Shireen’s Spotlight: Ms. Cheezious

Shireen’s Spotlight: Ms. Cheezious

Shireen’s Spotlight: Ms. Cheezious

Shireen’s Spotlight: Ms. Cheezious

Shireen’s Spotlight: Ms. Cheezious

Shireen’s Spotlight: Ms. Cheezious

Shireen’s Spotlight: Ms. Cheezious

What:

Bennys & Bellinis every SUNDAY at Ms. Cheezious in the MIMO District.

Why:

Just when you thought Ms. Cheezious couldn’t get any better with it’s mind-blowing cheese-centric sandwiches, they’re now serving “Bennys & Bellinis” at their MIMO eatery. I stopped by last weekend to sip and savor some of their new menu items and of course, enjoy some of their killer classics.

All Bennys are served with home fries, field greens and your choice of a Bellini (Mixed Berry, Rosemary Pear or Pineapple Mango.) I sampled all three frothy flavors; Rosemary Pear was my favorite. I don’t like sweet alcoholic drinks, but this one had a nice balance. As for my Benny…

I was blown away by the “Lobster Benedict” (made with Maine Lobster, poached eggs, citrus hollandaise and house-made English Muffins.) The eggs were poached to perfection — and the muffins? Hello, my moist and fluffy new friends. The dish also comes with a smattering of caviar placed ever so lightly on top of the lobster. Other Benny choices include Fried Bologna Biscuit, Braised Pork, Black Bean and Frita (beef & chorizo). For Brunch, they also serve a house-made Maine Lobster Bisque.

I couldn’t leave Ms. Cheezious without enjoying what they’re famous for, so I munched on a Mackin Melt (creamy gouda mac n’ cheese with house cured bacon on sourdough bread). If you haven’t tried this beauty, it’s a cheese-lover’s dream. Sure, watching my television figure is a full-time job, but this baby is worth every single decadent high calorie bite.

I also tried the Pesto Melt (house-made pesto, tomatoes and provolone cheese on parmesan-crusted sourdough bread.) It’s like taking a bite out of Italy. The pesto was incredibly flavorful and the crusty, cheese bread easily satiated my usual carb cravings. I washed it all down with a heaven-sent Cotton Candy Milkshake. I’d rattle off all of its ingredients, but frankly, it was so delicious, it just doesn’t matter.

The thing I love most about Ms. Cheezious (besides all the delicious food) is its humble roots, spreading its cheesy love throughout the Magic City by way of a food truck. People loved it so much, they were able to expand with two brick and mortar restaurants (in Coral Gables & MIMO). Now, rumor has it, Ms Cheezious is getting its own franchise, all while keeping its original concept right here in South Florida. If that’s not a bunch of ooey-gooey goodness, I don’t know what is! And, that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.

When:

Brunch is every Sunday from 11am-3pm. Normal hours are Monday through Sunday 11am-11pm

Where:

7418 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33138

www.mscheezious.com
Twitter: @MsCheezious, IG: @mscheezious, FB: Ms. Cheezious

Cheese, wine and friends must be old to be good.A cheesy proverb
James Woodley Photography
Produced & Styled by Jackie Kay
Wardrobe provided by www.VChicstore.com IG: @vchicstore
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Bologna Biscuit” Auerbach

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather

What:

Spicing up your fall wardrobe with Vegan Leather from BCBG on Lincoln Road, South Beach.

Why:

Fall, how I love thee; let me count the ways: Vogue’s September Issue, Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, distressed ankle booties, worn-in jean jackets, New York Fashion Week and all of my fellow fashionistas who post autumn-inspired styles on Instagram…

Sadly, I can only enjoy these cool weather trappings in the comfort of my own home, with the air-conditioner on full blast! I’m not kidding, either; I keep my place a crisp 69 degrees. I weep when the electric bill comes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My fellow Magic City fashionistas know exactly what I’m talking about…

As soon you step outside (into the searing heat and humidity,) FALL tends to be the last thing on your mind. In other words, forget about anything snuggly-wuggly, I’d just rip it off to avoid breaking out into a full sweat. With that being said, it’s always a bit tricky finding fall fashions that are befitting of South Florida’s tropical weather.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to work with BCBG on Lincoln Road, especially since they suggested “Vegan Leather” (perfect for our fall weather.) Not only are we living in a time when people want to know what they’re putting inside their bodies, but they also wanna know what they’re putting on them, too.

“Vegan Leather” contains no animal by-products and is usually made with cork or kelp-based materials. It’s pliable, breathable and less expensive than the real thing. BCBG’s vegan pieces are easy to mix and match, too. I especially love their rich jewel tones that easily suggest a change in season, without layers upon layers of material. Besides the great vegan dresses, jackets, tanks, shirts and skirts…

They also have fabulous accessories and a killer selection of open-toed booties (to help save a girl’s feet from the heat!) If that weren’t enough, have you seen BCBG’s South Beach store? It’s awe-inspiring; brimming with the bold and the beautiful of all things fashionable. Even though there are a few more months before Florida feels a slight chill in the air, “Vegan Leather” can easily get you started on your tropical fall wardrobe and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.

When:

Monday-Wednesday 10am-10pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-12am & Sunday 11am-11pm.

Where:

Lincoln Road Mall, 744 Lincoln Road, Miami Florida 33139

IG: @bcbgsouthbeach
www.bcbg.com

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.William Cullen Bryant

James Woodley Photography
Styling by Jackie Kay
(All Vegan Leather wardrobe & accessories provided by BCBG, South Beach)
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Snuggly-Wuggly” Auerbach

special thanks to Marina of BCBG

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

Shireen’s Spotlight: Glass And Vine (est. 2015)

What:

Brunch at Glass And Vine, 2820 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133

Why:

If you like being surrounded by nature and dining on delicious garden delights, Glass And Vine is an intimate retreat you’re sure to fall madly in love with. The seaside hidden treasure isn’t just tranquil, it’s the kind of place that makes you wanna linger, lounging until the day disappears. That’s exactly what I did on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I stopped by to try out their weekend brunch.

The Restaurant (which boasts a bright and airy interior) has the most amazing multi-level patio overlooking Peacock Park. Perhaps its best feature, though, are the gigantic fans they use to keep their outside area cool, comfortable and seemingly bug free. I quickly found a table with a nice breeze and sat down to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Spotlight started with the strong, yet subtle “Parkside Sour” (made with gin, celery, cucumber, thai basil and lemon.) Next, I sipped on the spicy “Yellow Submarine” (made with tequila, apple, a mix of local citrus and cayenne.) This was definitely my favorite because I love drinks that have a kick. The “White Sangria” was extra refreshing, different and on the dry side (made with vihno verde, Sauvignon Blanc and chablis and fresh fruit.)

There aren’t enough words in the human vernacular to express my complete love and adoration for the “Watermelon Salad” (a mix of lime crema, cotija cheese, cilantro and jalapeño.) Never in my right mind would I group these different tastes and textures together (good thing I’m not a chef, because everyone would totally be missing out.) This plate was incredibly fresh, bursting with flavor, colors and next to nothing in the calorie department.

If you love sweet treats for brunch, the “Semolina Pancakes” (made with buttermilk and lemon) are delicious and the vanilla-maple syrup and whipped butter are the icing on the cake, so to speak. If you’re into savory, like I am, the “Wooden Oven Baked Eggs” are mind-blowing! And get this: it’s made with cauliflower-cured meat (among other things.) Yes, I said cauliflower! Trust me, though, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever wrapped my lips around. If you’re a health nut, you can’t go wrong with their “G & V Granola Bowl” (complete with cashews, grains, seeds, dried fruit and coconut/lime yogurt.)

What’s brunch without a little dessert? I’d heard a lot about their “Olive Oil Magic Shell,” which definitely made me wanna try it. It didn’t disappoint, either (made with 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, olive oil, toasted panko breadcrumbs and candied cocoa nibs.) It had me basking in dessert bliss, until the “Eaton Mess” showed up at the table.

I’d never heard of it before. Apparently, it’s an English favorite named after a school there. They serve it at cricket matches. Glass And Vine’s yummy take on it is passion fruit, passion fruit sorbet, condensed milk, whipped cream and meringue citrus. Forget what team you’re on, everyone’s a winner when they eat a bowl of this!

If you want an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Magic City, but still desire the quality of food and service Miami is known for, “Glass and Vine” is simply divine and I’m pretty sure Mother Nature would give it two green thumbs-up and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.

When:

Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30am-3:30pm
Dinner: Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-11:00pm, Friday-Saturday 5:30pm-11pm, Sunday 5pm-10pm
Brunch: Saturday 11am-3:30pm, Sunday 11am-3:30pm

Where:

Glass And Vine is snuggled inside the lush greenery of Peacock Park in Coconut Grove. There’s valet to the side of the restaurant and there’s also a public parking lot a short walk away (by the water.) Everything about this place, including its surroundings, will make you want to enjoy nature; just make sure you wear your bug spray. Cheers!

www.glassandvine.com
FB: Glass And Vine Est. 2015, IG: @glassandvine

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.Lao Tzu
James Woodley Photography
Produced by Jessie Rosario
Styling: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe provided by Kore Boutique, IG @KoreBoutique
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Eatin’ Mess” Auerbach
Special thanks to Brustman Carrino PR

Designing Women

Designing Women

Designing Women

Designing Women

Designing Women

Designing Women

Designing Women

Designing Women

Designing Women

What:

A room made especially for me by Interior designer, Anya Cesar, at the Home Design & Remodeling Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Why:

I love fashion so much it spills into every aspect of my life, so imagine my delight when I got a call from the “Home Design & Remodeling Show” asking if I was interested in having a room designed full of my Favorite Things. Hello?! YES. Sign me up STAT.

I was paired with Interior Designer, Anya Cesar — a beautiful, young, vivacious woman who turned the tables on me (journalistically speaking.) In a series of text messages and phone calls, she asked about my life, career and travels. During our conversations, I often found myself verklempt, as I’m used to being the one asking the questions. Perhaps she sensed my reporter trepidation: she suggested we meet in person.

We got to know one another over a few adult beverages at Soyka Restaurant, where Anya quizzed me on the things that inspired me. She also came armed with design books filled with different colors, materials and textures which opened up a dialogue about my favorite flowers, trinkets, pillows and candles. Anya was beyond thorough, disarming me with her charm and gracious spirit. Fast forward a month later…

Anya and I came face-to-face again, this time in front of the room she designed for me at the “Home Design & Remodeling Show” at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It was literally my personality brought to life. MIND BLOWN. I was completely enamored. In the center of the room was a gorgeous day bed/lounging sofa draped in white fabric with a plethora of pillows. Think “Out of Africa” meets “Vanity Fair”, but that’s not all. It was the smallest touches that meant so much.

I love Wedgwood because my mother is an artist and spent years of her career painting it. Anya used accent pieces featuring the pattern, making the space that much more personal. She also mixed a vintage mirror, a shell chandelier, an old glamorous suit-case, a black patent pocket book and a pair of kicked-off high heel shoes to say “Shireen lives here.”

Of course, I adore vintage, am seduced by the ocean, have traveled the world and if you’re a regular blog reader, do I even have to say how much I love shoes and purses? Anya also painted the walls an aqua colored blue (one of my favorite colors) and highlighted it with a subtle wallpaper that upon closer examination sparkled oh-so-subtly with glitter. As she showed me the space, I was transported to a better version of myself.

What I mean is, she took all the things I love about life and put them into a room that felt intriguing, interesting and tranquil. Not an easy feat. When she asked me what I liked I said: “A bit of everything really.” In the end, we both came to the conclusion that the room was inspired by a Bohemian Gypsy with a Moroccan flair.

What an experience, to be around someone so creative. While I’m busy picking out fashions and finding the right words to express those styles, Anya is busy picking out decor (and so much more) to fill our empty spaces with warmth, meaning and personality and that’s why “Designing Women” is one of my favorite things.

When:

Check out their Fall show at The Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale on November 18th-20th and in the Spring on May 26th-29th, 2017. For more information log into www.homeshows.net or follow the show on social media: Twitter: @FLHomeShows, FB: Home Design and Remodeling Show, IG: @flhomeshows

info@homeshows.net
1450 Madruga Avenue #301
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-667-9299
(888) 353-EXPO Toll Free

Where:

Interested in having Anya design your dream room? www.anyarenisedesigngroup.com or catch-up with her on social media: IG: @anyarenisedesigngroup, Twitter: @anyarenise, FB: Anya Cesar

The home should be the treasure chest of living.Le Corbusier

James Woodley Photography
Produced by Shireen Sandoval
Styling: Jackie Kay
Dress by Banana Republic
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew ” Verklempt” Auerbach

Special Thanks to Lisa Morales from Allegory Public Relations

Shireen’s Spotlight: Novecento

Shireen’s Spotlight: Novecento

Shireen’s Spotlight: Novecento

Shireen’s Spotlight: Novecento

Shireen’s Spotlight: Novecento

Shireen’s Spotlight: Novecento

What:

Novecento at The Shops of Midtown, 3201 Buena Vista Ave, Miami Florida 33127

Why:

When I first sank my teeth into Novecento’s Beef Empanada, I knew instantly I was about to have an outrageous Spotlight love affair — and, well, I was right. I tried the Chicken & Cheese Empanada next and wow! The crust, which was baked to golden perfection, was just a precursor to its inside ooey-gooey deliciousness.

Before I devoured my next appetizer, the bar sent over its most popular drinks. I loved the Moscow Mule (made with vodka, ginger beer and lime) because it was strong and smooth, but the Scottish Lemonade really knocked my socks off (made with scotch, whiskey, apple juice, basil leaves and fresh lemon juice.) I enjoyed the unusual taste of the Le Poire’, too (made with vodka, lime juice, black pepper and simple syrup.) If you’re adventurous, this drink’s for you.

The Pulpo A La Parrilla (grilled octopus with prosciutto) was my next starter. It was extremely tender and the Potato Confit it’s served with gave it a great complimentary texture. The Tuna Tartar with Shrimp (Tartar De Atun y Camaron,) made with tuna, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, avocado, scallion, mozzarella, caviar and marinated in a soy/balsamic vinaigrette, was a carnival of fresh flavors. For a little crunch, mini-toasted baguettes are served on top. The combination is incredibly tasty. 😋

My main course arrived in all its meaty Ribeye glory (served with roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed spinach.) The steak was beyond delicious and cooked to my exact liking – medium well; despite being well-cooked, it was still tender and juicy. I can’t remember the last time I had such a great steak. For dessert…

I had the Trio consisting of Flan, Crepes and Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Belgium Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Ice Cream. This yummy plate, which is big enough to share (I could hardly put a dent in it,) was sinfully amazing. I liked the Lava Cake best. The food at Novecento is exceptional and I like the atmosphere, too.

I went last Friday evening for Spotlight and the mood was relaxed, casual, but at the same time, chic. The restaurant describes itself as a “European Cafe with an Argentinian flair.” I couldn’t agree more, but you have to throw in its Italian sensibility. They hand-make killer pasta and take their love of wine seriously. With that being said, here’s the bottom line: there’s something for everyone at Novecento and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things. Cheers!

When:

Monday-Friday 12pm-11pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am-1am.

Where:

In Midtown Miami on the corner of NE 32nd Street & Buena Vista Boulevard. There’s a parking garage conveniently located across the street from the restaurant and the rates are pretty decent for Miami.

If you’re in good with the asphalt Gods, perhaps you can nab a spot on the street. If so, just make sure you feed the meter because the parking police are ruthless in this part of the city.

www.novecento.com
Instagram: @novecentomidtown, Twitter: @900Midtown, FB: Novecento Midtown

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.Francois De La Rochefoucauld
James Woodley Photography
Produced by Shireen Sandoval
Styling: Jackie Kay
wardrobe provided by www.VChicStore.com
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “The Moscow Mule” Auerbach