Talk about making the best of underutilized space. The Delano Hotel has initiated "Cabana Dining," an option for the shy celebrity -- yeah, that's an oxymoron -- to take advantage of the private, poolside cabanas. For $190, which actually isn't all that pricey, you get a candle-strewn cabana from 7:00 till 11:00, a bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne, and a selection of canapés; the publicity materials say it's for four but really, the banquettes are roomier than most automobile back seats, so what the hell, invite your favorite orgy. Cabanas, by the way, include flat-screen televisions, adjustable volume for the piped-in-music and, the publicists tell me, cooling systems soon to be installed (currently, if you draw the curtain, you may cancel out what is a quite necessary breeze). For another $65 per person, you can add on a complete three-course meal served family style. Choose from four menus: the "Mediteranee," seafood, sushi (from the Blue Sea), all at $65 per person, or a "Tasting Menu" from the Blue Door, with wine, at $145 per person. Ah, decadence. Why settle for anything less?
Frankly I don't know if I'd want my banker or broker baking me a cake, even if he were glad to see me (which quite honestly would never be the case since I don't have a banker or broker). But that's just about the idea behind the new program that the JW Marriott Hotel Miami is implementing -- a Chef of the Month program that invites South Florida CEOs into Isabela's, the hotel's fine-dining venue, to create a three-course meal alongside chef David Andrews. The execs will be top toques for a night, then their menus will be featured throughout the month. Should we expect "Quicken" Chicken?
The pop of a cork and the gurgle of liquid are truly the only sound effects I need. But apparently Bo Krane, president of Miami's Kriztal Entertainment, feels differently, which is why he and his company just released Vintage Chill Vol. 1 -- Spring/"Music for Wine Lovers," a CD that "contains the best of the current crop of chillout tracks plus some more traditional selections." I can't really differentiate between the former and the latter. But I can relate to the wine knowledge in the CD liner notes -- "it's time for first bud break" -- and I gotta admit, the funky world tunes sort of take me back to grade school, when every year we watched that movie about the Grand Canyon that is set to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Talk about institutions -- Arnie & Richie's deli just celebrated its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the deli hosted a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, a precursor to the Relay for Life event that will take place at the beginning of May. Congrats go to both the proprietors as well as Cookie London, Arnie's wife, an ovarian cancer survivor.
No longer a rumor, Emeril's is reality -- or at least it will be in November. As of next season, Emeril's Restaurant Miami Beach, celeb chef Emeril Lagasse's ninth eatery, will indeed replace the Gaucho Room in the Loews. Since Lagasse already operates a restaurant called Emeril's Tchoup Chop in the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, a Loews property, the venue will actually be the second installment of the partnership. Which means that Miami, for once, is going to be the recipient of success rather than the victim of experiment. -- Jen Karetnick