Shireen’s Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

Shireen's Spotlight: The Foundry (Eat. Drink. Lounge.)

What:

An early weekend dinner at “The Foundry” in Pompano Beach. Yes, I left the 305 on a Sunday night and it was totally worth it.

Why:

My new shabby chic couch and “Game Of Thrones” (season 7) are my latest obsessions, so, why in the world would I leave the 305 on a Sunday night to do Spotlight?

“The Foundry” — that’s why.

I heard about the restaurant about a year ago from friends, Deco Drive fans and some die-hard South Florida foodies, but “wanting” to spend time in Pompano Beach and actually “doing it” are two different things.

Finally, after a well planned-out weekend and an online GoT’s leak, I was ready to head north. I know what you’re thinking and NO, I didn’t watch the leaked version (although I thought about it); I flexed my on-demand finger muscles instead.

“The Foundry” (which is set up as an ode to a metal factory) is a big, beautiful open-air restaurant with dark wood, moody lighting and modern art. It reminds me of some of my favorite places in Chicago, where it’s not just about what you’re eating, it’s about how you feel, too. It’s friendly and inviting, flanked by a long bar that reaches its way into a front outdoor patio. There’s a cool raw bar in the back and in-between is the dining area.

I started my Spotlight experience with a strong & savory “Cucumber Martini” (made with gin) & an ice-cold “Hibiscus Mule” (a new twist on an old favorite) made with vodka, hibiscus-infused syrup, lime juice and fever tree ginger beer. If I was a dead man walking, a martini would definitely be my go-to, but this mule is mind-changing.

If you love fresh, healthy and delicious, my first appetizer, “The Sushi Stack”, is an absolute must-try. I could live off this layered pile of love for the rest of my natural born life. Tuna, salmon, avocado and cucumber are perfectly placed atop seasoned sushi rice. The icing on the cake, so to speak, is kimchi mayo and tempura crunchies. It’s big enough to share, although I’d rather have it all to myself. From the raw bar, I tried the “Tasting for 2” (with oysters, shrimp and ceviche.) It was extremely fresh and I liked the tartness of the ceviche.

If you’re not a seafood lover, try the “House-Made Classic Polpette” — one can never go wrong with a tangy meatball (made with crispy polenta, pomodoro sauce, ricotta and basil.) Mama Mia! These bite-sized beauties were a party in my mouth. Truth be told, I wanted more, but a girl has to pace herself when working on her beloved food blog and watching her waistline.

Transitioning into dinner meant changing up our drinks, too. Enhancing the flavor of “Shrimp & Grits” was easy with a Reisling by North by Northwest (from Horse Heaven Hills, Washington.) It was dry and slightly fruity.

Back to those “Shrimp & Grits” that were totally to-die-for…(made with shrimp, sausage, peppers, onions, garlic mixed in a spicy creole sauce, alongside stone ground grits and crispy collard greens). I spent part of my teen years in the south and I’m a real snob when it comes to grits, but these are the real deal.

The 12 oz succulent “Grilled Pork Chop” was my favorite of the night, made with maple glaze and served with butternut squash puree and miso-glazed brussel sprouts. The chop was so tender, I could cut it with a butter knife. #ComeToMama #GetInMyBelly I could go on with the hashtags, but you get the idea.

Last but not least, the “Short Rib Entree”, my photographer’s favorite, was made with faro and wild mushroom ragout and served with shaved veggies. It was paired with an incredible red blend called Forward Kidd (from Napa Valley). I’m a total convert. I need to get a box of the stuff for my house. Nothing like cracking open a great bottle of wine on the weekend.

I tasted two terrific desserts: “Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake” & “Coffee & Doughnuts” — all the sweets are homemade; heck, practically everything is. I’m a sucker for a good cheesecake (I have it every year on my birthday,) but along side the doughnuts, served in a mug is something called: “espresso pot de creme.”

I call it crack in a coffee cup. It’s amazingly decadent and sinfully delicious. If you have a sweet tooth, this will nail you to the wall and you won’t even scream for a great escape.

I can’t say enough about the food at “The Foundry”. It’s amazing, but what I truly fell in love with was the people. Everyone I came in contact with really believes in the restaurant. Our server, Zach, was excellent and NICE. Chef Shari knows her food and she’s passionate about what she does (not to mention wickedly talented) and GM Rick Hamilton is knowledgeable and smart, but not in a way that makes you feel like you should know more about food and what goes in it.

Sure, “The Foundry” is a destination, especially if you live in or around Miami, but it’s also a bonafide experience that won’t disappoint and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

When:

Lunch/Brunch
Monday-Saturday: 11:30am-3pm
Sunday Brunch: 11am-3pm

Dinner
Sunday-Thursday: 4pm-10pm
Friday-Saturday: 4pm-11pm

Where:

The Foundry
2781 E. Atlantic Blvd.
Pompano Beach, FL. 33062

(754) 205-6977

www.thefoundryfl.com

Be Social:
FB: The Foundry FL
Twitter: @TheFoundryFL
Instagram: @thefoundryfl

The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.Richard M. Nixon
James Woodley Photography
Producer/Styling: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe: www.bebe.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Forward, Kid” Auerbach

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

What:

Discovering the eclectic universe of artist & designer MaryJane Claverol, who’s redefining modern day beauty one creepy critter at a time.

Why:

Unique, whimsical and awe-inspiring, artist MaryJane Claverol creates jewelry, home accessories and art collectibles like you’ve never seen before. The first time I spied one of her pieces on social media, I was mesmerized and had to know more.

MaryJane, who’s traveled the world, started her artistic ventures a few years ago while living and working in India. It was a tough place to socialize so, to pass the time, she turned inward to tap into her innate creativity.

Instead of the typical artsy-fartsy self-expression (painting, sculpting or writing,) MaryJane chose to do something more provocative. Confronting her own fears and phobias (like things that gave her the real heebie-jeebies), she started out on a journey to master the macabre.

First up: insects and spiders, all made pleasing to the eye with pretty Swarovski crystals and other perfectly placed embellishments. Then it was on to creatively making crustaceans look couture. The world of “Wild Things” quickly became MaryJane’s playground or as she likes to call it: “universe.”

Just to be clear, MaryJane doesn’t go around killing fear-inducing creatures or any animal, for that matter. She procures them humanely and the larger taxidermy pieces she works on are given a second life after she rescues them from being dumped. Sometimes, she even unearths them from warehouse obscurity or old vintage vanity.

Since bedazzling her first artistic phobia, MaryJane’s universe has grown more diverse. At her studio in the Leah Arts District in Hialeah, you’ll find a mix of the funky, fashionable and fabulous. I adore her glamorous necklaces and bejeweled sunglasses.

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30pm on Channel 7, as we go on an intimate tour of MaryJane’s studio; her infectious spirit and love of all artistic mediums will leave you inspired and I bet you’ll even develop a new found appreciation for the “Wild Things” surrounding us. I know I have and thanks to MaryJane, they’re now one of my favorite things.

When:

Monday-Friday 9am-4pm

Where:

MaryJane Claverol Studio, Art Gallery & Boutique
Leah Arts District
1050 East 17th Street
Hialeah, FL 33010 USA
Phone: +1 (786) 202 2702
Email: info@maryjaneclaverol.com

Be Social
IG: @superclaverol
FB: MaryJane Claverol
Twitter: @MJCLAVEROL

www.MaryJaneClaverol.com

There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.anonymous

Wild Things

MaryJane Claverol by Shireen #annieSS

Danielle Margherite Photography www.dmargherite.com
Sunglasses & Necklaces provided by MaryJane Claverol
Styling: Shireen, Maryjane & Danielle
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Wild Thing” Auerbach

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

What:

How to work summer’s ruffle trend without looking like a character out of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Why:

I have a love/hate relationship with ruffles.

On one hand, I’m super girlie and love basking in flouncy femininity, especially when it comes to my house. I’m practically the queen of Shabby Chic-cottage living (think Rachel Ashwell meets Ralph Lauren.) From throw pillows, comforters and table runners to curtains, you’ll find a bunch of beautiful materials accenting my most prized home possessions.

On the other hand, when it comes to WEARING “The Right Kind of Ruffle,” I get overwhelmed and fear I’ll end up looking like Captain Jack Sparrow from the popular movies series, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” While he’s a great film character and all, I don’t want my sleeves dragging through my vodka (why waste good liquor?) or my upper body resembling a layered curtain (on TV, your mid-body is a focal point) or my bottom half screaming: “Look at me! I’m a cute bed dust ruffle!” (extra material on or around your booty can make one look bigger and not in an attractive, Kim Kardashian way.)

Lucky for me, my good friends at Etxart & Panno, located at Brickell City Center in downtown Miami, know a thing or two (okay, maybe five or six) about wearing “The Right Kind of Ruffle.” First off, ruffles are definitely in and it’s not a passing phase; the trend gets stronger come fall. They don’t discriminate, either: small, medium, big or gigantic, ruffles are all the rage.

The best way to wear them? By ACCENTING a blouse, dress or skirt. In other words, don’t go all Carmen Miranda on us (unless you’re heading to your weekly samba class.) Wearing the trend from head-to-toe could ruffle some serious fashion feathers or worse, cause a traffic accident.

I know, I know, if you’re a regular blog reader, you’re probably saying: “Duh? Everyone knows not to wear too many ruffles,” but you’d be surprised. Sometimes (especially in South Florida) more is well, MORE and I’m even guilty of that. Excessiveness isn’t necessarily a bad thing in fashion; you just have to pick and choose which trends deserve the over- abundance treatment. This isn’t one of them.

Etxart & Panno (which hails from Spain and recently opened its first U.S. location in Miami), is a clothing line inspired by 50’s fashion with a tropical flair. Think “Mad Men” meets “Gilligan’s Island”; more specifically, the character Ginger (classy, sexy and sophisticated, even when stranded on a deserted Island). And they know ruffles!

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30 p.m. (on Channel 7) as we, along with Etxart & Panno, feature the best ruffle fashions of the summer season. The trend is also a great way to ready your wardrobe for fall, which will be here before you know it. Finally, my pirate lookalike phobia has been set free, because wearing “The Right Kind of Ruffle” is one of my favorite things.

When:

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

Where:

ETXART & PANNO
Brickell City Centre
701 South Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131

The boutique is located on the ground level. There’s garage parking and it’s free for the first two hours.

Get social:
IG: @etxartpannous
FB: @etxartpanno
www.etxartpanno.com

The Frenchman invented the ruffle; the Englishman added the shirt.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
Ruffle wardrobe & styling by Etxart & Panno
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Pirate” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

What:

An early Sunday evening dinner in the courtyard garden of Louie Bossi on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Why:

The energy inside “Louie Bossi” is infectious, the crowd vibrant and the food fantastic. The sprawling dining area, which is flanked by an open-air kitchen, gives way to a warmly-lit bar, but it’s what’s in back of the restaurant that’s truly special…

With shabby/chic decor, iron rod trimmings and ivy-drenched walls, the covered patio garden has the charm of an Italian piazza with a hint of South Florida flair. That’s where I decided to enjoy my Spotlight experience.

I started with three adult beverages: Pineapple Martini, Aperol Spritz and Bossi Beer.

The martini started sweet (with infused pineapple vodka,) but ended spicy, thanks to well-placed oil chili drops. The spritzer (said in my best Long Island accent) was smooth and refreshing with Prosecco, club soda and Aperol (which is a sweet Italian aperitif.) I also tried a glass of the light and fruity Birra Di Bossi (a basil-orange pilsner.) Hmmm…I love me a good light beer and live for a great martini, but it’s the spritzer I was gaga for — nothing like some icy goodness on a hot summer day.

Warm homemade bread, smelling divine, arrived at the table. It was so soft and good-looking, I think I was actually flirting with it. 😗

Almost everything at “Louie Bossi” is made from scratch; you can totally tell by how each delicious carb melts in your mouth (to think this started as a fashion blog!) There’s nothing like homemade bread and pasta — sorry Prada, you got nada… on this.

As of late, foodies in South Florida can’t get enough of the octopus trend and doing Spotlight means I’ve had it “every which way but loose.” That being said, “Louie Bossi’s” Spanish version, served with fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes, is as good as it gets. It’s grilled to perfection, with hints of wood-burning yumminess. I’m told it’s a customer favorite and I can see why.

Talk about impressive: our curated Charcuterie Board was off the charts. Not only was it awe-inspiring to look at, but mixing and matching the cheese, meats and other goodies was a taste bud awakening.

Here’s a list of some of our samplings: three different kinds of salami, Di Parma, Burrata, Pecorino, Robiola, Fontina Vale D’ Astota, figs, almonds, bread sticks and a mix of pickled red peppers, paprika peppers and corn flakes.

I tried two main entrees — the tender and flaky Grilled Bronzino (made with with parsley, chilies and capers.) It came with a side of mind-blowing cauliflower. As a writer, I’ve never used “mind-blowing” and “cauliflower” in the same sentence, but I’m not even joking. It’s crazy good, mixed in some secret pesto sauce.

If you prefer something meatier, try the Ribeye. I got the 24 ounce “sliced for two” (cooked medium.) It came with a side of Cacio E Pepe. Oh, pasta Gods, why do you do this to me? Of course, if you know me, steak and spaghetti are my two favorite foods on earth. So, I was pretty much in hog heaven. I’d be lying if I didn’t go on and on about the pasta. Tossed with pecorino Romano and cracked pepper, it’s love in a bowl. Simple and delicious (served in a heated dish.)

I started screaming: “It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday!” when dessert showed up. Technically, it’s not until next month, but with its celebratory nature, I couldn’t help myself. LOL. 😍

The gigantic plate was jammed-packed with Italian classics: Cannoli with pistachio, Tiramisu, Gelato, Budino Cioccolata (which is like custard or pudding,) cookies and, last but not least, cheesecake with a sparkler to boot. Holy sweets, Batman! The cheesecake was another level of fabulousness. I washed it all down with a Fumoso (a smoky Limoncello made with dry ice.)

When you’re a foodie, falling for “Louie Bossi” is pretty easy: it’s got it all. What I like most is the QUALITY. It’s first class and when you work hard for your money, it feels good spending it on something that’s WORTH IT and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

When:

Monday-Thursday 11:30am-1am
Friday & Saturday 11:30am-2pm
Sunday 10am-1am

Where:

Louie Bossi
1032 E Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale 33301

Be Social:
FB: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria
IG: @louiebossi
Twitter: @LouieBossi

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.Julia Child
James Woodley Photography
Producer/Styling: Jackie Kay
Body Suit: Lilac & Lilies Boutique, Skirt: Hollen & Jen Vintage,
Necklace: BCGB South Beach, Purse: Koko & Palenki Aventura
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Shabby/chic” Auerbach

UnderCover

What:

Sophisticated and fashionable swimsuit cover-ups by Carlos Marrero, who also happens to be my favorite scarf designer.

Why:

“If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” — it’s a saying a lot of South Florida fashionistas live by, but what if you’re still working on IT or prefer keeping IT “UnderCover?”

Like any tanned and toned Miami beach bunny (okay, so I’m pale and always trying to get in shape,) I love a good swimsuit, but I prefer one that expresses fashion, not one that shows off what the good Lord gave me. My grandmother always used to say: “Leave something to the imagination”.. She’d obviously never been to Miami in the summer. I’m sweating just writing this. Anyhow…

Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s the fear of people picking me apart because I’m on television, but I always try for class and comfort when it comes to swimwear. Besides, sometimes “lady bits” can be overrated (actually, any kind of “bits” can be).

And…

What I wear WITH my swimsuit is just as crucial: hat, sunglasses and the all-important cover-up. Living in the tropics is always a challenge style-wise because of the heat and humidity; add fashion sensibility to the list and finding the perfect summer pieces can be downright difficult.

But thanks to the Marrero Collection by Carlos Marrero, my “UnderCover” warm weather wardrobe just got a major upgrade. BTW, Carlos and I just worked on the blog “Summer Chic”, showcasing his new scarf designs, but we also featured his new cover-up collection.

The designs were literally hot off the presses when they appeared on Deco Drive, allowing us no time for a photo shoot for Favorite Things. I was so enamored with the cover-ups, I asked Carlos if we could feature them during #MiamiSwimWeek as an ode to all things fun in the sun. Plus, his new creations were featured during this year’s worldwide swimwear extravaganza on South Beach.

I love the light and airy personality of his designs, but its the textures — bold, sexy and feminine — that truly makes them something special. Carlos gets that whole beach-to-pool thing, too and it’s expressed in the line’s versatility. I chose to style four of his cover-ups for my particular lifestyle.

While I love the beach, I’m not a sun worshipper, per se. I enjoy walking the shore line, watching the sun rise or set or just taking time for myself to feel the positive and healing energy of the ocean. During those moments I dress for (as I mentioned before) class and comfort, but also for myself. I love being able to throw something on and feel effortlessly put together.

If you’re looking to give your summer/pool/beach/party wardrobe some fashion-forward pizzazz or you just wanna look great while going “UnderCover” — you’ll love the Marrero Collection cover-ups; they’re one of my Favorite Things and I’m sure after you toss one on, they’ll be yours, too.

Happy Shopping!

P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

Where:

marrerocollection.com

Be Social:
IG: @camarrero
FB: @marrerocollection
Twitter: @camarrero

But people are oceans, she shrugged. You cannot know them by their surface.Beau Taplin/Surfaces
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
All cover-up’s by Marrero Collection
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Class and Comfort” Auerbach