Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

 

What:

A Friday night menu tasting at PINCH Kitchen in MIMO; where a hipster vibe meets neighborhood sensibility.

Why:

From the outside “PINCH Kitchen” is modest and unassuming but inside, it’s a whole other story. The moment you walk through the door, you know you’ve stumbled onto something special.

The kitchen, which is visible from its front dining room, buzzes with foodie excitement, but not in an intimidating way. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Warm, welcoming and generous with their time, everyone who works at PINCH is eager to please and educate customers on what makes dining there a singular experience.

From its black and white textured floors, tiled eat-in bar to its art speckled walls, the “New American Cuisine” restaurant is original and inspiring.

My spotlight experience started with a curated dinner menu and a glass of unfiltered blended white wine (Rivera Del Notro from Chile). I’ve had unfiltered sake before, but never wine: its fruity aroma gave way to a crisp, bold taste.

In full disclosure, when it comes to alcohol I don’t really discriminate, but word is unfiltered wine is better for you, leaving you with less of a hangover, if any at all.

With that being said, PINCH has a really great selection of unfiltered wines (as well as unusual beers.) They have the normal stuff, too, but no hard liquor.

My first dish, which was a gorgeous combination of “Organic Beets & Carrots” was fresh, healthy and extremely delicious. The beets were speckled with goat cheese, raisins and pistachios and the carrots came with a yummy tzatziki to dip them in.

The “Spanish Octopus” was spicy and served on siamese dragon (mixed greens from Thailand). I especially enjoyed the “Langostinos” which came on top of local green mangos, ginger dressing and watercress. Although not listed in its ingredients, I could have sworn they used a heaping helping of cilantro. Yummy.

The “Aussie Lamb Chops’ topped with Chermoula (a spiced marinade used in North Africa,) were succulent and perfectly balanced with summertime succotash. That succotash, STOP. It was the bomb-dot-com. I was raised a vegan, so, I’m the type of person who gets excited over kale. This mix is on my radar for my next visit.

For dessert, a warm and inviting “Orange Chocolate Souffle” was served. I loved how they hollowed out half an orange and baked the souffle into cloud-like perfection.

After dinner & dessert, I felt good, not full, not overly bloated, just right and I can’t remember the last time I said that after a meal. It’s really no surprise, though, because John Gallos & Rene Reyes, who are the brains behind PINCH Kitchen, know food.

Not only are they skilled chefs, they’re smart business partners, both with solid pedigrees, working and honing their skills in some of the best restaurants Miami has to offer. After studying and working their butts off (they didn’t tell me that, but one can assume,) they opened their own baby.

A pinch of this and a pinch of that is how they make food, hence the restaurant’s name. For them, it’s a true creative process that can be summed up with what they call: “Small Bites, Big Impact” and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

PINCH Kitchen
Miami Upper Eastside
8601 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, Florida 33138
305-631-2018

www.pinchmiami.com

When:

Lunch
Tuesday – Friday 11:30am-4:30pm

Brunch
Saturday & Sunday
10:30am-4:30pm

Dinner
Tuesday – Friday 6-11pm
Saturday 6pm-11pm
Sunday 6pm-10pm

Be Social
IG: @pinchmiami
FB: @pinchmiami
Twitter: @PinchMiami

A Pinch of probability is worth a pound of perhaps.James Thurber
James Woodley Photography
Outfit: @filomenafernandez
Purse: @DVF
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “The Siamese Dragon” Auerbach

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

What:

A new rest & relaxation treatment called “Timeless Capsule” at Ritz-Carlton, South Beach and yes, it only takes 12 minutes. The question is: does it really work?

Why:

My daily life is crazy. It goes something like this…

Alarm, iPhone, computer, coffee, eat, work-out, shower, sit in traffic, get to work, hair, make-up, meet early writing deadlines, live television, eat, meet late writing deadlines, live television, drive home, sleep, repeat.

In between those moments — there are blogs to be written, pictures to be taken, social media postings to be tended to, a boyfriend to spend time with, a dog to be loved and a life to be lived. Who has time for rest & relaxation?

Well, according to the good folks over at Ritz-Carlton, South Beach (who’ve just given their spa a gorgeous renovation,) I actually DO have time.

Maybe not a lot of it, but just enough to give myself a much-needed break during one of my hectic days.

It’s called: “Timeless Capsule” and it only takes 12 minutes.

It’s a specialized seating area of the spa featuring two massage chairs.

One is called “Fusion + Studio” — the other — “ZG Recliner.”

I chose the recliner because it reminded me of something you would see on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, plus it promised a zero gravity-like effect. I always wanted to be a stylish astronaut.

BTW, during your quick beauty fix there’s no disrobing, sticky oils or excess creams that usually leave you looking like a hot mess.

Instead, you just wear your work clothes and have a seat. Once you’ve reclined (under the watchful eye of a therapist,) your scalp or neck and feet are rubbed into submission and the “ZG Recliner” does, in fact, suspend you into a neutral position.

During my time in the pod area, the pain I usually feel in my lower back, hips and knees grew weaker until it eventually subsided and before I knew it, I was surprisingly relaxed. It was H-E-A-V-E-N.

Tonight on Deco Drive, we’re featuring the “Fusion + Studio” chair as well, which uses sight, sound, touch and smell to relax you. Don’t miss the show at 7:30 & 11:30pm as we get totally zen (in no time at all.)

Life is busy, I get it, but taking time for yourself is as important as all the other stuff, even if it means squeezing in “The 12 Minute Escape” and yes, it works; that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
One Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/miami/south-beach

Be Social

FB: @ritzcarltonsouthbeach
IG: @ritzcarlton #SouthBeach
Twitter: @RitzCarlton #SouthBeach

A woman’s beauty is not a gift to man – only a bribe.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
dress: @bcbgsouthbeach
jewelry: @yvonnerose.shop
purse: @stevemadden
Styling: Jackie Kay
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Recliner” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Rusty Pelican

What:

Saturday morning Brunch at one of Miami’s most famous eateries: The Rusty Pelican.

Why:

Everyone knows about “The Rusty Pelican”…

It’s one of Miami’s most spectacular jewels, with sweeping water views highlighting the decadence of the Magic City skyline.

I’ll never forget the first time I dined there; I was absolutely mesmerized by the place. That was over ten years ago and a lot has changed since then.

Over the past year, the restaurant has undergone a major overhaul, recreating itself by updating its bar, dining room and menu.

Spotlighting dinner or brunch was a tough decision, but those exquisite water views and new brunch menu items helped make up my mind (don’t worry, I’ll go back for dinner.)

“The Rusty Pelican” has a really diverse bar menu, with Classic & Specialty Cocktails, but it was the “Gin & Tonic” section that really caught my eye.

Gin seems strong and tough to drink in the morning; in this case, it’s anything but. They use sophisticated Gins that will leave you satisfied and refreshed…

The “Thyme & Apricot” is the perfect example (made with Ford’s Gin, Thyme, Simple Syrup, Apricot, Green Peppercorn’s and Elderflower Tonic.) This drink not only looks like a summer day, it tastes like one, too.

My favorite, “RP Gin and Tonic (2017 Miami)” named after the Rusty Pelican, is made with Hendricks Gin, Fever Tree Tonic, Grapefruit, Black Pepper and Fennel. Fresh, light and easy on the eyes, it’s a MUST-TRY if you like something strong and delicious.

If you’re looking to stay cool while enjoying the sizzling summer view, go with the hydrating “Agua De Coco” (made with Bacardi Coconut, Coconut Water, Coconut Syrup Lime and Mint.) This drink is vacation in a glass and you can barely taste the rum. Gulpers beware.

Being a New Mexico girl and all, I’m a sucker for a good Huevos Rancheros breakfast and RP’s Executive Chef, Jim Pastor, really takes it up a notch by adding CRAB!

The “Crab Huevos Rancheros” is plated with three towers of deliciousness. Those towers include…

Pinto bean and Jalapeño puree, Organic Tomato Salsa, Blue Corn Tortilla, Cheese and one Egg Sunny Side up.

My mouth is watering just writing about it. It’s actually one of their most popular menu items, and for good reason, too. Instead of a slop of beans and what-have-you, the flavors are well-balanced and meticulously presented.

If you prefer sweet instead of salty, the “Hazelnut Chocolate Ricotta Pancakes” are moist and decadent. The Gold Dusted Cakes are topped with Mint Whip Cream and decorated with Blackberry Molasses Syrup and Strawberry Sand.

But WHY choose? If you like sweet and salty, go for the “Fried Chicken and Waffle”. Mmmmm…. this was mind-blowing and can easily be shared.

Made with an Organic Half Chicken, Orange Cinnamon Waffle and Blackened Grilled watermelon, you won’t be disappointed. The Sriracha Maple Syrup is the icing on the cake, so to speak.

“The Rusty Pelican” is one of those special places in Miami that you just have to experience.

If you want to see our city in all its glory (water, buildings, sunshine and blue skies,) while sipping on gin and eating a fantastic brunch, head to Key Biscayne and make an afternoon of it. “The Rusty Pelican” is definitely worth it and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

The Rusty Pelican
3201 Rickenbacker Causeway,
Key Biscayne, Florida 33149

Reservations: 305-361-3818

When:

Sunday-Thursday: 11am-11pm / Bar 11am-12am
Friday & Saturday 11am-12am / Bar 11am – 12am

$6 Valet Service

Be Social:
IG: @rustypelicanmiami
FB: @rustypelicanMiami
Twitter: @RustyPelicanMI

www.therustypelican.com

You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.Joseph Campbell
Special thanks to Gita Shonek
James Woodley Photography
dress: @anntaylor shoes: @Schutzoficial clutch: @hm
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Mmmmm” Auerbach

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

What:

A fashionable gathering at The Betsy Hotel celebrating Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter Trends 2017 with Fashion Group International of South Florida.

Why:

I’m always inspired by the world around me, especially stylish people and the chance to spend the afternoon with “Fashion Group International of South Florida” (A.K.A the movers and shakers of Miami fashion,) was no different.

The organization, which is a global, non-profit, professional group, is made up of people who help one another turn their stylish dreams into a fashionable reality. FGI also gives its members access to people who have insight into what’s going on in the fashionable world around them.

Enter: Shireen’s Favorite Things & Deco Drive TV.

As a Television Host/Fashion Reporter & Blogger, I was invited to take part in a special Q&A , alongside my stylist, Jackie Kay, about what’s going on in the world of Miami Fashion.

For about an hour (which was moderated by the amazing Tara Gilani, also known as the Trend Tracker,) we talked about clothing, accessories, shoes, social media, red carpets, movies, movie stars, TV shows, TV stars, politics and art, and how all of these topics shape the world around us and, in turn, produce fashion that’s more fluid, open, textured and incredibly provocative.

That’s exactly what the Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter 2017 Trend slide presentation expressed, too. When the group gets together, they view Haute Couture slide shows of the latest and greatest runway fashions from Milan, Paris, New York City, just to name a few.

In television, we tend to talk AT people, giving them all important information. I can’t help but wonder, though, if sometimes we’re truly listening. These days, information comes at a breakneck speed and having a conversation isn’t always the way we go about journalism, but the Q&A at the event was exactly that — a conversation.

And something I appreciated and learned from. Despite having strong opinions, I respect what others say; it opens up a much-needed dialogue in my mind about the all important ideas of what others think and feel.

Fashion isn’t just about what you put ON your body, it’s about the emotions it inspires, hence the “lifestyle” aspect of how designers promote themselves in this day and age.

Each blog I write is inspired by a happening in my life, but this one was also inspired by the look I chose to wear.

I saw the dress about a month ago on BCBG’s (South Beach) Instagram page. I fell in love with its romantic personality and boho sensuality.

With the help of my good friend Marina (who helps style me for BCBG,) we put together this special look and I knew I wanted to wear it to “A Stylish SoFlo Soiree”.

In a world where everything is changing at a rapid pace and what we feel, think and do about it actually matters, it’s nice to enjoy an afternoon with like-minded people who want more than just a nice outfit but also, a meaningful display of artistic expression…

And that’s why “A Stylish Soflo Soiree” is one of my favorite things.

Where:

Learn more about Fashion Group International at www.southflorida.fgi.org.

Be Social:
Twitter: @FGISouthFlorida
IG: @fgisouthflorida
FB: Fashion Group International, South Florida

Shot on location at www.betsyhotel.com
IG: @thebetsyhotel FB: @thebetsyhotel Twitter: @TheBetsyHotel

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.Robin Williams
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
dress, jewelry, belt, bag & shoes by BCBG South Beach @BCBGSouthBeach
Styling: Shireen & Marina
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew (“Mover & Shaker”) Auerbach

special thanks to Marina of BCBG/Herve Leger & Tara Gilani

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails

What:

An amazing Friday night dinner at “Lightkeepers Costal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails,” a new Key Biscayne eatery sure to transport you to seafood heaven (especially when you try the LIGHTHOUSE TOWER!)

Why:

I first met Chef Raul Del Pozo a few years ago at a popular South Beach eatery where he was diligently breathing new life into an already creative, over-the-top menu.

No easy task, but he did it without breaking a sweat and I knew then his talents were undeniable, but that’s not all…

With his warm personality, extensive knowledge of food and passion for South Florida fishing, we hit it off.

I mean, not that I fish or anything, but someone has to EAT what Chef is catching. With that being said, I had a hunch it wouldn’t be long before he was on to something else…

That something is called: “Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails” (located inside The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne).

The new restaurant, which is modern, clean and sophisticated, is the perfect place for the progressive Del Pozo to stretch his culinary muscle and of course, I couldn’t wait to Spotlight it.

On a busy Friday night, I was greeted with a warm hello, shown to my table and swiftly handed a glass of bubbly. They sure know how to make a girl feel special (sip, sip, sip). BTW…

“Crafted Cocktails” is in the actual title of the restaurant and for good reason: their drinks are these incredible blends of top shelf liqueurs mixed with fresh herbs, fruits and syrups — all presented with great pride and yes, they’re extremely pretty.

The “El Farito” (made with gin, Elderflower liqueur, lime juice, mint, cranberry + cucumber syrup and tonic) was fresh, fizzy and fashionable. The drink matched my outfit, said the fashion blogger and honestly, I couldn’t have planned it better myself #Drink&DressOnFleek 😎

The “Loggerhead Lavender,” which is a tribute to the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle, is swimmingly special (made with gin, raspberry liqueur, Lavender + Lime syrup, pineapple and ginger beer.)

Just in case you’re wondering, you can find the sea turtles putzing around Biscayne Bay. It’s always magical when you spot one and the drink has the same effect, too.

If you like strong and sexaaay, “The Tequesta” is sure to grow hair on your chest and then some. With a meaty mix of Mezcal, Three Chili Syrup and hand-pressed grapefruit juice, you’ll be buzzing with way more than excitement.

I almost called it a night after one bite of the fluffy and fabulous “Sleeper’s Wife’s Biscuits” (served with Keez Beez honey butter & bacon essence.) If you like carbs, save your calories for this dish — as the kids say these days: “This is giving me life!”

The “YellowFin Tuna” (with pickled himeji, cucumber, radish and soy cure) was perfectly plated, not to mention fresh and delicious. The beauty prize of the night, though, goes to the “Beets + Burrata” salad (made with roasted raw beets, rocco’s burrata, heirloom cherry tomatoes, foraged mushrooms, pumpkin oil.) Not only was it gorgeous, I gobbled it up like nobody’s business and I’m not even a beet lover.

From the Crudo part of the menu, I tried the “Hamachi” (made with passion fruit, yuzu kosju and sweet melon.) If you like raw fish, it’s excellent.

The savory “Pork Belly Chicharon” (with salsa picante, and garlic aioli) are lollipop bites of salty goodness and if you’re up on the latest food trends, “Grilled Spanish Octopus” (served with wakame, poached cherry tomatoes and charcoal potatoes) is calling your name.

I died and went to steak heaven when I had a bite of the “Jackman Ranch NY Strip,” which is a 30 day dry-aged masterpiece. A lot goes into perfecting its quality and taste — it’s absolutely one of the best steaks you’ll ever bite into.

If you prefer fish, the “Local Snapper” (served with baby zucchini, sun choke, kohlrabi and key lime preserve,) is a good option and last but not least, there’s the …

Drumroll please….

“LIGHTHOUSE TOWER”, a decadent three tiered serving of east + west coast oysters, Key West Shrimp, Alaskan King Crab, Cedar Key Clams and Yellowfin Tuna. This is great for a special occasion or a shareable treat for the entire table. Its presentation and taste is fit for royalty and come on, who wouldn’t wanna snap a social media pic of this gigantic and gorgeous seafood extravaganza?!

Believe it or not, I saved room for dessert, proving to myself that I’ve officially become a professional eater. 😎

The “Key Lime Cheesecake” with strawberries and meringue is a nice twist on a South Florida favorite. If you prefer something richer, try the “Chocolate Plantain Cake;” the sea salt and caramel ice cream really takes it to the next level and if you’re a fried dough lover (because who isn’t?) A “Bucket of Beignets” (with Passion Fruit + Valrhona Chocolate Sauces) will leave you starring in your own version of “When Harry Met Sally”
Because everyone will want what you’re having.

If you want a true foodie experience, “Lightkeepers Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails” should be on your list of places to check out in the Magic City. It’s truly a diverse “Surf & Turf” experience, helmed by one of the best young chefs in Miami and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

Where:

Lightkeepers
inside “Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne”
455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149

Reservations: 305-365-4156

When:

Sunday-Thursday 7am-10pm / Bar: Midnight
Friday & Saturday 7am-11pm / Bar: 1am
Ladies night is every Thursday and features a live D-J coupled with champagne and oysters (both are priced at $1) yes, you read that right!

Be Social:
FB: @LightkeepersMiami
IG: @lightkeepersmiami
Twitter: @LightkeepersMIA

www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/miami/key-biscayne/dining/lightkeeprs

As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.Mary Anne Radmacher
James Woodley Photography
Styling: Jackie Kay
outfit by www.bcbg.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Sexaaay” Auerbach