New “It Spot”, MILA Miami

Miami loves its glam and now more than ever after having been day and night in athleisure wear or PJs. Team that up with inventive and delicious cuisine and it’s no surprise that handsome new restaurant MILA Miami was jumping the Saturday night we went. Unlike other restaurants here that have the let’s-dress-up-and-go-out vibe which evoke a St Tropez or Ibiza setting, MILA Miami’s décor has a very attractive contemporary, artisanal aesthetic that’s serene and warm. It’s a fusion of Japan’s Wabi Sabi philosophy and Cycladic islands design. Even the staff are attractive, looking like they came out of a modeling agency. And the Mediterranean and Asian inspired dishes are creative and different.

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1400 Museum Stores’ Shopping Day: Nov. 29 🎁

Hands down some of the best gift items around can be found at museum shops worldwide. That has been the case for awhile but, with the dire need for funds with so many museums closed, they have stepped up their game in their shops, an important source of revenue. How about doing your holiday gift shopping or just pamper yourself and help museums. The perfect time, too, is this Sunday, November 29, more than 1,400 museum stores representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 23 countries, and five continents will offer inspired shopping at museums and cultural institutions during the fourth annual Museum Store Sunday. In South Florida I have some museum shop favorites and also, here’s a list by the Huff Post of the top ten for online shopping in the USA.
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Lil’ Laos, Delicious and Cheap Eats

Laotian cuisine doesn’t get its due in my book, just as the country is underrated as a tourism destination. Some of the best eating I’ve had in my travels has been in Laos, a country wedged among Myanmar, Vietnam,Thailand, China and Cambodia. Laotian food is often compared with Thai , but to me it’s more complex in flavor— a blend of salty, sour, sweet, herbaceous, fermented and most importantly spicy and more like Vietnamese cuisine. I attribute this to its 60 years of history as a French protectorate. Now you can see for yourself what Laotian food in Miami is like thanks to the new addition to The Citadel — Lil’ Laos. The food is delicious and qualifies as cheap eats as well.
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Ornos Estiatorio, Star Chef Michael Mina’s Latest

There’s a welcome new addition to Greek restaurants in Miami. Star chef and successful restaurateur Michael Mina has been best known in Miami for his popular steakhouses Bourbon Steak and Stripsteak. But now he has turned his talents here to seafood and his first Greek concept in the new Ornos Estiatorio Greek restaurant inspired by his visit to a fishing village in Mykonos. As with all he does, it’s already a success judging by the healthy crowd Thursday night. He brought in the Athens born Chef Nikolaos Georgousis whose pedigree includes Milos. Here he’s working his magic of traditional Greek favorites with a light touch and original outakes.
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“Celeb” Artpies and a Stylish Lounge

With a name like Artpie, who wouldn’t be intrigued.  I was invited to a shop and figured I’d see a display case with the pies and ordinary tables and chairs. Instead I found an elegant, stylish shop that was like a tea room. It brought to mind a shop in Paris selling macarons. And the Artpies? They are savory and sweet small pies made with fine organic dough, and with names like Coco Chanel,  Cleopatra, Grace Kelly, and Ella Fitzgerald. Here’s the scoop on this new destination in Aventura Mall, well worth the trip if you don’t live in the area. And there’s another location in their factory in Little River.
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Buya Scores Big with Japanese Street Food

There’s no lack of Japanese restaurants in the Magic City but the menus are pretty predictable. Not so with Miami’s first Japanese pub, Buya Izakaya + Yakitori . Not only is the menu creative, so much so that we had a tough time choosing, but also, the food is downright delicious. It’s not surprising how good it is considering that several of the partners hail from KYU.  This is their fourth location, joining St.Petersburg, Florida, Berlin and Potsdam. Service is friendly, prices are reasonable, and dishes are served with two pieces for sharing as this is about small plates.
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