Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Prima Pasta

Shireen's Spotlight: Cafe Prima Pasta

Shireen's Spotlight: Cafe Prima Pasta

What: Cafe Prima Pasta, 414 71st Street, Miami Florida 33141

Why: If someone were making a movie about my life, Cafe Prima Pasta would definitely be the backdrop for the opening scene. In the dim, warm amber lighting, the camera would snake its way around the dark wood tables until it found me. I’d be sitting with a lively bunch of people drinking, eating and laughing the night away. It’s just that kind of place.

The Italian restaurant isn’t just one of my favorite places on earth, it’s been a Miami Beach staple for over twenty years. The atmosphere is what I love most. The family-owned eatery makes everyone feel special. When you walk through the door, a good energy immediately engulfs you: they remember your name, quickly serve up your favorite drink and do everything humanly possible to make sure your dining experience is delicious.

Good, heartfelt, unpretentious service is hard to come by these days, but there is no shortage of it at Prima Pasta. I love everything on the menu, but am most partial to their Chicken Parmesan, Bronzino and Lobster Risotto (pictured in the blog.) If I were a dead man walking, though, I would want their Cozze Marinara (sautéed mussels in a light tomato sauce) to be my last meal. If you’re looking for fine dining with a comfortable, elegant feel, this is the place.

Where: It’s right by my house, but more importantly, it’s conveniently located on Miami Beach, just a few short blocks from Collins Avenue on 71st and Harding. They have two parking lots and when those fill up (because they do,) there’s a bank behind the restaurant; they use that lot for parking overflow.

When:
Monday – Saturday/5pm-12am Sunday/4pm-11pm
Discount Menu – Monday – Saturday/5pm-6pm Sunday/4pm-6pm

Reservations: 305-867-0106
www.cafeprimapasta.com
IG: @CafePrimaPasta
Twitter: @CafePrimaPasta
FB: Cafe Prima Pasta

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
-Ruth Reichl

Shireen’s Spotlight: BarMeli Miami

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, barmeli, fl

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, barmeli, fl

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, barmeli, fl

What:BarMeli, 725 NE 79th Street, Miami 33138

Why:I absolutely love and adore my neighborhood hang-out, but keeping it a secret isn’t doing it justice. So, here goes (insert crying emoji here.) Liza, the owner of BarMeli, who by the way is sophisticated, worldly and the best hostess in my hood, says: “It’s the kind of place you go, when you don’t wanna go out.”

The Mediterranean wine bar and tapas-style restaurant has a laid-back attitude mixed with a sweet european charm. Not only is the vino amazing (because Liza searches high and low for the unique and unusual,) its food is amazingly fresh, delicious and healthy. I’m obsessed with several dishes at BarMeli: the whole Mediterranean sardines, the head-on prawns and the grilled octopus, to name three. But it’s the prosciutto-wrapped dates with ricotta that make me weep with happiness. The grilled zucchini salad with feta and mint is a close second.

If you really know me, you know that I’m not a true foodie because of my sensitive stomach, but I know what I like and this small gem is by far one of the best restaurants in Miami and I never leave with a food hang-over.

One more thing: every Thursday night (from 7-9pm) BarMeli has a weekly wine tasting. For $25 you can taste two whites and two reds from the Mediterranean region, paired with yummy tapas. The best part: if you try it and like it, you can buy it, because they sell what they serve. Cheers to that!

Where: BarMeli is tucked away in a small shopping strip on 79th Street. In the last few years, the once business: abandoned road is thriving with all sorts of new shops and restaurants. There’s no valet, but there is a small parking lot right in front of the eatery that’s easy to access. No matter what part of the city you live in, this place is worth the drive, because once inside, your worries will be left behind.

When:Opens at 5pm Tuesday through Saturday

Reservations: 305-308-5253
www.barmeli.com
Facebook: BarMeli Miami Tapas, Wine Bar & Boutique

Editor: Matthew Auerbach
Photo: t4two photography
Producer: Jessie Rosario
Writer: Shireen Sandoval

“Wine is bottled poetry.” Robert Louis Stevenson

Shireen’s Spotlight: Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, Wynwood Kitchen and bar, FL

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, Wynwood Kitchen and bar, FL

What: Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, 2550 N.W. 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33127

Why: In honor of Art Basel 2014 (which begins next week,) Shireen’s Spotlight is shining its light on the fun, fabulous and always artistically inspiring Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. The bustling, busy restaurant consists of two large rooms and a massive outside patio area. No matter where you sit, you’ll always have a view of the most beautiful and provocative art the city has to offer. The food is served mostly tapas-style and is best shared with friends.

My favorite is the Ropa Vieja Empanadas; they’re worth every single, delicious, fried calorie. It’s served with an amazing, mouth-watering cilantro cream sauce. The Pork Belly plate is a close second and is served with a healthy lentil salad. WKB has the most spirited, high octane drinks, too. The Wynwood Inferno is by far my favorite. It’s a bold mix of Don Julio Silver Tequila, jalapeño, cilantro, passion fruit and lime juice. Hit this place after your holiday shopping; it’ll keep you in a high-spirited mood all night long.

Where: In the uber-artsy neighborhood of Wynwood. This particular district of Miami  is bursting at the seams with jaw dropping graffiti, provocative museums and dozens of eclectic galleries featuring local, national and world-famous artists.

The restaurant sits proudly on the corner of North West 2nd Avenue, the major road that runs through this inspirational mecca.

Parking gets a bit crowded at night, but there’s a $7 valet just a few doors down. I suggest, though, to take your walking shoes and enjoy the famed “Wynwood Walls” before or after dinner. It’s a fun, romantic and interesting way to check out art and get a bit of exercise.

When: Dinner / Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday 5:30pm-12am the bar is open until 1:00am

Reservations 305-722-8959
www.wynwoodkitchenandbar.com
Twitter: @WKBMiami
IG: @WKBMiami
FB: Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 

Editor: Matthew Auerbach
producer: Jessie Rosario
writer: Shireen Sandoval
photographer: t4two photography

“A picture is a poem without words” – Horace
Now, go be fabulous!

Shireen’s Spotlight: Tamarina

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, Tamarina, FL

What: Tamarina 600 Brickell Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131

Why: Glamour and sophistication have never tasted so good. Tamarina doesn’t just specialize in Italian Coastal Cuisine, it’s perfected the art of pampering its diners to the “nth” degree. The beautiful, chic, inside/outside restaurant has a warm and rich atmosphere and its food is simple, delicious and clean. I adored the tiger prawn carpaccio. It was so tasty, I was ready for another round. Speaking of…

When you sit at the main bar (they also have a standalone oyster bar and a champagne bar) ask Magic (yes that’s his real name) to make you a dirty martini. It has to be one of the best drinks I’ve ever had in the “Magic” City. It was so smooth, I felt like Marlene Dietrich throwing one back with Gary Cooper in the 1936 movie, “Desire.” This place is regal, romantic and has really great raw fish.

Where: Tamarina is located in Brickell where Lippi used to be. Parking can be a challenge, but on the West and North side of the restaurant, there’s affordable valet.

When: Monday-Friday 12pm-11:30pm, Saturday 6pm-11:30pm/the bar is open until 1am, closed on Sunday.

Reservations:  305-579-1888
www.tamarinamiamirestaurants.com
Instagram: @tamarinamiami
Twitter: @TamarinaMiami
Facebook: Tamarina Miami

Editor: Matthew Auerbach
producer: Jessie Rosario
writer: Shireen Sandoval
photographer: t4two photography

“Champagne makes you feel like it’s Sunday and better days are just around the corner.” Marlene Dietrich

Now, go be fabulous!

Shireen’s Spotlight: Dolce Italian at the Gale South Beach

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, Dolce Italian, The Gale, South Beach

shireen sandoval fashion, fashion blogger, miami fashion blogger, miami fashion, Miami, Restaurant, Fine Dining, Food, Foodie, Spotlight, Shireens Favorite Things, Dolce Italian, The Gale, South Beach

What: Dolce Italian at the Gale South Beach, 1690 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139

Why: It’s the type of place where you wanna hang-out with your closest friends, enjoy a long, lackadaisical cocktail and get around to dinner when you feel like it. Not only that, Dolce has just launched a really cool new Happy Hour: every single day of the week, you can choose from 8 great signature cocktails, 8 specially priced appetizers, all priced at 8 dollars. I guess I know what my new favorite number is.

This place is incredibly yummy, but don’t take it from me, take it from the best in the food business: Dolce has been selected to participate in a new television series on Bravo called “Best New Restaurant,” starring Master Chef Gordon Ramsay. It’s slated to air January 2015.

Where: In the Heart of South Beach across the street from the famed Delano Hotel on Collins Avenue. It’s a crowded area with snowbirds, tourists and locals to boot. Not to worry, though, the hotel offers valet parking on James Avenue. It’s just a short walk to the front door of the gorgeous, warm and welcoming Art Deco hotel.

When: Dinner/Sunday-Thursday 6pm-10:45pm, Friday & Saturday 6pm-11:45pm

www.dolceitalianrestaurant.com 
Reservations: 786-975-2550
Instagram: @dolce_italian 
Twitter: @Dolce_Italian 
Facebook: Dolce Italian  

Editor: Matthew Auerbach
producer: Jessie Rosario
writer: Shireen Sandoval
photographer: t4two photography

Happy Friday! Don’t forget to be fabulous.