The beautifully cool weather has arrived just in time for a massive weekend in Miami. Break out your best off-summer clothing and order warming bourbon and brandy cocktails all weekend long.
Star Chef Michael Schwartz may not be publishing his anticipated cookbook, Michael's Genuine Food: Down-To-Earth Cooking For People Who Love To Eat, until February, but tonight you can get a taste of the culinary adventure. At Michael's Genuine Food & Drink (140 NE 40th St.), a short film on the book's production will be shown from 7 p.m. to midnight. Casa Dragones Tequila will be there with complimentary drinks, or you can order lovely cocktails like the Sonny Rollins (Basil Hayden Bourbon, chilled tea, orange blossom honey and lemon) from Michael's skilled bartenders.
'Tis the Season for Local Produce
Great cocktails start with beautiful spirits and fresh ingredients, and it doesn't get much fresher than our farmers' markets offering produce from down the street. As farmers' market season kicks off, two new weeklies join the ranks: Liberty City and South Miami.
Running from noon to 6 p.m., the Liberty City Market features Redlands produce, honey and cheese as well as Southern favorites like pecans, sweet potatoes, peanuts and greens courtesy of regional farmers in Southern Georgia. Focused on making fresh food accessible, the market offers dollar-for-dollar matches up to $10 for SNAP users. Expect activities for the kids and music for all. Find them at Talcolcy Park at the Tacolcy Center (6161 NW 9th Ave).
South Miamians need not travel down to the Redlands anymore because the Redlands is coming to them starting this Saturday at 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. This year-round farmers' market offers in-season produce, eggs, dairy, artisanal products, edible and native plants and green technology vendors. Meet your neighbors at the South Miami City Hall at 6130 Sunset Drive.
Friday Night in Coral Gables
Coral Gables sets off Friday night at 7 p.m. with two great events. Giralda Under the Stars closes off Restaurant Row between Ponce de Leon and Galiano and pours food, drink and entertainment into the street. Best stops for cocktail lovers:Talavera for delicate cocktails and The Bar for pure and simple mixes.
Or, cross Miracle Mile and head to the Ponce Circle Park for the Art in the Park free concert series. Tomorrow features a range of music from Cuban, classic rock, R & B and jazz. The event is accompanied with an all-night happy hour, vendors and a boxing ring with Don King waiting for you inside (which should be extra-fun after a cocktail warm-up).
New Cocktailians on the Block
Right in time for the art, two great cocktail opportunities opened this week in the Wynwood Arts District.
Headed by experts in their fields, both aspects of the Blue Piano Music Lounge & Wine Bar are set to live up to expectations. Aniece Meinhold (aka Epicurous Chic) has crafted a beverage program that blends heritage and creativity. Expect carefully selected craft beers and a wine list focused on sustainability. For the adventurous, there is a playful selection of "wine mocktails" and beer punch. Keeping with the old adage to eat when you drink and drink when you eat, small plates are offered including a rotating selection of cheese and cured meats. Under the direction of five-time Grammy Award Winner Jorge Villamizar, the entertainment consists of a fine mix of salsa, jazz and blues. Expect a warm atmosphere in which to share drink, food, conversation and great music. Find the Blue Piano Music Lounge and Wine Bar at 4600 NE 2nd Ave from 4 p.m. to midnight (Wednesday to Saturday) or Monday and Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Across from the Wynwood Walls, the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar has opened its doors. Inspired by the creativity around it, the contemporary American restaurant has original local art on its walls as well as a Shepard Fairly mural. So loved is art that it even made it into the cocktails, which pay tribute to the creatives behind the Walls. Meet them Monday to Saturday between 11 a.m to midnight; the bar stays open an extra hour.
A Touch of Basel
Going beyond quiet sponsorship, Bombay Sapphire has launched the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series along with the Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation andComplex Magazine. From 2,000 nationwide entries, the team has narrowed down 20 finalists in the search for the best of upcoming urban photographers and multi-media artists. Before the final judging, check out the final twenty's work at the Verge Art Fair at the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club from today (Thursday) to Saturday. Two overall winners will be selected to have their fine works shown at the Rush Arts Gallery in New York.
SAPAL (Soho Arts Pavilion and Lounge) is offering a perfect end to your cocktailian prowls through the Arts District this weekend. In the chic lounge space complete with full bar, join them Friday for the Maya Swimwear Fashion Show or Saturday for the official Art Asia after-party. Both events begin at 10 p.m. and feature the Red Cross's thoughtful "Our World. Your Move." exhibit.
For more Arts Weeks events, The Cultured Cocktailian is available to guide you to the best cocktail opportunities.
Drink, eat, play and just call the damn cab: 305-444-4444.
Image courtesy of dominiekth.