Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Hottest Restaurants to Try in Miami This Fall

From Doral to Downtown—and even 40 floors above sea level—Miami’s newest and best restaurants and bars are catering to locals on the mainland.

STK
Get your fix of STK favorites (Lil’ Brgs, anyone?), plus soon-to-be-new favorites like kale Caesar, beef carpaccio, and slow-roasted prime rib, at the steakhouse’s second Magic City outpost, nestled inside the ME Miami hotel. Finish things off with the Bag o’ Donuts. 1100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-722-7888

Sugar
With the sweetest views in Miami (40 floors up), this rooftop lair is the place to sip cocktails (ask for the off-menu spicy margarita with mezcal) and Instagram the city’s skyline. While you’re at it, treat yourself to the steamed prawn and scallop dumplings and a lychee crème brûlée that’s just as sweet as the sights. 788 Brickell Plz., Miami, 786-805-4655

Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen
The guys behind My Ceviche have gone Mediterranean with their latest fast-casual eatery, which lets you make your own pita roll, bowl, or salad with up to three types of dips or spreads, a protein (such as spiced lamb kefte or baked falafel), and toppings. 1250 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-200-3145

Glass and Vine
On his nights off from Eating House, Chopped winner Giorgio Rapicavoli can be found helming the kitchen at this glass and garden oasis, putting the finishing touches on PEI mussels swimming in Florida wheat beer and sour orange broth with shallots and Zak the Baker bread for dipping, or frozen blue cheese crowned with hazelnut, local honey, and a dash of black pepper. 2820 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove, 305-200-5268

PB Station
Don’t expect pork belly at the latest eatery from the Pubbelly Boys. Do expect seafood charcuterie (rock shrimp mortadella, for example), bacon-wrapped smoked brisket dates doused in mustard barbecue, and ricotta cavatelli octopus “Bolognese.” Feel like a nightcap? Take the elevator up to Pawn Broker’s rooftop lounge. 121 SE First St., Miami, 305-420-2205

The Spillover
Devotees of LoKal and Kush will relish Matt Kuscher’s fish shack focusing on sustainably sourced local seafood paired with ciders, meads, and sours. Not in the mood for Florida Gulf shrimp mac and cheese or a lobster Reuben? They’ve also got fall-off-the-bone barbecue gator ribs from Clewiston. 2911 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove, 305-456-5723

1111 Peruvian Bistro
Ferran Adrià and Gastón Acurio protégé Diego Muñoz has brought his culinary wits to Brickell at this Peruvian gem dishing out a fusion of cuisines and techniques, resulting in plates like pulpo al olivo wrapped in nori gunkan-style, nearly rare filet mignon “lomo saltado,” a fish cutlet whirling in peanut curry, and chocolate in a plethora of forms and temperatures. 1111 SW First Ave., Miami, 786-615-9633

5 Ways The New Trump Hotel is Trying To Make DC Great Again

One way or another, Donald Trump is about to arrive on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C. has its soft opening on Monday. Located in the historic Old Post Office Building at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, it’s just a few blocks from the house Trump hopes to reside in come Jan. 20.

The Old Post Office, a Romanesque revival building that opened in 1899, has undergone a $200 million renovation to become a hotel.

Here are the five of its top amenities and features.

An opulent inaugural weekend package.

Even if he loses the election, Trump will make out big on Jan. 20 if a traveler books the hotel’s $500,0000 inauguration package. A stay in the 6,300-square-foot Trump Townhouse will include dinner for 24 in the duplex suite’s dining room (with the opportunity to select dishes from favorite presidential meals of past inaugural galas), 24/7 car service and two round-trip first-class tickets from anywhere in the United States

Wine by the spoon.

Many on Twitter lambasted Trump for eating pizza with a fork. Now it’s Trump’s use of spoons that could draw traditionalists’ wrath. According to Travel Weekly, the hotel’s lobby lounge, Cortile, will “offer ‘wines by the spoon,’ giving guests the opportunity to taste ounce-size samples of rare and expensive wine on a silver spoon.” Though people have been drinking wine for 8,000 years, a quick search of the definitive chronicler of mankind’s history — Google — found no other venue that serves it by the spoon.

A night in the former office of the postmaster general.

That 4,000-square-foot presidential suite —yes, it’s smaller than the Trump Townhouse (because Trump) — is the former office of the U.S. postmaster general. Its wood trim and carved symbols in the molding have been preserved, but the dining room with butler’s pantry, the canopy bed and the bathroom’s Calacatta gold marble are new touches.

Yes, there will be food.

Normally it’s not a big deal for a luxury hotel to a have a place to eat. But after celebrity chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian backed out of their deals to open restaurants in the hotel because of comments Trump made on the campaign trail, it took a lot of work but  BLT Prime by David Burke has since signed on to open a location in the hotel.

The debut of The Spa by Ivanka Trump.

For a woman who’s managing multiple business endeavors, campaigning for her father and parenting three children, Ivanka Trump seems pretty relaxed in her public appearances. So maybe the 10,000-square-foot The Spa by Ivanka Trump — the debut of a spa line that will launch at other Trump hotels — will be “the careful stimulation of senses” that will make America great again. “There’s a very specific point of view that I think has not yet been done in the spa space,” Ivanka told Travel Weekly. “It’s going to be an experience very unique to us and our hotel company.

It’s a Great Travelling to Australia Zoo, Maroochydore, Australia And Cabarita

Australia Zoo

Beerwah is about 15 minutes from the Australia Zoo, so after our creepy night in a run down caravan park we got an early start to go see some crocs! I wasn’t expecting much from our visit to the zoo since most of the times I have been to a zoo I go home disappointed when I realize the most interesting animals are sleeping during the day. Or I can’t see through the cages to get a good picture.

We had planned to only spend a few hours, but ended up spending 5 without even scratching the surface of what they have to offer. We were very impressed with the crocodile show that was performed by the Irwins. I’ve never seen a live show with crocodiles and I was honestly afraid for the people on stage. They could have been taken down at any moment if something went wrong!! Definitely a highlight of the trip.

The other animals were equally impressive because they all seemed so much happier than they do at a lot of zoos. We really got the feeling like the animals are well taken care of and that they enjoy being there. The cages were not chain link, so it was easier to take photos. The habitat of the Red Panda was a wall about waist to chest high and that was it! It seemed the animals would be able to get out if they wanted.

We also saw a cheetah out of its cage with a couple of zoo employees and 2 tourists that were petting it. Another highlight for me was the Roo Heaven where we were able to feed and pet all the kangaroos roaming around.

Maroochydore, Australia

Our visit to the Sunshine Coast was bittersweet. We were in search of warm water and some waves. We found the warm water, but the surf forecast said no waves would be hitting this area for about 5 days, which was after we had to drop off our camper van to get ready for our flight to Thailand.

Our night in Maroochydore, we spent at Sea Breeze Caravan Park at a site that was practically on the beach. It’s a nice place and we would have stayed longer if we were not in desperate need of some waves. The next morning we drove to Noosa Heads, about 30 minutes north, where we found a posh getaway for people interested in shopping and lavish dinner cruises. In search of surf, and less touristy venues, we set our sights back below the Gold Coast to a little town called Cabarita.

Cabarita

Cabarita, Australia is a laid back, small town on the Tweed Coast. Thankfully, the town has protected wetlands that limit the amount of development and this gives it that small town feel where everybody knows everybody. We found Cabarita to be heaven on earth and a perfect place to spend our last days in Australia. The North Star Holiday Resort that we stayed at was huge and had everything you could possibly need.

We arrived on a Sunday night and went to the neighboring Pottsville in search of some dinner. We found the most unique restaurant and pizza joint called “White Jade”. We ordered a garlic and prawns pizza that was unlike anything we have ever tasted before. The staff was very friendly and there seemed to be a ton of regulars.

The next morning we found Hastings Point in Cabarita and enjoyed an early and uncrowded surf session. Hastings has both a North and a South facing peak, so you get to take your pick depending on what the swell is doing that day. We ate lunch overlooking the water and soaking up the views.

Our stay in Brisbane was a short one. After we had dropped off the van, we were just looking to kill some time before the last air tram left for the airport. The air tram stops running at 7:28 pm and doesn’t start up again until after 5 am. Since our flight left before 7 am, we figured we might as well just sleep at the airport since the tram didn’t start early enough and a cab ride would have cost $50 or more.

During our visit to Brisbane, we did stumble upon a street mall with many different restaurants and food shops. It was a Wednesday and most restaurants were having Wednesday night specials that we couldn’t pass up. We ended up at Ric’s Cafe & Bar and were able to share a huge plate of fish, chips and steak for $8.