The days when Florida was the last to get wind of a trend are over. So over, in fact, that folks like Cyril Camus, fifth-generation cognac producer, chose Miami over New York and Los Angeles to launch the "new generation" product, Camus 4U. The 31-year-old marketing and development director of Camus has been all over South Beach with the family company's purposefully naughty campaign, which carries the tag line "Whatever You're Into" and describes the liqueur as "Cognac and fruit juices. French. Slightly deviant." No kidding. The advertisements, which have been driven around town on portable billboards, feature S&M figures and scenarios, along with a mostly naked, tattooed, and tied-up man who is rumored to be one of our sushi chefs. In fact Camus shot the ads in Miami, using local, ahem, talent. Why us? Well, if the sexy photos don't give you enough indication, Camus says, "Miami is one place where people are open-minded, fashion-driven. They are adventurous. The city is a good fit for the product." Indeed. We're also willing to try just about anything at least once and, as Camus has obviously heeded, we don't hesitate to speak our minds. So if Camus 4U flies here, it'll likely take wing elsewhere. Currently Camus reports that 80 percent of our nightclubs, bars, and retail stores are stocked with the 34-proof, brazenly bottled liqueur. Don't hesitate to let 'em know what you think via the Website (www.camus4u.fr), which also is purported to have some live video action ...
Don't cry for Iwao Arai. The premier sushi chef of Bambú wasn't brought over along with Rob Boone to the forthcoming Metro Kitchen and Bar, which tells you one thing: Metro won't be serving sushi. But the Loews Miami Beach Hotel has decided to give raw fish a run, so Arai is now sharpening his knives at Hemisphere, the newly installed "live sushi bar." Let's just hope the "live" part refers to the chef's action and not what he's cutting up.
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Merrick Park in Coral Gables is still under construction and occupied only by a couple of stores and restaurants so far. But don't let the deserted appearance fool you. The Palm, Miami's second location (the other is in North Miami), is hosting a full dining room nearly every night, and on weekends it's the toughest reservation in town at the moment. Prime rib lovers who do score a table should also have the staff salt away a portion, however. Though production will increase as business becomes more of a sure thing, general manager John Dolan notes, currently the kitchen is only roasting one prime rib a day. That translates to seven pieces, two of which are end cuts. With only five hunks of beef available nightly, chances of claiming one spontaneously are rare to well-done.