The Women of Tomorrow‘s Annual Gala will be attended by more than 500 of South Florida’s leading philanthropists, celebrities and politicians. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception featuring lavish hors d’oeuvre stations created by the Mandarin Oriental’s executive chef, complemented by the always popular silent auction which will include hundreds of items from top luxury retail, hospitality and restaurant brands. The gala will recognize the 2015 honorees: Empowerment Award Honorees: Carol & Marc Iacovelli; Leadership Award Honoree: Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools; Mentor of the Year: Pam Giganti, Anchor, NBC6 South Florida; Excellence Honorees: Publix Super Markets abd Publix Super Markets Charities. Following the reception, the festivities move to the ballroom where a four-course dinner will be served amid the musical talents of South Florida’s Soul Survivors. Tickets start at $400, and proceeds benefit Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program. For more info contact Beatrice Gonzalez at 305-371-3330 or email@example.com @womenoftomorrow
MCCJ will celebrate its 80th year in the South Florida community at the 2015 Humanitarian Gala Awards Dinner. Hosted by the Dinner Chairs Sheldon and Florence Anderson, along with WPLG Local 10′s Calvin Hughes and Glenna Milberg and Honorary Chairs Al and Earlene Dotson, Sr. and Tony and Conchi Argiz, the evening will honor Silver Medallion recipients. This year’s “pop-up” gala, themed “Building a More Inclusive Community,” mirrors the organization’s mission. It will highlight the efforts of five individuals who have helped to build a more welcoming, inclusive, just and cooperative society. Awards will be presented to Maria C. Alonso, Corporate Responsibility and Market Manager of Bank of America; Dr. Doured Daghistrani, Vice President of the Baptist Hospital medical staff and Chairman of Baptist Children’s Hospital’s Executive Board; and Joseph T. Natoli, who provides leadership of the finance and business functions of the University of Miami. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Arthur Hertz, Chairman and CEO of Wometco Enterprises, Inc.; and the Clergy Medallion will go to Eduardo Diaz, long-standing member of the MCCJ Clergy Dialogue, past President of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence, and past President and Life Member of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. The black-tie optional event will include a reception, seated dinner and after-party with bowling, billiards, champagne and chocolate. For more info contact 305-755-6096, ext. 16 or Roberta@MiamiCCJ.org
Baptist Health South Florida Foundation will present the 55th Annual Mercury Ball, chaired by Raquel Hickey and Dr. Jorge and Kerry Perez. “Nautical Nights” is the theme of this year’s South Miami Hospital Ball with an evening that blends the excitement and romance of nights at sea. The reception will be paired with a silent auction, followed by dinner and dancing to live music by The Culture Band. During the evening, South Miami Hospital and Baptist Health Foundation will honor an admired member of the medical staff as “Person of the Year,” and a dedicated volunteer as “Philanthropic Volunteer of the Year.” This 55th annual gala – enhanced with a generous gift of $100,000 from Kidz Medical Services – will benefit the expansion of the South Miami Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where a full range of specialists provide around-the-clock care for babies requiring specialized attention, including those weighing less than 2.2 pounds. In addition to Kidz Medical Services, event sponsors include First National Bank of South Miami and Bacardi. A limited number of individual seats are available at $500 per person. For more information, email Events@BaptistHealth.net or call 786-467-5400. @BaptistHealthSF
Saturday, March 7, 7pm – The Diplomat Resort and Spa, 3555 South Ocean Drive, Hollywood
Join the Victory Center Monte Carlo Gala on March 7th for a night of fun with Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, silent and live auction, charitable gaming, raffle prizes and so much more. Gala is the most important fundraising event for The Victory Center as it allows us to serve families and individuals with autism offering 1:1 to 3:1 education in our academy, vocational, and intensive behavioral intervention programs, Saturday outreach programs, aftercare programs, as well as parent training. The Victory Center has been serving the autism community for 15 years. Come join for a night of entertainment by Liz Loughrey and Adrian X for a wonderful cause. For more info call Jaime Aybar at 305-466-1142 or Jaime@thevictoryschool.org.
Americans for Immigrant Justice will host its 19th Annual Awards Dinner, a tradition in our community that will be attended by leaders from the business, philanthropic, civic and legal arenas. Keith and Paulina Askins are chairing the signature event which features a cocktail reception and silent auction at 6 p.m., dinner and keynote speech by The Honorable Rosemary Barkett, Judge, Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, at 7, dessert lounge with live entertainment at 9:30 p.m. This year’s honorees are Edwidge Danticat, the recipient of the Holly Skolnick Human Rights Award, and Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, who will receive the Immigrant Spirit Award. The theme of the evening, “Upholding the American Dream,” celebrates Americans for Immigrant Justice’s work on behalf of those who value justice and believe in defending the rights of those who can least defend themselves. Tickets are $250 per person. For more info contact Lillian Abreu at786-454-8550 0r LAbreu@AIJustice.org.
Saturday, March 7, 7pm-1am - Trump National Doral Miami, 4400 Northwest 87th Avenue, Doral
Join for Cadillac Miami Nights Live on Saturday, March 7 featuring 10-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Carlos Santana with special guests Los Amigos Invisibles at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship tournament. The night of live music will take over the Trump National Doral resort following the completion of the Cadillac Championship’s third round on March 7. A premier event for the Championship’s new Cadillac Nights platform, Cadillac Miami Nights Live will complement a week-long schedule of must-attend happenings centered around the world-class sporting event that draws golf’s best players from across the world to the Trump National Doral resort and its famed Blue Monster course March 4-8, 2015. The draw of the South Florida tournament reaches far beyond golf enthusiasts with the series of social events hosted throughout tournament week, including a live concert, fashion show, high-end hospitality venues and family entertainment. Tickets to this event will be good for access to the golf tournament and the concert. #CadillacChamp @CadillacChamp
Tuesday, March 3, 6:30pm-8:30pm - Auberge Beach Residences & Spa, 2200 North Atlantic Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale
Auberge Beach Residences and Spa Fort Lauderdale celebrated the opening of its sales gallery with a complete Auberge brand experience. The Related Group, Fortune International Group and The Fairwinds Group, developers, did fly in an Auberge chef and select wines from Napa for the evening, giving VIP guests a glimpse into the privileged Auberge lifestyle. Additionally, Will Meyer and Grey Davis of the award-winning NYC-based design boutique, Meyer Davis, who is leading design on the interiors and public spaces for the project, were present for the celebration. The project is already an enormous success, boasting the highest prices ever on pre-construction condo residences in the market, and offering the only on-the-sand new luxury living. The new sales gallery offers stunning visuals, including an expansive deck overlooking the Atlantic and world-renowned art, including the recent Botero sculpture installation.
Dan Marino, legendary NFL hall of famer and local philanthropist, has purchased an oceanfront residence at the ultra luxurious Auberge Beach Residences & Spa Fort Lauderdale. The timing is ideal for Dan and his wife Claire, who will become empty nesters, as the last of their six children heads to college this fall. Dan has known Jorge Perez for quite some time, and after learning of the project was excited about the opportunity to live on Fort Lauderdale beach.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami along with presenting partners Carnival Foundation and Carnival Corporation & plc, celebrated the recent acquisition of the nonprofit organization’s new home in the heart of Miami and the generosity of donors that made it possible, at the 2015 Big Event “Dream” Gala. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami is a donor and volunteer supported organization that helps at-risk youths through adult mentor relationships. Victoria Cummock was this year’s Gala Chair, Matt Gorson the Honorary Chair, Stella M. Holmes the Auction Chair, Jeanie Hernandez the Board Gala Chair, and WSVN’S Belkys Nerey was evening’s emcee.
Attended by Miami’s corporate and philanthropic elite, the 12th annual gala included an auction, live entertainment, dancing, and gourmet cuisine. The program recognized the fulfillment of a fundraising mission launched more than 20 years ago to establish a new home to support the ongoing expansion of the acclaimed mentoring program and enable it to better serve the almost 1,000 local children on a waiting list for adult mentors. Through the work of BIG Foundation and generosity of Carnival Foundation, a $5 million gift recently made possible the purchase of the new headquarters at 550 Le Jeune Road, Miami. The organization plans to move into the new building in the first quarter of 2016.
In addition to recognizing these achievements, the Miami affiliate, which received all three of the national Big Brothers Big Sisters organization’s top awards in 2014, is determined to raise tens of millions more dollars to find thousands of volunteers (“Bigs”) needed to match with children (“Littles”). The goal of the Big Dream Gala is to raise $1 million toward that goal.
Wednesday, February 25, 5:30pm-8:30pm – Port Everglades, Terminal 1, 1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale
Baleária Ferry Express starting a new cruise ferry named “Bahama Mama,” which will offer almost daily service between Fort Lauderdale and Grand Bahama Island. The state-of the-art 1,000 passenger cruise ferry will make its maiden voyage on Thursday, February 26 at 8:00 a.m. from Port Everglades Cruise Port (Terminal 1) to Freeport Harbour, Grand Bahama Island. for total of 3 hours cruise, and depart Freeport Harbour at 7 p.m., arriving back in Fort Lauderdale around 10 p.m. The fare for a day trip ranges from $126 to $251.
The “Bahama Mama” cruise ferry features economy and top of the line first-class seating, private suites, a swimming pool, lounges, casino, entertainment, an “A la Carte” restaurant, bars and cafes, duty-free shopping, and a 200 container/car cargo capacity. Baleária Ferry Express’ new vessel has the capacity to bring more than 300,000 tourists to Grand Bahama Island annually.
Grand Bahama Island, lying just 55 miles east of Florida, is the northernmost island, and the fourth largest of The Bahamas. The island features white sand beaches, the world’s largest underwater cave system, three national parks, upscale resorts, and historic fishing villages. Tourist activities include kayaking, snorkeling, golf, shopping, restaurants, nature tours, and more.
Baleária Group is a leading shipping corporation in the transportation of people and ro-ro goods in the Mediterranean Sea. The company operates regular services in the Balearic Islands and also in the Straits of Gibraltar connecting Europe with Africa, where it is one of the main operators. In total, the company has 21 routes with a fleet of 20 ships and a workforce of more than 1000 people in the whole organization.
Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària and Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner Photo # 4: $5
Son of Dale Holness Photo # 5: $5
Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner & Son Photo # 6: $5
Photo # 7: $5
Photo # 8: $5
Hernan Calvo, CEO of Balearia Caribbean; Joy Jibrilu, Bahamas Director General of Tourism; Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner; Sandra Carey, Bahamas Deputy Consul General; Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària Photo # 9: $5
Photo # 10: $5
Photo # 11: $5
Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner Photo # 12: $5
Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner & Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària Photo # 13: $5
Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner; Joy Jibrilu, Bahamas Director General of Tourism; Sandra Carey, Bahamas Deputy Consul General Photo # 14: $5
Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner; Sandra Carey, Bahamas Deputy Consul General Photo # 15: $5
Joy Jibrilu, Bahamas Director General of Tourism Photo # 16: $5
Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària Photo # 17: $5
Hernan Calvo, CEO of Balearia Caribbean; Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner Photo # 18: $5
Hernan Calvo, CEO of Balearia Caribbean; Sandra Carey, Bahamas Deputy Consul General Photo # 19: $5
Hernan Calvo, CEO of Balearia Caribbean; Joy Jibrilu, Bahamas Director General of Tourism Photo # 20: $5
Joy Jibrilu, Bahamas Director General of Tourism; Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner; Sandra Carey, Bahamas Deputy Consul General Photo # 21: $5
Joy Jibrilu, Bahamas Director General of Tourism; Hernan Calvo, CEO of Balearia Caribbean Photo # 22: $5
Property Markets Group development; Echo Brickell in the heart of the Financial District, hosted an exclusive art gallery event at their sales office inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell. Collaborating and co-organizing the event were Miami top realtor Brigitte Respaut Clement from OfCourseMiami, and Elodie Couturier from Appraise Art who represents the prominent French artists.
One of the artists displaying his works of art was Cristal Benito who can be described as an exception crystal master being able to cut crystal to form unique pieces of art. He has developed many creations through various shapes and dimensions. Fusing together the reflection of light through glass allows his pieces of art to be enhanced for a unique look.
In addition, Philippe Echaroux, a French street artist born in 1983, also displayed his innovative collection. He invented and coined the concept of Street Art 2.0 with his “Painting with Lights” concept that has been featured in over 44 countries. He has photographed for high end brands such as Adidas, Lego and Fiat.
Gwendoline Bonnet & Philippa Martin from Verre L’ Essentiel testify for their passion of glass blown pieces, one through her majestic chandeliers, and the other through her creative stained glass windows .
4th Annual “Singles for Switchboard” Live Bachelor Auction, Brickell’s largest and most fun fundraising event, benefiting Switchboard of Miami, returned to Conrad Miami offering a chance to bid on a date with one of Miami’s most handsome bachelors. Hosted by Switchboard’s Women’s Leadership Council in partnership with Brickell Magazine, the 4th Annual Singles for Switchboard Bachelor Auction featured Miami’s most eligible bachelors, including attorneys, doctors and business executives.
The event attended hundreds of women from Miami’s business community seeking to support Switchboard, while enjoying a great time and meeting accomplished bachelors. This year host was Maria Mas Blet, Managing Principal/CEO at GSK Wealth Advisors Inc., one of the community’s leading women in business.
“We look forward to seeing Miami’s business and philanthropic community support with their sponsorship and attendance the city’s most fun and unique fundraising event,” said Marina Foglia, Co-Chair of Switchboard’s Women’s Leadership Council. “The funds raised support the counseling and help that Switchboard provides to thousands of residents in need in our community.”
Switchboard of Miami counsels, connects and empowers people in need, taking from its call center in Downtown Miami over 200,000 calls each year. Through its 2-1-1 helpline, Switchboard services communities in Miami-Dade, Monroe County and responds to Spanish-speaking callers from across the US. The organization provides an umbrella of services, including suicide prevention, telephone reassurance program for seniors, youth development in the schools, and family counseling services.
This year’s bachelor auction had an exciting new twist, as the winning bidders get a “date experience” that already comes with the bachelor, increasing the stakes even more. The date experiences include a sunset cruise through Biscayne Bay or watching a Miami Heat game from the premium Dewar’s Clubhouse, all while donating to a grand cause. In recompense for their participation, all bachelor participants will receive well-deserved features in Brickell Magazine, in conjunction with the event.
Thanks to wonderful sponsorships in the past, the Singles for Switchboard Bachelor Auction continues to be an incredible success. Sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses seeking to support this great cause who get the opportunity to receive brand exposure and recognition in all promotional and marketing materials associated with the event, as well as at the live bachelor auction.
Aventura has the fresh fish experts coming to town with the grand opening of Bonefish Grill on Monday, March 2, 2015. Enjoy fresh seafood, wood-grilled specialties and hand-crafted cocktails with 50% of your check donated to the American Red Cross of South Florida only on opening day. For reservation call 305-682-2340.
Sunday, March 1, 5pm-8pm - Mickey Demos Boxing & Fitness, 7520 NE 4th Ct #100, Miami
Join for Mickey Demos Boxing & Fitness Opening Party on Sunday March 1, 2015 at the Ironside Complex. Memberships available at inaugural pricing. A boutique Boxing/Fitness Gym offering real boxing training combined with a high-intensity cardio workout will officially open for business on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 6:00 am.
Coya Restaurant the award-winning South American restaurant will open in Brickell Miami, with authentic Peruvian fare, a pisco bar and murals done by South American artists, marking the restaurant’s debut expansion in the United States. There’s also a members-only lounge that caters to private dining, live music acts and VIP art exhibits. On the menu, expect traditional and modern Peruvian cuisine such as ceviche, tiraditos and charcoal grilled skewers of fish, meat and vegetables. The pisco bar offers 20 different infused piscos that are made in-house with flavors including black currant and cinnamon-orange. The flagship location in London has already become a mainstay in the city’s culinary and lifestyle scenes for the past two years, and recently received the coveted London Lifestyle Award for Restaurant of the Year 2014. @CoyaMiami
Saturday, February 28, 1pm-4pm - Craft Beer Cartel, 557 SW 12 Ave, Fort Lauderdale
Craft Beer Cartel, Fort Lauderdale’s first Home Brew Supply and Bottle Shop, will launch their new monthly Home Brewing class on Saturday February 28th from 1pm to 4pm. Lead by Jonathan “Jack” Jackman, the class will introduce aspiring brewers to brewing ingredients, the process of making a half mash brew, and different essentials to the brewing process. Each month will focus on a different type of beer, starting with a Pale Ale on the 28th. The class is open to the public, and the $20 entry includes a Craft Beer Cartel T-Shirt, snacks, and beer sampling throughout the day. Classes will take place on the last Saturday of every month from 1pm to 4pm.
Friday, February 27, 7pm-10pm – OUT Miami, 140 NE 39th Street, Miami
The Society is OUT Miami Foundation‘s membership program for gay professionals to network, socialize, and become engaged philanthropists in our community. Members receive exclusive invitations to attend monthly programming at private homes and some of Miami’s finest venues. Events include social gatherings, receptions, networking events, volunteer opportunities, and recreational athletic activities, designed to connect members with like-minded individuals for personal and professional development. OUT Miami Foundation’s mission is to promote engaged philanthropic giving by the LGBT community, to build community through strengthening social, professional, and cultural connections between LGBT people, and to empower LGBT organizations making a difference in Miami-Dade county.
Mar 4 – 8, Trump National Doral, 4400 NW 87th Ave, Doral
The World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship is one of the most elite and exciting tournaments on golf’s calendar. Held annually at Trump National Doral, the tournament showcases the best players from around the world for one week only. Combined with the prestige of the PGA TOUR and the Trump standard of excellence, this makes the Cadillac Championship a must-attend event in the heart of South Florida.
This year Cadillac Championship is rolling out the all new #BLUELife Pass, that gives fans exclusive access to the #BLUELife Lounge and to the 19th Hole GREY GOOSE Lounge, plus, drink discounts throughout various locations on the course (21+ with a valid ID only), and a free bag of tournament swag! The #BLUELife Lounge will feature an on-course venue with lounge seating, Wi-Fi access, and live television feeds. The lounge will be centered in the enhanced Fan Village area between holes 1 and 18.
The tournament is also offering a completely renovated Cadillac Experience venue, bound to be one of the most popular gathering areas for general admission fans, positioned between 1st fairway and the 18th tee. This new venue will house an interactive Cadillac-themed performance center on the first floor. After patrons make their way through this interactive experience, they will have access to the second deck with an open-air fan area for socializing, food and cocktails as well as unparalleled views of the 1st, 17th and 18th holes.
Fans will have access to an array of delicious eats such as Burger and Beer Joint, Sea Delight, Food Trucks as well as Anheuser Busch products. The Moet & Chandon Champagne Lounge will also be available for fans. Moet will be featuring three types of champagnes, the Moët Impérial, Moët Rosé, and the Moët Ice will be offered throughout the event. The GREY GOOSE 19th Hole Lounge, located behind the 9th tee, features the exclusive Blue Monster Signature Cocktail. GREY GOOSE products can also be found in the Escalade Lounge, near no. 3 tee, on the patio and throughout the clubhouse. Sushi Maki is available at the GREY GOOSE 19th Hole Lounge as well as the Escalade Lounge behind the 16th green.
For parents and younger fans the new Imagination Playground play space offers children and families a fun place to play! The playground is open during Wednesday’s practice round and remain open for the rest of the tournament. Daily grounds tickets start at $40. #BLUELife @CadillacChamp
Tuesday, February 24, 8pm-11pm - The Temple House at 1415 Euclid Avenue, Miami Beach
The story of BACARDÍ has lived on for over 100 years through the legend of the bartender. The BACARDÍ Global Legacy Cocktail Competition allows top mixologists to share their bar legacy and adventures infused by BACARDÍ.
The United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) crowned Ran Duan of The Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden in Woburn, MA as the national finalist of the fifth annual USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase sponsored by BACARDÍ rum in Miami Beach. Duan will receive an all-expense paid trip to Sydney, Australia, and the opportunity to share his unique creation on the global stage as the United States representative in the BACARDÍ Global Legacy Cocktail Competition. Duan emerged from a field of nine national semi-finalists from across the country, winning with “Father’s Advice,” his innovative BACARDÍ Gold cocktail.
“Duan’s winning cocktail and presentation embodies the irrepressible spirit of BACARDÍ, breaking traditional boundaries of cocktail creation and demonstrating the ability to sustain the test of time,” noted Arvind Krishnan, Vice President and Brand Managing Director for the rum category at Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. “We saw highly talented bartenders and inventive cocktails created this evening, and are excited to see Duan advance to represent the United States at the Global Legacy Cocktail Competition.”
BACARDĺ’s premiere sponsorship and superb staff draped the Temple House with hospitality, bites and fresh BACARDÍ cocktails. The timed bartender challenges entertained a packed house and the live entertainment breaks left attendees with plenty of BACARDÍ Gold opportunities to refresh a drink.
The USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase Sponsored by BACARDĺ showcases the ‘best of the best’ in the cocktail trade, providing a stage from which participants can share their innovative creations. Participants are challenged to create the next generation of classic rum cocktails using BACARDĺ Superior or BACARDĺ Gold rum; drinks that will become as revered as the BACARDÍ Daiquirí and the BACARDÍ Mojito. Classic cocktails are defined by their balance, flavour, quality of ingredients and aesthetic appeal, as well as their enduring popularity and the story behind them.
As each bartender appeared on the bar stage, the hosts assured that everyone was able to receive a sample of each entry cocktail. Andrew Meltzer’s Cuban Cobbler was a Sherry delight, mixed with sweet and fresh and a pear slice lining. Rum Pleasure was served by Marine Corps veteran Joe Frade as a frothy blend of a banana, citrus-zest cocktail that was irresistible.
Serving the Rumba-inspired Rumbero, Julio Cabrera from Miami proudly presented a perfect blend of cacao, vanilla and a coffee twist. Another Miami contestant, Trevor Alberts, demonstrated the art of the swizzle and the flavor of herbal bitters, pineapple and other spices in International Expansion Swizzle.
This year’s U.S. National Legacy Cocktail Showcase was judged by Chad Michael George, President of the Colorado chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild; Jim Meehan, award winning cocktail expert and renowned author; Naomi Levy, 2014 National Legacy Cocktail Winner; Willie Ramos, BACARDÍ Senior Brand Master; and Juan Coronado, BACARDÍ Senior Brand Ambassador. The Legacy Global Cocktail Competition continues to grow in scale and prestige, with participants from 36 countries including the United States, Dubai, Finland, Latvia and Chile. Only one will see their drink crowned as the 2015 BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail, to be honored alongside BACARDÍ classics.
Cocktail: Father’s Advice
1 ½ parts BACARDÍ Gold Rum
½ parts Punt E Mes
½ parts Cardamaro
½ parts Amontillado Sherry Lustau
¼ parts Creme De Banana Giffard
Method: Combine all ingredients and stir for 45 seconds. Pour into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange swath.
Monday, February 23, 12pm-10:30pm – Oak Tavern, 35 NE 40th Street, Miami Design District
Oak Tavern is like a small oasis of tranquility in the middle of the bustling city. Guests can enjoy a gentle moonlit night, as a cool breeze flows through the gorgeously-lit old oak tree and into the garden of fresh herbs. Upon arrival, expect to promptly greeted by a personable and attentive hostess armed with knowledgeable of the menu and the ingredients and techniques used in each dish. Oak tavern has a very relaxed ambiance. Spacious, yet comfortable seating and soothing dinner music mixed at the perfect volume for conversation. The clientele is a mix of young hip professionals and attractive well-dressed business women.
Oak Tavern’s Menu could be described as New Southern Fusion. Taking some classic dishes and infusing them with freshly picked herbs and local South Florida ingredients. The fresh flavor explosions are immediately apparent. The “Gone With the Wind” aperitif is remnant of a southern infused mint. A lively colorful modern mural adorns one wall in the main garden. The lighting is impeccable in that it’s bright enough for a person to see both the menu and their dinner date across the table, but not so bright that you feel like you’re going to be interrogated. The food arrives in a timely manner and the service is congenial. Oak Tavern is an ideal dining experience for people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a nice, relaxed setting with a superbly-cooked meal. The portions aren’t skimpy and the prices aren’t too outrageous. A 3-course meal with drinks for two people averages around $125 (excluding the tip).
The buttermilk biscuits with rosemary, bacon and honey butter are – The Perfect Biscuit – crunchy on outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, perfectly complimented with flavorful herb butter. From the small plates, the Vidalian Onion Soup stands out. The classic soup staple – French Onion Soup meets Vidalia Georgia. If you’re from the South there is no other onion. Flaky phyllo dough tart covered in melted Gruyere cheese and chives. This soup is good to the last drop. Also a must try is Rabbit Sausage. Perfect consistency on the gnocchi, and savory truffle flavor combined with the anduja sausage & taleggio created a creamy goodness. The suckling pig was fabulous, with a crispy skin and tender moist pork atop a bed of fluffy grits and super fresh maque choux. It is a real winner! The braised short ribs simply melted in one’s mouth and it was served with a gourmet mac and cheese that was cooked to perfection.
This will be the first year Love will be participating in the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE. Tickets to the sold-out event were $350 each and Love is looking forward to participating in the festival. Love has chocolate salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples and soon hopes to expand into the Miami market. They will be serving dazzling chocolates and macaroons at his tasting booth, just a hint of flavors soon to come.
Love traveled internationally in his position with the Ritz Carlton and in 40 years as a pastry chef he learned that the love for quality chocolate is a worldwide passion. “Chocolate seems to make people happy,” said Love, taking great joy in his creations and the impactful euphoria it produces.
A leader in artistic expression in ultra premium chocolates, Love’s confections are handmade with a whole lotta love, using the finest ingredients. With four retail stores and a chocolate factory in Fort Myers, Love assures that the integrity of the product is never compromised by being present In his factory daily, overseeing production and supporting Norman Love Confections’ extremely talented group of professionals.
Love’s artisanal methods use the finest ingredients that equate to decadent confections geared to awaken your senses with delightful twists on familiar flavors. “I import ingredients from all over the world,” said Love. To assure freshness, everything is made in small batches daily and never frozen.
As Americans are developing a growing appreciation for ultra premium items, artisans are educating consumers and consumers are paying for quality that is simple, hand crafted, creative and flavorful. One of their most popular items invoking delectable childhood flavor memories. S’more Love wraps dark chocolate around a baked graham cracker, homemade marshmallows and salted bourbon vanilla caramel, paying a great homage to the classic S’more.
A true passion for his art, Love began making ice cream in Fort Lauderdale at age 15. Forty years later Norman Love Confections produces nearly 7 million pieces of chocolate a year in the Fort Myers chocolate factory. They offer cooking classes and donate to 250 non-profits. The chocolates are featured on Princess Cruise lines and Norman Love has been recognized six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. Forbes.com included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014.
Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its Fort Myers corporate headquarters that encompasses both production and retail operations. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s new book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” also can be ordered online at www.normanloveconfections.com.
Enrique IglesiasandRomeo Santos were the big winners at Premios Los Nuestro, taking home six awards each. The annual Latin music awards show featured a plethora of duet performances, including Santos with Marc Anthony, Italian Laura Pausini with Anthony and Thalía with Becky G.
But it was a night for Iglesias and Santos, with Santos taking artist of the year, contemporary tropical artist of the year, and male artist of the year, among other awards. Iglesias won pop male artist of the year, pop song and video of the year for “Bailando.” As a duet, Iglesias and Santos won tropical collaboration of the year for “Loco.”
Special awards were given to Guatemalan singer/songwriter Ricardo Arjona (excellence award) and to Pausini (lifetime achievement) while the late comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños was also honored. Other performers on the evening included Chiquis Rivera, the daughter of late regional Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, who is launching a solo singing career; Prince Royce and Mana, who performed their No. 1 charting song, “Mi Verdad,” albeit without Shakira. Winners of Premios lo Nuestro are voted on by fans. #PremioLoNuestro