Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

Slay in Herve … because it’s the best way to end a fashionable year

What:

Wrapping up 2017 wearing one of my Favorite Things: HERVE LEGER. Plus, a little jibber-jabber about hopes, dreams and fancy things in 2018.

Why:

Ahh, romance & glamour…

Nothing used to say “New Year’s Eve” to me like a fabulous dress, a festive party and a fantastic man. Think the popular 80’s movie: “When Harry Met Sally”… More specifically, that famous last scene in the film when Harry & Sally realize they’re freaking nuts about each other.

It starts out with a hurried Harry pushing his way through a crowded New Year’s Eve party trying to find a heartbroken Sally. He’s in street clothes, she, of course, is in a gorgeous off-the-shoulder dark blue cocktail dress, looking every inch the fashion goddess.

Despite being broken up for months, the “meant to be” couple finally comes face-to-face on one of the most iconic nights of the year.

And, while their chemistry is ELECTRIC and their love PALPABLE, their happily-ever-after hangs delicately in the balance. (Get me a tissue!)

Then…

Harry proceeds to tell Sally she’s the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He adds sweetly: “I love you.” “What?” She says perplexed. “I love you,” he says emphatically.

Sally doesn’t believe Harry (because, well, most of the time men suck,) so she explains: “It doesn’t work that way! You can’t just barge back into my life expecting to pick up where we left off, because it’s New Year’s Eve and you feel lonely.”

Just as the traditional countdown begins, Harry tells Sally he doesn’t love her because he’s lonely, he loves her because of her special idiosyncrasies; like how she gets cold when it’s 71 degrees, how her face wrinkles up just above her nose when he says something annoying and how it takes Sally an hour or so just to order a simple sandwich.

“Auld Lang Syne” starts playing in the background and Sally cries: “I hate you, Harry,” but of course, she doesn’t really hate him, she LOVES him, they love one another. As they embrace and fall into a passionate kiss, the camera zooms out revealing the landscape of the party: the balloons, the confetti and dozens of couples dancing… Happy New Year!! 🎉

OMG! Be still, my besotted heart. 💝

Not only is that scene major movie magic, it’s something I’ve tried recreating for the better part of my adult life. The dress, the party, the man, the romance of it all and the trappings I assumed came along with it.

LUCKILY, somewhere along the way, life grabbed me by the shoulders and shook the hopeless romantic out of me. I know, I know, it sounds kind of morose, but actually, it was more like divine intervention.

Hollywood happiness isn’t just fleeting, it’s not even humanly possible. In fact, it’s a fool’s set-up for complete and utter disappointment. And while I’m at it, so is all the “politically correct” love rhetoric floating around in today’s society.

I don’t like ad campaigns, movies, social media, fairytales, religion, race or even my parents telling me how to love, who to love and what I should be wearing while I’m doing it.

You see, I tried all that on for size and it didn’t fit. In fact, it was suffocatingly small for what life really had in store for me. Two divorces and a lot of emotional baggage later…

I realized…

Life is ridiculously messy and heartbreaking and more often than not, it doesn’t come with witty Billy Crystal dialogue, good movie lighting and a perfect wardrobe (believe me, some of my early New Year’s Eve outfits were real doozies.)

Eventually, that dress, that man, that party, it all changes. The focus appropriately shifts to the woman you’re becoming, how the man treats you (with loving actions, not gilded words) and just as important, it’s about who you choose to surround yourself with (even when at a party.) We are, after all, the company we keep.

As New Years pass, I’ve had a lot of time to think about “When Harry Met Sally” and exactly what I was trying to extract from the last scene of the movie. And…

The answer is still somewhat elusive because it’s not necessarily tangible. Instead, it’s this incredible *feeling* that washes over me when I watch it. One of warmth, hope, dreams and desires…

Which is impossible to find during an hour and thirty six minutes of cinematic romance. It simply takes a lifetime of mistakes: highs, lows, self-tolerance, growth and trusting yourself to find out exactly WHAT it is that YOU need and what YOU want and no one else.

And while I still love a fabulous dress, a festive party and a fantastic man, I’ve learned to go about it the right way — MY WAY — because we all deserve our own #HappilyEverAfter even if it’s not something Hollywood would ever write about and that’s why “Slay in Herve” is one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

Herve Leger inside BCBG South Beach
Lincoln Road Mall
Miami, Florida 33139

(On the corner of Lincoln and Meridian.)

When:

Monday-Wednesday: 10am-10pm
Thursday-Saturday: 10am-12am
Sunday: 11am-11pm

Be Social:
IG:@bcbgsouthbeach
Twitter: @HerveLeger

www.herveleger.com & www.bcbg.com

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different…C.S. Lewis

A special thank you to BCBG South Beach & Herve Leger for supporting my ambitious fashion writing and television career everyday of the year.

This blog is dedicated to Jackie Kay.

James Woodley Photography
Dresses by Herve Leger, South Beach
& Jewelry by BCBG South Beach
Styling: Marina, Shireen & Jackie Kay
Make-up: Tabitha Rey & Hair: Jess Stuver of www.zenzenorganicsalon.com
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “I’m Not Harry” Auerbach

A Christmas Clutch

A Christmas Clutch. Shireen Sandoval fashion blog, Miami FL. Wearing a peach ruffle dress by Vchic Boutique and holding a glamorous evening clutch by The Limelight Collection. Bedazzled purses, bags and clutches for the holidays. Also featured on Deco Drive Television and photographed by James Woodley Photography.

A Christmas Clutch. Shireen Sandoval fashion blog, Miami FL. Wearing a peach ruffle dress by Vchic Boutique and holding a glamorous evening clutch by The Limelight Collection. Bedazzled purses, bags and clutches for the holidays. Also featured on Deco Drive Television and photographed by James Woodley

A Christmas Clutch. Shireen Sandoval fashion blog, Miami FL. Wearing a purple velvet dress by BCBG on South Beach. Holding a glamorous beaded evening clutch by The Limelight Collection. Bedazzled purses, bags and clutches for the holidays. Also featured on Deco Drive Television and photographed by James Woodley Photography.

A Christmas Clutch. Shireen Sandoval fashion blog, Miami FL. Wearing a purple velvet dress by BCBG on South Beach. Holding a glamorous crystal beaded evening clutch by The Limelight Collection. Bedazzled purses, bags and clutches for the holidays. Also featured on Deco Drive Television and photographed by James Woodley Photography. Beaded bag with jewelry to match modeled by Shireen Sandoval.

A Christmas Clutch. Shireen Sandoval fashion blog, Miami FL. Wearing a green peacock dress with a matching peacock purse by The Limelight Collection. Bedazzled purses, bags and clutches for the holidays or a special party. Also featured on Deco Drive Television and photographed by James Woodley Photography.

A Christmas Clutch. Shireen Sandoval fashion blog, Miami FL. Wearing a green peacock dress with a matching peacock purse by The Limelight Collection. Bedazzled purses, bags and clutches for the holidays. Modeling a knuckle ring. Also featured on Deco Drive Television and photographed by James Woodley Photography. WSVN, Channel 7 News.

What:

The perfect holiday purse sure to add pizazz to any kind of party outfit and more importantly, you won’t have to sell a kidney to buy one.

Why:

I’ll never forget the first time I wrapped my stubby little fingers around a Judith Leiber handbag; I was absolutely mesmerized. The sparkles, detailing and quality — I was stunned. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever seen anything like it. I asked the woman behind the purse counter at Bergdorf Goodman: “How much?” She barked out a price so astronomical, I almost passed out. After a deep sigh…

I carefully placed the bedazzled clutch back into her already outstretched hand and fled the swanky department store like a fashion criminal. As I pushed through the heavy revolving doors, the brutal NYC winter wasn’t the only thing that slapped me in the face. My mother’s voice did, too..

Even though she lived in New Mexico, I could hear her like she was standing right next to me on 5th Avenue: “You know, Shireen, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” My mom used to do that a lot when I was young, give me what she called “tidbits of wisdom,” which were usually met with a dramatic eye-roll or better yet, an impressive lip sync. When I became a teenager, I’d memorized all the tricks in her bag, so when she droned on, I could silently mouth her advice verbatim.

After that humiliating Bergdorf Goodman moment…

I found myself in the same situation; albeit, a few years later. This time, a dazzling clutch called to me from the window of a chi-chi hair salon on the Upper East Side. It was so awe-inspiring, I stopped dead in my tracks, swung open the salon door and asked if I could see the pretty purse up-close. I was determined to buy this one.

“Is it a Leiber?” I asked quietly.

As the receptionist unearthed it from its glass case, she blurted out: “No, but it may as well be for the price!” Sweat beaded on my upper lip as she passed the purse off to me like a sloppy football play. “Isn’t it gorgeous?,” she purred in her thick Long Island accent. “How much?” I asked, like someone who was about to get hit. “For you? Two-thousand.”

I stared at her briefly, handed it back and finally realized my mother was on to something…

That day, I decided to bury my whimsically wonderful dream of owning a fashionable, high-quality, exquisitely beaded bag. Instead, I settled for clutches that were more like: “it’ll get by in the dark if no one inspects it.” I don’t wanna be a total naysayer; I mean, over the years I’ve had some pretty good ones (a few I’ve even worn in the light of day,) but that Leiber? Man, that thing haunts me like a “Ghost of Christmas Past”…

That is, until a few weeks ago.

Let me back up a little to tell you exactly how “A Christmas Clutch” came into my life. When I get blog submissions, I divide them into five categories: YEZZZZZ, yes, maybe, no and NEVER EVER (even if I lived on the left side of Mars.) If the topic falls somewhere in-between “yes & maybe,” I usually ask the person/designer to send me a sample of the product/ fashion, not as a gift, as a way for me to make a solid judgement..

Come on, we all know how it goes these days: a decent camera, a few filters and a beauty app later and anything or anyone can look like a million bucks, but that’s not the TRUTH and telling the truth is imperative if you’re a journalist, even an entertainment one. (Full disclosure: I do like a good beauty app.)

Unfortunately, I’ve learned the “buyer beware” lesson the hard way. Don’t get me started on the products and fashions that have missed the mark. It’s an on-line epidemic fed by social media and solidified by “product exchange” by social media “influencers.”(Fake followers, etc.) Sometimes it works, but a lot of the times, it just doesn’t. QUALITY IS KEY and buyers remorse sucks for all of us.

It was a rainy morning when I first opened the medium-sized box from “The LimeLight Collection.” I was skeptical, but curious. I had seen a few photos of their purses and they looked pretty legit, but the aforementioned paragraph kept me from becoming a true believer and there was that whole Bergdorf thing, too.

Then, it happened…

“A Christmas Clutch” — lit up my life like the noon day sun. First, though, I took it out of its sleek black container that gave way to a soft, velvety pouch and carefully slid out the most glamorous, eye-popping purse (move over, Judith Leiber, there’s a new fashion sheriff in town.) It felt good, it looked great and I was INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED.

Note to self: call the brainchild behind “The LimeLight Collection” ASAP.

I’ve never met Ebony Daniels Sanon in person, but when we talked over the phone the following day, she was warm, direct and affable.

Ebony described “The LimeLight Collection” as “daring, classy and unique.” What’s more, she told me they had more than just holiday flair. She insisted: “You can wear them anytime, anywhere and with anything.”

Then came the question I was dreading, but HAD to ask: “How much?” Without hesitation, Ebony happily shared: “Around two hundred dollars.” She didn’t know it, but on the other end of the line, I was smiling wide like a Cheshire Cat.

Ebony knows what women want and it’s not just an amazing clutch, it’s about the experience of it and how a trend can hold its maturity; eventually becoming a classic. When that happens, “A Christmas Clutch” can easily find a permanent place in your closet.

Handmade, inspected to perfection and one-of-a-kind, “The LimeLight Collection” definitely made one of my most elusive fashion dreams come true and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Happy Thanksgiving!

Where:

Shop the collection here: www.thelimelightcollection.net

Be Social:
FB: @TheLimeLightCollection
IG: @thelimelightcollection
Twitter: @LimeLightColl

Move like you move
Oh, dance for the night
Everyone’s turned to watch you
Hold the spotlight.Alex Parks
James Woodley Photography
All holiday clutches by “The LimeLight Collection”
Peach Dress @Vchicstore – Purple Velvet Dress @bcbgsouthbeach & Green Peacock Dress @laundrybyshelli
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Captain Clutch” Auerbach

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

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

Shireen’s Spotlight: Drunken Dragon

What:

Stretching my foodie muscle at one of Miami’s best kept secrets: Drunken Dragon.

Why:

You know the saying: “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, that’s exactly the case at Drunken Dragon. The Korean barbecue hot spot is nestled into one of the most unassuming strip malls I’ve ever seen. There’s no signage, no arrow pointing toward the door, no hint of anything, really. Once you walk in, though, it’s a whole other world.

South Florida foodies like to call it: “Miami’s best kept secret.” I’ve even heard it referred to as an “underground” foodie paradise; think speakeasy back in the Prohibition Era. Instead of imbibing on illegal alcohol, though, you’ll partake in some of the best food you’ve ever tasted. In fact, it’s so good, it SHOULD be a crime!

Round up the lot of ’em, charge ’em with food felonies! The arrest citation should read: “How dare you hide world-class cuisine from us mere mortals?” And don’t even get me started on the bartenders! They’re going down with mixology misdemeanors 😂…

Between the whimsical tiki-inspired drinks, phenomenal food and sultry dark wood decor, I have two words for you: MIND BLOWN (but I digress)…

Before I arrived at Spotlight, someone tipped off the powers-that-be regarding the direct way to my heart (which happens to be through a thick straw with an adult beverage at the end of it.) Ha! Who am I kidding? A straw isn’t even necessary. While I love a stiff drink, I also enjoy creative cocktails (a girl can only drink so many Cosmos) and Drunken Dragon is great at both.

My first sip of the night was a yummy concoction called Cucuzaki, made with sake, gin and elderflower. It was perfectly paired with two starters: Truffle Popcorn and the ever-so-popular, Crispy Bok Choy. Who knew leafy green veggies could taste so good? I especially loved its plum soy sauce.

I had a bonafide liquid love affair with the Mai Tai (made with Appleton Rum.) Not only was it the bomb-dot-com, it reminded me of a cool summer night in Malibu. The drink, originally created in California, is also known for its Polynesian flair. It was my favorite of the night, alongside the Beef Tartar (served with crispy tortillas.) While I’m not a huge fan of raw beef, this dish (made with tenderloin, quail egg and pine nuts) was so unbelievable, I’d go back just to have more. It’s a #MustTry …

The refreshingly frothy, Thai Basil Mule, made with vodka, thai basil and ginger beer was delicious, too. It went great with my Salmon Poke Bowl, which had tons of fresh ingredients: avocado, seaweed, scallions, sesame seeds and black rice. Mixing it just right will be your only job of the night, unless, of course, you go for the classic Korean BBQ.

While I’m not the kind of girl who just happens to wander into my kitchen (unless I’m looking for vodka ) … I decided to give the grilling a go. After all, it was smack dab in the middle of the table and seemed easy enough. Besides, I love trying new things, especially when they involve Skirt Steak with chimichurri & Shrimp.

At first, I was a little overwhelmed, but after I tried it, I liked it. It was pretty straightforward and, dare I say, fun? It’s great for a first date or a new sizzling foodie adventure.. Plus, there’s something “magically delicious” about food cooked over an open flame.

The cheekiest drink of the night, Voodoo Lady, was presented with major personality. Along with tequila, pineapple & grapefruit, there’s something “hearty” on the backside of the cup, too. ♥️ You’ll wanna grab a pic, it’s perfect to post on social media.

Also impressive, the BFR Meat Board (served with steamed Taiwanese Buns, pickles, lettuces, herbs and 3 sauces: chimichurri, Hoisin and Red dragon.) If you prefer a veggie option, they serve a Shiitake Mushroom version as well. If you think this dish is impressive in the photos, wait ’til you lay eyes on it yourself. Throw in a side of mind-blowing Brussels and your tastebuds will never be the same.

Wrapping up the night, The Ronin (strong enough for a man; pretty enough for a woman.) It’s a Scotch whiskey blend with Earl Grey and a grapefruit twist. My photographer, James, barely let me touch the thing, let alone taste it. He said it was his favorite of the night.

If dessert makes you feel guilty, try the “Matcha Tres Leche” — combining good quality green tea with condensed milk and heavy cream balances out the diet universe or why not just throw caution to the wind and enjoy yourself? Honestly, that’s what Drunken Dragon is all about.

No matter how many foodies claim it or how many magazines dub it a mystery cloaked with a nondescript door, don’t be intimidated. It’s something special everyone should have the opportunity to explore and that’s why Drunken Dragon is one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

When:

Monday-Thursday: 6-11pm
Friday-Sunday: 6pm-12am

Where:

Drunken Dragon
1424 Alton Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

www.drunkendragon.com
305-397-8556

Be Social:
IG: @drunkendragon
FB: @DrunkenDragonMIA
Twitter: @DrunkenDragons

It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.J.R.R. Tolkien
James Woodley Photography
wardrobe: @bcbgsouthbeach
owl clutch: www.macys.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “I’m On Vacation” 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