A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Espanola Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

A Day on Española Way

 

 

 

What:

Spending the day doing what I do best: shopping, eating, dancing, snoozing and exploring one of Miami Beach’s most iconic streets: Española Way.

Why:

“I can’t think of a better way/to spend the day/than on Española Way.” Especially after its massive multi-million dollar renovation. Sure, it’s always been a popular thoroughfare and yes, it’s always been inspiring, but now, its bustling personality is even bigger and better than before.

The secret ingredient? The street is FINALLY closed to cars, making it pedestrian-only. Now, you can easily stroll down the middle of the road like a boss, fully absorbing everything that makes Española Way so special — the enchanting Mediterranean architecture, lively restaurants, eclectic shops and secret nooks and passageways that lead to beautiful boutique hotels.

The area, originally formed as an artist colony back in the 1920’s, reminds me of my beloved Santa Fe and while it’s not necessarily the Wild West, it does have an outspoken bohemian spirit mixed with a European flair I truly appreciate. It’s a place where everyone fits in — I emphasis this because I’ve noticed Miami’s recent penchant for pigeonholing people & places into categories: artsy, hipster, urban, nouveau riche; the list goes on…(for the record, I hate that and happen to live in an up-&-coming “seedy” area). #Whatevezzzz

In full disclosure, for years I’ve avoided “A Day On Española Way” because of its touristy reputation but now, the area is flourishing with local activities: yoga classes, salsa nights and free monthly events open to the public. My day there was such an amazing experience. I felt transported to another city; another country even. After a leisurely morning of getting reacquainted with the area, I decided to have lunch, too.

Lucky for me, Havana 1957 was eager to host. The Cuban restaurant, which happens to be a South Florida staple, is not only a true reflection of one of Miami’s richest cultures, it’s also a nod to Havana in its heyday and I’ll drink to that! Speaking of…

I’m crazy about their large selection of mouthwatering mojitos. I tried the Strawberry & Classic, but they also have interesting ones like Red Bull & Diet, perfect for the partier who needs a pick-me-up or for those of us constantly watching our waistline. My favorite appetizer is “Tostones Rellenos Havana 1957,” which are heartbreakingly good. You get an assortment of plantain cups stuffed with garlic shrimp, shredded roasted chicken, ropa vieja and ground beef. Sweet baby Jesus, these are #LIFE…

The Signature chicken, served with rice and plantains, is called Pollo Frita A La Cubana. It’s a crispy marinated half-chicken served in a yummy garlic and onion sauce. The pork is amazing, too. Lechon Asado, a slow roasted pork leg with Cuban mojo, is served with moro rice and yuca. If you prefer eating lighter, Havana 1957 also has a nice selection of salads, perfect for a hot summer day. I ended lunch with Guava Cheesecake. It was so good, I dreamed about it later that night. There I was, in a cloud of pillows eating that very dessert, taking gi-normous bites while trying to talk on live TV. LOL. I’m not sure what that was all about…

But I do know, rediscovering a place I’ve always loved is a magical feeling. It’s like reconnecting with an old friend, you know the in’s & out’s of the relationship, but years gone by have made them more textured, interesting and even better — that’s exactly how I feel about “A Day On Española Way” and that’s why it’s one of My Favorite Things.

www.visitespanolaway.com

FB: @OnEspanolaWay
IG: @OnEspanolaWay
Twitter: @OnEspanolaWay

www.havana1957.com FB: @Havana1957Restaurant IG: @havana1957 Twitter: @havana1957miami

An invitation to a beautiful street is an invitation to walk within a dream!Mehmet Murat Ildan
James Woodley Photography
1st look: Black Sundress by @BCBGsouthbeach
Sun Hat by Nordstrom.com
Black Fringe Purse @V73
Boots: oldgringoboots.com
turquoise jewelry from my New Mexico Collection
2nd look: Yellow & White Sundress & Hat Nordstrom.com
Lip clutch www.Chiffino.com
Under The Big Top Heels by Irregularchoice.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “NYC 1952” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

Shireen’s Spotlight: Etaru

What:

Sunday Brunch at Etaru — an alluring seaside restaurant so beautiful & delicious, you’ll never wanna leave. Go ahead, ask me if I closed the place down… 😁

Why:

If brunching were an olympic sport, Etaru would win the gold medal without even trying. Yes, IT’S THAT SPECTACULAR. The sophisticated yet laid-back Japanese restaurant is perched up alongside Hallandale Beach and features some of the most jaw-dropping views in all of South Florida.

Etaru, which is tastefully decorated in whites, beiges and natural woods, is an open-air eatery with a large covered patio — which happens to be the heart of its pulsing atmosphere. Tip: if you’re a selfie-taking fashionista, prepare yourself for beach-y weather: breezy, sunny and warm.

Take a fabulous hat, your favorite sunglasses and drape yourself in the cool and comfortable. When I went last Sunday afternoon, the weather couldn’t have been any better. There’s an indoor area, too, but it’s also open and airy: enjoying the surf, sun and sand seems to be a brunch time prerequisite at Etaru. I’ll drink to that!

Speaking of…

There are two brunch options on Etaru’s menu: Seasonal for $65 & Premium for $95. No matter which one choose, you’ll be eating and drinking like a bonafide rock star and for the record, the quality and quantity of what they serve makes it worth every penny.

Both the Seasonal & Premium packages start the same way, with appetizers from the buffet. They serve a wide variety of yummy salads, fresh sushi & sashimi, oysters, rice and quinoa. It’s perfect for the person who doesn’t like to wait to get their brunch on. Consider it a nice little nosh before your main plate.

From the bustling bar (where creative cocktails flow like Niagara Falls during brunch hours,) I tried the exquisite “Lychee & Blossom” (made with infused cherry blossom vodka, lychee, lemon and umami bitters.) Oh, sweet baby Jesus! This is one of the best adult beverages I’ve ever had. If you’re more of a margarita lover, the “Rita Okinawa” is smooth & silky, or maybe that’s just the tequila talking. When in Rome (or in this case Hallandale Beach,) I tried a Seasonal Bellini. So delicious! #BringMeAPitcher

Sashimi lovers will go goo-goo over their gorgeous raw platters filled with salmon, tuna, toro and different kinds of tartare. If you prefer something more traditional, the Crispy Chicken with shiso waffles and maple syrup is devour-worthy. If you’re asking: “Where’s the beef?,” the Prime Skirt Steak with wasabi chimichirri will quench your carnivorous cravings. If you want your mind blown and I know you foodies do, you’ve gotta try the Black Cod with Yuzu Miso. It’s #ToDieFor!

I think the amazing taste of Etaru’s food has a lot to do with its Robatayaki cooking style (which is performed over a charcoal grill.) It’s definitely a science, though; involving speed and temperature.

Before dessert, I cleansed my palate with a refreshing Matcha Iced Tea, but I was also jonesing for a Bloody Mary. Etaru makes a bold, peppery, spicy one, which is just the way I like it. While relishing my spiked tomato juice, the mother of all yumminess arrived to the table and I kid you not, a picture can’t even do the thing justice.

The Etaru Dessert Selection for the table is filled with yummy sorbets, exotic fruits and sweet treats like Guava Mousse & a Key Lime popsicle with do-it-yourself crumbles. Hmmm… I’m still thinking about the frozen treat.

With live music, an interesting crowd, the fresh ocean breeze and water as far as the eye can see, Etaru is more than just a Sunday Funday, it’s one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

Etaru
111 S Surf Road
Hallandale Beach, FL. 33009

reservations: 954-271-3222 or etarurestaurants.us

When:

Sunday Brunch: 12:30pm-4pm

Be Social:
IG: @etarurestaurant
FB: @ETARURestaurant
Twitter: @ETARURestaurant

The answer may not lie at the bottom of a bottle of champagne, but we should at least check.anonymous
James Woodley Photography
Black Romper, Jewelry & Handbag by @Vchicstore
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Beautiful & Delicious” Auerbach
Copyright 2018 Shireen Sandoval. All Rights Reserved.

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

Frills & Flowers w/ Alice + Olivia

What:

Celebrating spring fashions at alice + olivia’s gorgeous new flagship store in the Miami Design District.

Why:

Bold colors, flirty flowers and fancy frills as far as the eye can see; it’s everything I dreamed the new alice + olivia flagship store would be and then some. The chic new boutique, which held its official grand opening a few weeks ago on International Women’s Day, is a direct reflection of the wonderfully whimsical woman who started it all: Stacey Bendet.

Like any good idea, Stacey gave birth to alice + olivia quite naturally. As fashion legend has it, she was searching for the perfect pair of pants but came up empty. What started as an exciting trouser treasure hunt ended in a fruitless and frustrating fashion moment. However, the good news is a “Frills & Flowers” seed was forever planted.

That was back in 2002 and apparently, Stacey was onto something because sixteen years later, her brand is a global sensation producing clothing, jewelry, shoes, purses and sunglasses. Her designs are eclectic, personality-driven and insanely unique, not to mention high-quality.

For spring, Stacey is using more than just flower power and incredible colors to engage fashionistas. She’s added fun t-shirts with sayings like, “The World Needs More Sparkle” and “When Women Support Each Other Great Things Happen.” As you may have guessed, Stacey is all about empowering those around her and personally, that’s the kind of #ladyboss I want designing what I choose to put on my body. Speaking of…

Stacey’s new flagship store, in the heart of the Design District, is filled with the gorgeous and glamorous. The two-story ode to clean architecture and a decadent life style is enhanced by natural light with gi-normous floor-to-ceiling windows. Every corner of the place is well thought-out and creatively crafted. I especially love the dressing rooms; they make you feel and look good. I can’t remember the last time I said that while getting my retail therapy on. From the wall paper to the carefully angled mirrors, you’ll wanna take a few #selfies. I know I did.

So, why a flagship store in the Magic City? Because Stacey believes the women in Miami embody her brand: they’re sexy, stylish and not afraid to express themselves through fashion. Feeling special in your clothing is a beautiful thing, but finding a way to execute that “IT” factor without looking like everyone else around you is where alice + olivia owns the market and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

alice + olivia
99 NE 39th Street
Miami, Florida 33137

When:

Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm

Be Social:
IG: @aliceandolivia
FB: @aliceandoliviabystaceybendet
Twitter: @aliceandolivia

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.Theodore Roethke
James Woodley Photography
All clothing, jewelry & shoes by alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet
shot on-site at alice + olivia in the Design District
styled by Andrea Jacobs of alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Wonderfully Whimsical” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

Shireen’s Spotlight: Racket

What:

Spending the afternoon at one of the chicest new bars in town: Racket. An intriguing double-bar concept from the team behind Foxhole Bar & Drunken Dragon.

Why:

I love a good hang-out, but finding the RIGHT one isn’t always easy. My requirements include: great drinks, interesting food and a hip/chic atmosphere. I’m just not one of those dark bar boozers: I like the light of day, visiting with friends, meeting interesting people and feeling like I’m a part of something special going on in the Magic City.

Enter: Racket — located in the heart of Wynwood.

I hung out there last weekend on a bright, sunny day and its massive open-air windows revealed a beautiful tiki-inspired bar/lounge called Atrium. The plush couches, low wooden stools and interesting art reminded me of something you’d see in a fashion magazine. Just beyond Atrium is Skylit Bar, where the mood is more industrial-meets-modern. When it comes to food & drink, each area has its own niche.

From Atrium, which specializes in tequila, rum and mezcal drinks, I tried the wonderfully whimsical “Pinky & the Bat” (made with Bacardi, St. Germain, fresh fruit and sweet syrup.) It’s as pretty as a picture, definitely an Instagram shot waiting to happen. Make sure you caption it #LivingMyBestLife cuz that popsicle gives it major prowess. The cool & colorful “El Joven” is just as sassy, not to mention refreshing. The mezcal-based cocktail is mixed with sweet Italian wine, watermelon and lime.

As the late Whitney Houston once famously said: “Crack is Whack” and that’s exactly how I’d describe Atrium’s Ahi Tuna Rolls. MAN – they’re fabulously addicting. Instead of a traditional roll, though, the tuna (made with Sriracha aioli) comes on top of a crispy brioche. The little heavenly bites of goodness are topped with caviar. #NeedSomeRightNow #GetInMyBelly And yes, we took a lot of pictures of them. Just call us the Tuna Roll paparazzi. 😹

Grazing is important when enjoying Atrium’s $18 dollar bottomless mimosas & Rose on Sundays and their beautiful Charcuterie spread is the perfect way to do it. Served with fig jam, olive bread, veggies, fruit and meats, you’ll have enough food to get your drink on for the entire day. Cheers to day drinking that extends into evening hours.

From Skylit, which specializes in craft cocktails and local beers, I tried the smokey and delicious “Here’s Johnnie” — made with Johnnie Walker Black, tawny port, blackberry syrup and creme de cassis. This drink, which happened to be my favorite, will definitely grow hair on your chest. That’s what we say back on the ranch when a drink is strong and meaty.

If you wanna feel like a movie star, try “Pine Wood” — a nod to Britain’s Hollywood. Not sure if it’s a coincidence, but it sure tastes like something you’d drink in England, made with bourbon, citrus fruit and Fernet Branca (which is a bitter herby liqueur.) If Bette Davis were still alive, she’d make it a double and call you “Dahhhhling” while puffing on a long, fancy cigarette.

I also tried the “Racket Panini” stacked with prosciutto, goat cheese, pesto and mushed into yummy submission. If you like PB&J, you gotta try their “AB & J” — made with almond butter, blueberry jam, brie cheese and served on brioche bread. It’s that great kind of salty sweet and goes perfect with an adult beverage.

If you like to be entertained while imbibing, you’re in luck. Skylit has a pool table, juke box and tv’s for your sport watching obsession.

I really like the vibe and atmosphere of Racket; the yummy drinks and food are a bonus. Usually Miami hang-out’s have one without the other, but here – it’s both. It’s a fresh take on what Miami’s known for, having a good time in glamorous style and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

Racket
150 NW 24th Street
Miami, Florida 33127

When:

Daily 1 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Happy hour is from 4-to-8pm

Be Social:
IG: @racketwynwood
FB: @racketwynwood
Twitter: @racketwynwood

Don’t be shy, send that 12th unanswered text.Tequila
James Woodley Photography
Wardrobe by @bcbgsouthbeach
Clutch — @candywooleyhandbags
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Dahhhling” Auerbach

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

What:

Discovering & falling in love with Yara Bashoor’s handbags and styling them with looks inspired by Springtime in South Florida.

Why:

If you’re looking for a new bag to beautify your Spring wardrobe, look no further…

Designer Yara Bashoor isn’t just prettying up the Miami purse game with her gorgeous pieces; she’s also giving a girl on a fashion budget (that would be me) a chance to enjoy luxury for less. My 401k is rejoicing as I type this and I’m about to throw up an “amen” to the fashion gods — AMEN!

Using Alligator and South African Ostrich skins, she carefully curates bold, interesting and sophisticated clutches and totes. What I love most about her bags, besides the undeniable quality, is their decadent colors, textures and shapes.They remind me of that old-school board game, “Candy Land” – bright and mood-lifting. Better yet, they trigger childhood memories of rainbow-colored snow cones ready to be devoured on a hot summer day.

Instead of sticky fingers, though, Yara’s purses feel more like butter: soft, supple and sinfully expensive. Usually a bag of this caliber would cost you a kidney or your first-born. Luckily, Yara’s ingenuity has led her to cut out the middleman, leaving costs solely wrapped up in craftsmanship and that, of course, benefits her customers.

Besides being entrenched in South Florida’s fashion community, where Yara’s purses are featured at local events and in the occasional local/luxury magazine, she’s gained true “Spring Fever” footing on social media and by word-of-mouth, which is how I found her.

There’s something else, too.

Yara is the kind of woman I straight-up admire. She’s an architect, lawyer and designer (yes, in that order, but who’s keeping track when you’re that successful.) I don’t think it’s a coincidence that her purses are a direct reflection of her chosen education and career path: structured lines, effortless durability and chic sophistication. Could she be any more fabulous?

While Yara describes her totes as “smart, stylish and confident,” you can’t help but notice she’s actually describing herself, and that’s why “Spring Fever” is one of my Favorite Things.

Be Social:
FB: @ybhandbags
IG: @yara.bashoor

Shop “The Joey L Clutch” or “The Adam L Tote” here: www.yarabashoor.com

A tax rebate is pretty much the government telling me – I must buy this bag!Randy Miller
James Woodley Photography
Purses designed by Yara Bashoor
Wardrobe: @bcbgsouthbeach
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Butter” Auerbach