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Pastamania at La Centrale Miami

If you like pasta at all, you won’t want to miss what I’m calling Pastamania. It’s an all out celebration of National Pasta Month now to October 28 by La Centrale Miami in the Brickell City Centre. We’re talking pasta happy hours, discount on all dried pasta and sauces, tasting menu, workshops and the ultimate pasta party. And then there’s the yurt, yes the yurt for a unique private pre-season or holiday party until January 6.
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BON Chocolatier, A Fave

“Magnifique” is the only way to describe the chocolates from Parisian chocolatiers Deborah and Yoann Andreu at their new factory store BON Chocolatier in Bay Harbor, minutes from Bal Harbour Shops. I was in chocolate heaven. The quality, perfect calibration of ingredients that make the flavors and intensity of the chocolates pop, and artistry of everything in the shop is exceptional in Miami.
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Greek Surprises

If Greece isn’t in your travel future, I suggest you earmark a place for it now. Here are Greek, Athens travel and Crete travel surprises, revelations and curious observations I thought you’d enjoy reading about (even if you’ve been there before), with images of course that tell even more of the story. If, after this, you’re dreaming about Greece, check out the blogpost on Wednesday about a special one night only “Taste of the Aegean”.
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INIVA African Concept Store

INIVA Miami caught my eye when it was in Wynwood. But now in a sparkling new shop in Upper Buena Vista, its treasures of fashion, art, design and home decor really shine. Plus, put it on your list as one of the better gift shops Miami. The African concept store is described as traditional Africa meets Modern Africa. SAndra Bellon, stylist and Sophie Pozmentier, designer, have a discerning eye and taste, and have put together a handsome collection from ten artists, associations and craftsmen from Gabon, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Cameroon.
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Fab New Miami Boutiques

Wonderful is the only way to describe Upper Buena Vista. It’s described by the architects as a “community driven lifestyle destination where specialty retail, hospitality and wellness coalesce, embracing Miami’s culture and injecting it with global flare”. Picture this: lush vegetation and huge trees including an 80 year old banyan tree, their leafy canopies almost embracing the single story shops ressembling Japanese temples, thatched roof huts , and expansive windows that allow you to look into the fashion and décor finds inside. And finds there are, in 21 tasteful retail shops, including micro and petite boutiques. The concept is to offer affordable space for emerging designers and entrepreneurs. Then there are the complementary services – food, coffee bar, cryotherapy, hair, nails and beauty bar, tattoos and more. Here’s a short rundown of my favorites (and there were plenty), with a short description of each. This is not to be missed.
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vista Miami, Neighborhood Gem

You could say that downtown Miami’s solid restaurant scene was launched by Fratelli Milano, its owners Italian chef and restaurateur Roberto Bearzi and wife Fiorella Blanco, known for their twists on traditional Italian cuisine. Over the years they maintained quality at this casual spot with good food and a reasonable price point, and not surprisingly have been successful. So now it’s on to their second restaurant, two story Vista Miami, a welcome addition to Buena Vista restaurants. It offers dining indoors and in a lovely, inviting outdoor garden courtyard with lush plantings and bamboo. I’ve been back twice in a week since my initial visit — for the food, comfortable setting, and good quality/value. The other very good news is an adjacent open air garden with unique boutiques that I’ll be writing up separately (and the best compliment from me, where I did serious damage while on “recon”).
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