Shireen’s Spotlight: Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Shireen's Spotlight: Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Shireen's Spotlight: Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Shireen's Spotlight: Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Shireen's Spotlight: Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Shireen's Spotlight: Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Shireen's Spotlight: Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

What:

Burlock Coast inside The Ritz Carlton,1 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33304

Why:

I was totally blown away when I walked into Burlock Coast — talk about a major change! I read somewhere it was going to be a multi-million dollar renovation, but I had no idea. WOW.

The restaurant, which is just off the hotel’s main lobby, is extremely spacious but at the same time, generously intimate. If I lived closer, I’d definitely frequent the place, take my friends and show it off to someone I’m trying to impress. It’s sophisticated, classy and unpretentious. The place is gorgeous with dark textured wood, rustic decor and an open-air market (where you can have breakfast –even lunch — and then head to the beach.)

I started my evening at the outside bar with a direct view of the ocean. It was a chilly night, so I ordered a Dirty Martini to warm me. It wasn’t on the blog menu (which is what we agree on featuring before we get there), but I was running a little early and couldn’t wait to enjoy the atmosphere. BTW, it was by far one of the best Dirty Martini’s I’ve ever had the pleasure of wrapping my lips around.

From the outside bar, I moved to a table (still, with an amazing view) and tried three of their signature drinks: Aviation, Bill’s Spirit and Donna the Privateer (the place is known for its Rum). Each was sweet, yet spicy. I liked the Donna best because of its cinnamon undertones, hundred-proof spiced Rum, grapefruit and bitters.

For starters, I nibbled on the generously plated Charcuterie Board and quickly lapped up a half-dozen Oysters on the half shell. They were extremely fresh and came with a yummy Citrus Champagne Mignonette. The Tuna Niçoise salad was excellent, too. Fresh, clean and served with quail eggs.

Dinner started with a bowl of Lobster Pasta. It’s made with truffle oil, which I’m allergic to, so my producer (Jessie Rosario) tried it instead. She said it was: “Creamy, delicious with a generous portion of lobster.” I dined on the Fish & Chips, which were crunchy, flaky (in a good way) and served with a spritzer of vinegar. That bottle brought out the kid in me. 😁

Last but not least, the entire table enjoyed the “Key Lime Pie For Many.” It was so yummy, but the presentation was even more spectacular. As I’m writing this I’m already plotting my next visit to the restaurant-cafe-market-bar. It’s definitely one of my new favorite things.

Where:

Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits is inside the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, right smack dab in front of the ocean. The view is nothing short of spectacular. No matter where you decide to dine (inside or out,) the floor-to-ceiling windows, which are usually open, let in a beautiful, sultry breeze.

There’s also complimentary valet parking available for up to two hours with validation from the restaurant and if you decide to stay a little longer, it’s just $5 dollars to extend your valet.

When:

Sunday-Wednesday Dinner 5pm-10pm (they also serve breakfast and lunch).
Reservations: www.opentable.com/burlock-coast

www.ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/FortLauderdale/default.htm
Twitter: @RitzCarlton
IG: @burlockcoast & @ritzcarlton #RCMemories
FB: The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.Rumi
Wardrobe provided by www.stopstaringclothing.com
Twitter: @StopStaring
IG: @stopstaringclothing
FB: Stop Staring
Jewelry provided by www.kokopalenki.com
Photographer: James Woodley
Producer: Jessie Rosario
Stylist: Jackie Kay
Editor: Mathew Auerbach
Special thanks to Brustman Carrino Public Relations

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

Pretty in Plastic

What:

Melissa Shoes inside Dadeland Mall at 7535 N. Kendall Drive, Miami, Florida 33156

Why:

The first time I got my hands on a pair of “Melissa Shoes,” I held them up to my nose, inhaled deeply and purred out-loud: “These smell like Juicy Fruit!” I was half-joking, but later found out each pair is indeed infused with what the company calls a “signature childhood scent.” Every customer seems to smell something different when their nose makes contact with the shoe: bubble gum, strawberry and cotton candy are the most popular descriptions. That’s not all…

The uber-comfy shoes are made out of 100% recyclable material; more specifically, a special kind of plastic called Melflex (which is extremely flexible, durable, hypoallergenic and waterproof). I like my Melissa’s because they’re comfortable, creative and cool. Anytime I wear a pair, I get quizzed about their contagious personality.

Believe you me, I have a lot of shoes, but there’s just something unique about them that I LOVE. I think it has to do with Melissa’s team, which is made up of some of the most talented fashion designers of our time, like Vivienne Westwood, Jason Wu, Jeremy Scott, Alexander Herchcovitch and Karl Lagerfeld.

Besides being ridiculously comfortable with a cra-cra, yummy-good candy smell, the company (which is based in Brazil), is named after a South American flower known as the “Melissa.” I find it all extremely romantic, not to mention exotic.

Even though “Melissa Shoes” has been around for 40 years, making women and girls “Pretty in Plastic,” its boutique concept is fairly new to the U.S. I love the new Dadeland location.

I think this is a really great shoe to add to your closet. For me, it’s super affordable (after my holiday spending) and incredibly fashionable. Plus, who doesn’t wanna look fabulous while saving the planet? Looking “Pretty in Plastic”‘ is definitely one of my favorite things. πŸ™†πŸŒŽ

When:

Monday-Saturday 10am-9:30pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm.

Where:

“Melissa Shoes” at the Dadeland Mall is the company’s newest South Florida location. If you’re stopping by the sleek, modern and charmingly chic boutique, use the main entrance and it’s a few stores down on the left. Happy shopping!

www.shopmelissa.com
twitter: @shoesmelissa #MelissaShoes
Instagram: @melissashoesusa
Facebook: @Melissa

Wardrobe and accessories provided by Koko & Palenki. Shop the looks at www.KokoPalenki.com and be sure to follow them on social media for the latest and greatest in fashion @KokoPalenki #KokoGirl βœ¨πŸ‘—

I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.Imelda Marcos
Photographer: James Woodley
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair, MUA: Odett Hernandez
Editor: Matthew Auerbach
Special thanks: Koko & Palenki

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

What:

Cupcake Galleria, 6947 Stirling Road, Davie, Florida 33314

Why:

Even though I’ve already made my New Year resolutions (get in touch with my sexy side and spend more time in The Florida Keys), as of late I’ve found myself on a bit of a health kick, too. I’m working out, trying to make better food choices and drinking less vodka (replaced by wine, mind you). Yeah, gotta work on that last one. No matter how hard I try, though, sweets seem to be all around me.

Deco Drive recently celebrated its 20th birthday with a BIG, cray-cray multi-layered cake. I mean, I couldn’t NOT have a piece! It’s a major milestone for a little TV show that thought it could and did and continues to do so. Not only that…

I happen to stumble upon the cutest sweets boutique called “Cupcake Galleria.” It makes the most insane-tasting cupcakes with flavors like Blue Velvet, Hot Fudge Sundae, Cookie Monster, S’mores and Peanut Butter Cup (just to name a few).

If you think those sound yummy, well, that’s nothing compared to their “Cake Shake” (be still, my beating heart). It’s basically a milkshake with chunks of cake in it which you suck up through a gi-normous straw.

Needless to say, the aforementioned has put quite the strain on my NEW healthy way of life. The thing is, I’m not sorry for indulging, cheating or enjoying myself. Instead, I view it as a gift; a small reminder of how I used to be a few years ago when I was incredibly sick and nothing tasted good and I was desperate to put weight on my frail frame.

Now, my milkshake runneth over. I’m healthy and I’m afforded the choice to actually work-out and eat a flipping cupcake. I mean, how cool is that? Sometimes, it’s the smallest of things we take for granted. The sweet smell of vanilla, the incredible taste of moist cake and the ability to just be in the moment and enjoy it all.

I’m so lucky to do what I do and to find places like “Cupcake Galleria,” whose mission is to bring pure joy and happiness to all the taste buds it comes in contact with. Diet or not, one thing’s for sure: “The Sweet Life” is something we should all use our extra calories for.

When:

Monday-Wednesday 10am-7pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday Closed.

Where:

Cupcake Galleria is NOT in Miami, but it’s well-worth the trip to Davie. It’s snuggled inside “The Shops at Sterling Place.” The boutique is small but lovely. You can take your cupcakes to go or sit inside and enjoy the quaint atmosphere (pastel-colored walls, the thick aroma of vanilla and lively music.) Bon appetite!

www.thecupcakegalleria.com
Twitter: @cupcake_eat
Instagram: @cupcakegalleria
Facebook: The Cupcake Galleria

All clothing & accessories provided by L.A. Boudoir Miami. Shop the looks at www.laboudoirmiami.com or on their Instagram: @laboudoirmiami

A balanced diet is having a cupcake in each hand.Anonymous
Photographer/Videographer: James Woodley
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair, MUA: Odett Hernandez
Editor: Matthew Auerbach
Special thanks: Lauren Arkin

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

Garden of Dreams w/ Banyan Tree Boutique

What:

The Banyan Tree, 81197 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

Why:

I love driving to The Keys with my windows rolled down and Tina Turner blaring on my iPod. It’s the most freeing feeling; leaving Miami in my rearview mirror and exploring a place I hope to call home one day. Each trip always brings the most unique discoveries and “Banyan Tree Boutique,” in Islamorada is one of them.

For years, on my way to Key West I would zoom by it (not even knowing it was a store.) Something about it, though, always caught my attention; beckoning me from the highway. It took awhile, but eventually, I’d slow down just before passing it. No matter how hard I’d crank my neck around to get a glimpse (which was all kinds of cra), it still didn’t allow me to see through the lush green canopy.

So, a few months ago, I FINALLY STOPPED and walked in.

Yeah, that’s right…I told my Type A (gotta get back to the big city) self to pipe down. What’s more, I talked myself into taking time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak and believe you me, I’m glad I did and for the record, when I was there, I smelled waaayy more than just roses. πŸŒΏπŸŒ»πŸŒ³πŸ’ I knew immediately that I had to go back and do a blog!

The “Banyan Tree Boutique” is snuggled into an expansive garden, filled with orchids, succulents and locally made pottery. Staying true to its namesake there’s a huge Banyan tree smack dab in the middle of it all. Every nook and cranny of the place holds a charming secret waiting to be discovered. With magical wind chimes, ceramic creatures and fabulous art, there’s something for everyone. Did I mention the retail therapy?

Inside, you’ll find beautiful clothing, gorgeous jewelry and gifts galore: candles, journals, purses and other unique trappings made by local artisans. Not only will you find the unusual, you’ll also find first class quality. Everything I’m wearing in the blog (even the accessories), are all from “Banyan Tree Boutique.”

The entire premise of the place is built around everything I adore. More specifically, my hobbies; including gardening, art and fashion. Adjacent to the boutique is a make-shift studio where you can take art classes (drawing or painting.)

If you’re looking for a little bohemian slice of heaven when you’re in The Keys or you just need to get away for the day, the “Banyan Tree Boutique” is my quintessential “Garden of Dreams” and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things. I think it’s the perfect place to see in 2016. Happy New Year!

When:

Monday-Saturday 10-am-5pm (Closed on Sundays)

Where:

The “Banyan Tree Boutique” is located in Islamorada (which means “Island Home”) in the Florida keys. It’s also called the “Village of Islands” because it consists of five different keys. I love that it’s only an hour and a half from Miami; making for an easy get away. The boutique is right off the Overseas Highway on the east side of the road.

FB: @TheBanyanTree, IG: @BanyanTreeBoutique, Twitter: @BanyanTreeKeys
Shop the blog looks on-line: www.banyantreeboutique.com

I didn’t want someone who would buy me roses. I wanted someone who would plant them, knowing that I would be there when they blossomed.Unknown
Photographer/Videographer: James Woodley
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair, MUA: Odett Hernandez
(all clothing & accessories provided by Banyan Tree Boutique)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Oltremare inside Amara Cay Resort

Shireen's Spotlight: Oltremare inside Amara Cay Resort

Shireen's Spotlight: Oltremare inside Amara Cay Resort

Shireen's Spotlight: Oltremare inside Amara Cay Resort

Shireen's Spotlight: Oltremare inside Amara Cay Resort

Shireen's Spotlight: Oltremare inside Amara Cay Resort

What:

Oltremare, 80001 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

Why:

Oltremare Ristorante inside Amara Cay Resort is my last food blog of the year and man, what a way to go out. The Italian eatery has a warm atmosphere with a sophisticated flair, but it’s the food that’s truly fabulous. What’s more, it’s made with passion and pure love by Executive Chef Dario Olivera.

After shooting my “Dress to Impress” New Year’s Eve fashion blog with “Hot Miami Styles” at the resort, I was hungry and thirsty! That’s not always a good thing when I do Spotlight. I always tell my crew: “It’s about tasting not eating,” but not to worry because on Chef Dario’s watch NO ONE leaves hungry.

I started my evening with three yummy drinks, “The Blood-Lime” which is their signature cocktail, was definitely my favorite (made with deep eddy ruby red, fever tree elderflower tonic, Campari and key lime.) The “Zugroni” & “Naughty and Spice” were both sweet enough to put me in a jolly holiday mood.

My first appetizer, “Sea Salt Roasted Beets” (made with greek yogurt, honey cured pistachio and blood orange syrup) was the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The “Grilled Octopus,” plated in a yummy winter squash puree came with a side of crispy chips; adding extra texture. My favorite app (and it was hard to choose) was the gorgeous Antipasto plate. Hmmm… I’m a sucker for finger food.

The main courses were to die for, usually I take a bite, pass the plate and remain noncommittal, but I wouldn’t let our server take ANY of the dishes away. 😁 The “Lasagnette” (made with wild mushrooms) was dreamy and the “Gnocchi” with rabbit was extra sumptuous.

My absolute favorites: the “Orecchiette” (scallops, rock shrimp in a parmesan tomato broth) and “Caramelle” (with duck confit, Swiss chard, cranberries and reggiano). My tastebuds are forever spoiled. The chef wanted us to have more than carbs, so, he sent out one of his favorite plates “Grilled Cobia” (made with melted leeks). This is perfect for the non-pasta lover.

The “Tiramisu” and “Zeppoli” (deep-fried dough balls served with a Nutella dip) were beyond decadent and the perfect sweet treats to end our feast. The friendly staff, chic atmosphere and incredible pasta definitely make “Oltremare” one of my new favorite things.

Where:

Oltremare is located inside the Amara Cay Resort. The entire property is gorgeous and snuggled into a little slice of heaven in The Florida Keys. More specifically, Islamorada.

When:

Dinner 5pm-10pm. Reservations are suggested: 305-664-0073

www.amaracayresort.com/oltremare-ristorante
Instagram: @Oltremare_Ristorante

Count your nights by stars, not shadows; count your life with smiles, not tearsItalian Proverb
Photographer: James Woodley
Stylist: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe: Hot Miami Styles
(shop the look www.HotMiamiStyles.com)