brews are cold, the grub is great and there’s a jukebox that won’t quit, it’s legendary.

There’s something going on nightly here and they know how to start the week off right with 2 for 1 specials on Mondays. Karaoke’s on Tuesday, DJ’s Boe and Icue take over Wednesday through Friday and Saturday there’s live music.

And if all that’s not enough, they keep patrons happy by offering a “Hangover Brunch” on Saturdays and Sundays, after all they want to keep everyone coming back for more so what better way than to feed ’em.

Award-Winning Shows at GableStage

Picture 59With 148 Carbonell Award nominations and 43 wins, it’s no wonder audiences flock to see GablesStage plays, which are presented in the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Perfecting their theatrical craft for more than three decades, the players at GableStage, led for the last nine seasons by Producing Artistic Director Joseph Adler, whose legendary and provocative productions have been making headlines in Miami since his arrival at the theater, is something no one at this venue takes lightly. Speed the Plow and  A Lesson Before Dying are some of the award-winners and this season’s comedy Speech and Debate and the drama Fifty Words could very well garner more accolades.

Staging a Stellar Line-Up at Actors’ Playhouse

Picture 18Housed in Coral Gables’ historic Miracle Theatre, the Actors’ Playhouse is one of Miami’s premier spots to catch stellar stage productions for both adults and children. Impeccably restored, but still maintaining the look of another era with a neon marquee announcing the latest productions and a grand glass box office, the showcased plays are just as spectacular.

The Actors’ Playhouse continues to rack up the prestigious Carbonell awards- 57 and counting- and every season expect several classics alongside original plays by local playwrights. Catch a performance here and come away with a memorable evening.

Intimate Space, Big Talent at New Theatre

Explosive and provocative theatre with a twist is Picture 14what’s being presented at the intimate space that is the New Theatre, and it’s been happening here that way for 23 years. The quality of plays continues to get stronger as the playwrights and artistic and managing directors constantly collaborate to bring award-winning theater to South Florida.

Lovers of live theatre will recognize New Theatre playwright Nilo Cruz, who wrote the Broadway hit Anna in the Tropics, as one of the many writers churning out hits here. There are many surprises here, regularly offering seasons that feature classics like Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew alongside an original work by local favorite Michael McKeever, who has been exciting audiences with his original plays for years.

In other words, there’s something for every taste here, and that’s always been the theatre’s forte.

French Riviera Glamour at Award-Winning Palme d’Or

Picture 10Mention the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables to anyone in the greater Miami area and the words classic, elegant, sophisticated and swanky will undoubtedly be repeated. So it’s fitting that the French restaurant Palme d’Or would be the hotel’s signature eatery. Featuring a menu brimming with French nouvelle creations by chef Philippe Ruiz, the cuisine is #1 with Zagat (it swept the Top Food, Decor and Service honors in the 2010 guide) and the Miami Herald critics have twice ranked it “exceptional.”

Stated clearly on the menu is the chef’s recommendation of at least three to four courses. Suggested options include sauteed Maine scallop, grilled duck foie gras, wild mushroom cassolette, seven-hour braised beef effilochee, and for dessert, a new twist on the strawberry shortcake.

Palme D’Or also has a wide selection of vegetarian dishes, an enviable wine list and a theater menu available only from 6-7 pm for those catching a show in the area. And how fitting since that’s what the entire Biltmore experience recalls, the glamorous Cannes Film Festival, where this restaurant deserves its own Palme d’Or for best restaurant experience.

A New Concept in Styling at Concepto Salon

Picture 19Mother and daughter duo Justina & Gina greet clients with a smile as they walk in the door of Concepto Hair and Body along Coral Gables’ chic Miracle Mile.The friendly, down to earth service is an added bonus to its innovative, sophisticated services.

Mom Justina honed her skills in New York City and brought her big city salon smarts to open Concepto, and daughter Gina joined and followed in her footsteps. Along with an impressive list of color and styling options as well as treatments and relaxers, one of the most innovative services they offer is eyebrow threading. It is an eyebrow shaping technique where cotton thread is used to remove hair from the root, creating a clean, natural arch; it’s ideal for people allergic to waxing and can also be incorporated in other areas where hair removal is needed. For those who are going to the salon to keep their hair, Concept specializes in straightening services, perfect for the humid Miami climate.

This unique treatment combined with the homey atmosphere makes Concepto stand out in high end Coral Gables.

Ooh La La, Le Provencal C’est Magnifique!

Picture 7The classics of French cuisine and wine are expertly represented at the beacon that is Le Provencal restaurant in Coral Gables. For years, the place was nestled in a corner of Miracle Mile, and now finds itself a new home in the center of the ritzy street. The menu though, prepared by Chef Christian Antoniotti, hasn’t changed a bit. It’s still chock full of traditional French fare including bouillabaisse du Provencal- a fish, mussels, sea scallops and shrimp stew; duck leg confit with chestnuts; endive salad with walnuts and roquefort cheese. Pair the meal with a wine from their impressive selection (the list includes reds, whites, and sparklings) from the USA and around the world. The look and feel, from the food and wine to the simple decor, is all French bistro done at its finest.

5. Carnaval is Massive in Miami March 1-14

Picture 24Many think of New Orleans and Venice when it comes to Carnaval, but the celebration in Miami is the largest party in the Hispanic Market. With ten events spanning the end of February to the beginning of March, thousands of people come together for such events like the Golf Classic, 8K Run, Cooking Contest, Domino Tournament, Soccer Carnaval 5v5, Miss Carnaval Miami and more.

The two most famous events are the Carnaval on the Mile (March 4 & 5), where Coral Gable’s Miracle Mile is shut down for the famous walk of shops and cafes, and Calle Ocho (March 14) with 23 blocks of activities for children and adults, including clowns, magicians, sports team, food and merchandise for mom’s. There are plenty of events for every taste during Carnaval Miami.

Kettal Brings Sophistication Outdoors

Picture 17Think uniquely original, zen-like and chic, and it’s the perfect description for Kettal’s outdoor furnishings. An award-winning trio of design geniuses, with chops from London, Milan and New York, create the outdoor masterpieces.

The gorgeous, sleek, cabana-like outdoor settings that are the stuff of spa and luxury hotel pools can be had at home with this place’s selection. Think an outdoor sofa seating complete with curtains, elegant tables, and plush cushions and throw pillows. Outdoor rugs, accessories, planters and umbrellas complete the many styles they offer. A backyard oasis is easy to have with these clean and elegant pieces. Spend time indoors? Never again.

Melt Away Stress at Swanky Camelot Salon & Spa

There’s nothing like ending a tough 40-hour work week (and let’s face it, they’re more like 60-hour work weeks) than with a nice trip to the salon or spa. A great place to get it all in one is at the swanky and elegant Camelot Salon & Spa in Coral Gables.

This salon has been getting it right for more than 17 years and it’s no wonder, the place is pure serenity. Single roPicture 4ses in crystal vases are displayed ever so elegantly in individually lit white display shelves, haircutting stations are outfitted with cherry wood mirrors and shelving is set up to create an element of privacy and one-on-one attention.

The spa area is an oasis of mellow blues and beiges and a high back wicker couch with comfortable off-white cushions. Manis and pedis are given on leather chairs and high back leather benches. Orchids, flowers and candles throughout Camelot complete the relaxing experience. Now it’s time to breathe in and say, Aaaaahhh.