• Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

     Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

     Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

     Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

     Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

     Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

     Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

     Shireen’s Spotlight: Mignonette

    What:

    An early dinner at one of the best oyster & seafood bars in Miami: Mignonette, the Uptown location.

    Why:

    I’ve always been a big fan of Danny Serfer…

    If you open Uber Eats on my iPhone, his restaurant, “Blue Collar”, is the first thing that pops up. I love that place, including the fact that it’s attached to a somewhat shady hotel. You can’t beat the food, though, it’s freaking genius and when I drive by on the weekends, there’s a line snaking around the building for brunch. It’s got major food moxie and Miami loves it.

    Danny’s not only a great chef, he REALLY knows food. Anything that comes out of his kitchen is made with thought-provoking creativity and an innate sensibility. What’s more, he does it without all the snobbery that typically comes along with the “foodie culture” in South Florida.

    In other words, he doesn’t look down on people like me who don’t have a full grasp on all the cheeses in the world or where pink peppercorn is grown, which sometimes is in the grassy area of the parking lot at his latest restaurant, Mignonette (the Uptown location.) It’s a special place that reminds me of something you’d see in Brooklyn or even Manhattan’s west side.

    The 40’s-style diner car (which has been some sort of greasy spoon since the 80’s) has been easily re-purposed into a seafood lover’s paradise, with tiled floors, cushy booths and a long bar that reaches all the way across the dining room. Its rotating seafood menu is on a nostalgic marquee above the kitchen and features what’s fresh for the day. More specifically, oysters.

    From the raw bar, I started #Spotlight with a dozen West Coasters from Washington Sate (served with fresh lemon, cocktail & mignonette sauce.) Though smaller than East Coast oysters, they’re just as tasty. The fluted shells make for a sweeter, plumper meat.

    Our server paired the platter with a delicious white wine from France (Sancerre from the Loire valley.) I also tried it with some champagne (Voirin-Jumel Brut.) A girl can never go wrong with bubbly and oysters.

    One of the best appetizers at Mignonette Uptown is the Buffalo Scallops. Not only is it beautifully plated (with gorgonzola, crisp chicken skin and hot sauce,) it tastes phenomenal.

    It’s the first dish my photographer, James and I, have actually fought over since starting the blog (and we’ve been doing this awhile.) For the record, James doesn’t even like scallops, but apparently, he’s a changed man. #UltimateFoodCompliment

    The popular appetizer is perfect when paired with a super-light Muscadet (Domaine Des Trois Toits.) Don’t worry if you don’t know your way around a wine menu; the servers are extremely helpful with suggestions.

    If you have more of a savory palette, like I do, Smoked Oysters served with creme fraiche, housemade jalapeño hot sauce and baked saltines won’t disappoint. A sip or two of the 2015 Tabalas Creek, Patelin de Tablas Blanc, will bring out the salty, smoked-filled goodness. 😊

    I’ve heard through the “food vine” Mignonette’s Lobster Roll (dripped in drawn butter, served on a Portuguese roll with a heaping pile of fries) is the BEST thing on the menu and for the record, I agree. How good is it? Put it this way, it’s now on my “dead woman walking” food list. I tried it with a Banshee 2016 Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast. Hmmm…Lord have mercy! I can’t wait to go back for more (wine & lobster.)

    If you love fresh fish, there’s always a special of the day or you can go with a mainstay like Faroe Island Salmon, served with yummy orzo in a saffron broth. For this dish, we switched to a light Chinon Cabernet.

    If you’re more adventurous and like trying a bit of everything, the Fish Stew (Bouillabaisse) is loaded with shrimp, clams, mussels, octopus and white fish. Julia Child would be proud; it was one of the late iconic chef’s favorite plates and tough to make. And good news: you can pair it with pretty much any drink.

    Last but not least, you won’t forget to eat your veggies after you taste Mignonette’s famous herbivore dish. You choose four greens and/or starches from a diverse list, creating your own plate geared toward personal taste and/or diet restrictions.

    I had beets with blue cheese and hazelnuts, roasted cauliflower, charred sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus. I’m not one to go on about vegetables, but they really are the bomb-dot-com. I prefer meat, but these were surprisingly delicious.

    And, drumroll please….

    Pastry Chef Devin Braddock treated James and I to her amazing Valrhona Chocolate Hazelnut Pie, snuggled into something called: Devin’s Magic shell (it’s served with malted ice cream.) It was WOW x2. A close second? Her extra moist Red Velvet Cake. #HeavenInMyMouth

    For me, Mignonette Uptown is a no-brainer when it comes to really fresh, high quality seafood served in a laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere. Plus, it’s not every day one gets to break bread (or in this case, crack a shell or shuck an oyster) in a really cool retro diner car and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

    Where:

    Mignonette (Uptown)
    13951 Biscayne Boulevard
    North Miami Beach, Florida 33181

    When:

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

    *Worth mentioning — Mignonette Uptown’s amazing Happy Hour which is daily 5:30-7pm & 10pm until close. You get 25 percent off all bottles of wine and oysters start at $1 (bar seating only.)

    www.mignonettemiami.com

    305-705-2159

    Be Social
    FB: @mignonettemia
    IG: @mignonetteuptwn
    Twitter: @mignonetteuptwn

    If you don’t love life you can’t enjoy an oyster; there is a shock of freshness to it and intimations of the ages of man, some piercing intuition of the sea and all its weeds and breezes. They shiver you for a split second.Eleanor Clark
    James Woodley Photography
    Styling: Jackie Kay
    Wardrobe: @bcbgsouthbeach
    Clutch: @Dennisham_Designs
    Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
    Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
    Editor: Matthew “Aw, Shucks” Auerbach
  • ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    What:

    Turning up the wattage on my Holiday wardrobe, because a girl can never go wrong wearing sequins from November through December (and some other stuff I felt like writing about, too.)

    Why:

    My editor, Matty, always says when you’re a writer: “There’s nothing scarier than a blank computer screen staring you in the face.” He hates the blinking black cursor, too. “It’s like it’s taunting you, making fun of the fact you have writer’s block,” he quips with his brash New York sensibility. I agree.

    I don’t have writer’s block, per se, but I’m torn between writing a deep moving piece about what the holidays mean to me verses what I like wearing during the “most wonderful time of the year.” So, with fair warning: this blog is a bit of both. If you’re a regular reader, you know I have fragile health, so the next paragraph is a must-read.

    I feel GOOD, better, stronger (not my body, necessarily, but my mind) and THAT is a powerful thing. After hurricane Irma, I struggled A LOT, which I know most of us did, but a few weeks later (when things got back to normal,) I went through a surprising mini-transformation. The storm gave me a sense of strength I didn’t know I still had. I thought my GBS/CIDP had, frankly, beat it out of me. It didn’t.

    Exhausted, I pushed through almost two weeks with no power, a major knee injury and a hole in my heart; I worried about everyone and everything around me. My little family was struggling, but instead of letting trauma divide us, it brought us closer together. After the storm…

    I de-cluttered my house and personal closet (which is no easy task when you’re a fashionista.) I did so partially because of storm damage, but also because I needed to for my sanity. I got rid of STUFF (from a previous relationship) that was weighing me down. We all know how that extra “baggage” goes. After I was done, I could hear the parapsychologist from the 1982 movie “Poltergeist” saying matter-of-factly: “This house is clean.” Next…

    I focused on elevating my performance at work (on TV); paying close attention to skills that often fall by the wayside because of age and experience. I took notes, worked on inflections, breathing and mulled over what it meant to be an entertainment journalist in 2017.

    I also took a few days off, left Miami and spent time with my family. THIS always helps me, because I feel loved, nurtured and part of something more important than the rat race of my career. As I’ve grown older, spending quality time with special people is food for the soul.

    During my mini-transformation, I also found out I have high blood pressure — like, dangerously high; forcing me to re-evaluate the necessary and cut out the evil (like gas station wine, turkey jerky, needy people, DRAMA and anything or anyone high maintenance.) I’m slim and watch what I eat, but STRESS is trying to kill me. Imagine the humor I find in that.

    I survived some crazy virus that wreaked havoc on my nerves & immune system and now, high blood pressure wants to have its way with me? Take a number and stand in line. 😂

    As the year gallops toward its end, my mini-transformation has given me a deeper sense of gratitude and thankfulness which, coincidentally, is how a lot of us feel around Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years. The holidays are special for a lot of different reasons, but as a woman, it’s a time when I do a little more for the people I love, my house and my wardrobe. And, MAN, do I eat it all up (literally & figuratively)…

    The generosity of spirit, the togetherness, the food & drink (turkey and stuffing is my favorite,) my Christmas tree and especially the extra sparkle and shine I add into my #OOTD. That’s where Vchic Boutique in Hallandale comes in.

    It’s just one of those places where you can always find what you’re looking for and moreover, something special: a great top, a fabulous dress, a sexy romper.

    Owner Andreina Hernandez, who happens to be a gorgeous brunette with a smoking hot body, knows fashion, but in a way that’s romantic, feminine and chic — all the things I believe clothing should be. “For the holidays, it’s all about the sequin,” she says, as she describes what’s in for the woman who wants to dress on trend.

    “You can wear them day or night, you just have to commit to one color scheme,” she adds. Avoid looking like a holiday display by keeping your sequins to one portion of the body (top or bottom.) If it’s a full-on glittery dress, accessories should be simple. AND, if you’re showing a lot of leg, cover your boobs and vice versa. Leaving something to the imagination is a gift we can all appreciate.

    Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30 p.m. as we go inside Vchic Boutique and get dressed up for the holidays. From day to night, work to play, ‘Tis the Sequin…is one of my Favorite Things and I’m hoping it will be yours, too. ✨

    Where:

    Vchic Boutique
    1011 Hallandale Beach Blvd.
    Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009

    When:

    Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm

    www.vchicstore.com

    Be Social:
    IG: @vchicstore
    FB: @vchicstore

    I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.Lady Gaga

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    Sequins by #annieSS

    James Woodley Photography
    Holiday looks by @Vchicstore
    Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
    Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
    Editor: Matthew “I Can’t Think Of Anything” Auerbach